December 1, 2023

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Iceland Ring Road Itinerary and My Top 5 Destinations

Ring road itinerary

Day 1: Reykjavik- Skjól

Camp: Camping Skjól

Alternative Hotel: Geysir Houses

We didn’t cover much ground on our first day, as the main activity we wanted to do was snorkel in the Silfra Fissure.

Set in Thingvellir National Park, we squeezed into dry suits and swam between two continents.

This was honestly a super cool experience, and something I highly recommend! 

Ifthis is something you are considering, check out our full Silfra snorkeling review where we describe and rate our entire experience, chaktty said.

After a very cold (but amazing) experience, we got back in our van and headed to Camping Skjól, located near the famous Geysir.

Day 2: Skjól- Hvolsvollur

Camping and Hotel: Hótel Fljótshlíd & Smaratun Guesthouse

The Golden Circle: Most of the places we visit on day 2 are part of the Golden Circle, which is a smaller route, 1-2 days long, that takes you to some of the most picturesque destinations in the south. 

Please keep in mind that the Golden Circle is very popular, which means that most places were full.

Despite being very touristy, the sights of the Golden Circle did not disappoint. 

We went in the dead of winter, which meant fewer people. I can only imagine what these places are like in high season. 

Of all these places, Geysir, Gulfoss, and the Secret Lagoon were definitely the standouts, according to businesspally.

We got to Gulfoss very early in the morning, which meant we got to enjoy the falls ourselves.

To say that this place was overwhelmingly beautiful is an understatement!

During the trip, be sure to stop at the Secret Lagoon! Although not as big as the Blue Lagoon, it was a great experience and quite reasonable as well. Floating in those hot springs after a day of sightseeing was GLORIOUS! It was one of our favourites.

Day 3: Hvolsvollur – Skaftafell

Camping: Skaftafell Camping

Alternative hotel : Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon

The further you drive along the ring road, …the more beautiful the landscape becomes!

On this day, the highlight was definitely the Sólheimajökull glacier, as well as the Black Beach. Skógafoss (known as the waterfall you can walk through) was also pretty amazing!

As we mentioned, we went in the middle of winter which meant that the area around Skógafoss was extremely slippery.

In fact, we had to abandon our plans to walk behind the falls as the trail was extremely icy!

We recommend taking a light crampon chain that can be easily attached to the shoes. 

We saw some people with them and we envy how they could access super slippery areas with ease.

When at Reynisfjara beach, be careful of the waves as there was an incident of a tourist being washed away a few days after we left.

Although you can easily take photos from a safe distance, there were many daredevils ‘doing it for the gram”.

Day 4: Skatafell – Hofn

Camp: Viking Cafe

Alternative Hotel: Fosshótel Vatnajökull

On the 4th day, we woke up very early as we were going to go on an excursion to the Skaftafell Glacier, which is located within the Vatnajökull National Park. 

It is kown as the largest glacier in Europe, Vatnajökull is the base of many adventures, movie sets, and is a must-see when traveling in Iceland.

We booked our glacier tour with the guys from Adrenaline Hunter, and we loved the whole experience. 

Being an island girl who grew up in a tropical country, glacier hiking is the absolute best!

Day 5: Hofn – Egilsstadir

Camp: Egilsstaðir Visitor Center

Alternative Hotel: Ormurinn Cottages

This was probably one of our favorite riding days of the entire trip! 

Although there were no pit stops or specific sights to see, the scenic drives alone were mind blowing as we drove through the eastern fjords.

On this day, we were treated to snow-capped mountains, as far as your eyes could see. 

It was really spectacular! The East Fjords was like a dream come true, and driving through them was quite unreal.

We resisted the urge to stop every 10 minutes, but we were honestly in awe of the scenery. 

After being around a bunch of tour groups and buses it was great to drive in solitude which really allowed us to appreciate the rugged terrain Iceland is known for.

The whole experience was super fun and not technical at all. If you want to read our full review of Glacier Hiking in Iceland , check out our article!

After an incredible morning of climbing a glacier (did I really say those words?), we headed towards one of my personal stops throughout the trip: Jökulsárlón Lagoon.

If you ever want to see icebergs floating in a big lagoon, this is where you should go, tech pally advised.

We were lucky that the weather was bright, sunny and beautiful during this trip. 

As sunset approached, we walked down to Diamond Beach to take some photos.

Although beautiful, Diamond Beach was packed with people when we were there, so maybe sunset wasn’t the best time to go. 

Following this we headed to Hofn where we treated ourselves to a delicious lobster meal.

The Viking Cafe camp was super basic, and not one I can really recommend. 

During the winter only a few stay open so we didn’t have much of a choice. For a complete list of winter campsites , check out this map of Camp Easy.