The countdown is on.  In less than 7 weeks I am heading to Iceland to drive the Ring Road around the country (counterclockwise) for 9 days.  The feelings of resfeber and fernweh are beginning to take over, making my day-to-day routine seem obstructive.

The planning for this trip has been quite simple: pick my dates, buy a plane ticket, rent a car, eat rotten shark.  From there, I just tried to research which towns and glorious natural surroundings I wanted to spend my time exploring each day.  Nightly accommodations were easy to choose for each town, because the options are fairly limited.  I am going to stay in a mix of guesthouses and inns.  My trip is during the shoulder season in Iceland, meaning the weather is changing (getting colder), the days are getting shorter, prices will be cheaper, the aurora borealis might be visible, and tourists will be harder to come by.

I will get into some more detail of my planning strategy, including some budget numbers so I can be a great travel resource to you all.  But in this post, I wanted to share my itinerary.  This itinerary is rough and loose, much like the outline of an essay you would write back in high school.  I like to leave room for interpretation (which I will have a blog post about soon), so I can choose some things I want to do the day of.  That makes life a little spicier.

Day 1- Reykjavik

  • Rent car, explore the city
  • Hallgrímskirkja church

Day 2- Reykjavik to Vik

  • Skogafoss Waterfall
  • Porsmork National Park
  • Seljavallalaug pool
  • Reynisfjara Beach

Day 3- Vik to Hofn

  • Skaftafell National Park
  • Glacial Lagoon

Day 4- Hofn to Seydisfjordur

  • Ice Caves
  • Explore Town

Day 5- Seydisfjordur to Akureyri

  • Lake Myvatn

Day 6- Akureyri to Grundarfjordur

  • A long drive, sights along the road

Day 7- Grundarfjordur to Reykjavik

  • Snaefellsjoekull National Park
  • Kirkjufell Mountain

Day 8- Reykjavik area

  • Golden Circle (Strokkur Geyser, Gullfoss Waterfall)

Day 9- Reykjavik

  • More Reykjavik exploration

That’s what I have planned so far.  My drive each day (town to town) is going to be around 3 hours, except for Day 6 (4-5 hrs).  The great thing about the Ring Road is that there is no traffic.  The only thing that will make the drives longer is how much I stop and explore the mountains, glaciers, volcanoes, lakes, rivers, geothermal pools, national parks, and black sand beaches– which I plan on doing every chance I get.  I would love some suggestions on specific places I should try and see!

Stayed tuned for more!

-Dave

Photo credit: Moyan Brenn via Flickr

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