Remember last week when I shared some Summer Wanderlust with you? We finally bit the bullet and chose our Summer adventure… we’re going to Iceland! It’s been at the top of our travel wishlist for quite some time now, and we just couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Who knows what next year will bring? I just finished booking all of the basics for our trip, including air, rental car, and places to stay. Now we’re doing more research and looking into activities, stops, and filling our itinerary.
We’re planning to do a road trip around what they call Ring Road, which is essentially just driving the road around the outer edge of the island. We might not always be on the coast for it, but plan to stay nearby. Here is our soft schedule so far:
Arrive, drive from Keflavik Airport to near Vik (3h 49m).
On the southern side of the island, miles of black beaches, a plane crash, and a glacial lagoon await exploration. I’m looking forward to seeing them all. I’ve already read a bit about the sandstorms that can happen during the summer and am keeping my fingers crossed that it will stay clear for our trip. I also found out how to check road conditions via a this website, and I heard they have a handy app as well.
Drive from Vik to Höfn area (2h 29m).
Still along the southern side, we’ll make a stop at Skaftafell park, which includes Svartifoss waterfall. The basalt columns surrounding the waterfall is said to have inspired the famous Hallgrímskirkja Church in Reykjavík.
Drive from Höfn to Neskaupstadur on the eastern side (3h 39m).
We opted to stay further out on a peninsula for this to explore a little more on this side of the island. We’ll be in a hotel in a small town.
Neskaupstadur to Vopnafjörður, still on the eastern side (2h 44m).
Moving north, we’re staying in a cabin on someone’s ranch, via air BnB. I don’t have a lot of plans for this side of the island, but expect it to be as beautiful as the rest!
Vopnafjörður to Akureyri, the second largest city in Iceland (3h 2m).
On the way here, we’ll make a stop at Mývatn Nature Baths (recommended by a friend as a Blue Lagoon alternate). We’re still scoping out the north-eastern side area of the island, to see if it’s something we want to consider driving out to. I’ve read Akureyri is the second largest town in Iceland, so it will be interesting to compare to Reyjavík.
Akureyri to Hvammstangi, heading northwest now (2h 21m).
In Hvammstangi we’re staying in a small cabin again, and the area is known for it’s seals. I’ve also found out there is a wool/knitting factory in the town so the knit lover in me definitely wants to stop there.
Hvammstangi to Arnarstapi (2h 50m).
Back over on the west side, just south of the fjords, we’ll stay on a peninsula at the base of a volcano. I’m hoping it just sounds more exciting than it actually turns out to be, I want to make it home!
Arnarstapi to the Golden Circle Region (2h 47m)
Depending on our drive, we may just arrive at our destination early and take this day to relax. If there are any sights closeby, we may check them out.
Golden Circle Region to Stokkseyri (52m)
We will explore the Golden Circle area more, including the famed Blue Lagoon and Goðafoss waterfall. There are many other more popular stops in this area as well. Once we get to Stokkseyri, we’ll take some time to relax.
Stokkseyri to Reykjavík (47m)
I’m already kicking myself for not devoting more time to Reyjavík, so we’ll have to pare down to our essential stops. I really want to see the Hallgrímskirkja Church, and the Sun Voyager.
We will have 11ish days to spend seeing the country, so I’m trying to plan as many of our stops and direction ahead of time. We are not normally hard planners when we travel, but I feel like in order for us to see as much as possible, we’ll have to plan every detail ahead. If things go askew we can prioritize and regroup ourselves to catch back up with our schedule.
Have you been to Iceland? I’m so interested to hear anyone’s suggestions as far as what we should see, do, and eat! This is one trip we’re very excited for and can’t wait to share with you as well.
Photos are sadly stock, used with proper permissions. I obviously haven’t been to Iceland yet!