Planning your Iceland Ring Road itinerary? Here’s why you should get excited – great roads, amazing scenery and friendly people make Iceland the perfect road trip destination. My wife Karlie, who writes the Miss Wanderlust blog, and I spent 10 nights in Iceland and were able to go around the entire Ring Road, and saw a good chunk of the beautiful little country with the exception of the West Fjords and the Highlands.
Our Ring Road itinerary wasn’t perfect but that’s the great thing about having a car. If you want to get moving, you pack up and go. Before heading to Iceland, we made a 10-night itinerary and booked our accommodations as we were going in June, just before the peak of high season.
Wherever I travel to, I always try to seek out things that excite me as a car enthusiast. That means car museums, cool car shops, or just finding fun road trip routes to take. That’s why I started this blog. In June 2013, while travelling in Iceland, I was surprised to come across one of the country’s biggest car festivals, Bíladagar, completely by accident. More surprisingly, I wish I hadn’t come across it at all.
As my wife and I pulled into the country’s second city, Akureyri, I instantly noticed the large amount of classic and modified cars on the streets of the gorgeous small town. Shortly after arriving, we were sitting in a restaurant facing the large window that looks out onto one of Akureyri’s main streets. A train of 50s American cars rolled past with a few 60s and 70s muscle cars as well. I was pretty surprised and excited by this, considering the only vintage vehicles I’d seen up until this point were old Series II Land Rovers, which make sense given the landscape and climate of Iceland. Continue reading “Skipping town to avoid Bíladagar, Akureyri’s Car Fest”
I never imagined I would see a Kewet EL Jet or a Matra-Simca Begheera in a car museum in northern Iceland just a short jaunt south of Arctic Circle. It would have been impossible to imagine because I had no idea that either of those cars had even existed.
I have a strange fascination with the derelict, the wrecked or the nearly destroyed – whether it is a beautiful shipwreck in St. Pierre, the abandoned Cuban planes rotting at a unused airport in Grenada or the shell of a plane than crashed in Solheimasandur in southeast Iceland.
There’s a proverbial fork in the road – the Iceland Ring Road. Do you take the easier, flatter and longer route or do you take the rough, narrow, slightly more dangerous road that will get you there faster, but may not get you there at all?
Driving the ring road in Iceland’s East Fjords, I came to this exact predicament. My wife and I had left the beautiful south coast village of Höfn in the morning and wanted to reach the lunar-esque Mývatn area by the afternoon to get a head start on seeing the long list of geothermally-charged oddities the region is known for.
The drive that morning had been spectacular so far, the sun was almost shining, which was a welcomed sight from the grey days that had preceded. You couldn’t say it was sunny, but there was the odd break of warmth through the thinning clouds. As we drove right along the coast, it was hard not to stop every couple of minutes to get out and just admire the frigid North Atlantic waves crashing a few hundred feet straight below you. Continue reading “A fork in the Iceland Ring Road”
1. Iceland’s Highway 1 is a ring road that circles the entire island. While it’s good to get off the ring road and explore a bit, this highway makes the country incredibly accessible and, if you plan it right, you won’t ever need to backtrack. Many of the major sights are located very close to the highway too, so they obviously picked a good route. Every Iceland road trip starts with the ring road!
2. If you’re sticking to the marked highways, it’s nearly impossible to get lost. Arm yourself with a good map and even a rookie driver will have no problem navigating. There are so few roads, it’s pretty hard to get it wrong. All the sights are very well marked, too. If you’re renting a car, say no to the GPS – you won’t need it! However, if you’re going off-roading at all, ignore this advice! Continue reading “Top 10 reasons for an Iceland road trip!”