The Ring road in a Camper
When preparing for my trip to Iceland it was hard to know what to expect, it was even hard to decide what style of travel I wanted to do. I could rent a car and stay at hotels, or even bring a tent. I could take a guided tour or I could rent a camper van. In the end, I went for camper van…best decision ever!!
The camper van meant that I didn’t have to decide how far I wanted to drive ahead of time, I didn’t have to decide which hotel to stay in and most importantly I didn’t have to sleep on the ground! I quickly learned that the weather was unpredictable and I was so happy not to be sleeping in a cold wet tent, I was sleeping in style in the warm cozy van. I will admit I seen many unhappy campers taking down tents in the morning as gale force winds threatened to blow their tents away. (I’m sure not every morning/night was like this, but it was nice not to find out!)
As I travelled around the Ring road of Iceland I really appreciated the free Wi-Fi, which my camper van offered. I was nice to be able to call my parents on facetime and check road maps from my cell phone. I had mapped out most of the places I was hoping to see but as I traveled around and meet other traveler’s new places were pointed out and with the camper van I was easily able to adjust my plans as no hotel nights were booked! The flexibility was amazing!
My journey began with a day spent in Þingvellir National Park, UNESCO World Heritage Site! The park sits in a rift valley caused by the separation of 2 tectonic plates, with rocky cliffs and fissures like the huge Almannagjá fault. With snorkeling, waterfalls, and hiking this is a must see for any tourists to Iceland.
Þingvellir national park
My next stop was Strokkur, a fountain geyser located in a geothermal area beside the Hvítá River, east of Reykjavík. It is one of Iceland’s most famous geysers, erupting once every 6–10 minutes. Its usual height is 15–20 m, although it can sometimes erupt up to 40 m high. I had never seen a geyser and to be able to see it erupt was incredible, despite lots of other tourist it was still well worth the stop! It was hard to drag myself away from this stop but with so much to see I had to move on.
Next stop Gullfoss, an epic double water fall, pictures cannot do this stop justice. I suggest you stop and see this one for yourself! Waterfalls seem to pop up all over Iceland but a few really stood out in my mind like Seljalandsfoss.
Not only was this beautiful to look at from a far but you could also walk behind the falls, so cool! I would however suggest a rain coat and pants for this one!
Part of me wondered how I could top these last couple of stops…but it happened! I continued on to Skógafoss yet another beautiful waterfall and then onto Reynisfjara. Reynisfjall is a 340m high tuff mountain arising out of a volcanic eruption from under a glacier in the penultimate Ice Age, near the village of Vik.
Alternating in an irregular manner are layers of tuff, pillow lava and columnar basalt veins and loops. Reynisdrangar stacks are a collection of 66 m high rock pillars that rise out of the sea and are of the same geological formation as Reynisfjall. On Reynisfjara beach, very beautiful basalt formations in the south part of the mountain can be seen, and there you will find an exceedingly beautiful cave called Hálsanefshellir.
This indeed may have been my favorite spot in Iceland!
But the camper van had to move on! I continued my journey down the ring road, it was breath taking! Beautiful glaciers made it hard to keep driving…
So naturally I had to drive in and snap a few photos. 1 local man had told me to keep my eyes open for a bridge where I would see Icebergs making their way to the Ocean, this was quite a sight. Not only did I see all sorts of different sized and coloured icebergs floating but I was actually able to hold an iceberg…haha well not a full-sized iceberg but in my mind an iceberg never the less!
It’s hard to put into words the thoughts and feelings I had as I traveled around Iceland, as it is like no other country I have been too. This is truly the land of Fire and Ice! Each person will find beauty in different locations in Iceland. Some may find inspiration in the waterfalls, others in the Icebergs, or maybe you will be in deep thought as you pass by lava fields covered in 100-year-old moss? It’s hard to know until one gets there! For those of you who might be thinking wait…what about city life? Well you have that option as well!
After living and travelling around Europe I found Reykjavik to be very friendly and inviting. Some locals took us with them to a heavy metal show, and like everything else in Iceland we were not disappointed! Don’t worry if music isn’t your thing, Reykjavik also offers great shopping, food and beautiful views! Coming from a small town in Canada, I was surprised to be welcomed in so easily. One of our new local friends even invited us over to his place and cooked us dinner, now that is what I call hospitality!
In a nutshell if you are looking for spectacular views, mind blowing geography, and nature at its’ best Iceland is a country you must visit! And a Camper van is the perfect hotel on wheels if you’re like me and don’t want to miss out or over plan!! Good luck out there campers, you are going to have the time of your life!!! Thank you Rent.is, for getting me around in style!
Read more: Born to be wild
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