Winter Driving Tips in Iceland
If you plan to drive on the Ring Road during winter, make sure you get a 4×4 car. While overall road safety can be great, the roads can be slippery.
We did know a couple whose car went off the road due to ice, so definitely stay on the side of caution.
We loved our Easy Clever 4×4 from Easy Campers which drove like a breeze every time, chaktty.
We originally decided to drive a bit further but since the days are much shorter during the winter, we decided to park as we didn’t want to drive in the dark.
We stayed at the Egilsstaðir Visitor Center , which turned out to be one of the best campsites of our entire stay! Great facilities, with an honesty box and nearby grocery stores and restaurants.
If you have time, there is a hot spring called Vox Bath near this campsite.
It was recently opened when we were there, and apparently it’s better than the famous Mývatn baths.
Day 1: Egilsstaðir – Mývatn
Campsite: Hild Hostel
Alternative Hotel: Sel-Hotel Mývatn
This day, we headed to the town of Mývatn, stopping at quite a few stops along the way!
We had to bypass the Dettifoss waterfallsbecause some of the roads were closed (for those traveling during the winter, don’t forget to read our road safety tips).
If you’re traveling during the summer months, consider making a short detour to visit Europe’s second most powerful waterfalls, techpally advised.
The Námafjall geothermal area honestly felt like you were on another planet.
Although the sulfuric smell of rotten egg was stronger than ever, it was worth a quick visit.
Afterwards, we opted to visit the famous Mývatn Nature Baths. Aside from the Blue Lagoon, this is actually the second most popular man-made natural bath.
Although we loved the experience, we would have preferred the water to be a bit warmer, especially in the dead of winter.
They had a small 40 degree tub that fit about eight people, which was where we stayed for most of the afternoon.
Day 2: Mývatn – Blonduos
Camp: Gladheimar Cottages
Alternative Hotel: Hotel Blanda
Although it is easy to “fall off the waterfall”, trust me, you will be stopping every 30 minutes due to the number of falls you see along the way.
Whatever you do, don’t skip visiting Goðafoss. This was actually one of my favorites, mainly because there weren’t many people when we went.
It was also quite magical to see everything covered in patches of snow, said business pally boss.
On this day, you can choose to head to Akureyri and go on their famous whale watching tours (we left it last minute to book and everything was sold out!), or you can follow our itinerary.
The next part of the day is when it gets interesting: this is when Tom and I decided to look for these natural hot springs that we saw on a map.
After some googling, some hurdling (just kidding) and a few wrong turns, we finally made our way towards a river.
Surprisingly, no one else was there, which meant we had the hot springs to ourselves.
This was also probably due to the fact that it was COLDoutside, which meant that no one in their right mind would take off their jumpers and thermals to go into a hot thermal (sort of).
Although it was supposed to be a 37 degree hot spring, it was a little warm for our liking so we didn’t end up staying as long as we wanted.
While the directions on how to get there can be confusing, google how some people have illustrated step by step how to get there!
Day 3: Blonduos – Snæfellsjökull
Camping: The Freezer & Culture hostel
Alternative Hotel: Pension Við Hafið
On the third day, we headed to the Snæfellsjökull peninsula, which is an impressive journey.
In fact, we opted to go directly to the camp, since there was no time for sightseeing.
It was a cloudy and rainy day, but the scenery was still quite spectacular.
Snæfellsjökull is a 700,000-year-old glacier with a stratovolcano on top, located in western Iceland.It is a beautiful and remote area and is one of Iceland’s three National Parks.
It is also said to be one of the main forces energy in the world.
Day 4: Snæfellsjökull – Araknes
Camping: Araknes Camp or Reykjavik Camp
At this point, you can head to the Araknes camp or to Reykjavik.
Due to the proximity of Snæfellsjökull National Park to Reykjavik, you will most likely find some tour buses on day trips.
On the way to Araknes, we made a few stops including a trip to the Svörtuloft Lighthouse that looked like something out of a Wes Anderson movie.
The peninsula’s rugged coastline was a must see, and was definitely a great way to end our Ring Road trip.
We ended up being rewarded with one of the most beautiful sunsets ever.
Day 5: Araknes – Blue Lagoon – Reykjavik
On the last day, we had our last morning of coffee in the van before heading to the Blue Lagoon. Although it is very touristy, we loved it and thought it was worth it.
Tickets for the Blue Lagoon must be booked in advance, so decide this before you leave on your trip.
After our relaxation session at the Blue Lagoon, we headed back to Camp Easy to return our van.