In Photos: A Road Trip of North Iceland
When planning my first trip to Iceland, I discovered that many travelers, especially those with just a few days, spend most of their time in South Iceland. This is in part because it’s the location of Iceland’s main international airport, Keflavik Airport, located just outside of Iceland’s capital and largest city, Reykjavik. But to be fair, South Iceland is where many of Iceland’s best things to do, like the Blue Lagoon, and most beautiful road trip routes, like the Golden Circle are.
However, as I talked to friends who’d spent considerable time in Iceland, I kept hearing a lot about North Iceland. Although the drive to North Iceland from Reykjavik is long, and on that drive, there isn’t that much to see and do, once you get to North Iceland, it’s like a whole other country. In North Iceland, travelers are met with dramatic coastline, rugged mountains, unique landscapes, far fewer cars and Europe’s most powerful waterfall. Sign me up!
Though I loved my time in South Iceland, exploring the Golden Circle, going to the Blue Lagoon and seeing what felt like a million waterfalls, I actually enjoyed North Iceland far more. And that’s without even going to the Westfjords, which is billed as the most beautiful region in Iceland. Often, we’d be driving around North Iceland for what felt like ages, without seeing a single other soul, with the exception of sheep, or those beautiful Icelandic horses, grazing by the road. North Iceland’s landscape just felt so much more dramatic, off-the-beaten-path and uniquely Icelandic.
One of my favorite memories was driving from Siglufjörður, the small fishing town where we stayed at, and driving through a long one-lane tunnel (although it had numerous turnouts). A one-lane tunnel! In most parts of the world, something like a one-lane tunnel on a major highway couldn’t exist because of dense population and traffic. But not in North Iceland. What’s more, upon entering and exiting, we were met with sweeping views of the North Atlantic Ocean. It felt like Big Sur on steroids!
But enough talk about North Iceland. Below, check out some of my favorite photos from road tripping around North Iceland.