Iceland is incredibly beautiful with vast swaths of open plains and a myriad of glaciers and waterfalls. The landscape is unforgiving and at times unpredictable. In recent years, Iceland has become a hot spot for travelers looking to explore the country and experience the culture. We intended to do both. A two week road trip around Iceland would be the perfect adventure.
We rented a camper van and spent two weeks driving around the Ring Road that circles the country. Along the way, we stopped at national parks, waterfalls, glaciers, fjords, and volcano’s. We didn’t have a solid plan other than a few notable spots that we wanted to see. We camped in small remote villages, ate some interesting cuisine, and hiked all over the place. It rained the first few days but it didn’t deter us from exploring. The wind was sustained 30 mph every day all day with no exception. We had almost 23 hours of sunlight every day and that meant long sunsets at 12:30 at night. After 10 days on the road, we spent the final two days in the capital city Reykjavík.
Instead of writing a long trip report, I commented under each picture to give context. Narrowing down all the images was challenging but I think these best portray the sights and sounds of our road trip and help tell the story of our two week adventure. Oh….and I also made a video. Enjoy!
Mid-flight from Boston Logan to Keflavík on WOW airlines.
First view once we departed the plane in Keflavík
Skógafoss waterfall. The rain was coming down heavy but we still managed to hike to the top and beyond.
Dinner the first night camping. This is probably around 9:00 at night. It was raining hard but luckily this camping area had a sheltered common area. We later discovered that almost all the camping areas were just wide open fields available to anyone. Also, shout out to Good To Go meals for there yummy dehydrated food (made in Maine by the way).
Abandoned DC plane in Sólheimasandur on the edge of the ocean. We walked two miles to get here.
Quick hike into Skaftafellsjökull glacier.
This is the town of Vík. That is our little camper van, her name was “caddy”.
Selljalandfoss in south Iceland. Its hard to tell from this picture but you can walk behind the waterfall. I was amazed at how close you can get to these waterfalls without much effort.
After leaving Vík early in the morning, we stopped for a coffee break and some mountain views. Since there are no trees in Iceland you can see for miles and miles, its quite a departure from the New England landscape.
Höfn Campground. This was our first real opportunity to download images and charge our electronics. Luckily, the campground owner had a power adapter which he let us borrow. We also did some trip planning for the next few days. Again, Good To-Go food for dinner, it was the last of what we brought with us.
Höfn from the waterfront.
Nestled in the town of Seyðisfjörður. This was one of our favorite spots on the trip. To access this town we had to drive over a pass and through snow. It was very isolated but that is what made it special. The campground is literally in town and everything was within walking distance.
Looking at the downtown church in Seyðisfjörður.
After a very long dirt road that stretched on forever, we arrived at the most powerful waterfall in Europe, Dettifoss. This is the river leading up to it.
The highest farm located in Iceland is in the town of Möðrudalur and it also happens to be a campground. This area is about as far inland as we could venture without a four wheel drive vehicle. Camping here was extremely beautiful but also the windiest.
Mapping out our next stop.
Taking a break from the constant wind.
The buildings in Möðrudalur were all covered in layers and layers of sod. I think this helps insulate them from the harsh climate and sustained winds.
Headed to the coast!
Heiðarbær campground was located on a family farm just outside of Húsavík. The thermal activity in this part of Iceland was unbelievable. Steam was pouring out of every opening in the ground; it made this farm come alive.
Downtown Akureyri. This is the largest city outside of Reykjavík. We stopped here for the day and wandered around town, jumping in and out of stores and restaurants. We had a few beers at Akureyri Backpackers, a small hostel in the heart of downtown.
One way tunnels that stretched for miles, definitely a bit nerve-racking.
Davlík. We arrived here with the intention of camping and exploring the town. However, we ended up arriving earlier than expected, so we grabbed a mid day coffee and then kept going.
The town of Sauðárkrókur. This was the town we arrived at after the hour and a half drive from Davlík. Camping was just to the left of the swimming pool. After a short hike up the hillside, there were great views of the town and distant mountains.
First hike into a dormant volcano.
Eldborg campground. This place felt like and old decommissioned Russian hotel from the cold war. Very eerie place but very cool at the same time
Eldborg crater standing guard on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.
The fishing village of Stykkishólmur.
Lava fields for miles and miles.
Nestled among the lava flow for the night. Hellissandur was located just outside of Snaefellsjoekull National Park where we planned to spend the next day hiking and exploring.
We finished the trip in downtown Reykjavík. It felt great to get walk around town and not have to drive to our next destination. We found ourselves at the Big Lebowski Bar for a few hours looking at our travel pictures and reminiscing. It was an incredible trip and I would absolutely do it again some day.
This is the rough itinerary of our two week road trip around Iceland. We started in Reykjavík, completed the Golden Circle and then traveled counter clockwise around the country. To view all the images in the gallery click here.