Iceland is a beautiful country filled with glaciers, volcanoes, hot springs, and waterfalls. Add in the Northern Lights during the winter months and Midnight Sun during the summer and you will have discovered paradise. Well, paradise without warm temperatures and palm trees. If you decide to take a family vacation in Iceland, I recommend driving along Ring Road. This long drive will take you past some of the best scenery in the country. You will find yourself making tons of memories with your family, as you do different activities during this drive. Today, I am sharing some of the best stops along Ring Road in Iceland. Some of these stops should make it on your list of things you want to see, which you can then share with me as I am personalizing your family’s itinerary.
Ring Road in Iceland is called Route 1. It is eight hundred and twenty-eight miles long. This road basically follows the coastline around the entire country.
The downside to following this road is you won’t see some of the incredible landscapes within the interior of this country. But that’s okay, because I can always plan for you to spend time within the interior of the country on the days before or after your drive along Ring Road in Iceland.
The best time to drive this route is during the summer months. The weather is beautiful during that time of the year. And since it is daylight for almost twenty-four hours each day, you can stay on the road longer.
Check out my travel guide for Iceland to learn more about this magnificent country!
Reykjanesviti Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in Iceland. It is also the first stop on Ring Road, closest to the airport.
This lighthouse was constructed in 1907. It is a replacement lighthouse for the original one that was built in 1878 and then destroyed by an earthquake.
You can’t go inside. But you can climb the hill to stand at the base and look out over the Atlantic Ocean.
The Blue Lagoon is usually at the top of everyone’s list of things to do in Iceland. It is a slight drive off Ring Road, but it is worth the extra time in the car. If you want to visit the Blue Lagoon, you will need to tell me well in advance. This will ensure I can book your time slot before it sells out.
I mean, you won’t want to miss out on soaking in this natural hot spring. You may even decide to splurge on a few spa treatments during your visit. Don’t worry, the kids and your spouse will keep themselves entertained in the springs.
Strokkur and Geysir are two geothermal hot spots that are near each other. Geysir used to erupt water and steam into the air regularly. But it has been inactive for quite some time now.
Thankfully, Strokkur has picked up Geysir’s slack! Strokkur is near Geysir, and it erupts every five to seven minutes. Usually.
I recommend having your video cameras ready, so you don’t miss this exciting event.
There are plenty of waterfalls to see while on vacation in Iceland. You may need to be picky about which ones you stop to visit. Unless you want to spend a month or two exploring this beautiful country.
The Gulfoss Waterfall is usually near the top of my list. The water comes from the Hvita River. It then falls in two sections over this waterfall. The last section allows the water to fall deep down into a crevice.
If you visit this waterfall during the summer, you may be able to see a rainbow arching over the falls.
Your family will need to hike approximately forty-five minutes to reach the Reykjadalur Hot Springs. The springs you want will be along the river. There is a platform there for changing your clothes.
I recommend sitting by the rocks. That is where the water is the deepest.
These hot springs do get crowded. It is best to arrive early in the morning or later in the day if you want to avoid lots of people.
This is one of the waterfalls in Iceland I recommend having on your list, because you can walk behind it. The Seljalandsfoss Waterfall is two hundred feet high. The thundering water seems even louder when you are walking behind it.
You will get wet when walking behind this waterfall. Be prepared with sturdy, nonslip shoes and a rain jacket.
When you arrive at Solheimasandur Beach, you will be surprised to see a wrecked plane. This plane is a DC-3 US Navy plane that crashed here in 1973. Everyone on the plane survived. However, they never returned to collect the wreckage.
This is definitely a photograph you won’t be able to get anywhere else in the world!
Unfortunately, you will need to walk two miles to reach the crash site from the parking lot. So, this will be one stop where you will need to spend a couple of hours.
If your family has always wanted to hike on a glacier, you can finally make your dreams come true when on vacation in Iceland. This outlet glacier is quite impressive.
You must have a guide with you to walk on this glacier. I can easily arrange for one of the guided tours, as I am personalizing your family’s Iceland vacation itinerary.
The Loftsalahellir Cave is a tuff rock cave that used to be the meeting place for Myrdal farmers. Once you are inside the cave, you can look out to see the Dyrholaey Peninsula.
This will most likely be a brief stop on your drive along Ring Road in Iceland. Just don’t forget to take your camera to the cave to capture the beauty of the peninsula.
There are quite a few black sand beaches in Iceland, thanks to all the volcanoes. Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach is one of the favorites though. This is due to the basalt columns you can climb there while visiting.
Grab some family photos in front of the basalt columns. And then get some pictures of the kids being silly while climbing them.
Oh, and if this beach looks familiar… It is because it was featured on Game of Thrones.
This glacier lagoon is located on the southern end of the Vatnajökull Glacier. This isn’t a touristy area, so it is possible to hear the ice breaking and colliding nearby.
I recommend taking a boat tour here, so you can get even closer to all the action. It’s amazing seeing all the icebergs up close from the boat.
Yes, along the Ring Road in Iceland, you will suddenly see a red chair in the middle of nowhere. This red chair is an art installation. It was placed on top of a raised pile of rock and bolted down. It’s a great place to take family pictures.
Plus, you will love being able to stretch your legs for a few minutes, as you walk to the chair.
After driving for a while, you will want to stop and soak in the Djupavogskorin Hot Spring. This hot spring is out in the middle of nowhere. Not too many people stop here, so there is an excellent chance your family will be all alone.
Seydisfjordur is a charming small town. The locals have made this a colorful town in recent years by painting the buildings, creating unique garden sculptures, and creating a rainbow pathway. That rainbow path leads you to the blue church.
The Dettifoss Waterfall is the most powerful waterfall in Europe. I recommend approaching this waterfall from the east. You will be able to get closer to the falls from that side.
Walking along the edge of a crater is something most people will not be able to say they have done in their lifetime. But your family can do this if you stop at the Viti Crater while on a vacation in Iceland.
Game of Thrones fans will want to have the Grjotahja Cave at the top of their list for places to stop on Ring Road in Iceland. This lava cave and hot spring was featured in season three.
I recommend stopping here even if you aren’t a fan of Game of Thrones. Looking down into the sparkling blue pool from the cave is nothing short of mesmerizing.
A stop in Husavik is a must if you want to see whales during your family vacation in Iceland. I recommend heading out on a tour, so you have the best chance to see these majestic creatures.
If you have the time, take one of the tours that will also take you to Puffin Island. Those little puffins are too cute to miss! Don’t worry, I will remind you of this as I am personalizing your itinerary. I can even arrange this tour for you, so you have it scheduled in advance.
Reykjavik is always the last stop for people driving the Ring Road in Iceland. This is the capital city of Iceland. I recommend staying here for a couple of nights before boarding a plane to go back home. While in this city, you can visit the museums, do a little shopping, and simply relax and unwind from your long drive.
These are all the best stops along Ring Road in Iceland. There are many other stops you can make though, and we can discuss many of them as I am personalizing your family’s itinerary. This way you will see and do what you want while making those memories that matter! Here is a sample itinerary to look at as you are dreaming about your Iceland trip!
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