Today I’m excited to welcome a guest post from the awesome team at Outdoorsy! If you follow me on social media then you will know I’m kind of obsessed with the idea of van life – Outdoorsy allows me to live my dream without commiting to 1 continent. The site is an online RV rental marketplace that connects RV owners with potential renters to provide a new way to travel, and a new source of income for owners so everyone wins!
If you’re keen on exploring in your own portable home then keep reading …
Two of the biggest reasons for heading out on an RV road trip are to experience the adventure, and to escape to unique places that can be difficult if not impossible to visit otherwise. Iceland is one of those rare places on the planet where you can do both, and do it in a reasonable amount of time. Here are 7 reasons why all RVers must include Iceland in their road trip bucket list.
Glaciers and Ice Caves
No trip to a place called Iceland would make much sense without seeing some ice. Fortunately, Iceland is home to some of the most beautiful ice formations in the world. From massive glaciers to mesmerizing ice tunnels, Iceland has it all.
The Northern Lights
Iceland is located adjacent to the Arctic Circle, which makes it excellent for viewing the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis). The proximity to the arctic circle also means that the sun never fully sets in the peak summer months. Given that, Northern Light viewing is best done in the winter. You will also want to get away from the light produced by the major cities. That makes RV travel a great way to see the Northern Lights during your trip.
The Blue Lagoon
This is perhaps one of the most iconic attractions in all of Iceland. As one of the 25 natural wonders of the world it is also one of the most unique swimming locations in the world. This pool is a geothermal spa that averages around 100º F year-round. The minerals present in the water impart it with a surreal blue tone. There is more to the area then just the water, there are many facilities here from a spa to hotels and restaurants designed to provide the ultimate destination for relaxation.
Diving & Snorkeling
After bathing in the 100-degree waters of the Blue Lagoon you may be looking for a way to cool off. Look no further than the Silfra Fisher dive site which is consistently rated one of the top 10 dive sites in the world. Located in the Thingvellir National Park, this is a rare spot where it is possible to snorkel along a crack in the Earth’s crust. The water is usually incredibly clear with visibilities of up to 100 meters (328 feet). Of course, the temperature of the water is quite low, normally between 2º C and 4º C (35º – 39º F) so special gear is needed to dive or snorkel this area. That gear can be rented locally and guided tours are also available.
Hiking and Cycling
Hiking and cycling are both big activities in Iceland. There are hundreds of miles of hiking trails through the country ranging from easy to strenuous. For cyclists, cycling tours are quite popular. One of the most popular routes is route 1 which circles the perimeter of the island. Known as “The Ring”, this 1332 km (827 mi) route is relatively easy. For a more challenging ride and more diverse scenery, head inland where the terrain becomes more mountainous. For the hikers, trails range from simple to exceptionally difficult and can cover flat terrain, mountains, glaciers, caves and ice tunnels.
Volcanoes and Geysers
Located on the junction of two tectonic plates, Iceland sits atop an area where massive amounts of heat are generated as those plates move. That heat comes the surface in the forms of hot springs, geysers and volcanoes. In fact, Iceland has one of highest concentrations of geothermal features in the world which allows 85% if Icelandic homes to be heated by geothermal heat and 27% of the entire country’s energy comes from geothermal sources. There are currently over 30 active volcanic areas in Iceland. There are many tour operators that provide exceptionally informative formal tours of these areas. You can also visit them on your own.
The Golden Circle
The Golden Circle is a road route through southern Iceland which ties all of the above together into one neat RV road trip bundle. The route is about 190 miles long and begins and ends in Reykjavik. Located on the opposite end of the loop is the other major city on the route, Gulfos. By following this route and taking side trips most of the items on this list can be seen.
Iceland is a beautiful island nation with exceptional and unique natural features, cities and culture. There truly is something here for everyone. So, if you are into unique culture or food, outdoor activities, natural wonders or are just looking for a great place to relax then Iceland should be on your road trip bucket list.