Ring Road
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Neighbourhood: Miðborg
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  • lithlith
    887 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great Scenery!
    Either book an excursion with a local company or rent a car to visit the Ring Road. There is so much beauty to see! Lots of Icelandic scenery as well as stops for waterfalls, craters, geysers, etc. along the way!
    Visited July 2023
    Written 16 July 2023
  • Yinan W
    Oakland, California15 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A must see!
    The ring road is a pretty much a must do when in Iceland. There are a lot of tourists and it can get pretty crowded. We rented a car and did the whole thing in one day easily. We walked over 6-7 miles over the course of the day. If you look up one of those self driving tours, they detail what places to go so we just followed that and it was perfect! Every stop had a restroom so that was nice as well. I don't know much about the bus tours because I like to do things on my own time. Definitely can do it on your own with a little bit of internet research!
    Visited July 2023
    Written 22 July 2023
  • big_rog1
    Harrogate, United Kingdom1,491 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great roads
    Iceland, s Ring road is fantastic,well constructed,and has all the sights to stop off at.If you don't have a 4x4 and keep off the F-roads you'll be amazed how good the ring road and all paved(tarmac) roads are here,considering they have big frosts and ice in winter there's no potholes. (Unlike UK) Iceland is a very big surprise much bigger than we imagined! Road circumference is approx 850 miles but in 6 days we drove 1,360 miles and petrol is expensive here at £2 a litre(£9 a gallon).It would be fantastic to bring a motorbike here.And we heard that the speed limits are very strict and speeding fines are huge,but these limits seem to be mostly in the built up areas.The average speed we did in the vast open roads was 100 km so about 55mph.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 14 October 2023
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BrakiWorldTraveler
Belgrade, Serbia17,797 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Family
Driving the Iceland's Ring Road or Route Nr. 1 is the best adventure you can do on your own to fully admire this amazing island.
Like its name says likewise in many cities worldwide Ring Road runs all around, but instead around the city it goes all around the island.

Here, I will give future travelers some tips I gathered during my two months research for our trip, which perfectly matched with our experience on ground.

- The very first advice in order to do it is to rent a car,
- I strongly advise 'Blue Car Rental' or their subsidiary 'Zero Car'. They're a local car rental company and you've probably never heard about them like me. But, after I did from our hotel's email recommendation, I canceled my booking at a major car rental company and booked with them. I checked their online reviews and never have seen such ratings for a car rental (4,5 to 4,9). I totally agree and rated them likewise.
- When renting (with any company) choose 'Full protection' coverage (at Zero Car it is mandatory). Iceland is a very unique and specific country - volcano ash, gravels and driving on unpaved roads could damage your rental which leads to orbit charges in one of the world's most expensive countries if you don't purchase Full protection,
- We rented from 'Zero Car' for several reasons. Everything is online - full prepayment (don't worry, you can cancel any time if plans change). Full insurance included at a slightly lower price than at 'Blue Car' and best of all - NO wait time. You get emailed your key box code, go directly for the keys in a key locker and then straight to your car. We were in our car after 5 min, while at the 'Blue Car' counter was a 10+ people line.
- Plan AT LEAST six days for a Ring Road drive. While the 1.300 km (800 mi) length could be comfortably driven in two days, you'd be a fool doing that and seeing nothing. Plan your lodging approximately every 200-300 km in order to have enough time to explore the area of that day. Beware, some attractions (ice caves, glaciers walks,...) you CANNOT do on your own, but with a tour, so plan accordingly. Start your day early, before sunrise to get most of it, specially in autumn/winter.
- Obey speed limits - fines are high and there's absolutely no reason to drive fast. Likewise most of Europe in residential area is 30 km/h, through town is 50 km/h, but on open road (ONE lane only in both directions throughout entire island) is 90 km/h. I must emphasize I rarely reached that 90 km/h and let others bypass me, as the scenery all around is so spectacular you're missing much if you drive fast.
- Refuel often, don't fall below half a tank - in some areas gas stations are rare and beware you could be stuck somewhere due to snow or strong winds with your engine running for heating. Fuel is very expensive (around 2,20 Euros per liter) - 'Zero Car' gives you a token with car keys valid for a discount at 'Olis' gas stations to save some money,
- Decide beforehand if you'd like to drive further inland on F-roads (unpaved) in order to rent an appropriate car. In that case you must rent a 4x4 (heavy fines if you don't and drive there with a normal car) and extend your journey to 7-8 days. We didn't do that, but had a Kia sport wagon driving only the paved roads.
- Watch for wildlife on the road. Animals are mostly fenced just by the roadside and you can park and approach to pet them, they're very friendly and people used. However, we saw them crossing the road once and apart from car damage and trip ruin you could face a law suite from the animal owner. When parking along the road do that with caution parking with your entire vehicle aside the driving lane.
- Unusually, many car parks by nature attractions in the middle of nowhere ARE paying. There's a paying machine and you'll be fined if you don't pay parking no matter how silly it looks. Parking is also pretty expensive (mostly around 900 ISK, 7 Euros flat rate no matter you stay one hour or half a day). Luckily, all the natural attractions are free so this is the only expense.
- Restaurants are very expensive, so you might opt for self catering apartments to prepare your own food. 'Bonus' and 'Kronan' are two huge food store chains present in every bigger town to stock yourself. Beware, you cannot buy alcohol here (only 2% low alcohol beer). For real stuff you must find a liquor store ('Vinbudin" is widely present) and be prepared for skyrocket prices.
TIP: Buy alcohol when you land at Keflavik airport. There's a free shop at arrival (you pass through it). Still expensive, it is around 20% cheaper than elsewhere.
- Weather can change within minutes. Have layers of clothes to act accordingly - waterproof clothes are must, as well hiking boots, gloves,...

Please remember these are only my tips and advices to prepare you, not to scare you. Following them you'll have a terrific time in this amazing country. We had absolutely no problems and brought back lifetime memories.
Enjoy to the fullest the Land of Fire and Ice.
Written 12 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nadina P
New York City, NY350 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2023 • Friends
I'm normally an independent traveler, but for this trip I bought a tour group, and I'm so glad I did; I wouldn't be able to concentrate while driving on the Ring Road. I could not take my eyes off of my scenery. I was there in June 2022--I'm not sure if it's usually like this in June or if I was just lucky, but I didn't run into any of the traffic or the crowds that you read about. It's definitely more crowded in July, and you don't see the beautiful flowers that were still blooming when I was there. I highly recommend going during this time and getting someone else to drive you--especially an Icelander, who is familiar with the scenery. There are plenty of waterfalls, rivers, lakes, farms, mountains, etc. along the way; if you see a safe space to pull over, do it! Take your time and enjoy this incredible country while it is still fighting back climate change.
Written 6 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

big_rog1
Harrogate, UK1,491 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Friends
Iceland, s Ring road is fantastic,well constructed,and has all the sights to stop off at.If you don't have a 4x4 and keep off the F-roads you'll be amazed how good the ring road and all paved(tarmac) roads are here,considering they have big frosts and ice in winter there's no potholes. (Unlike UK) Iceland is a very big surprise much bigger than we imagined! Road circumference is approx 850 miles but in 6 days we drove 1,360 miles and petrol is expensive here at £2 a litre(£9 a gallon).It would be fantastic to bring a motorbike here.And we heard that the speed limits are very strict and speeding fines are huge,but these limits seem to be mostly in the built up areas.The average speed we did in the vast open roads was 100 km so about 55mph.
Written 15 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tom J
London, UK1,652 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Couples
So I’d previously visited Iceland once before but stayed in Reykjavik and relied on tours to get about - in February in Iceland is not a bad idea the weather and roads can be treacherous.

Having seen the wonders iceland had to offer however I wanted to revisit and do it for ourselves. We opted for a Ring Road drive throughout the summer where the roads are clear and the scenery is green.

I must say the ring road is one of the most scenic roads I’ve ever had the pleasure to drive. Seeing volcanos, glaciers, black sand beaches, too many waterfalls to count amongst soo many other things - it is too easy to become lost in all things Iceland without never actually getting lost!

The conditions of the roads are great and easy as a driver with no experience off roading. There is also no need for a 4x4 - our little hatchback was perfect for the trip.

A COUPLE OF TIPS

- If you have a GoPro - get a suction mount for the window and film some of the beautiful scenery you see from the road

- If you see a gas station / toilet make sure to stop! There are some areas on the ring road you can go hours without seeing a gas station or toilet - don’t get caught out!

- Don’t stop on the road for photos! This is dangerous and there are plenty of picnic spots anyways

- Keep to the speed limit! Whilst 90kmph does feel slow to someone from the Uk that is used to driving at 70mph…adhere to their rules. Allow yourself to slow your pace whilst in Iceland, it will enable you to see more, relax and really embrace it. Plus they have lots of speed cameras which aren’t as obvious as they are in the Uk and their fines aren’t fixed so you don’t really want to roll that dice!
Written 30 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Joehsrtmann
Minnesota2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023
Beautiful place. Everyone should travel the Ring Road. Scenery is unbelievable. Never saw anything so beautiful.
Written 28 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mshapiro99
Sterling, VA1,174 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
July 2023
Rode the Ring Road for a while as part of another tour ... really stark and beautiful landscape, almost no trees other than those white birches that have been intentionally planted.
Written 14 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

nadi
Israel1,305 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023
The day in the golden ring was the most impressive and beautifull of all the days I spent in Iceland. Combination of scenary, waterfalls, geyser and the history of the Icelandic parlament make this day terrific!
Written 4 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Yinan W
Oakland, CA15 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
July 2023
The ring road is a pretty much a must do when in Iceland. There are a lot of tourists and it can get pretty crowded. We rented a car and did the whole thing in one day easily. We walked over 6-7 miles over the course of the day. If you look up one of those self driving tours, they detail what places to go so we just followed that and it was perfect! Every stop had a restroom so that was nice as well. I don't know much about the bus tours because I like to do things on my own time. Definitely can do it on your own with a little bit of internet research!
Written 22 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Isabella W
Secaucus, NJ33 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2023
It was breathtaking to see the waterfalls. Reykjavik has so many beautiful sights that you have to see! Will definitely come back next year.
Written 18 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

NazmulUla
Los Angeles, CA430 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
July 2023 • Couples
What an amazing experience. We took the 8-Day Ring Road Tour by Troll Expeditions. Iceland is just amazingly beautiful country. We did glacier hiking, ice cave hiking, glacier lagoon boat tour, whale watching, along with few dozen waterfall visits. This is a must do tour in Iceland.
Written 17 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Ring Road - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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