9-Days Around Iceland, Driving Ring Road 1
Taking advantage of rescheduled public holidays this year, we spent the first 9 days of June driving the Iceland ring road and seeing the many sights en route. A full loop around Route 1 is ~1340 km (830 miles), though with detours we added another 1000 km.
While the isolated Icelandic interior is generally accessible only by specialist 4x4 vehicles, Route 1 is OK to drive in a 2-wheel drive car. Our Nissan Micra rental car managed fine, even coping with detours onto bumpy gravel tracks. The state of the roads varies, with many being closed due to snow and ice right through springtime; this useful map shows the current road status.
- Day 1: Keflavik to Selfoss via the Golden Circle
- Day 2: Selfoss to Kirkjubæjarklaustur via Eyjafjallajökull, Skógafoss & Vik
- Day 3: Kirkjubæjarklaustur to Vagnsstaðir via Skaftafell, Svartifoss and Jökulsárlón
- Day 4: Vagnsstaðir to Faskrudsfjordur via Hofn and the Eastern Fjords
- Day 5: Eastern Fjords to Lake Mývatn via Seyðisfjörður, Borgafjordur-Eystri & Dettifoss
- Day 6: Lake Myvatn to Akureyri via Hverfjall, Grjotagja, & Dimmuborgir
- Day 7: Akureryi to Hrútafjörður via Dalvik Whale Watching
- Day 8: Hrútafjörður to Reykjavik via Víðgelmir Lava Tube
- Day 9: Reykjavik to Keflavik: Coffee & Puffins
To unfamiliar eyes, the place names seem impossible to remember, so we created the map below when planning the trip. There are many attractions in the interior, but we focussed on those accessible from the ring road.
View Iceland trip around Ring Road 1 in a larger map