Iceland’s Ring Road: Planning the Perfect Road Trip of Extremes

The Travel Channel generated a list of the world’s most breathtaking road trips. Topping that list is the iconic Ring Road in Iceland. Millions of people visit Ring Road every year and take in the amazing waterfalls, gorgeous night sky, glacial lagoons, and tranquil mountain views. The 828-mile road wraps around the entirety of Iceland from Reykjavík to Reykjavík and provides travelers with constant changes in extreme environments. If you want to take advantage of the trip and see everything that there is to see, check out these helpful tips.

The Best Time to Visit
There is one specific reason that travelers visit Iceland – to see the magnificent Aurora Borealis. Therefore, you will want to plan your road trip anytime between September and March so that you get the best views of the Northern Lights. You will also want to try to be on the outskirts of this period to avoid the harsh winter driving. A visit in September, October, November, or March will give you magnificent views of the lights with good conditions on the road. Although you can make the trip in a day, you will want to plan a seven-day trip to see all of the scenery.
Preparing Your Car for the Trip
Before you rent the car for your trip, there are many things that you need to take into consideration. If you plan on saving on accommodation, you may want to rent a camper van. This will allow you to see more of the country and save on the cost of hotels. However, regardless of whether you rent a campervan or a regular car, you will want to make sure that the vehicle is a 4×4 with all-wheel drive. Some of the paths on the road trip are not completely accessible so focus on using the right tires as well as maneuverability to help you navigate some of the rougher roads.
The Perfect Route Around the Country
The road trip will start in Reykjavík and end in Reykjavík. Travelers can take the road either clockwise or counter-clockwise depending on your preference. Each direction has its unique advantages, but you may want to try going clockwise. This allows you to see some of the more modest scenery before diving into the most extreme views. It will build up your road trip and give you something to look forward to.
Where to Stop and What to See
The entire trip will expose you to some of the most extreme views in nature. However, there are some must-see attractions on your route that will make your trip. You must stop in the glacier lagoon called Jökulsárlón. Here, you’ll see some of the most striking sights in the entire world and spot 500-year-old pieces of ice around a beautiful lake of blue. Similarly, Diamond Beach is another wonderful icy stop where you can see icebergs wash up on a black sandy beach. In contrast though, you definitely have to stop at Mývatn to see the lava formations and waterfalls such as Skógafoss, Fjaðrárgljúfur, and the Black Waterfall to experience luscious flowing water. To catch the best views of the Northern Lights, you will want to check out Vík, Thingvellir, or Jokulsarlon.
A road trip around Iceland’s Ring Road will give you every extreme from icebergs to hot lava. It’s definitely an experience of a lifetime and you’ll get to see and do everything with the right preparation and planning.