We did a road trip around Iceland for 2 weeks at the end of August. This is a perfect time if you don’t want the crowds and still want some decent weather. But you have to keep in mind that the weather in Iceland can be unpredictable. We had a very good first week and a wet second week.
This will be an overview of our entire road trip: what we did, where we stayed and some food tips.
Our trip in 2 minutes
This is probably the most important part of a road trip: the car. We rented a car from Procar in the center of Reykjavik. We didn’t rent a 4-wheel drive because we were going the stay on the Ring Road. It is advisable to book your rental car in advance.
We also took gravel protection because, although we stayed on the ring road, some parts still have some gravel. And we were lucky we did because the last day we got a little stone in our windshield when a truck passed us. We also got a flat tire but changed it ourselves and didn’t have to pay for it.
We decided to cook our own food at the campsites and did our grocery shopping at Bonus or Kronan when possible. These are the cheapest supermarkets in Iceland.
We started our holiday with 1 day in Reykjavik. We went to the camping store to buy a gas canister. I wouldn’t recommend this because as it turned out, it was much cheaper to buy it in gas stations.
We wanted to get to know the city a little bit so we did a free walking tour and enjoyed some pretty good food.
But you can also do a food tour to get to know the city and its food culture.
During happy hour you can enjoy a beer or a glass of wine for less money than normal. It is still expensive but not too expensive.
In Reykjavik, we stayed at an Airbnb which was practically in the city center. Perfect for exploring the city.
We made a number of stops along the South Coast and ended up in Vik to stay for 1 night.
In Vik, you can do a beautiful walk up the cliffs and if you are lucky you can see puffins there. And we also did a glacier tour not far from Vik.
This was pretty much the worst camping we had on our entire road trip: it was so crowded that going to the toilet or brushing your teeth involved a lot of waiting. Right across from the camping is a gas station and a supermarket which is very convenient. And, in the gas station is a little restaurant with amazing burgers. You have to try them.
Skaftafell National Park has a very big camping so you can pitch your tent where-ever you want. Because it wasn’t so crowded, there was so much room to choose from. There is also a self-service restaurant where you can warm yourself with a beer or a hot chocolate (and enjoy the free wifi). This is perfect to explore this beautiful National Park.
On our way to Höfn, we stopped at Jökulsarlon. The campsite in Höfn is not so big but there are cooking facilities available and if you want you can eat inside while you charge your phone of batteries from your camera.
We also enjoyed something sweet in Kaffi Hornid which was very close to the campsite.
Upfront we already booked a room at Kaffihúsið Eskifirði. This small hotel/restaurant was just perfect. Beautiful and clean rooms and a small sink in the room. The bathroom was shared but that didn’t bother us. There was even a little sitting room with a tv.
In the evening we had an amazing meal there: Plokkfiskur, pizza, and a molten lava cake.
This was just a quick stop to the Northern part of Iceland.
Driving from Eskifjorður to Dettifoss you have to take road 862 if you don’t have a 4-wheel drive. Even then it is a bumpy and slow ride to Dettifoss but well worth it.
Afterwards, we drove to Asbyrgi National Park where we stayed for 1 night to visit the park.
Husavik is the perfect place to do some whale watching. We did it on our way to Myvatn with Salka Whale Watching and had an amazing time. Such a beautiful experience.
Looking out onto the harbor there is a small fish and chips place, perfect to eat before going onto the boat. You have to order at the counter and you can eat it upstairs in a small sitting area.
The area around Lake Myvatn was my favorite of our entire trip. We stayed at the Bjarg campsite which was one of the best campsites we had. Nice facilities, free showers, a cooking area and right across from a supermarket and tourist services. And an amazing view of Lake Myvatn.
We also decided to skip cooking our food ourselves for one evening and enjoy a good meal at Restaurant Vogafjos. Very good food but it was a little bit rushed.
The golden circle
Then it was time to drive back to Reykjavik. Instead of camping on the way, we decided to drive everything back in 1 day. The last two nights we stayed at a campsite close to the Golden Circle at Mosskogar camping. What an amazing campsite: very friendly people, nice cooking facilities in a greenhouse and the possibility of leaving the food and gas canisters you don’t need so people can take them.
Halfway between Reykjavik and the Golden Circle, you will find the volcano Thrihnukagigur. You can book a tour to go inside this volcano.
If you want to see the most important parts of Iceland, a road trip of 2 weeks is more then sufficient. We are definitely going back to also explore the central part of the island and do some good hiking. Staying on the ring road you will see some amazing things. Iceland is also perfect to do some special activities such as whale watching or a glacier walk. I really recommend doing one of these while you are there, they are a unique experience.
Because we were there at the end of August, we didn’t get a chance to see the Northern lights. But that gives us all the more reason to go back.