Iceland’s Route 1 Road Trip
“Never sure where the road will lead to, but I’m always confident the ride won’t be boring!”
Lurking around every curve is a stunning new Icelandic jaw-dropping scenery. From hundreds of active volcanos, massive burbling waterfalls, bubbling mud pots and hot springs, icy glaciers and rugged mountains, to scenic meadows where majestic wild horses run free! And if you are lucky, you will see and experience the breathtaking Northern lights. A photographers paradise!
Theoretically, one could go around the island in less than two days, but there are too many must-see sights in Iceland to be in a rush. Iceland’s Ring Road ( Route 1) covers over 800 miles (1,300 Km), and self-drive tour is the best way to go. The roads are excellent and very essay to drive. Just make sure you got enough petrol, a programmed GPS, a map (just in case) and plenty of coffee. Hop in the car, roll down the windows and get ready to hit the road!
Iceland has hardly any trees, so on a bright day, the view from your car stretches towards unending picturesque roads, mountains, farms, villages, meadows and glaciers mile after mile.
Crushing through Iceland with a gang of like-minded photographers is an adventure itself. With every turn came a difference scenery, making it very hard not to stop the car to capture each unique picaresque view. The overall speed limit is 90 km/h on main roads and 50km/h in urban areas as there is more sheep than people, and they wonder freely during the summertime. Average speed while driving with photographers is 30 min stops every few kilometres.
From Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, Route 1 leads drivers on a smooth and enchanting tour of the country. Driving counter-clockwise the first stop, and one of the most visit site is the Seljalandsfoss waterfall. This epic waterfall drops 60m and is part of the Seljalands River that has its origin in the volcano glacier Eyjafjallajokull.
Another must-see sight is the Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon, an attraction of broken icebergs floating with the tide, and black sand beaches.
Also along the Route 1 is the Laufskalavordur lava ridge. First impression … what’s up with the “cairns”? According to local legend, the area was a black sand desert until there was a volcanic eruption in 1948. The area got covered with rocks, and later the locals got inspired to make cairns as a ritual for good luck. Today the tradition goes on, with a little twist. There are no more loose rocks, so one steals from old cairns to make a new one!
Further on Route 1 is The Svinafellsjokull Glacier. One of my favourite sight. Known as one of the locations used in the “Interstellar” movie. The Glacier is a breathtaking frozen landscape of white and black ice broken by blue crevasses. Just like the ice, the place grips you, and does not let go!
Iceland’s Ring Road is full of natural wonders and spectacular sceneries. A playground for photographers, nature lovers and all sort of travellers. A bucket-list travel destination for everyone.