Exploring Iceland’s Ring Road in an RV: A Thrilling 7-Day Adventure
Exploring Iceland’s Ring Road in an RV: A Thrilling 7-Day Adventure

Exploring Iceland’s Ring Road in an RV: A Thrilling 7-Day Adventure

Are you yearning for a breathtaking adventure that combines the thrill of the open road with stunning natural beauty? Look no further than Iceland’s Ring Road! This 1,332-kilometer highway encircles the entire island, offering a mesmerizing journey through Iceland’s diverse landscapes. Whether you’re an avid nature enthusiast or simply seeking a unique travel experience, embarking on a road trip around Iceland in an RV is an opportunity you shouldn’t miss.

Best Time to Visit Iceland’s Ring Road

Before you hit the road, it’s crucial to understand the best time to explore Iceland’s Ring Road. The island’s climate is unpredictable, so choosing the right season can significantly impact your trip. The two primary options are summer and winter, each offering distinct advantages.

1. Summer (June to August)

Summer is the most popular time for travelers to embark on a Ring Road adventure. The weather is relatively mild, with temperatures ranging from 50°F to 60°F (10°C to 15°C) during the day. This season provides extended daylight hours, allowing you to maximize your exploration of Iceland’s natural wonders. The midnight sun ensures that you can experience the country’s stunning landscapes at any time of day.

2. Winter (November to March)

If you’re an adventurous spirit and want to witness Iceland’s winter wonderland, consider a trip during the colder months. Winter brings shorter days, with only a few hours of daylight, but it’s the prime time to catch a glimpse of the mesmerizing Northern Lights. The snow-covered landscapes and frozen waterfalls create a magical atmosphere, but be prepared for colder temperatures ranging from 14°F to 32°F (-10°C to 0°C).

Ultimately, the best time to visit Iceland’s Ring Road depends on your preferences. While summer offers pleasant weather and extended daylight, winter promises a unique and enchanting experience.

Key Stops on Your Ring Road Adventure

Your journey along Iceland’s Ring Road will be dotted with remarkable stops that showcase the country’s natural beauty and cultural heritage. Here are some key stops to consider during your RV road trip:

1. Reykjavik: The Capital City

Start your adventure in Reykjavik, Iceland’s vibrant capital city. Explore its charming streets, visit iconic landmarks like Hallgrímskirkja, and enjoy a taste of Icelandic cuisine at local restaurants. Don’t forget to soak in the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa just outside the city, to kick off your road trip feeling rejuvenated.

2. The Golden Circle

Before embarking on the Ring Road itself, take a detour to the Golden Circle, a renowned tourist route. It includes three must-visit attractions:

  • Thingvellir National Park: Walk between the tectonic plates, a unique geological phenomenon.
  • Geysir Geothermal Area: Witness the Strokkur geyser erupting every few minutes.
  • Gullfoss Waterfall: Admire the powerful two-tiered waterfall and its roaring cascades.

3. Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss Waterfalls

As you journey along the south coast of Iceland, you’ll encounter two stunning waterfalls: Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss. Skogafoss impresses with its powerful cascade, and you can even hike to the top for a panoramic view. Seljalandsfoss, on the other hand, allows you to walk behind the curtain of water – a truly immersive experience.

4. Vatnajökull National Park

One of the largest national parks in Europe, Vatnajökull National Park boasts diverse landscapes, including glaciers, volcanoes, and lush greenery. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the Diamond Beach, where icebergs from the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon wash ashore, creating a sparkling spectacle.

5. Akureyri: The Capital of the North

Venture into northern Iceland and discover the charming town of Akureyri. Explore its botanical gardens, visit the Akureyri Church, and unwind in the town’s cozy cafes. The region is also known for its stunning fjords and natural hot springs.

6. Lake Mývatn and Húsavík

Lake Mývatn is a geothermal wonderland, featuring surreal landscapes, volcanic craters, and bubbling mud pools. Nearby, the town of Húsavík is renowned as the whale-watching capital of Iceland. Join a guided tour for a chance to spot majestic cetaceans in their natural habitat.

7. East Fjords

The East Fjords of Iceland offer a tranquil escape from the more touristy areas. Explore picturesque fishing villages, hike along scenic trails, and savor fresh seafood in local restaurants. Seydisfjordur, with its colorful houses and artistic community, is a must-visit stop.

8. Reyðarfjörður and the East Coast

Reyðarfjörður is an ideal place to immerse yourself in Iceland’s maritime culture. Visit the Icelandic Wartime Museum to learn about the country’s history during World War II. Continue along the East Coast, admiring the rugged coastline and breathtaking fjords.

9. Northern Lights in North Iceland

If you’re traveling during the winter months, keep an eye out for the Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis. North Iceland, with its dark skies and minimal light pollution, offers excellent chances to witness this natural spectacle.

10. Westfjords: Untamed Beauty

Explore the remote and wild Westfjords, a region known for its dramatic landscapes, steep cliffs, and fjords carved by glaciers. The Dynjandi waterfall, also known as the “Jewel of the Westfjords,” is a must-see attraction.

Route Details and Itinerary

To make the most of your road trip along Iceland’s Ring Road, it’s essential to plan your route and itinerary carefully. Here’s a suggested 7-day itinerary to help you navigate the island’s wonders:

Day 1: Reykjavik to Hella (South Iceland)

  • Start your journey in Reykjavik and visit the Blue Lagoon.
  • Drive to Thingvellir National Park, Geysir Geothermal Area, and Gullfoss Waterfall.
  • Overnight in Hella.

Day 2: Hella to Vík (South Iceland)

  • Explore Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls.
  • Visit the black sand beaches of Reynisfjara.
  • Overnight in Vík.

Day 3: Vík to Höfn (Southeast Iceland)

  • Explore Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon and Skaftafell National Park.
  • Discover Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach.
  • Overnight in Höfn.

Day 4: Höfn to Akureyri (North Iceland)

  • Drive through East Fjords, stopping at picturesque villages.
  • Enjoy the scenic beauty of Seydisfjordur.
  • Overnight in Akureyri.

Day 5: Akureyri to Húsavík (North Iceland)

  • Explore Lake Mývatn’s geothermal wonders.
  • Take a whale-watching tour in Húsavík.
  • Overnight in Húsavík.

Day 6: Húsavík to Seydisfjordur (East Iceland)

  • Drive along the scenic coast to Seydisfjordur.
  • Explore the artistic community and surroundings.
  • Overnight in Seydisfjordur.

Day 7: Seydisfjordur to Reykjavik

  • Journey through the East Coast, stopping at Reyðarfjörður.
  • Return to Reykjavik to conclude your road trip.

Remember that this itinerary can be adjusted based on your preferences and the time of year you’re traveling. Flexibility is key when exploring Iceland’s Ring Road.

Places to Stay with Your Camper Van

Iceland offers a variety of accommodation options for travelers with camper vans. Here are some recommendations for places to stay along your Ring Road adventure:

1. Campsites

Iceland is known for its well-maintained campsites, making it easy for RV travelers to find a spot to park for the night. Most campsites provide basic facilities, including restrooms and cooking areas. Some popular campsites include:

  • Reykjavik Campsite (Reykjavik)
  • Skogafoss Camping Site (Vík)
  • Höfn Campsite (Höfn)
  • Akureyri Campsite (Akureyri)
  • Húsavík Campsite (Húsavík)
  • Seydisfjordur Camping Ground (Seydisfjordur)

2. RV Parks and Campgrounds

For those seeking more amenities, several RV parks and campgrounds offer electricity, showers, and laundry facilities. These options are ideal for travelers who want extra comfort during their journey:

  • Hamragarðar Campground (Hella)
  • Hvammstangi Campground (Hvammstangi)
  • Egilsstadir Campground (Egilsstadir)
  • Seydisfjordur Camping Ground (Seydisfjordur)

3. Wild Camping

Iceland’s unique “right to roam” law allows travelers to camp on uncultivated land for free, as long as they follow Leave No Trace principles and respect the environment. Wild camping offers unparalleled solitude and the opportunity to immerse yourself in Iceland’s pristine wilderness. However, it’s essential to be well-prepared and have suitable camping gear.

4. Guesthouses and Hostels

If you’re looking for a break from camper van life, consider staying in guesthouses or hostels along the way. These options provide more comfort and the chance to connect with fellow travelers:

Iceland’s Ring Road

Embarking on a road trip around Iceland’s Ring Road in an RV promises a memorable adventure filled with natural wonders, cultural experiences, and the freedom to explore at your own pace. Whether you choose to visit during the summer to bask in the midnight sun or brave the winter for a chance to witness the Northern Lights, Iceland’s Ring Road offers a journey like no other.

As you plan your trip, consider the best time to visit, the key stops you want to explore, and the route that suits your preferences. With careful planning and the right resources, your RV adventure in Iceland will be an unforgettable experience that will leave you with lasting memories of this stunning island.

So, pack your bags, fuel up your RV, and get ready to embark on an epic journey through the land of fire and ice. Iceland’s Ring Road awaits, promising an adventure of a lifetime!