Iceland Ring Road, Highway 1
Circle Route Drive on Iceland’s Scenic Ring Road
This scenic drive is the best way to experience everything that Iceland has to offer. Highway 1, or The Iceland Ring Road as it is aptly known, can be completed in one week or more if you wish to enjoy more stops along the way. Apart from the superb scenery, there are many attractions along this route for all ages and fitness levels. From hiking and horse riding to rafting and snowmobile adventures, Iceland’s Highway 1 has it all! For those who wish to spend and extended period of time on this route and for families touring Iceland, the most comfortable and affordable way to do so is by picking up a motorhome, RV or campervan rental. No packing and unpacking each time you move along, no squashing into a small car and you can save on accommodation too!
Iceland Ring Road Route
Keflavik to Skeidararsandur
After arriving in Keflavik, your first stop will be to collect your RV. From here you will drive to the Reykjanes peninsula which is the most southwesterly part of the country. In this area, the volcanic activity is clearly evident. Keep your eyes open for hot springs, lava fields and lava tubes. The geothermal seawater at the Blue Lagoon Spa attracts many visitors and it’s the ideal way to relax before continuing on to Reykjavik.
From here, your next part of the drive on Highway 1 will take you to the Thingvellir National Park which is the site of the ancient parliament. The rift valley can clearly be seen from here and the views are superb. Next up on your Iceland Ring Road itinerary is a stop at the Geysir hot spring area. You can also take a small trip (about 5 min) from here and you will reach the amazing Gullfoss Waterfall.
The Hella and Hvolsvollur are the next villages you will pass through. The Saga Museum in Hvolsvollur attracts many visitors. As you continue towards Fljotshlid, provided the skies are clear, you will have an excellent view of the Eyfjafjallajokull central volcano. Make sure you stop at the Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls on your way too!
The Folk Museum in Skogar is also worth visiting on your way round the Iceland Ring Road to the Solheimajokull glacier. The Eldgjarhraun lava field is another notable sight further along the road and, at 19 cubic meters, it is the largest lava field in the world.
From Kirkjubaejarklaustur you will be able to enjoy the view of the columnar formation known as Kirkjugolf. Next you will come across the Foss a Sidu waterfall before you reach Dverghamrar and then Skeidararsandur.
The East Fjords to Reykjavik
The East Fjords await and what a sight they are! On your way on the Iceland Ring Road to the Egilsstadir area, you will pass through several quaint fishing villages and later Lake Lagarfljo which offers great scenery and insight into the local history.
The hot spring area of Namaskard and the Krafla Geothermal Power Station are both top attractions at this point of the drive. Crater Lake Viti and Lake Myvatn also attract many visitors.
There are several craters in this area and Hverfjall is a tuff ring volcano with a crater that measures approximately 1km in diameter! Grjotagja is a small lava cave which is also worth seeing and there is a luxurious spa nearby too if you wish.
You will then drive Highway 1 to Husavik and then the Godafoss Waterfall. Husavik is great for whale watching tours. The Skagafjordur fjord follows and, if you’re a horse fan, this is the place for you!
The Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls and the largest natural hot springs in the country are located in Borgarfjordur and they are the top sight before making your way back to Reykjavik.