Iceland is one of those countries that has been slowly creeping it’s way higher and higher on my list of places to go. At first, when I didn’t know much about it, I figured Lauren and I would go one day, as it seemed like it might be an interesting place to visit. Then I found out you could see geysers, glaciers, and everything in between! That made it skyrocket near the top of my list. I started to do some research on what it would take to put together an Iceland road trip and it turns out it’s easier than I thought and looks like it would be an amazingly fun.
The logistical part of building a trip is usually the most boring so I like to get that out of the way first. There’s the obvious part, which is figuring out how to get there ( seems like a flight is in order) and then the second part, which is how I’ll get around once I’m there. In a perfect world I’d be able to drive my VW GTI every where I go, but sadly it’s not amphibious. That means I have to leave poor Britney (our VW) at home when we head over to Iceland, but the good news is there are some options for cheap car rentals in Iceland. Now before you decide on a rental though, you do need to figure out what kind of trip you’re going to be taking and what time of year you’ll be visiting.
If you are planning a self-drive around the whole island, you’re going to want to pick out something that’s roomy, but also rugged as many of Iceland’s roads are pretty rough by American standards. Some “roads” are really just gravel tracks. With that in mind I’d recommend going with a larger SUV or a mini camper van if you really want to rough it. I prefer a smaller vehicle myself, so I’d go with a something like a Darcia Duster. Manual transmission, 4 x 4, and a car I’ve never driven before? Win!
After getting the hard part out of the way ( ok so maybe picking out a car isn’t really hard :-) )and knowing I’d want to do an Iceland road trip in an SUV, I can freely dream about Iceland and start planning my trip and route. Thankfully someone did a lot of the work for me and set up this awesome site called Guide to Iceland with a ton of awesome Iceland self drive tours already planned out.
If you’re anything like we are, you’re going to want to look at one of the longer road trips around the whole country. It may cost more initially but in the long run it’ll save you a bunch of money. Why? If you see as much as you can in one shot, you won’t have to fly back to catch all the things you missed. Plus, it’s really hard to enjoy a whole new country in 2 to 3 days. With that mindset, I took a look at the 14-day Self Drive Tour that includes an entire circle of Iceland in addition to a extended visit to the Westfjords. I’m not going to tell you the whole itinerary, since you can see that on the Guide to Iceland, but check out some of these highlights.
The Trip starts with the classic Golden Circle where you can take in some if Iceland’s most popular attractions like the the geysers Strokkur and Geysir and the waterfall of Gullfoss.
After that, the road trip loops you around the ring road where you can take in more waterfalls and an amazing volcanic beach.
Along the way, you’ll also be able to take in quaint fishing villages and enjoy a landscape that’s largely unspoiled by man’s footprints.
Can you imagine 14 days of this!?! Looking at these pictures is all it takes to get my heart pumping and make my travel feet itch! I can’t tell you when I’m going to go yet, but I can tell you this WILL happen. If these pictures weren’t enough for you to want to hop on a plane, pop on over to the Guide to Iceland and see for yourself. They have a ton of tools for you to plan the perfect itinerary, and you can even send them a list of the activities you want to take in and they’ll plan a custom itinerary just for you.
Have you ever been to Iceland? Make us jealous by telling us all about it in the comments below!