Iceland Travel Guide
Iceland is a destination unlike any other in Europe. The word ‘Magical’ can be used to describe Iceland the best! Filled with striking natural wonders around every corner, Iceland will surely have you in awe the entire time that you’re here! Black sand beaches, natural hot springs, smoldering active volcanoes & vivid blue glaciers set side by side and majestic waterfalls cascading down every hill is only a part of what Iceland has to offer. Even though the country is a tad bit expensive to travel in, it is worth every extra penny!
To chase the northern lights visit during the winter months of November to March, and if you want to spend time camping in the mighty outdoors, visit during the spring season which lasts from April to October! To save some extra pennies, you could chose to hire a camper van, or a convertible car instead of staying at hotels or hostels, which not only gives you the freedom to drive around and explore all the breathtaking beauty of Iceland, but also you can wake up to a different, absolutely phenomenal view every morning! Without any further delay, let’s get started with the most exciting part of this blog, presenting to you – The Ultimate Iceland Travel Guide.
Start your travel with the capital city of Reykjavik solely because of good fight connectivity! First order of business here, if you’ve decided to ditch hotels and take a road trip instead would be to pick up your rental camper-van or car. We recommend spending a couple of days exploring the city and easing into your van life. Drive around the city or park your van at one of the camping grounds and join a free walking tour to delve into the vibe of the city and learn more about the history and culture. The walking tour would cover all of the city’s major attractions, including the stunning Hallgrimskirkja church.
When you get hungry, stroll down Laugavegur, a street which is lined with shops and cafés in the center of the city. This is the oldest street in Iceland, and you’ll find everything from expensive couture to dollar stores here. Post lunch you can visit the National Museum of Iceland to learn more about the tiny Nordic country and later wear off all your tiredness by taking a relaxing dip in the Laugardalslaug Geothermal Pool. Once you’re recharged from your hot sauna and thermal pool, you can head out to get a taste of the Icelandic nightlifeback at and aroundLaugavegur.
The following day, get set to drive starting with the stunning Golden Circle which is a circular route that covers about 300 kilometers and loops from Reykjavik into central Iceland and back in a day trip.The route takes you through some of the most amazing sights in central Iceland, with scenery ranging from natural sites to historic buildings, and gives you the chance to experience the diversity of Iceland in a trip that can be as short at 3.5 hours without stops or as long as 12 hours, because take our word on this, you will find yourself stopping at every turn to admire the beauty around you and of course taking pictures!
The places that you must stop at during your Golden Circle ride is at Thingvellir National Park which is the only place where you can clearly see the crack in the tectonic plates that divide North America and Eurasia. This fissure is known as the Silfra Fissure into which you can dive and swim between the continental plates if you have a PADI certification. From there make your way to Strokkur Geyser which shoots boiling water 20 meters into the air every 5 to 10 minutes. A 1 hour drive from here will get you to the dramatic Gullfoss waterfallwhich has a two-level 70-meter high drop! From here drive 30 minutes to get to the picturesque Hrunalaug Hot Springs.Enjoy a relaxing dip in the hot spring and in the evening, return back to the capital city which is about a 1.5 hour drive from Hrunalaug. Rest up well and get recharged for your drive through the magical Ring road the next morning!
The Ring Road, or Route 1, is the prime 1,287 km long Icelandic route that circles the entire island and will show you the best of Iceland. Stock up on supplies and spend the next 10 days enjoying the wonders of nature that the Ring Road will keep surprising you with!
Day 1- Drive around 30 minutes east from Reykjavik to reach the town of Hveragerdi which is well known for its hot springs and geothermal pools as the town is built atop an active volcano. You can hike up on the hiking trail that runs through scenic hills and farmlands dotted with wild Icelandic horses and sheep. The trail ends at a river that is fed by hot springs in which you can relax after your long hike! From here drive an hour to get to Hellisholar Campground or any other campground of your choice to spend the night.
Day 2- Get out of bed early and explore the Seljalandsfoss waterfall which is a 30 minute drive from the campsite. You can walk into a cave behind the waterfall and enjoy the sight of this majestic waterfall from a whole different angle! Another beautiful waterfall, not too far away is the Skogafoss Falls and the Kvernufoss Falls! Take a detour from Ring road towards Seljadalur to swim at Seljavallalaug which is the oldest swimming pool of Iceland! Get back in the car and drive to the seaside village of Vic and stop in between at the Solheimasandur Plane Wreck.To reach the plane wreck you would have to hike up 4 km one way, so do plan accordingly! Spend the evening exploring the quaint town of Vic and the beautiful church located up on the hill.
Day 3- Rise early and headto Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach and also explore the nearby monolithic Loftsalahellir Cave. Drive 50 minutes to get to the Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon which offers views so stunning that it will surely take your breath away!The next stop is at Skaftafell. The area offers some great hiking paths and a few of them lead to the Svartifoss waterfall also known as the black waterfall. Just outside the Svartifos visitor center you will see the Breidamerkurjokull Glacier which extends into the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon where you can camp for free and wake up to the gorgeous view of a lagoon filled with glaciers next morning!
Day 4- Start today’s sightseeing adventure with the Diamond Beach, which is a beach filled with blocks of ice! A 1 hour drive from the beach will get you to the quaint fishing village of Hofn which has been the set for a lot of Hollywood movies. En route to Hofn, visit the Vestrahorn in Stokksnes. The picturesque flat lagoon and small black dunes is simply one of the most beautiful Icelandic landscapes. Once at Hofn, explore the museum, seafront and taste the fresh seafood at one of the restaurants for lunch! Post lunch continue your road trip to reach the final destination of the day – the little artsy town of Seydisfjordur. Spend the evening walking through this colorful town, visiting its art shops and beautiful blue church!
Day 5 – Wake up in the morning to the sight of beautiful waterfalls of Seydisfjordur! Resume your roadtrip by driving 2 hours to reach Vatnajökull National Park to see the mammoth Dettifoss Falls which is the most powerful waterfall in all of Europe! From here head over to Hverir to see the smelly boiling mud pits! Apart from this also visit the Grjótagjá Caves where you can see crystal clear blue water inside the small lava cave, definitely a sight that mustn’t be missed! Infact this was also where one of the scenes from Game of Thrones was shot! From here head to Myvatn Lake around which there are many camp grounds to park at for the night. Spend the evening exploring the lava fields of Dimmuborgir, Hverarond geothermal sites and end with a relaxing dip in the Myvatn Nature Baths!
Day 6 – Start your sixth day of the Ring Road trip by visiting the waterfall of gods known as Godafoss Waterfalls! This waterfall is incredibly picturesque and is a great location for some stunning pictures! From here drive 45 minutes to reach the second largest city of Iceland – Akureyri. There are a number of great restaurants and budget friendly supermarkets in the city, so stock up your supplies and grab some delicious lunch before you set out to explore the city’s museums and galleries. There are also volcano flights and whale watching tours available from Akureyri. Spend the night in Hofsos, which is a 1.5 hour drive from Akureyri. Park your van and relax in the local heated infinity pool, the views from which will blow your mind!
Day 7 – If you fancy yourself a beer bath, then drive 1 hour from Hofsos to reach Bruggsmidjan Brewery in Dalvik. Continue your roadtrip by driving towards Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Your first stop being Kolugljúfur Canyon which is a 15-minute gravel road drive off the Ring road. A 2-min hike via the bridge will get you to the canyon which hosts a few waterfalls and a jaw-dropping viewpoint! Apart from this also visit Hvítserkur, a 15-meter high elephant shaped rock. A 2-hour drive from here would get you to the Borgarnes Campsite where you can spend the night!
Day 8–Snaefellsnes is home to waterfalls, lava fields, volcanoes, natural hot springs, Icelandic horses, massive cliffs, and small fishing villages. Start your day with a dip in the natural hot spring of Landbrotalaug. From here head over to the most iconic spot of Snaefellsnes – Kirkjufell mountain and waterfall, both of which is a sight to behold! Iceland has some of the most beautiful churches mainly due to their picture perfect location! Two such beautiful churches are Ingjaldshólskirkja and Búdakirkja which is also known as the black church, both of which are located in Snaefellsnes. Apart from this, drive to Londrangar to see the majestic basalt cliffs and also the tiny village of Hellisandur which has a street full of vibrant street art. Spend the night at one of Iceland’s most beautiful campsite- the Olafsvik campsite.
Day 9- Start the day with a visit to the picturesque village of Arnarstapi. The village has a walking route that will lead the way to all of the highlights such as the Arnastapi Sea Arch, Gatklettur Arch Rock and statue of BárðurSnæfellsás. Next, begin driving towards theHraunfossar Falls which is a series of waterfalls and the neighboringBarnafoss falls which is a legendary spot according to Icelandic folk tales. And last but not least, the Glymur waterfall, which has a 198-meter drop and is the second highest waterfall in Iceland. Spend the night camping at campgrounds in the area.
Day 10 – An hour of drive from the campsite will get you back to Reykjavic, which marks the end of your epic Ring Road roadtrip! If you are craving for one last dip in a geothermal pool, spend your day lounging in the famous milky mineral waters of the Blue Lagoon!
When you’re travelling to locations as beautiful as Iceland, you would want pictures that are just as beautiful. So take a day (or more) off from selfie stick photos and hire a vacation photographer from Travographer who can take professional pictures of the memories that you created in the magical country of Iceland!Our photographers are the best at what they do and are locals; hence they’ll know all there is to know about the best locations for an incredible photo shoot! So go on and hire a photographer to follow you around as you create beautiful memories in Iceland!