If you want to really explore Iceland, rent a vehicle and plan a road trip along Route 1, affectionately known to locals as the Ring Road. This 1330 km road loops around the entire island passing verdant canyons, massive glaciers, fields of lupines, natural hot springs and so many waterfalls that you eventually quit counting. The Ring Road is the best way to get around the country, but you’ll also want to plan some detours off the main road. There’s much to appreciate in small communities and wilderness areas that lie off the main road.
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If you only have a few days, stick with the Golden Circle, a 300 km loop that covers some of the most popular tourist sites in southern Iceland near the capital city, Reykjavík. But if you’re fortunate to have more time, you should rent a car and travel further.
The map above shows the route we took and the distances covered each day of the trip.
Useful Gear: You can rent towels at Mývatn Nature Baths and the Blue Lagoon, but sometimes it’s nice to bring your own. I always travel with a microfiber towel. On this trip, it came in handy at some of the outdoor natural hot springs we came across. You have to bring your own towel at a natural spring. This one is nice and soft, antibacterial and it dries super fast. It’s perfect for traveling and its a good workout or hiking towel too.