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Iceland’s Ring Road in 7 Days

The phrase is out.  The variety of overseas guests to Iceland has quadrupled since 2010.  Final yr, virtually 2.5 million visitors came to Iceland.  Iceland has turn out to be one of many prime travel locations in the world.

Most tourists solely come for a number of days to take the Golden Circle Tour in the southwest space, after which understand they need to return for an extended trip to drive Iceland’s Ring Road.

We drove our rental automotive on the Ring Road that circles the complete nation and provides up probably the most superb vistas at each turn.  Plan to immerse your self in a surreal panorama of 170 geothermal scorching springs, 130 volcanoes, 3 national parks, 20 lakes, 269 glaciers, mountain ranges, golden and black-sand beaches, glacial river beds.  With 99% electrical energy produced from renewable sources, this country is an eco-friendly selection for vacationers.

It isn’t shocking that almost each visitor who leaves the island has the plan to return for a stopover or longer stick with Icelandair.  When is the most effective time to go to Iceland? Locals say anytime between January 1 to December 31.

After a spectacular week driving the Ring Road, we are sharing highlights under on what to see, where to go, stay, dine and spa.

Prime Things to Do in Iceland alongside the Ring Road

Reykjavik

Upon leaving the airport, hop in your rental automotive and head on out to the ring street round Iceland to start out your journey.  When you have time on the front end or the again end of your trip plan to spend no less than in the future in the capitol of Reykjavik.  Not only does the town supply great buying, it’s also possible to see the sites like climb to the tower at Hallgrimskirkia Church for views, visit the Solar Voyager sculpture alongside the waterfront, then proceed to see Harpa, the town’s cultural middle designed like a modern glass honeycomb.

Our time was spent enjoying the solar and walking the town for the afternoon.   When you’ve got the time, don’t miss MATUR OG DRYKKUR for classical Icelandic delicacies with a contemporary twist.  Constructed in an previous salt fish manufacturing unit, it presents regionally sourced food and an ambience that entices your senses.  Chef Richard Germain introduced platters of Icelandic goat cheese, beets three ways and malt crisp for starters, an entrée of lamb chops with baked potato pureé, kale, smoked almonds and demi-glace, then the dessert finale…Icelandic twisted doughnuts.

As you allow Reykjavik, the west part of the island provides up unbelievable panoramas virtually instantly.  Gulfoss is amongst your first cease because it is among the most scenic waterfalls on the island with an amazing viewpoint.  As we made our means north, we visited Thingvellir National Park, and headed to Krauma Scorching Springs for a wonderful soak in their five geothermal scorching baths. Krauma is Iceland’s newest geothermal outside bathing resort with several baths at well-marked temperatures, a cold tub, sauna, steam room.  After friends are completely relaxed, they will dine at the Krauma restaurant and terrace. Don’t Miss!  Go to the greenhouse next door to Krauma to select up greens which were grown with geothermal waters from Deildartunguhver, Europe’s highest flowing scorching spring.

Lava Cave, waterfalls and a Glacier

Start the day by getting up early to take pleasure in Viogelmir Lava Cave, generally known as the mightiest of caves in Iceland at 5,250 ft.  Thought-about the king of the lava caves in Iceland, this highland lava cave is a should cease for anyone coming to Iceland to raised understand the volcanic nature of the formation of the island.  Horour Mio is an adventure information and manages The Cave, a household owned business.  He informatively described the formation of the lava tube.  All guides on the tour are geologists and nicely educated for even probably the most refined adventurer.

After visiting the lava cave, stop by the Hraunfossar waterfalls, a ravishing and weird natural phenomenon that surfaced by means of the encompassing lava rocks.

We then ventured out to the Snæfellsjökull Peninsula where its glacier is understood to be one of many seven biggest power sources of the world.  That is the only Icelandic national park that stretches to the ocean.  Spend the day mountaineering on beautiful trails with steam vents surrounding you and mountains reaching to the blue sky.  Cease by Arnarstapi to stretch your legs and go for a stroll alongside the coast the place you’ll discover basaltic columns and formations that line the sea cliffs.  The trip was made much more memorable by a fast photograph stop on the iconic Kirkjufell mountain. This location is a well known filming location for the Recreation of Thrones.

After a very good night time sleep, wind your approach up north.  Alongside the Ring Road, stop to enjoy the view of local turf homes in Glamaer and visit its heritage museum, and pull over to take pictures of the various Icelandic horses that dot the panorama along the best way.  After an extended day, the port town of Akureyri will welcome you with native trendy essentials.  If time allows, spend a day whale watching out of the northern city of Husavik, and visit Geosea, to loosen up in geothermal baths that looks out to the ocean.

Namaskaro, extra waterfalls and an lively volcano in Iceland

Our next day brought combined clouds but good weather held, and we headed out to Lake Myvatn.  Along the best way, you’ll want to cease at Godafoss for a photo of the waterfalls.  There’s a lot to find as you drive in and around the Lake Myvatn.  Our first stop was to Namaskaro.  The geothermal vents and effervescent mud reminded us that Iceland land is alive and changing on a regular basis.  Afterward we visited the gorgeous black crater of Hverfjall. Only a fast 20-minute hike to the summit and you will take pleasure in views of the lake and surrounding space.  Dimmuborgir, a lava panorama with formations of columns, caves and arches, presents another gratifying website close by to view the lava fields in the world.  It does not get a lot better than this.  Drive additional north to see Dettifoss, thought-about to be Europe’s most powerful waterfall, and Krafla, considered one of Iceland’s most lively volcanoes.

We stopped and had a very special lunch on the dairy farm and local restaurant Vogafjos Farm Resort. Recognized for its concentrate on native Icelandic meals and the place to eat probably the most memorable do-it-yourself mozzarella made on website – we couldn´t resist a cease. Vogafjos is a 120 yr previous family owned business that has grown to combined stock farming, with 120 sheep and about 40 cows and cattle. Should you go to Vogafjos Cowshed Café you’ll be able to see the cows via windows of the cafe. Additionally it is potential to taste the recent, heat milk direct from the cows. Contained in the secure for the cows there’s the small café provides tasty food from the farm and local area.  We loved probably the most superb mozzarella and salad cheese, smoked lamb and fish together with the perfect carrot cake.  The owner, Olaf took us on an unbelievable tour of the resort.  We even have been fortunate sufficient to see a new born lamb that day as properly.  Good to note that Vogafios additionally has a guesthouse they usually supply quite a lot of tours – ice caves, husky experience, craters & more.

To actually get an concept of the dimensions of Iceland as well as to see a few of the over 125 volcanos, it’s best to e-book a scenic flight. Our afternoon was spent with 2 superb pilots from Myflug airlines.  Our journey over the lake, volcanos and as far south as Vatnajokull National Park was extraordinary.  The pilots ensured that we all have been capable of see the sights and would typically circle again to ensure each side of the aircraft had a fantastic view.

Black sand beaches, kayaking and a scenic flight alongside the ring street

Subsequent on the ring street make your approach southeast, your next stop is Stokksnes. The black sand seashores and excessive mountains in the background make for an idyllic setting to rest and luxuriate in nature.  Farther south, the majestic black sand beaches are combined with diamond ice crystals to type Diamond Seashore.

Just a minute away is one other pure marvel of the world referred to as Jokulsarlon Lagoon.  The lagoon is a favourite cease for anybody visiting the south.  We spent the afternoon with Ice Information.  By kayaking on the glacier lagoon, it supplies an impressive expertise and a powerful view of the ice cap.  You’re up close to the lagoon seals and gigantic icebergs that fill the area.

Just an hour’s drive before you make your strategy to one of many largest southern cities in Iceland referred to as Vik.   We woke the subsequent day to go to Skogafoss.  That is one in every of Iceland’s tallest waterfalls and a photograph worthy stop.

Afterword, we made our solution to Bakki airport for an additional scenic flight over the glacial rivers that make for an impressive photograph of the braided rivers of the southern a part of Iceland.  Our pilot, Stéfan Arnason from Atlantsflug  once again made this one of the memorable moments throughout our time in Iceland. We flew over the majestic black sand seashores with views of the glacial braided rivers and out to the island of Vestmannaeyjar. This volcanic island is the place Free Willy the whale spent some of his last years being educated to return to the wild.  The island is volcanic and as current as 1973 it erupted.

Proprietor Þórir Gardarsson shares “Atlantsflug gives sightseeing flights from our stations in Skaftafell all yr and Bakki in the summer time season, which give a breathtakingly spectacular view of glaciers, volcanoes, riverbeds and Iceland‘s unspoiled highland wonders. Atlantsflug has been operating since 2004 and is built upon many years of experience flying over the South of Iceland making certain the best sights and highest high quality service, consolation and security.“

Although our trip was very
fast, we found that there are so many places to visit alongside the ring street, and
part of the fun is deciding every day what you will do.  Be sure to give your self sufficient time to
discover and do not over plan your trip too much.  You may discover sudden delights along the
method.

Where to Keep & Dine in Iceland

Ion Adventure Lodge –

We extremely advocate the Ion Adventure Lodge.  When the recognition of going to Iceland began, it often contained an image of this luxurious lodge.  Who wouldn’t need to immerse themselves in a comfortable mattress in an expensive outside setting. Whether or not you’re looking for a quiet, soulful soak beneath the Northern Lights, a difficult trek throughout an historic glacier or a day of fly-fishing in plentiful icy rivers, this is the lodge for you.

You will discover a number of the greatest views, distinctive service and high-quality eating right here just a bit over an hour from Reykjavik.  The Restaurant Silfra provided trendy Nordic cuisine. We enjoyed their signature dish of lamb shank along with a superbly plated Arctic Char on a bed of creamy barley.

We ended the day with a soak in the thermal baths and a cocktail in the splendidly trendy bar with views of Lake Þingvellir.

Lodge Husafel

A National Geographic Unique Lodge, Lodge Husafel is the place quiet luxurious meets rugged wilderness on the doorstep of Iceland’s iconic pure wonders. This lodge is situated in the guts of a number of the websites like The Cave and nearby glacier tours that you may be interested in seeing during your journey.  The rooms are of Nordic design which might be easy and superbly deliberate.

Silfra Restaurant & Bar on the lodge provides robust regional food culture – pure, easy, recent and seasonal.  We enjoyed regionally caught salmon and blue lingcod.  The chef’s capacity to perfectly prepare dinner the fish and superbly plate each course was not misplaced on us.

Wilderness Middle –

In case you are in search of an authentic, remote and peaceful hideaway, then the Wilderness Middle is the place to land.  Situated on the northwestern aspect of the island, the distinctive period lodging, native food and escorted tours are good for you.   House owners Denni & Arna have devoted nice care and meticulous element to preserving the settlement era with this middle.

Quaint décor, on website sauna and farmhouse food, and there’s even a museum providing visitors a journey by means of the historical past and lore of the world in addition to exploring life as a setter for farmers who use to stay in the world.   An authentic wilderness getaway!

Umi Lodge –

UMI lodge is situated by one of the crucial lovely mountain ranges in the country. The lodge is just about 150 km away from Reykjavik and a couple of km off the Ring street. The situation provides a robust connection to nature that allowed us to expertise the peace and quiet of the Icelandic countryside. Our only want was to stay longer.

The lodge provides a first-class restaurant with a singular view of the Westman Islands and the southern shoreline with a view of the famous volcano Eyjafjallajökull.  Rooms are trendy and elegantly designed.   ~  $450/night time

Lodge Borg –

Dignified and imposing, Lodge Borg overlooks the gorgeous sq. of Austurvöllur, in the guts of Reykjavík.  It is conveniently situated inside walking distance of variety of eating places, artwork galleries and specialty outlets. The artwork deco type all through, is elegantly appointed yet supply san in depth array of recent facilities.

Like the lodge itself, the rooms are adorned in artwork deco type that’s attribute for the constructing and appears in even the smallest of particulars. When designing the rooms emphasis was set on consolation combined with sophistication.   ~  $325/night time

Lodge Kea –

Lodge Kea is situated in the very coronary heart of Akureyri, subsequent to the long-lasting church and downtown.  Lodge Kea is the only four-star lodge in offering in house restaurant, bar, convention and assembly halls. Rooms are neatly adorned in classical fashion that displays the lodge´s history.

The lodge employees welcomed us with friendly service after an extended day on the street and an satisfying beverage. On the first flooring is Mulaberg bistro & bar where we enjoyed excellent service and top quality Icelandic elements. The starter course of scallops and native Atlantic shrimp was a delight to the palate.  The primary entrée of cod on a bed of mashed potatoes was an ideal mixture after an extended day on the street.   Complimentary breakfast is included with every keep and it is fairly scrumptious.

Methods to Get to Iceland & Journey the Ring Road

Upon arrival in Keflavik airport, stop outdoors the arrival space and take a second to view the map that exhibits you the regions of Iceland (see Assets section under with links for every region) and where all of the points of interest are situated by area.  We found it to be very helpful.

There isn’t a higher strategy to arrive in Iceland than to fly with Icelandair. Icelandair is a leading airline providing flights to and from Iceland. It is a gorgeous choice for cross-Atlantic flights, with free stopovers.

You possibly can spend a pair days on the island exploring after which head on to a mess of cities in Europe. Be sure to permit sufficient time to enjoy the Saga Lounge where you possibly can loosen up by the hearth place or have a choice of wholesome Icelandic food or beverages.  Our service in Saga Enterprise Class was made memorable by the attentive service of the flight attendants and the Icelandic targeted meal service.

Upon getting arrived to Iceland, it’s time to bounce in a rental automotive from Northbound. Northbound is a web-based market for travel providers the place visitors to Iceland can discover and examine costs for numerous providers and Icelandic adventures.  Straightforward to make use of, we liked our zippy four×4 rental.  An amazing rental for the ring street adventure.

Other Assets:

Foreign money is the Icelandic
Króna

Tourism Websites for Iceland:

Helpful Sites for Protected Travel: Examine these helpful sites for protected travels in Iceland where you possibly can monitor street and climate circumstances, and so on.

  • Road Circumstances
  • Drive Safely
  • Weather
  • Journey Safely
  • Cautionary Word:  All the time comply with signs and warnings all through Iceland.  Stay on marked mountaineering paths.  There are lots of climbing trails with steep drops, geothermal areas with extremely scorching steam and waterways, glacial lagoons with icebergs that may calve and switch without warning, and seashores with deadly undertows.

Acknowledgements:

Written & Edited By: Julie Bishop & Patricia Stone

Photographs Credit: Julie Bishop & Patricia Stone

International Adventuress want to thank Ion Adventure Lodge, IcelandAir, Lodge Umi, Lodge Borg, Lodge Kea, Mulaberg Bistro and Bar, Myflug Airlines, The Cave,  Wilderness Middle, Lodge Husfell, Ice Guides, Vogafjos Farm Resort,  Matur Og Drykkur, Krauma Scorching Springs, Atlantsflug and Northbound for internet hosting us throughout our go to to Iceland.