In this blog, we have provided you with itineraries to spend weekends in different areas of the country, the South coast, the East, the North, the Westfjords… We gave you all the keys for you to create your own Ring Road itinerary. However, we are going a little further now since we tried one ourselves and we are going to share it with you!
Departure from Reykjavík
As always, our journey started by leaving the capital, Reykjavík and directly heading to the Westfjords. The road is quite long but if you do it straight, you will be better off faster. So we left in the late afternoon and drove straight to Hellulaug. It is about 4h drive plus we stopped at Borgarnes to have some dinner and buy some food for the trip so we arrived later that night close to Hellulaug and stayed there for the night.
The day after, we woke up early to enjoy the sunny day and the hot spring with nobody around. There is nothing better than a morning empty hot spring to warmly and peacefully wake you up. After this, we changed and headed straight to Dynjandi. The Jewel of the Westfjords, this incredible waterfall will always blow your mind every single time! We had lunch over there and then we drove to Ísafjörður. Considered as the capital of the Westfjords, you can stay a little around and stop by for more groceries if needed. After this, we drove in the direction of Akureyri, on the road, we saw a seal on a rock at the seal lookout in the Westfjords and we also saw about 10 whales peacefully swimming in a fjord while driving. This was one of the most magical spectacles I personally assisted to. That night, while heading to the North, we saw the Northern Lights. In other terms, that first day was exquisite, absolutely splendide!
We slept about 1-2 hours away from Akureyri so we had to drive a little bit on our third day of the road trip. We planned to stop by Fosslaug, to have our morning hot spring dip but the weather was terrible so we drove directly to reach Akureyri. Once we arrived there, we passed by the city quickly, just to see the heart-shaped traffic lights and we stopped to have some lunch. We then drove to Goðafoss and took many pictures from all the different angles possible and we left for Husavík. Since it was the end of the day, and we did not go to any hot springs in the morning, we went to GeoSea. A geothermal spa with a view over the ocean with a nice little lighthouse just right next to the spa. The place was very lovely, but again, our luck from the first day was well gone and the weather was awful so we could not see much from the view with the wind, the fogg and the rain…
For our fourth day of road trip, we drove to Ásbyrgi canyon, a lovely horseshoe shaped canyon. If you don’t have so much time for a hike like us, you can directly park in the middle of the park, there is a parking lot there and you can access in a few minutes walking to a viewpoint with a waterfall. We then drove to Dettifoss and Selfoss. This time, we wanted to access the other side of Dettifoss but we made a mess with the GPS and we ended up going to the same old West side of Dettifoss. Even though this side has many different viewpoints, I was curious to see the East side, but another time! That day, the weather was even worse than before. It had snowed earlier that same week, so the floor was a mix of melted snow, rain, mud, stones and snow. We got soaked wet and the visibility was pretty terrible, at least for Dettifoss. We drove to Mývatn where we quickly stopped by Hverir and then by Grjótagjá due to the bad weather, our stops were not that long. By the end of the day, we drove to the East and we stopped at the viewpoint over Stuðlagil Canyon. You can access it with a normal car even though the road can be a little tough on you sometimes. There are some stairs you take to get to the viewpoint. The viewpoint is nice but we still recommend you to do the hike, if you can, to see the canyon from another perspective.
It is what we did the next day, we woke up early to start the hike. We parked at the closest parking lot next to the waterfall where the hike is starting. Since the road is a little bit difficult from the first parking lot before the bridge and the second one at the waterfall, you can also just park at the first parking lot before the bridge and start your hike from there. It takes about 45 minutes – 1 hour hike from the first parking lot and about 30 – 45 minutes from the closer one. The views are very nice along your hike to reach the canyon. There are sheep roaming around, some small waterfalls and rivers crossing land until you reach the canyon. There, you can take pictures in very different angles, we tried them all honestly. In summer the water is beautiful, a turquoise blue. However, in September, the water turns to a muddy grey but gets clearer during the wintertime. We spent about 3 hours there in total, between the hike back and forth and the exploration of the different angles of the canyon and the pictures we took.
After this, we drove to Seyðisfjörður, passed by Egilsstaðir and along the way we stopped to see Gufufoss, a splendid waterfall you will see on your way between the two towns. Once we arrived in Seyðisfjörður, we visited a little bit of the city, but mostly we went to the famous church with its rainbow pavement. We then headed back to Egilsstaðir where we ate at a lovely dinner place and we kept driving from here to the South. There are many more places and towns to visit in the East but we were a little tired so we prefered to head straight to the South instead of exploring more of the East coast. We arrived at Vestrahorn where we stayed for the night.
Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon
The following morning we explored Vestrahorn. There is a fee of 900isk to enter the land as it is a private property but we really recommend you to go there anyway, it is worth it! The views are incredible with the mountains and the ocean. You can also visit a Viking village prop for a movie that has been built but never used in the end. You can walk along the ocean and just enjoy the view. We went there in the morning, as the sun was rising, the view was absolutely stunning. After this, we drove to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. Surprisingly, there were very few icebergs in the lagoon, maybe due to the nice weather there had been while we were in the North. We then went to the Diamond beach. We saw some seals swimming over there. We then drove to Fjaðrárgljúfur. We finished the day near Vík, we went to Reynisfjara black sand beach. When the tide is low, you can access a cave further on the beach. We could walk there and enjoy some snacks with the sun in front of us. We ended the day in Dyrhólaey to see the sunset. This place will give you a spectacular viewpoint over the black sand beach and the ocean. We highly recommend you to go there for the sunset!
Back to Reykjavik
For our last day of road trip, we did very few things as we were quite tired. We went to Skógar where we went to Kvernufoss, this absolutely stunning hidden gem, followed by the massive Skógafoss. We then headed to Gljúfrabúi and Seljalandsfoss, those famous spots from the South Coast. After that, we peacefully drove back to Reykjavík, just in time to have some drinks in the city center!
This itinerary is an option out of billions. It is more a 6 days itinerary then a 7 days as we started the journey quite late on the first day and arrived quite early on the last day. If you are looking where to start for your own adventure, you can still look at it to get some inspiration or look at our other articles focusing on different areas of Iceland and if you are looking for day tours, you can check out our website, we would be more than happy to have you on tour with us!