Iceland, a land of fire and ice, beckons travellers with its untamed landscapes, otherworldly beauty, and a touch of magic that's woven into its very fabric. If you're a wanderer at heart, craving a unique adventure, there's no better way to explore this enchanting island than by embarking on the legendary Ring Road journey. This 1,000-kilometer road takes you on an adventure around the entire Iceland. If, like many, Iceland is at the top of your bucket-list to visit, continue reading as we break down the Ring Road journey and explore the country together taking notes!
DAY 1: REYKJAVIK
You finally bought the ticket, and your adventure can commence! You packed your bags and boarded your flight to Reykjavik - The Journey Begins!
Reykjavik is the world's northernmost capital. Amid colourful houses and a vibrant arts scene, you'll find a fusion of tradition and modernity. Kick-start your adventure with a visit to Hallgrímskirkja, an iconic church that offers panoramic views of the city. Dive into Icelandic history at the National Museum and then unwind at the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal wonder renowned for its healing properties. As the sun sets, savour Icelandic cuisine at a local eatery, tasting dishes like hákarl (fermented shark) and skyr (a creamy dairy product).
DAY 2: GOLDEN CIRCLE
Geysers, Waterfalls, and National Parks.
Leaving Reykjavik, we venture onto the Golden Circle route.
First stop, Þingvellir National Park, where you can walk between two tectonic plates and witness the birthplace of Iceland's parliament. Geysir Geothermal Area is next, with its dramatic eruptions that defy gravity. Don't forget to capture the iconic Strokkur geyser in action. Close by is the majestic Gullfoss waterfall, whose roaring cascade will leave you in awe.
DAY 3: SOUTH COAST
Black Sand Beaches and Glacier Adventures.
Today, we head along Iceland's rugged south coast. The hauntingly beautiful black sand beach of Reynisfjara, with its basalt columns and crashing waves, creates a surreal atmosphere. Further east, marvel at Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls, the latter allowing you to walk behind the cascading water curtain. In the afternoon, an optional glacier hike on Sólheimajökull glacier awaits the adventurous.
DAY 4: VATNAJÖKULL NATIONAL PARK
A Glacier Wonderland Continuing eastward.
We enter Vatnajökull National Park, Europe's largest national park. Hike through otherworldly landscapes, glistening glaciers, and serene lagoons. If you're up for a challenge, a guided ice cave tour will unveil nature's frozen artistry in all its splendour.
DAY 5: EAST FJORDS
Serenity and Tranquillity
Driving through the scenic East Fjords feels like stepping into a tranquil dream. Picturesque fishing villages, dramatic fjords, and steep mountains create a mesmerizing backdrop. Seydisfjordur, a quaint village known for its colourful houses and artistic community, is a hidden gem worth exploring.
DAY 6: NORTH ICELAND
Hot Springs and Whales
Crossing into North Iceland, soak your worries away at Mývatn Nature Baths. The geothermal waters surrounded by volcanic formations are a true sanctuary. Nearby, marvel at the surreal landscapes of Hverir, where bubbling mud pots and steaming fumaroles remind you of Iceland's volcanic heartbeat. Embarking on a whale-watching tour from Akureyri might reward you with unforgettable encounters with gentle giants of the sea.
DAY 7: NORTHWEST
Rugged Beauty and Remote Wilderness
Driving through the northwest, you'll feel the pull of Iceland's remote and rugged beauty. Hike in the untouched wilderness of the Westfjords or relax in the geothermal pools (Hot Pots) at Drangsnes, nestled against the wild Atlantic coast.
DAY 8: WEST ICELAND
Waterfalls, Hot Springs, and Historical Sites
Reaching the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, explore Kirkjufell Mountain, often referred to as "Church Mountain." Wander through charming fishing villages like Stykkishólmur and relish the views of dramatic coastlines. Don't miss a visit to the Snæfellsjökull National Park, where you can hike up to a glacier-capped volcano that's said to be an energy-charging force.
DAY 9: RETURN TO REYKJAVIK
Reflections and Farewell
As we make our way back to Reykjavik, take time to reflect on the countless natural wonders, cultural experiences, and soul-stirring moments you've collected along the Ring Road. Spend your last evening strolling through Reykjavik's streets, collecting souvenirs, and reminiscing about the adventures that have etched a permanent place in your heart.
The Ring Road journey through Iceland is nothing short of a life-changing experience. From glaciers to geysers, fjords to waterfalls, each twist and turn of the road uncovers a new facet of the island's enchantment.
The land of fire and ice is a testament to nature's raw power and beauty, and by traversing its ring, you'll embark on a voyage that forever intertwines your soul with the beating heart of this remarkable island.
We’ve only explored some of the sights and activities to embark on in Iceland. You can add a multi-day hike through the Hornstandir nature reserve or a trip to puffin island and see the magnificent birds up close to your itinerary and so much more! So, pack your sense of wonder and embark on the adventure of a lifetime!
(Vigorously typing on Google to book a flight and rent a car!)