Iceland: Why we chose not to drive the entire Route 1 ring road

A person of the initially factors you may believe about when organizing a trip to Iceland is regardless of whether to travel the total size of the ring road that goes all around the whole place – identified as Route 1, and not to be puzzled with the Golden Circle which is shut to Reykjavik and provides you simple access to some essential sights that can be noticed in a single working day.

To assess this, we necessary to initial know how significantly it was and how prolonged it would just take. The answer to that dilemma is that Iceland’s full ring highway covers 1,317 kilometres and, in concept, can be pushed in just 16.5 hrs (albeit via non-prevent driving – but even if sharing the driving, you would however require to cease to transform motorists and to re-gas!). This also assumes no targeted visitors in any way.

Supplied that you can, in idea, comfortably get all the way all around in just two normal-but-lengthy times of driving (8-10 hrs), this leaves many people today contemplating how achievable it is for a circumnavigation of the entire country by road, significantly if they are being in the state for lengthier.

So how lengthy do you genuinely will need to observe the full size of the ring road? The general suggestion that I’ve read for this is that realistically you need to enable at minimum 6 times to travel the route in Summer season or at minimum 12 days if driving in Winter season.

We experienced just 8 days – 9 if you integrated the day of our departure but, because we had an early early morning flight, it genuinely was just 8 days. So, in principle, because we ended up viewing in Summer, we experienced extra than enough time to do a so-known as 6-working day street journey.

But the far more and more I analyzed the maps and examined what there is to see and do together the way, I significantly questioned no matter whether 6 days is at all reasonable. There are so lots of purely natural miracles to see in Iceland that, if you ended up to generate all the way close to in just 6 times, I never feel you would do any of it justice. Your stops would have to be hurried and you would have to overlook out lots of points that you may possibly or else want to see. In quick, it just wouldn’t be exciting, in my impression.

Let us take some of the points of interest as an instance. If you required to see Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach front, which lies on the ring road… are you actually telling me you’d be delighted to cease in this article, see it and hop again in the car again 20 minutes later on? No, I hope not! You want to get it all in… admire the check out, probably wander all over the lagoon minor, maybe even go on one of the boat rides. You’ll want to wander from the lagoon to the shore and see the huge blocks of ice on the beach front, sparkling in the sunshine. You could simply expend at the very least an hour or two here, and perhaps significantly extended.

Similarly, there are sights these types of as the airplane wreck which, whilst regarded to be on the Route 1 ring road, are probably a 45-minute stroll away. You likely require to make it possible for at least 2 hours to visit the plane wreck, potentially longer based on your walking speed and how prolonged you want to shell out there.

Waterfalls such as Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss are the exact same. They are very close to the ring highway so, in principle, you can hop out of your automobile, get a photograph and be on your way… but the place is the exciting in that? At Skógafoss, you will want to climb the ways to the proper which actually normally takes you along a route you can abide by for miles, using in nonetheless much more waterfalls. At Seljandsfoss, you are going to want to follow the route that normally takes you spherical the back of the waterfall and possibly even take a look at the significantly lesser-recognized and additional hard to entry nearby waterfall of Gljúfrabúi. All of this normally takes time, but it’s time well used and I’d faster be performing things like this than spending most of my time in a vehicle.

It’s also worthy of mentioning that lots of of Iceland’s critical sights – particularly for initial time visitors – like in the south and west of the state. Given that your trip will no question commence from the south-west, possibly from Keflavik Airport or Reykjavik, you are going to uncover the biggest concentration of attractions do not necessitate you driving all the way all over the region.

Then there are personal excursions that you may possibly like to consider – for illustration, we did a Katla ice cave tour that took up an overall early morning and a snowmobiling tour that took up most of an afternoon. If your objective is to get all around the region in just a handful of times, you are going to have to forego a good deal of these kinds of chances.

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And I have not even talked about halting for foods. Would not you want to cease, sit down and chill out with some Icelandic food, relatively than just seize some snacks from a assistance station and push on? Some of Iceland’s popular crimson very hot lava soup, perhaps?

In shorter, allowing for by yourself more time to get close to the state, or figuring out your restrictions and picking not to endeavor it if you do not sense you have plenty of days, is a very significant decision to make. It is the change concerning have a rushed and frantic continue to be in Iceland or possessing a a lot more leisurely 1 that you can effectively get pleasure from.

Returning to the advice of at the very least 6 days to push the route in Summertime or at minimum 12 times to push it in Winter…. it all looks far way too hectic and rushed to me. I assume it’s more practical to propose 10-14 days in Summertime and 20-25 days in Winter, and ideally picking out something at the latter end of each individual of all those ranges.

For this cause, considering that we experienced just 8 times, we chose not to endeavor to push all the way about. Of course, it could have been performed. But I’m glad we produced that decision – there was continue to so much for us to see and do in the time we experienced accessible without having driving extreme distances. It’s quick to feel that you’ll see much more by masking far more ground, but in this occasion I never think this would have been the case.

Have you driven the complete ring road? How prolonged did you allocate and did you really feel it was plenty of?

Setting up a trip to Iceland you? You can look at a video clip from our vacation to Iceland here:

Disclosure: This submit is sponsored by Icerental 4×4. Our excursion to Iceland was also sponsored by Helly Hansen.

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