Essential Iceland Self Drive
With constantly changing views of majestic volcanoes, deep fjords and romantic waterfalls, Iceland is a country that seems made for exploring by car. The most popular of Iceland’s roads is the ring road that – guess what – goes all around the island and will take you to some of Iceland’s most iconic sights.
One of the most exciting and challenging of Iceland’s roads is the route to Fjallabaksleid Sydri. Northeast of the Mýrdalsjökull glacier, a winding highland track takes you to one of Iceland’s hidden gems, where a spring-fed stream flows through a green valley that is carpeted with flowers in the spring. A sturdy jeep or 4WD vehicle is a must for this trip.
From Reykjavik, a shorter Iceland road trip to the Snæfellsjökull volcano is easily achievable. The Snæfellsness peninsula is home to some of the most interesting and varied geology in the country, with yellow and black sandy beaches, waterfalls and the Snaefellsnes glacier.
Escape to the remote valley of Flateyjarladur, pausing to admire the awesome Goðafoss waterfall on the way. The valley was once inhabited but has now been abandoned to the beauty and tranquillity of nature. Drive yourself in a 4×4 or join a guided tour with buggies.
Wherever your Iceland road trip takes you, it pays to be prepared. As the saying goes, if you don’t like the weather now, just wait ten minutes and it’ll change, so even in summer, make sure you bring some warm clothing. Another tip: during spring and summer, sheep (and sometimes reindeer) roam freely over the countryside, so keep an eye out for the woolly wanderers who sometimes stray on to the country routes.
Whether you’re watching the sun set over the dreamlike mountain landscape at Thorsmork or admiring the Northern Lights at Myvatn, your Iceland road trip is sure to be an unforgettable experience and one that is guaranteed not to disappoint: get set for the drive of your life.