Route 1—known as Iceland's famed Ring Road—loops around the entire country, allowing you to see all the sights, east to west, north to south. A road trip along the Ring Road features some of Iceland's most popular destinations, like the Blue Lagoon, the canyons and glaciers of the South Coast, the famous Gulfoss waterfall, black-sand beaches, and geothermal areas. In addition, the route is packed with excursions like glacier hikes, river rafting, hiking, and (of course) soaking in hot springs.

Getting Oriented

The famous turfed church in Hof, Iceland.

Iceland's Ring Road is a literal ring around the entire country, encompassing its high mountain peaks, extensive glaciers, roaring waterfalls, deep river canyons, and erupting geothermal areas. An Icelandic road trip along the Ring Road is a bucket-list experience and one that allows you to literally "see it all" as it passes through numerous Icelandic regions. The route stretches from the capital city of Reykjavik, along the famed South Coast, through the eastern highlands, across mountainous fjords of Northern Iceland, and between two of the most popular destinations, the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and the Golden Circle

Hot Springs

When in Iceland, do as the locals and soak in natural hot springs. Whether you prefer to soak in the Blue Lagoon (a registered psoriasis treatment facility) or find a less crowded option, you'll find plenty of natural pools in Iceland. 

The Blue Lagoon

Soak in the unique setting of the world-famous Blue Lagoon.

You've likely heard of Iceland's famous Blue Lagoon, which has become a "must-see." But the healing and mineral-rich waters are more than just a tourist destination: the facilities are a recognized psoriasis treatment facility! Enjoy soaking in the waters and using the white silica mud as a face and body mask. Energize yourself with a dip under the cold waterfall and enjoy the lunar-like, black lava rock setting. Read More

Mývatn Nature Baths

Enjoy a relaxing trip to the alkaline thermal pools of Mývatn.

The Blue Lagoon may be Iceland's most popular hot spring, but if you'd like to soak in milky-blue mineral water up north, you can in the far less crowded Mývatn Nature Baths. The lagoon-like atmosphere is set near Lake Mývatn, and the Earth's core heats the waters. Relax your mind and body while enjoying gorgeous natural surroundings, like snowy mountain peaks in the distance. Read More

Rivers & Glaciers

Iceland is home to Europe's largest glacier, so it's no surprise that some of the country's biggest draws include these ice caps and the river canyons they once carved. 

Canyons & Glaciers of Vik

The glistening pieces of ice that float out to Diamond Beach near Vik.

The southern stretch of Iceland's Ring Road features some of the country's most popular natural sites. A mini road trip is a perfect way to enjoy the canyons and glaciers near the towns of Vik and Hof. Optional stops and excursions include Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon, the Skaftafell wilderness with Svartifoss waterfall, the Hof Turf Church, Fjallsárlón and Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoons, and the famed Diamond Beach sprinkled with sparking icebergs. Read More

Rafting Gullfoss Canyon

Enjoy the scenery and white rapids of the Gullfoss River Canyon.

Whether you're an expert or a beginner, you can enjoy an exciting rafting experience through the white rapids of the Gullfoss River Canyon. Originating at the Langjökull Glacier, the scenic Hvítá River weaves through the canyon, creating one of Iceland's most famous waterfalls, Gullfoss. Keep warm with a wetsuit and enjoy the picturesque scenery with this exhilarating experience! Read More

Hike the Vatnajokull Glacier

Enjoy the unique experience of hiking atop an icy glacier.

Walk across a glacier in Iceland and savor some of the most surreal views you can find in nature. You'll hike up the tongue of Europe's largest glacier in Vatnajökull National Park, discovering the region's unique geology. View deep cracks and electric-blue crevices before reaching the ice cap's top, where you can sneak views of Hvannadalshnúkur, Iceland's highest peak. Read More

Powerful Iceland

From erupting geothermal areas and mighty waterfalls to black-sand beaches dotted with chunks of icebergs, there's a lot of powerful nature to explore in Iceland.

South Coast Waterfalls & Beaches

Hike behind the powerful and picturesque waterfall Seljalandsfoss. 

As noted above, the southern portion of Iceland's Ring Road, known as the South Coast, hosts some of the country's favorite waterfalls and beaches. Again, a road trip is the best way to enjoy the region, stopping at places like the Seljalandsfoss waterfall, the quaint town of Vik, and the black-sand beach, Reynisfjara. Other highlights include Skogafoss waterfall, Dyrholaey Cliff, Reynisdrangar Sea Stacks, and the famous Sólheimasandur Plane Wreck. Read More 

Geysir Geothermal Area

Watch the geysers erupt every 10 minutes or so. 

Visit one of the most exciting regions in Iceland, the Geysir Geothermal Area. Although the geyser the town was named for is rarely active, you'll find plenty more to see, including the famed Strokkur Geyser, which erupts every 5 to 10 minutes. You'll also find impressive steam vents, bubbling mud pits, and natural hot springs, plus the largest forest in southern Iceland, complete with several walking trails. Read More 

How to Craft the Perfect Ring Road Itinerary

The Ring Road's unique and beautiful scenery.

Iceland's Ring Road can easily make an entire trip in and of itself. Since it circles the whole country, you can devote your time to specific regions or tackle the entire route. Either way, the Ring Road fits in perfectly with any trip to the country, but it's best to give yourself ample time to enjoy the adventure. Most excursions along this route require at least one week in Iceland, but the more time, the better! 

Because the route includes nearly all of the country, it's worth thinking about when to visit Iceland. Although some areas are milder than others (in terms of weather), what you experience in the summer will differ from what's available in the winter's limited daylight

Past kimkim travelers have enjoyed the following itineraries that include experiences on the Ring Road: