Iceland is an island in Northern Europe. Impressive were huge waterfalls, ice glaciers, endless black lava rock beaches, steaming earth and hot springs. Iceland is truly the land of fire and ice.
After traveling to all 47 countries in Europe, I must confess that I liked Iceland the most. No other country offers so many natural phenomena in such a small area.
The Northern Lights, also called Aurora borealis, are a unique phenomenon in the southern and northern hemispheres of our planet. Green particle clouds move across the sky and create a wow effect. We were lucky and even saw the Northern Lights in late September.
In the south of Iceland are the frosty-cold glacial lagoons Jökulsárlón and Fjallsárlón.
Hot Spring Areas
Hot steam pours out of the earth and it looks like it’s on a lunar landscape. These are the hot spring areas in Iceland like the Námaskarð.
Iceland has numerous hot springs. The most famous is the Blue Lagoon, which is on the way from the airport to Reykjavik.
When water begins to bubble and suddenly shoots several feet from the ground, then we have the phenomenon of a geyser. The name for this is the geyser with the name Geysir.
There are many impressive waterfalls on Iceland, the most famous being the mighty waterfall Dettifoss, Goðafoss and Svartifoss.
Black Lava Rock Beaches
Iceland is a volcanic island and along the coast there are endless black lava rock beaches like the Reynisfjara stand.
As a volcanic island there are lava tunnels in Iceland and at Grjotagja even a hot spring has formed.
In the southern part of Iceland lies on a black lava beach the crashed airplane wreck Solheimasandur. Until a few years ago, you could drive there directly, meanwhile the parking lot is 4 km away and a walk of more than one hour over an endless black lava beach must be considered.
Þingvellir National Park
Near Reykjavik and part of the Golden Circle is the Þingvellir National Park with many hiking trails.
To the west is the Snaefellsjoekull peninsula with endless roads, fascinating coastal formations and the fishing village of Stykkishólmur.
Krafla is located in the northeastern part of Iceland. It reminded me of Lord of the Rings with steaming earth and endless lava stone landscape.
The capital Reykjavik is in the western side of the island and is known for the skeleton of a Viking ship and the Hallgrimskirkja, with its unique architectural style.
Landscape along the Ring Road
Just driving along the Ring Road, the road around Iceland, offers impressive scenery.
Here is a map of our itinerary and highlights along Ring Road, the road that leads around Iceland.
- In no other country have I put as much time into the planning as Iceland. The reason is that it is incredibly expensive – the most expensive country I have ever traveled. We booked everything many months in advance and even there were the cheapest accommodations away.
- For the planning, I have used and can recommend the Lonely Planet Guide for Iceland. It contained all the information in a compact format.
- There are two classic itineraries in Iceland:
- The Golden Circle: A day trip from Reykjavik to see the famous geyser, Gullfoss Waterfall and Thingvellir National Park.
- Ring Road: A road that leads around Iceland. Along this are the most popular places. You can add detours along the way to see even more beautiful places.
- Go as early as possible! Tourism in Iceland is booming, everything is becoming more expensive and more commercial. To look at waterfalls near Reykjavik, we even had to pay for the parking. A few years ago you could drive to the crashed plane on the black lava beach, meanwhile the parking was 4 km away on the main road and you need an hour on foot.
- I drove around Iceland with a car in September with a friend. September is the beginning of the low season and therefore a little cheaper and less busy. In addition, we were lucky and saw the Northern Lights.
- We made the Ring Road with some detours within a week, next time I would take a camper and plan 10 days.
- Since food is very expensive, and we have already taken food such as pasta and tomato sauce from Germany. In the evening we cooked in the hostels and guest houses.
- Regular buses run from the airport to Reykjavik. On the way, it is advisable to go to the Blue Lagoon.
- From Reykjavik there are organized tours for the Golden Circle, with several people it is cheaper to rent a car.
- By car or a camper, you are much more flexible and can drive around the Ring Road.
- In summer there is a Hop On Hop Off Bus, which also runs around the Ring Road.
- Hostel and guest houses are scattered across the island. We booked almost everything on Booking.com and Hotels.com.
- There are many campsites and it is a cheaper alternative.
- To be completely flexible, a camper is recommended. These are unfortunately relatively expensive, and it is officially not allowed to stay overnight anywhere.
Do you have questions to plan your trip or suggestions? I'm looking forward to your commentary.