Klara's 11 Days On The Ring Road: This Icelander Share's Her Amazing Itinerary And Some Tips On How To Keep Costs Low!
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17th Jun | 6 min read

Klara was born in Vestmannaeyjar, a small island off the south coast of Iceland, but moved to Reykjavík when she was 19 to go to the University of Iceland.

She loves to travel and has been to 19 countries in total, in Europe, Asia and Africa. She also loves board games, reading and taking pictures. You can follow Klara’s adventures on Instagram and Reddit. You can also connect with her on GAFFL.

What Inspired Me To Do The Ring Road

We always wanted to drive around our country and explore all the beautiful places it has to offer. I did it first with my parents and two older siblings in 1997, only three years old. I have travelled a lot around Iceland since then, but I’ve never driven the whole circle. We were supposed to go last summer, but we didn’t have enough time off work to do it the way we wanted, so we decided to go this year instead. Not knowing then, of course, that covid-19 would have such an impact on the tourism which led to us having some of the places to ourselves.

We really wanted to focus on the east side of the country this time and then focus on the Westfjords next summer, as neither of us has ever been there.

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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. 

Original North Glamping

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.

Our Itinerary

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.

Stjórnarfoss waterfall

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.

Sólheimasandur plane wreck

One Food Item You Can’t Miss

The lobster pizza at Beituskúrinn - The Bait Shack in Neskaupstaður.

Our Favourite Memories From The Ring Road

Stuðlagil canyon
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.

Möðrudalur campsite

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.

Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon

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.

Dettifoss waterfall

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.

Ásbyrgi canyon

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. 

Klifbrekkufossar – Mjóifjörður

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.

Kvernufoss waterfall

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.

Diamond Beach

Þingvellir National park – one of the best geological wonders in Iceland.

Þingvellir National park

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.

Aldeyjarfoss waterfall





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.     

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