Planning For The Trip
We live in Iceland, so there were no flights and no rental car. We used our own car and stayed in our tent at different places every night, no hotels, just one night we bought ourselves a glamping night with Original North. We can truly recommend staying with them, so cosy. But because of covid they did not serve breakfast, which we have heard is really delicious.
What We Packed
We packed a tent and everything needed with that, warm clothes, hiking boots, primus gas stove, pot, tableware, food, alcohol, cooler bag, disc golf discs, board games, ukulele, books, swimsuits, towels, sunglasses, sunscreen, blankets, power banks, hand sanitizer and a first aid kit.
We decided to just wing it, we had written down places we wanted to explore and as we had our tent and no hotel bookings. We could just do what we felt like at each moment. The only thing that was roughly decided was that we were going to spend most of the time in the Eastern Region.
We started our trip from Reykjavík and drove the south way around (counter-clockwise) and stayed at these campsites in this order.
Langbrók – Kleifarmörk – Reyðarfjörður – Seyðisfjörður – Möðrudalur – Raufarhöfn – Original North – Heiðarbær. Then we spent two nights in Akureyri with family members that live there and then we drove all the way back to Reykjavík in one day, skipping a lot of beautiful places on the way back, that we will hopefully explore next time.
How We Kept Costs Low
We didn't stay at fancy hotels and eat at expensive restaurants. You can travel cheaper in Iceland if you want to, although some places are very expensive like it is everywhere else.
One Food Item You Can’t Miss
The lobster pizza at Beituskúrinn - The Bait Shack in Neskaupstaður.
Our Favourite Memories From The Ring Road
Hard to pick one but I have to say Stuðlagil canyon, the weather was amazing, and the canyon is like nothing else. While we were walking there, we listened to Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone audio book and admired the surroundings which is something we’ll never forget. Also one of our favorite memories was the night we spent at the campsite in Möðrudalur, such a peaceful and pretty area. The site had no mobile internet connection and we decided not to connect with the campsite’s Wi-Fi and just enjoy being there together.
We Saw A Lot But Will Definitely Have To Go Again
The trip took eleven days and we loved it but there were many places we wanted to visit but decided to drive past. We took a lot of hikes so we didn't have as much time as we would have wanted to see and do more. But of course, we saw a lot, but we will definitely go again and see those places we missed.
At the end of our trip we stayed with family members in Akureyri for a whole weekend, which was really nice. Akureyri is a beautiful place that has a lot to offer and nice restaurants.
Sights That You Can’t Miss!
So many. I will just make a list.
Vestmannaeyjar – my hometown, such a beautiful island south of Iceland. You can take the ferry there from Landeyjahöfn almost all year around. Just have an hour to get there with the ferry. Beautiful mountains, a volcano and the best food in Iceland.
Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon – a short walk and such beautiful scenery.
Svartifoss – about half an hour walk and the most beautiful waterfall in Iceland will be before your eyes.
Reynisfjara – black sand beach with beautiful rock formations.
Stuðlagil canyon – about 1 and a half hour walk to the most beautiful canyon and amazingly coloured water in the river Jökulsá.
Dettifoss waterfall – such a powerful waterfall, amazing to see.
Hljóðaklettar – a collection of basalt columns lying in every direction to create unique formations and arched caves that are known to create eerie echoes and reverberations.
Ásbyrgi canyon – a beautiful glacial canyon and forest in the north of Iceland.
Klifbrekkufossar waterfall, Mjóifjörður – you drive the most beautiful road to get there. The drive is 17 kilometers to the bottom of the fjord. Unfortunately, for waterfall lovers, the waterfalls are only accessible from June until September as the mountain pass leading to the narrow fjord is closed in winter.
Heimskautsgerðið – The Arctic Henge is a monument to Asatru, the beliefs of the Old Norse. It is located in the northernmost settlement of mainland Iceland.
Seljalandsfoss waterfall – it can be fully encircled, situated on the South Coast of Iceland with a drop of 60 metres.
Skógafoss waterfall - is one of Iceland’s biggest and most beautiful waterfalls with an astounding width of 25 meters and a drop of 60 meters.
Kvernufoss waterfall – a short walk from Skógafoss is Kvernufoss, so you get a 2 for 1 one deal on waterfalls.
Gljúfrabúi waterfall – hidden away behind a big rock in a small gorge.
Nauthúsagil waterfall – the ravine is deep and narrow.
Jökulsárlón – a glacial lagoon, bordering Vatnajökull National Park in southeastern Iceland.
Diamond beach – a black volcanic sand beach where icebergs from the glacier lagoon drift to.
Þingvellir National park – one of the best geological wonders in Iceland.
Reykjadalur – beautiful hike for about one hour to a hot spring thermal river.
Actually, I’ve never seen these places, just pictures of it, but they are all on my list for future trips.
Our Suggestions For Anyone Doing The Ring Road
If you can, stay at least a week, there are so many beautiful waterfalls in Iceland and so many amazing options for hikes. You won't regret it. So many people come to Iceland and don’t have time to see everything they came to see. But of course, if you don’t have the time there is much you can see and do just around Reykjavík. Like Þingvellir, Gullfoss og Geysir, Reykjadalur and many more. Also, short road trips to the south coast for many beautiful waterfalls. Iceland has so much to offer and it’s such a beautiful country, all year around. The northern lights in Iceland are like nothing else, especially when there is also snow.