Iceland’s Ring Road is full of beautiful views and adventurous opportunities – these were my top 10 experiences (in no particular order) on our 8 day Ring Road roadtrip!
1. Snorkeling in the Silfra Fissure– In Thingvillir National Park you can snorkel (or scuba) between the America and Eurasian tectonic plates! The fresh water is some of the clearest in the world with visibility exceeding 100m!
2. Go on a Glacier Hike – There are multiple places in Iceland to do a glacier hike, but we chose the Solheimajokulsvegur glacier. Grab your crampons and your ice pick (both provided) and trek with your guide all along the ice learning about its features as you go. You can even drink from a glacier stream the “Viking way” aka doing a push up on your ice pick!
3. Dettifoss waterfall – Dettifoss is considered the most powerful waterfall in Europe! Though it’s a little ways off the ring road it’s well worth the detour
4. Skogafoss waterfall – Skogafoss waterfall is located in southern Iceland right off the Ring Road and has a great hiking path behind it to wander above the canyon
5. Jokulsarlon Iceberg Lagoon – The lagoon is full of icebergs off the glacier Breidamerkurjokull mixing with water from the sea. Once you check out the lagoon be sure to check out the black sand beaches across the road covered with more chunks of ice!
6. Halligrimskirkja Church in Reykjavik – The church is one of the city’s most recognized landmarks and for a small fee you can head up to the clock tower for gorgeous views of the city.
7. Whale watching – We chose Akureyri as our point of origin but whale watching tours are available from many other cities throughout the island. From the boat we were able to see a few humpback whales breaching and diving in the ocean. The whales come to Iceland to feed during the summer and they have been spotted all the way down in the Caribbean and the Horn of Africa during the winter!
8. Lounge at the Blue Lagoon – The Blue Lagoon is another famous landmark in Iceland, located near the airport it’s a convenient stop for travelers. Grab a swim suit and head to the lagoon to soak for hours in the geothermal spa with face masks and refreshments!
9. Explore Grabrok Crater – Grabrok is located just off Route 1 in the west and though it is not very well marked, it has steps and pathways to explore three different craters
10. Dyrholaey Arch – In Dyrholaey, near Vik, you can find basalt cliffs and black sand beaches with wonderful views to explore.
While this is in no way an all-inclusive list of Iceland’s beautiful attractions, these were my favorite stops on our road trip around the Ring Road!