Route 1-Ring Road
- This article is an itinerary.
Route 1, also known as the Ring Road, is the major highway in Iceland connecting most of the towns, including Reykjavík, the capital and only city. It is 830 miles long (1330 km) and goes through the fjords, mountains, plateaus and flat land. Because Route 1 is the only road connecting east to west in Iceland, travelers should take precautions when crossing the country. The road is not yet completely paved with occasional gravel sections from Myvatn to Hofn. Akureyri to Egilsstaðir is regarded as the most remote part of the Ring Road and commonly closed at times in winter. The roads are in good condition so getting around the country safely is an easy task in the summer time. For traveling along the Ring Road you should reserve at least 5 days.
Some of the sights listed in this itinerary are part of a smaller ring route, so called Golden circle, a day trip from Reykjavík.
For visitors from abroad, there are in practice two ways for getting in. If you wish to bring your own vehicle, Smyril Line has a weekly sailing (none during the winter) from Hirtshals, Denmark to Seyðisfjörður at the eastern end of the country. Otherwise, fly into Reykjavik like most visitors do, and rent a one there.
Of course if that vehicle is a bicycle, it can probably be transported on board your plane for an extra fee.
There are many videos on YouTube that can prepare you well for a road trip around Iceland. If you're too lazy to watch them, just know this: whenever you come upon something unexpected, slow down. Or maybe even stop.
In case you have internet access while traveling, it is worth checking the website of the Icelandic Road Administration . It provides detailed information about overall road conditions, temperature, wind speed and direction and the traffic density almost in real time and also history for the past 48 hours.
More detailed weather information, including the forecast, issued warnings and Aurora borealis forecast is available at the Icelandic Meteorological Office website.
Map stops are located around the country to assist tourists with nearby landmarks and local maps. Information about road signs, current traffic conditions, and a detailed road map can be found at the Iceland Traffic Council .
If you plan on driving outside the Route 1-Ring Road be sure to know what you are doing. Using under-equipped cars on bad roads can turn ugly very fast.
- Highway Emergency: 112
- Road conditions: +354 563-1500
- Search and Rescue: +354 570-5900