- Jessica White
Around we go! My top Iceland tips for a Ring Road Road Trip.
Iceland has one of the most diverse and unique landscapes I have ever encountered. My sister and I did a road trip around the island on the only main road the country has: Route 1, also known as the Ring Road. We saw everything from black sand beaches, to glacial lagoons, to packs of wildlife. Iceland is guaranteed to bring out your sense of adventure and leave you with a sense of wonder.
Although Iceland has become increasingly popular with tourists with its close proximity to the United States and incredible landscape, much of the countryside is still untouched, and it is definitely a destination not to be missed!
My top travel tips and tidbits for Iceland:
1. Unless you have your heart set on seeing the northern lights or ice caves - Go in summer! Even in August when we went, it was still very chilly. Also, in the winter a lot of the roads are closed and key sites are inaccessible.
2. Rent a car or hire a private tour guide. You do not want to be limited to a bus route or the main roads in Iceland. So much of its beauty is off the beaten track. As you adventure around you will want to hop out of the car to take a picture of wild sheep, take a closer look at a water fall, or stop at a local market.
3. Bathe in the healing waters of the Blue Lagoon. Yes it is definitely Iceland's #1 tourist attraction, but the Tiffany-blue warm waters , thermal mud masks, and rocky landscape make it truly unique. Tickets must be purchased ahead of time, and I definitely recommend splurging on the retreat spa access.
4. Head outside Vik to the black beaches of Reynisfjara. Stand amazed at the black basalt columns, sea stacks, and rocky buttes at this distinctive wonder.
5. Get the authentic Iceland experience at a farm or B&B. Outside of Reykjavik, there are not many hotels in Iceland. Finding the best farms and B&Bs to stay at is important and will be the difference between a good and a great trip. It's the little things that a friendly local host can share that makes all the difference.
6. Plan for a little extra cash for food and drink. Given the strength of the krona a dinner can be upwards of $50, or a drink around $20. You will want to eat all the amazing seafood and sip coffee (or cocktails) in the many cafes of Reykjavik - so plan accordingly!
6. Channel your inner movie star at the Jokulsarlon Lagoon. This lagoon is the site of many famous movies including James Bond and Laura Kroft's Tomb Raider. The floating icebergs, jagged mountains, and lazy seals make it a spectacular site!
7. Waterfalls, waterfalls, and more waterfalls. The waterfalls in Iceland are unmatched. At every bend you can look up and see another dramatic waterfall, each one better than the last - and without having to hike to get there! Take the time to listen to the sounds, admire the rainbows, and appreciate the splendor of it all!
Sound like fun? Give me a shout out at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I can make sure to make your Iceland trip truly one-of-a-kind!