ICELAND – Ringroad in 7 Days
If you want to do a road trip where you can see a lot of nature in a short period of time, then Iceland is the perfect place to go. Though being quite cold even in the summer, you have a very large chance to be overwhelmed by the countries nature. Alternatively, you can also have a great time in the big cities like Reykjavik and Vik.
As Iceland is best to explore by car, I suggest you rent a car. If you are planning to stay longer and explore regions outside the ring road, I suggest you get a 4×4 wheel car so you go off road. If you are just planning to see the “touristy” stuff, it’s enough to get a 2 -wheel drive and stay on paved roads. Campers are very common in Iceland because a lot of visitors prefer to stay free and not be dependent on searching for accommodations.
I strongly suggest driving counterclockwise, because most of the attractions are in the south. In my experience, the east and north part of Iceland has the best landscapes with tons of mountains and snow and an awesome scenery, but we ended up not stoping as much.
So here is the map that I got from amazon. It’s rip and water proof. Price was around 10€. I was super happy and we used it everyday. I marked all the places that I didn’t want to miss and you with this you do not have to rely on google maps on your super small phone screen. Sometimes analog is better.
10 Important Tips and Tricks
- get an analog map
- listen to the locals, don’t go to Blue Lagoon.
- get a 4×4 for more off road nature
- don’t go in summer
- get good shoes and stay warm. don’t underestimate mütze and gloves
- Iceland has good restaurants
- visit geothermal baths like the pool in the valley and the hot springs. myvatn hot springs not as good
- drive counterclockwise
- camps for campers are mostly closed in winter. some are open, some not. some have water, some not. here is a list of my experience
- beware of strong winds and snow for 2-wheel drive.
I strongly suggest you get a SIM card with enough data, so you can navigate yourself through the country. It’s important to keep track of the roads, weather and camping sites near you at all times. and not to mention instagram 😛 you can buy “Simmin” cards at every gas station. They come with 1 GB Internet Data. You can upgrade your data everytime via browser. I booked an additional 4GB on my first day and payed a total of 45€ for Sim card and 5GB of internet data. This saved us a lot of times on our entire trip.
http://www.road.is – whole Iceland is equiped with webcams and they all monitor the roads. In Winter, a lot of the roads are closed, snowy or too slippery to drive. It’s always good to know which roads to take and not to take beforehand.
http://www.visiticeland.com – here you can filter out all the camping sites in a specific region.
http://en.vedur.is/weather/forecasts/aurora/ – here you must check for aurora activity regularly. you need a cloud-free sky and high aurora activity and always look north 🙂
http://en.vedur.is/weather/forecasts/elements – This is very important when doing a roadtrip! If the wind is too strong (14 and up), don’t drive! We encountered a lot of accidents especially big camper vans beside the road that were just blown away by surprise.
If you get stuck in the snow: 1777 or 1778
emergency (police, fire, ambulance): 112
ring road: We started going south because most of the attractions are there. Unfortunately we couldn’t go to the remote areas like Thorsmörk because the roads were closed and we only had a 2-wheel-drive camper. I bought an actual physical map from amazon for 10€ (rip and water proof) and marked all the spots I wanted to visit. It was THE BEST! i hate always looking at the phone. it’s too small and sometimes doesnt work.
very touristy! all the famous attractions are on this route.
Don’t go to Blue Lagoon unless you want to experience something very full, touristy and expensive. All locals discouraged us from going there. Rather go to the Secret Lagoon, Myvatn Hot Springs or my favourite Laugarvatn Fontana Hot Springs and Seljavallalaug Pool where you are surrounded by mountains.
A lot of young passionate chefs reside in Reykjavik. They are known for competing internationally and have incredibly pure culinary skills. We got recommendations from a chef who worked there. Tips are included in the bill, so no need to tip.
Sjavargrillid – is located just down the road that leads to the big church. This was by far the best high class food I’ve tasted. Though pricey, I could tell the chefs are very talented, regarding taste, consistency, high quality ingredients and even colors and looks.
Apotek Restaurant – also in downtown Reykjavik. The food is high class, but a bit more exposed to tourists. We were here on our last day and tried some fresh oysters, local plaice fish and grilled salmon.
Here are more Tipps from the chef that we haven’t visited yet: Matur og Drykkur, Kaffivagninn, Fiskifelagid, Haust Restaurant, Baejarins Bestu (Hotdog Stand)
To stay light and compact, I only bought the essentials of the essentials.
Panasonic GH5 – http://amzn.to/2sniZYW
Panasonic 12-35mm f2.8 – http://amzn.to/2rzYwls
Panasonic 42,5mm f1.7 – http://amzn.to/2qOX62F
Olympus 25mm f1.8 – http://amzn.to/2rAbr77
Panasonic 7-14mm f4.0 – http://amzn.to/2smKqSD
DJI Mavic Pro – http://amzn.to/2sncXHy
DJI Mavic ND Filter Set – http://amzn.to/2rkbmDX
GoPro Hero 4 black – http://amzn.to/2rA9wza
Glidecam HD-2000 – http://amzn.to/2sn2ThN
Sirui Travel Tripod – http://amzn.to/2sn3WOL
Joby Gorilla Pod – http://amzn.to/2rAbwaF
Dakine Camera Backpack – http://amzn.to/2smGrFv
SD Cards – http://amzn.to/2qOKcSg
Aputure Amaran – http://amzn.to/2rtsOnS
Fixate Gel Pads – http://amzn.to/2rkt6PB
Tiffen ND Filter – http://amzn.to/2snebm8
Leatherman Wingman – http://amzn.to/2rA1xCi
La Cie Harddrive – http://amzn.to/2rtd5VQ
SD Card Case – http://amzn.to/2rA13wd