Iceland: It was a 10 years dream journey
Yep! We did it. We did it all!! 🙂
The Ring Road revealed its beauty, its charm, it’s magic.
The high expectations we took to Iceland were fully corresponded on the first two days – and one was filled with airports, transfers and flights.
At a first glimpse, this inspiring volcanic island was breathtaking!! We couldn’t believe it. It was a dream come true. From moon to Mars landscapes, enchanted green valleys, magnificent canyons, waterfalls everywhere… the nature in such a pure state invaded our bodies through all senses.
Why a camper van trip?
If you’re on a budget (as we were), a camper van is by far the best choice. As frequent remote places choice travelers, our only obstacle was Iceland’s living cost. As South Europeans, we noticed a huge difference from ours.
When we decided to go for it, we did some accommodation prospecting and quickly found out that a trip based on hotel stays would be unaffordable for us and moved our attention to a camper van, that would allow us to save either on stays and meals. Besides, having no schedule restrictions, no check in/out limitations and, most of all, to be completely free to explore Iceland at our pace was a great plus. And that’s what we’re talking about.
We definitely believe that it was the right choice and we’re really happy about the way everything turned out. In our case, we rent a Renault Kangoo Maxi: Very comfy, secure, modern and our home for 10 days.
The double bed was the entire back of the Van. Our stuff could be packed bellow the mattress. In a minimalist perspective, it had the right stuff included. It was perfect to us. We didn’t need more. Warm sleeping bags (we were a bit afraid of the cold nights) and the van’s heating system were enough for our calm nights. Notice that not every camper van has a heating system. We never needed to turn it on during the night though.
The van we hired had USB chargers so we didn’t have to worry about our mobile/camera battery limitations. Including portable 4G router was extremely useful, therefore maps and online music were guaranteed along almost the entire trip – there were a few exceptions (deep valleys, mountain peaks, remote peninsulas, you get the idea). We used Spotify for the landscape’s soundtrack. Be sure that you’ve downloaded some albums for the ‘no service’ zones if you’re a music addict – It will be a long ride 🙂
Restaurant meals in Iceland can be very expensive. So it couldn’t be a daily option for us. The nr: 2 reason for choosing a camper van was the included kitchenware and a portable gas stove – simple and practical. We had most of our meals inside or near the van, using the table and benches that the van offers. On the first day, we went for food supplies at Krónan Supermarket – being one of the cheapest, it also sells organic and gluten free products. So we had everything needed for our “gourmet camping”.
That’s it! The Ring Road was waiting for us!
10 days & 10 Best Moments
- Driving along the Ring road and detouring. The Ring Road itself is an AMAZING and unique experience. Every time we decided to explore secondary roads we found special spots, atmospheres, churches, wild life… we ended “detour fans”, so we highly recommend it.
- Gljúfráfoss, on the left of Seljalandsfoss. Iceland is full of spectacular waterfalls. And when we thought that we’ve seen the most beautiful ones, we still became amazed again and again. One of our favorites, was a small waterfall inside a kind of a cave: Gljúfráfoss. To get there we had to cross a tight entrance, stepping our feet in small rocks in the middle of the water and embracing the rock on our right. Once there, we climbed a big rock just next to the waterfall and looking up… WOW! We felt so alive 😀
- Magical hour at Fjallsárlón glacial lagoon. It’s an input of relaxation… the silence, the mirroring waters, the light and colors, and the ice breaking sounds…
- Fantastic views along the hike trail after Skógafoss. We climbed the stairs next to the famous 62m Waterfall and hiked for more than an hour along an incredible and cinematographic scenario. Even with rain, it was extremely beautiful! This is the trail to Þórsmörk, but unfortunately we weren’t prepared for such a long hike. Maybe next time!
- Road 95, the old Ring road valley. In November 2017, the Ring Road number changed from Breiðdalsvik. The old Road N1 is now Road 95 to Egilsstaðir. We decided to take the traditional track. This is now a lonely and mysterious valley, as we only crossed one car for 84 Km. The colored valley contrasting with the still snowed peaks, the challenging fog on the road, and the strong silence of the remote places… What a privilege!
- Seyðisfjörður. We loved it! Charming and colorful fishing village. The Sushi Restaurant is a must. Fresh fish, great atmosphere, and cool music.
- Hot Springs: After a long day on the road, our bodies were spoiled by the hot and turquoise waters of Mývatn Nature Baths. A relaxing and extremely beautiful scenario. Happy eyes and enlightened soul!
- It was also a great experience to embrace the Icelandic patriotic spirit while watching the World Cup match Argentina vs Iceland in a small café at Hellnar (Snæfellsnes Peninsula). As we expressed our admiration by the Icelandic goalkeeper performance, our fellow Icelander fan told us that the goalkeeper’s father was his friend, and he shared some inside stories. We were amazed. Wow! He replied: “Don’t be surprised. We are very few in Iceland!”. 😉
- Never-ending daylight. It was the first time for both of us to experience the entire day without darkness. What a strange and interesting feeling. We found ourselves lost in time and still touring at 11:00 PM. So, if you visit Iceland in late Spring early Summer, don’t Forget to sleep! 😀
- Sleeping in remote places with amazing views, birds protecting their nests, horses and mares enchanted by cupids and waking up with lambs and sheep baa – Mother Nature. 🙂
- If you’re a nature person.
- If you like outdoors, on the road adventures.
- Wild nature, no human interference…
- If you get touched by bucolic sightseeing.
- If you’re searching for some kind of enlightening.
This is definitely your nr: 1 trip! After Iceland, we will never be the same!
Ana & João (Portugal)
Read more: Travel Iceland on a budget
Happy Camping! #CamperStories
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