Iceland should be on top of your bucket list for multiple reasons. Whether you just need to take a break from the crazy city life or soak yourself in the wilderness, Iceland is just the perfect spot on the map to be pointing at.
RENTING A CAMPER VAN COULD BE THE BEST EXPERIENCE OF YOUR LIFE.
There are different options you can choose from for visiting this amazing Scandinavian country. Nobody can tell you what the best way is, but renting a camper van is surely one of the best ones. There are multiple companies that rent out camper vans and Happy Campers is certainly the best one we could have opted for. We rented a Happy 1 camper van which is the perfect one to go for if you are a couple.
OUR EXPERIENCE WITH HAPPY CAMPERS.
Happy Campers are super friendly and they gave us a map with all the camping sites still open in October. They explained us all we needed to go for starting what became the most beautiful adventure of our life. What I can recommend is getting an inverter for charging your phones and cameras and wifi for a sum of 60 euros all together. We think Happy Campers was the best company to choose because the camper van comes with a heating system. If you decide to visit a Scandinavian country during the autumn/winter season, you will absolutely need a heating system. Keep your feet warm for the night and your stay in your new mobile home will just be perfect!
10 DAYS IS THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF DAYS FOR SEEING THE ICELANDIC BEAUTY.
We did not plan our itinerary in advance. When you are super busy with work and you decide at the last minute to just go, you just leave. And when the day finally comes, you start asking yourself what to see. We read a few itineraries during our first night stay in the airport. We had 10 days booked and I think it is just the right amount of day you need if you want to ride the Ring Road from East to West, South to North. We decided to start our itinerary with the South part of Iceland. If you only have 5 days, I would recommend to do the South part. There is so much to see and it was the one that totally blew me away.
THE BLUE LAGOON: A MUST ON YOUR BUCKET LIST.
First stop for us was the Blue Lagoon. Do not miss the Blue Lagoon but do it on the first or last day of your trip. Some people think it is a touristic place and way too expensive. You can find some natural geothermal pools along the Ring Road and enjoy them as much or even more. But Blue Lagoon is that one must that has to be on your bucket list. Just book a standard ticket and bring your own towel from home to save a bit of money.
THINGVELLIR NATIONAL PARK: SPEND YOUR NIGHT IN THE WILDERNESS.
We decided to stop at Thingvellir National Park for the night. Unfortunately you can’t camp for free anywhere, unless you arrive late at night and leave early in the morning. We spent around 10 euros every time we stopped to a campsite. Thingvellir National Park is a beautiful place where you can feel freedom and breath that lightheartedness that distinguishes city from nature.
MEET SOME SPECIAL FRIENDS ON THE WAY TO GEYSIR AND GULLFOSS.
From Thingvellir Park you can reach Geysir and Gullfoss. Two main attractions that you can’t miss! How many times do you hear about geysers and you just start picturing them in your mind? Once you see them with your eyes, you fully understand the real strength of nature. And Gullfoss is another place that will blow your mind away. It is famous for being the biggest waterfall and it won’t disappoint you at all! And if you are lucky enough, you will meet some horse friends on the way. Give them some candies and take a memory shot with them. 3, 2, 1, click!
SKOGAFOSS: WHERE TO SPEND THE NIGHT BEFORE DIAMOND BEACH.
We spent the night in Skogafoss. You can park your ‘home’ in front of this waterfall and have a stunning view to admire when you wake up in the morning. From Skogafoss, we went to Diamond Beach.
The most beautiful place I have ever been to. It is unreal.
You can’t even believe that such a place exists for real. You see these huge pieces of ice that look like diamonds. A truly outstanding expanse of diamonds. We went in the afternoon but decided to go back early in the morning too. If you can, just go early in the morning. You will have the place for yourself and you can sit admiring the incredible view for as long as you want, alone, wild and free.
EAST AND NORTH OF ICELAND FROM THE RING ROAD
We visited the East part which is a mix of Irish and Scottish landscapes and stopped a lot along the journey. That’s the best thing about traveling on a camper van. You can decide whenever to stop and enjoy every bit of the journey. We stayed at Holasandur, the highest desert in Iceland for the night, on our way to the north. It was cold but definitely worth it. It is the perfect spot if you want to visit Myvatn, the volcanic lake in Northern Iceland.
After that, we went to see Akureyri, the second biggest city in Iceland with its fancy traffic lights that show a red heart instead of the typical red circle. How cool is that? You feel love is in the air, despite of the cold.
NORTHERN LIGHTS WILL STAY FOREVER.
We decided to visit Reykjavik on our last day. It is a beautiful city. But you already start missing the wilderness and freedom you can have while traveling along the ring road. Reykjavik is not Iceland. It is a city out of the blue. If you truly want to know what Iceland is, rent a camper van and ride the Ring Road.
Savour the deserts, the mountains, the geothermal pools, the geysers, the waterfalls and the northern lights. Check the website, get informed about the Northern lights and go to a place out of the city. Savour the sensations you feel when you finally see those green dancing lights. Do not worry about the money you spent for this journey.
“The money comes and goes, the memory of the Aurora Borealis stays forever.”
By Giorgia Ascia from @giorgis_journey
SOME USEFUL LINKS:
For renting your camper van: https://happycampers.is/
For checking on the Northern Lights: http://en.vedur.is/weather/forecasts/aurora/
For drinking one of the best hot chocolates ever in Akureyri: https://www.facebook.com/blaakannan/