How To Plan a Road Trip Through Iceland

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How To Plan a Road Trip Through Iceland

Category : Iceland

Maybe you’ve decided already to visit Iceland. We travelled to Iceland because we wanted to see the Northern lights once in our lives. Amongst Iceland there are lots of areas in Scandinavia that are great for spotting the aurora borealis. Eventually we chose Iceland because we were curious about the landscapes and the trip seemed to be much cheaper compared to other destinations.

When to go?

The first step of planning your trip is to decide when to go there. We travelled at the end of September for three reasons:

  1. The polar light season started around that time (September – April)
  2. The weather was still warm enough to enjoy spending time outside
  3. We expected fewer tourists due to off-season

During our Iceland journey we had to learn that not all of these things came true but we definitely had a fabulous time.


How long to stay?

The duration of your stay depends on your travel route, your travel pace and your budget. You can easily spend 4 weeks or more in Iceland without getting bored. In our case we only had 7 days available so this decision was quick to make. In my opinion 1,5 – 2 weeks would be ideal for a trip around the ring road.


What to see in Iceland?

Despite its size there are a lot of things to see and do in Iceland. As we had only 7 days available for our trip we decided to travel along the ring road (1.300 km) by which are some of the most popular sights. If you travel for less than a week to Iceland you should consider focusing on one area of the island or be prepared to drive around 4-6 hours a day. Have a look at my Iceland Gallery for some impressions or check out our travel route which contains plenty of sights.


Our Travel Route


How to get there from Europe?

There are a couple of ways to get to Iceland. The cheapest and most time-efficient way is probably to book a flight. We booked a flight from Frankfurt to Reykjavik with WOW air for a very reasonable price.


How to get around?

You have to decide whether to hire a car or go by public transportation. There are many arguments for and against both options. We decided to hire a car because it gave us ultimate flexibility to decide wherever and whenever we wanted to go. We didn’t regret this decision.

We picked a Land Rover Discovery Sport that allowed us to drive on all roads in Iceland (there are some restrictions for certain car models) and to sleep inside the boot in case there would be no campsite available nearby. The total costs including insurances amounted to more than 1.000€ for one week but considering the high hotel prices and lack of accommodation facilities in rather remote areas it was probably cheaper overall. It took as quite a while to figure out in which car we could have a good night rest (blogpost coming soon).

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