Iceland has always been on our bucket list. One rainy Sunday afternoon we watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and bit the bullet and booked flights that same afternoon. We only had a week available and everything we’d read suggested that we needed longer but we decided to attempt the drive around the island anyway. Since October is the beginning of winter in Iceland many smaller inland roads are closed, even to four wheel drives (which we rented), so we decided to drive around Route 1 (the Ring Rd) in a clock-wise direction with some diversions on secondary roads along the way.
As can be seen from the route map below our stops included: Reykjavik; Stykkisholmu; Ólafsfjordur; Húsavik; Hofn; Hella and Keflavik. There were some long days driving (due to our mis-calculations) and we were slowed down a couple of times by bad weather. With a few sacrifices having to be made with regards to what we did and didn’t see, we made it all the way around the island successfully.
We decided beforehand where we were going to stop each night which had advantages and disadvantages. The main advantage being that some towns had very few hotels and restaurants open so at least by pre-booking we weren’t driving around for ages looking for a place to stay. The main disadvantage was that on the couple of days we had really bad weather we may have stopped earlier if we hadn’t already booked a hotel for that night, though this did force us to stick to our original driving plan. Apparently it is crucial to book ahead if you go to Iceland in summer.
Iceland is expensive, even in low season you don’t get the same value for money as in mainland Europe, but it was worth every cent we paid! It is a country that has the “WOW factor” around every corner. The landscape is ever changing and incredibly diverse, a photographers dream :). So much of visiting Iceland is about the journey from one destination to the next hence we would highly recommend driving around the island. The following posts include some of our highlights of the major attractions in no particular order.
Click here for more pictures of our Icelandic adventure
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