Things to know when travelling the Ring Road in Iceland

Wendy and her son recently returned from a camping trip in Iceland and they have some tips to share!

Iceland’s ring road literally circles the entire country and connects major towns and areas less habited. Since you would fly into Reykjavik from your home country, most travelers start their journey from there – choosing to go clockwise or anti-clockwise around. The length of your trip will vary depending on the amont of driving you want to do each day but we recommend taking a week to explore this route. There are gorgeous sightseeing stops every five minutes and what’s the point in doing all that driving if you are not going to take in the views?

Here are our top tips on how to get the most out of this famous Icelandic highway 1:

• Rent your own vehicle:

If possible, you will want to hire a car or campervan for this route. There are a number of popular bus tours that take you around all the major tourist sights, but if you opt for one of these you will always be surrounded by crowds of people and won’t have any flexibility in your itinerary. There are a number of car rentals in Reykjavik so you have plenty to choose from and we would be happy to help you arrange this!

Iceland Car
• Choose the right accommodation type:

Your desired comfort levels for travelling will come into play when deciding where to stay the night. If you’re craving a bit of luxury then there are plenty of hotels or Inns that you can reserve ahead of time. Otherwise if you’re wanting something a little different then look into staying at farm stays and bed & breakfasts which are a great way to meet the local people – hey, you may even snag some extra advice from them! For those that love a good camping trip, then there is a variety of campgrounds that cater to all budgets and this is the perfect excuse to stay outside.

Iceland Camping
• Be prepared for grocery prices:

As you can imagine, prices for food and drink are not cheap in Iceland. If you are wanting to eat out every day for 3 meals then this might put you back quite a bit. The cheapest store is Bonus in Reykjavik so we recommend you grab any groceries that you’ll want for the week here – whether that’s a couple of items to make breakfast, or a whole 7-day menu. Gas stations around the country are reasonably regular and most offer ready-made sandwiches, pizzas, burgers etc as well as hot drinks. Bear in mind that a burger and fries may cost you around $20 from one of these stations.

Iceland Breakfast
• Make the most of Swimming pools and spas:

Because of Iceland’s cold temperatures, you might be surprised to hear that one of the locals’ favourite activities is swimming – whether it be in geothermal rivers, local pools or the famous Blue Lagoon. Make sure to soothe those muscles after an action-packed day of hiking by taking a dip in the nearest swimming location. You will meet a lot of locals this way too and they will be sure to tell you about Iceland’s special etiquette for swimming!

Iceland Blue Lagoon
• The wildlife is horses and sheep:

Iceland is no New Zealand in terms of the number of sheep, but that doesn’t mean you won’t frequently see these animals try to cross the road. More common than these friendly sheep are the wild horses. The Icelandic horse is a unique breed whose ancestors were brought to Iceland by the first Viking settlers! Icelanders would have used these horses to cross rough terrain and gallop through rivers back when there were limited or no roads. Why not say hello to these animals on a horse riding experience?

Icelandic Horse
• Watch out for the Northern Lights:

Who wouldn’t go to Iceland without attempting to see the Northern Lights? These rays of magic are exceptional whenever you get the chance to view them – whether it’s 1, 2 or 5 nights out of your stay. You can track the weather and the aurora viewing locations via the Aurora Forecast.

Iceland Northern Lights
• Pack accordingly:

It doesn’t matter what time of year you plan your trip to Iceland; the country will continually throw unpredictable cold weather your way. Be prepared for feisty winds and downpours of rain. To combat the discomfort of these unpleasant weather types, make sure to bring a poncho, rain jacket and two pairs of waterproof hiking boots!

Hiking Clothing Iceland
Iceland is a country that is beautiful in all seasons. Visit in Winter to marvel at the ethereal snowy landscapes; enjoy travelling in Autumn for lower prices; watch the terrain light up with new life in Spring or take advantage of longer daylight hours in Summer!

Iceland Ring Road
Why not contact your or your favourite Lloyds travel agent today and get the best advice for your next vacation? We would love to help you plan your Icelandic adventures – there really is something for everyone!