Road Trip: Driving the Ring Road in Iceland

Adventure Trip

Iceland is a country known for its stunning natural landscapes, including glaciers, waterfalls, volcanoes, and hot springs.  Iceland’s Ring Road, also known as Route 1, is a 1,332 km (828 mile) highway that encircles the entire island. Driving the Ring Road is considered by many to be the ultimate road trip, offering stunning views of Iceland’s rugged and diverse landscape. In this article, we will explore the highlights of this incredible journey and offer tips for planning your own Ring Road adventure.

gray concrete road near mountain under white sky during daytime

Day 1-2:

Reykjavik to the Golden Circle The Ring Road starts in Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital city. After exploring Reykjavik, head east to the Golden Circle, which includes three popular attractions: Þingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area, and Gullfoss waterfall. Spend a day or two exploring these sights and the surrounding area, which includes hot springs, glaciers, and volcanic craters.

waterfall surrounded by rocks

Day 3-4:

South Coast From the Golden Circle, continue east to Iceland’s South Coast, known for its black sand beaches, waterfalls, and glaciers. The most popular attractions on the South Coast include Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls, Reynisfjara beach, and Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. There are many hiking trails and activities available in this area, including glacier hiking and ice cave tours.

waterfalls under white skies

Day 5-6:

Eastfjords From the South Coast, continue north to Iceland’s Eastfjords, a region known for its stunning mountain scenery and quaint fishing villages. The drive through the Eastfjords is one of the most scenic stretches of the Ring Road, with winding roads and breathtaking views of the coastline.

brown hills covered with clouds

Day 7-8:

Lake Myvatn and Akureyri From the Eastfjords, head to Lake Myvatn, a volcanic lake known for its geothermal activity and unique landscape. Here, you can visit the Dimmuborgir lava fields, Hverfjall crater, and the Myvatn Nature Baths. After exploring Lake Myvatn, continue on to Akureyri, Iceland’s second-largest city. Akureyri offers a variety of activities, including whale watching and hiking in the nearby mountains.

Day 9-10:

North and West Iceland From Akureyri, continue west to the northern coast of Iceland, which offers stunning views of the Arctic Ocean and remote fishing villages. As you head west, you’ll also pass through West Iceland, which is home to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and its iconic Snæfellsjökull glacier. This region offers a variety of activities, including hiking, hot springs, and horseback riding.

a large body of water with a mountain in the background

Day 11-12:

Reykjavik From West Iceland, head back to Reykjavik to complete your Ring Road journey. Spend your final days in Iceland exploring the city’s museums, restaurants, and nightlife, or take a day trip to nearby attractions like the Blue Lagoon or the Reykjanes Peninsula.

Day 13:

Reykjavik On your final day, you can spend some time exploring Reykjavik, where you can visit museums, take a dip in the Blue Lagoon, or enjoy some delicious Icelandic cuisine.

Tips for Planning Your Ring Road Adventure:

  • Rent a 4×4 vehicle, especially if you plan to drive in the winter or venture off the main road.
  • Book accommodations in advance, especially during peak season (June-August).
  • Pack warm and waterproof clothing, as Iceland’s weather can be unpredictable.
  • Bring a map or download offline maps, as cell service can be limited in some areas.
  • Plan your itinerary based on your interests and budget, and allow plenty of time for unexpected detours and photo stops.

gray asphalt road under cloudy sky during daytime


In conclusion, driving the Ring Road in Iceland is the ultimate road trip adventure, offering stunning views of Iceland’s diverse and rugged landscape. With careful planning and a sense of adventure, you can experience the best that Iceland trip.

Driving the Ring Road in Iceland is an incredible adventure that offers stunning landscapes and unique experiences. With each passing day, you will discover new and awe-inspiring sights, making this road trip one of the most unforgettable experiences of your life. So, pack your bags, rent a car, and get ready for the ultimate road trip in Iceland! Also read about: Sustainable Travel: How to Make Your Adventure Trip Environment Friendly