Our Favourite Road Trips in Iceland

Our Favourite Road Trips in Iceland

Iceland has got itself quite the reputation for being home to some weird and wonderful natural phenomenon, and we say what better way to explore them then at your own pace? Road trips in Iceland range from single day routes to ten-day adventures that span the entirety of the ‘Land of Fire and Ice’. Whether you’re travelling solo in a swanky campervan or venturing out in a rumbling 4x4 and bedding down in the very chicest of hotels or even a glass-roofed dome perfect for watching the Northern Lights, an Icelandic road trip is a sure-fire way to get a taste for Nordic adventure. The sheer beauty of the surrounding landscape is more than enough to help you fall in love with the country. Add rainbow-flecked waterfalls, glistening black sand beaches and water-spouting geysers into the mix and you might find yourself falling completely head over heels for Iceland. So, grab your keys and a map and head out into the wilderness on some of the most amazing road trips in Iceland


  1. The Golden Circle
  2. The Westfjords Way
  3. The South Coast
  4. The Ring Road
  5. The Arctic Coast Way


The Golden Circle

The Golden Circle may be synonymous with hordes of tourists, but there’s a good reason it’s so popular. This 155-mile loop is Iceland’s most famed road trip and is one that will take you to some of the country’s most iconic attractions including Þingvellir National Park and its plate boundary; Geysir geothermal area, which is home to many hot springs and steaming geysers; and the enormous two-tiered Gullfoss waterfall. It’s easy to understand why it’s one of our favourite road trips in Iceland. Thanks to its close proximity to Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital, the Golden Circle is the ultimate road trip for beginners.

Road through southern IcelandImage © Un Cercle


The Westfjords Way

We hope you have room in your car for walking boots and binoculars as you’ll certainly need them while exploring the 600-or-so miles that forms the Westfjords Way. This is one of the more original road trips in Iceland, found in the northwest corner of the country, and is filled with wonderfully rugged landscapes, pothole-riddled roads and postcard-perfect fjords which all make for a pretty spectacular road trip. Tiny towns dot the coastline and there are plenty of tiny geothermal pools to have a dip in along the way. Stop off at Iceland’s oldest steel shipwreck (Gardar BA 64) that sits on the beach along the route or even drive out to the Látrabjarg bird cliffs to catch a glimpse of puffins darting around like tiny black and red fireworks.



The South Coast

If iceberg dotted black sand beaches and aquamarine hot springs are what you’re looking for, then the South Coast road trip is the one for you. Over the course of five days or so and around 200 miles, you’ll meander past the rainbow-flecked thundering waters of Skógafoss, wander along the Reynisfjara’s black sand beach with its otherworldly basalt columns, and even enjoy a dip in the milky blue waters of the Blue Lagoon, complete with a silica face mask and a poolside beer. The South Coast makes up part of the Ring Road so if you’ve got the time and fancy an adventure, carry on exploring the rest of the country. If time isn’t on your side, make your way back to Reykjavik to round off your road trip in the hustle and bustle of the capital.

Endless road in Iceland


The Ring Road

This is the big dog of Icelandic road trips. Hop in the car and venture out for ten days on the Ring Road which gives access to the entire nation. This 800-mile adventure is one of the best road trips in Iceland (as well as Europe) and winds its way through a thrilling chunk of the countryside. Take in all of Iceland’s greatest hits from the raging waterfalls of Gullfoss and Goðafoss and the water spurting Geysir to the vast Vatnajökull glacier (the largest in Europe) and Vik fishing village and black sand beach. You can explore the island either in a clockwise or anticlockwise direction, but we love the clockwise route best as it starts with the more low-key landscapes before crescendoing into the most gloriously rugged scenes.


The Arctic Coast Way

The Arctic Coast Way is the ultimate route to escape the tourists. While most stick to the South Coast or the Golden Circle for convenience’s sake, Iceland’s north is packed with hidden gems and geographical jewels that are just waiting to be explored by travellers willing to drive slightly further afield. This 350-mile-long route winds its way past the huge Arctic Henge monument, which symbolises the connection between humans and nature, as well as natural wonders including the horseshoe-shaped Ásbyrgi canyon and Dettifoss, a 144ft-high thundering waterfall (the most powerful in Europe). Its out-of-the-way charm puts it firmly on our list of our favourite road trips in Iceland.


Written by Immy Kelly