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Are you gearing up for an unforgettable road trip around Iceland? Fantastic choice! Embarking on a journey through this breathtaking country requires careful planning, and here are some essential factors to consider.

  1. Budgetary Considerations: Campervan vs. Self-Drive

Before hitting the road, assess your budget. Campervans and self-drive options cater to different preferences. While campervans offer a more affordable choice, self-drive provides flexibility and comfort. We opted for self-drive to explore all corners of Iceland, including the northern region, particularly during the colder months.

Campervans, though convenient, can be restricted on certain roads due to weather conditions. Additionally, Iceland's hotels themselves are experiences worth savoring, especially after a day of exploration.

Our decision to choose self-drive was influenced by the nature of our trip—a mother-daughter adventure. Finding campervans with two beds posed a challenge. Plus, the allure of a hot shower after a day of hiking sealed the deal.

  1. The Perks of Self-Drive:

Self-drive in Iceland offers the freedom to craft your schedule. We had specific goals—chasing waterfalls, exploring glaciers, and witnessing the northern lights. Designing our self-drive itinerary allowed us to accomplish these goals, often engaging in nighttime activities such as relaxing in the hot springs.

  • Flexible Schedule: Design your itinerary to align with your specific goals, whether it's chasing waterfalls, exploring glaciers, or witnessing the northern lights. We tailored our self-drive to accomplish these goals, allowing us to engage in nighttime activities such as visiting the Hot Springs in Myvatn.
  • Unique Hotels: Icelandic hotels are more than just places to stay; they are experiences in themselves. Each hotel boasts a distinctive character and culture, often incorporating eco-friendly practices. Elevating the stay further, staying in a hotel comes with an added perk of a Northern Lights wake-up call. Now, you can truly rest, knowing you won't miss the mesmerizing Northern Lights in the Icelandic night sky. Some notable mentions from our journey include:
    • Sigló Hótel: Our all-time favorite, located by the water with breathtaking mountain views. The rooms feature beautiful window seats, providing a perfect spot to sip tea and soak in the scenery. 

      • 1001 Notts: A family-owned gem where we met the passionate female owner, Christian. The rooms reflected her dedication, and the hotel offered delightful dinner and breakfast options. Don't miss out on the outdoor hot tubs under the stars.
      • Eyja Guldsmeden in Reykjavik: Bursting with vibrant colors, this hotel mirrors the lively spirit of Reykjavik. Embracing an eco-friendly lifestyle, they provide unique amenities like chewable toothpaste.
      • Fosshotel Myvatn: A noteworthy mention goes to Fosshotel Myvatn, where our journey reached a crescendo with a 2 am wake-up call to witness the Northern Lights. This location, surrounded by the mystical beauty of Myvatn, added a celestial touch to our Icelandic adventure.

3.Navigating Icelandic Roads: Tips for a Smooth Journey

As you embark on your road trip adventure through the enchanting landscapes of Iceland, it's crucial to keep some road-side tips in mind to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey.

                   

    • Embrace the Scenic Drive: One cardinal rule on Icelandic roads – don't speed. Speed limit cameras are strategically placed along the roads, ready to capture any overzealous drivers and hand out hefty fines. Besides, why rush? The beauty of reaching your destination lies not just in the endpoint but in the breathtaking scenery along the way. Take your time, savor the landscapes, and enjoy the journey.

                   

  • Rely on Reliable Navigation: While technology is a great ally, it's wise to be prepared. Ensure you have a GPS device and download a map before hitting the road. While useful in many places, Google Maps may not be entirely dependable in all regions of Iceland, especially in remote areas where you might lose cellular service. Our downloaded map became a lifesaver, guiding us in the old-school way. A tip passed down from my mom, who thankfully taught me how to read a map. 
  • Stay Informed on Road Conditions: Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to Icelandic roads. Check the road conditions regularly, as weather can be unpredictable. Iceland provides a helpful website, is, which updates you on icy roads or closures due to adverse weather. We learned this advice midway through our trip and avoided a closed road, adding only an extra hour to our journey instead of potentially doubling the travel time with a backtrack.
  • Assess the Terrain: A funny anecdote from our journey highlights the importance of assessing terrain. At a crossroads in the north, faced with a choice between a 2-hour and a 1-hour drive to our hotel, we opted for the shorter route, wondering why anyone would choose the longer one. Our laughter turned to tension as we navigated a freshly snowed mountain with no safety rails or lights. Lesson learned. Subsequently, we began checking satellite views to anticipate such challenges and reduce stress on the road.

Conclusion

Equipped with these roadside tips, your Icelandic adventure promises to be not just a journey but an experience filled with awe-inspiring landscapes and memorable moments. Embark on your self-drive adventure and immerse yourself in the wonders of Iceland, where every turn reveals a new and breathtaking landscape. Safe travels!

 

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