I love road trips. Fortunately for me, Iceland is the perfect place for one!
Exploring southern Iceland along Route 1, or the Ring Road was the most scenic road trip I have ever taken. Every single stretch of the road offered magnificent views. I saw endless golden fields, mossy rocks, silvery waterfalls, and pastel mountains capped in snow.
The first stop was Vatnajökull, which is the largest ice cap in Iceland. I spent the afternoon glacier hiking, and visited an ice cave. Even with crampons, I had my reservations about walking on the steep glacial ice. However, all in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the hike, especially the ice cave with its sapphire blue hues.
The next morning, I visited Jökulsárlón, or glacial lagoon. The lagoon formed due to the melting glacier, and has been increasing in size. Ice from the glacier drifts out to sea, washing up on the nearby beach. The beach is fittingly called Diamond Beach. It was bitingly cold near the water, but not cold enough to deter me from taking as many photos as I could.
Driving back to Reykjavik along the Route 1, many more photo opportunities present itself in the forms of Icelandic horses, mossy landscapes, and basalt columns lining black sand beaches (Reynisfjara). What makes the Icelandic landscape so memorable is its dichotomy; it is a place where ice and fire coexist.
Iceland is not the most budget friendly place. Food at restaurants Eating at restaurants is expensive. I hear hot dogs are a delicious way to budget. That being said, I highly recommend trying the lamb, arctic char, and langoustine. My favorite restaurants were LAVA, which served modern Icelandic cuisine, and Humarhöfnin Veitingahús for langoustine. Driving in Iceland was fairly straightforward, just be aware of the road signs signaling the speed limit and one way bridges. I recommend renting a car in advance to shop around for deals and options. Gas is very expensive in Iceland, and if your card does not work at the pump, find a gas station which sells prepaid cards to fuel up. My road trip along the southern Ring Road took two days, since per the usual, I packed too many things on my travel itinerary. I highly suggest at least a 4 day road trip to explore and enjoy the sights.