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Old 09-26-2016, 08:10 PM
Location: Mtns of Waynesville,NC & Nokomis, FL
4,241 posts, read 8,087,515 times
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We were in Iceland for 13 days a month ago: drove the entire Ring Road plus ancillary roads to get to places the 'main' Ring Road does not go. We did 10 of those days driving the RR, et al, counter clockwise. We saw/photographed lots of great sights, vistas, towns, TTD, etc, but I know we missed many as well.

The various Iceland sites suggest the entire Ring Road can be driven in 10 days, and it can, but one will have to haul azz to do it in that time, and make choices on what to see, what to do, where to stay and how much distance to cover in each day, as we had to do.

Doable, but one would have to schedule carefully, not stop at too many great sights/sites, have 2nd driver(s), good weather and keep moving along. There are many sections of the RR that that go from nice to OK two lane blacktop to 'unimproved' roads, to washboard/gravel roads. Many of the side roads, or cut roads across the fjord peninsulas or ancillary roads to take one to an off the main road site or town, are also dirt, gravel, washboard roads.

It comes down to what one wants to see and do, as one could spend a couple days+ at each town/town area shooting pics in different light, eg morning and late afternoon light at any give sight, or a few hours in some of the towns' museums, and on and on... Distance covered will depend on one's stamina and how much one feels comfortable in doing a given distance each day.

Add in some remarkable sights along the RR as one drives, and another half to an hour is easily consumed looking, wandering and so forth...I/none of us can know what one would really like 'to see', and the Iceland sites portraying a Ring Road Drive offer so many interesting possibilities and options that it is very confusing to 'select' a few areas.

My picks would not be another's idea of TTD and see.

For a 'shorter time' on the RR, going either East and NE from Reykjavik toward Vik, Hof, Hofn, et al or the 'other side direction' of going clockwise toward Grundarfjörður, Snæfellsjökull & the Westfjords, one will be sharing the Road with many day trip/weekend drivers and dozens of tour buses. That isn't 'bad', but it can be 'crowded' at any good sight/site/stop. As will the hotels and one needs rez unless one is willing to risk sold out or sleeping in a dorm like hostel.

My point is once one is more NE of Hofn toward E Town or Akureyri, or NW toward the Westfjords and beyond, it can and will be 'crowded' at many sights and each town's few hotels can be full.

And, posters may disregard being in Reykjavik, but we only had two partial days/two nights there and probably could have done another full day, as we missed some stuff due to time constraints. That Reykjavik area looking/seeing will eat into one's RRoad driving time., but another day in Rey would have been good.

We like geology, geography, sights and vistas, unusual stuff, meeting local people etc., but even with careful planning and my wife and I doing some serious driving on some days, (2300 miles total), and I know we missed 'stuff'. Driving the perimeter of Iceland is distance-wise similar to driving the border of Ohio, but add in the Fjords up and back, and the much lower speeds, and the days are filled and the distances simply can't be covered if one wants to see/do stuff...

A remarkable island country with very friendly accommodating people both in the tourist trade and out in the boonies...
Breathtaking, but also breathtakingly pricey, imo, and a Ring Road tour is not for the casual driver or inexperienced driver, or for anyone with a concern for narrow, high altitude, mountain type roads.

Maybe more interests of yours would help me or others that have been there, to offer more defined and anecdotal suggestions.
GL, mD

A sampler of photos, sorting through the 20 Gb of pics we shot:

Our first sight of a finger of the enormous Vatna Glacier, on the Ring Road from Vik toward Hofn

Our trusty Dacia Duster, (made in Romania), a 4 cylinder turbo diesel, 6 spd manual. It was driven hard but never blinked or lost its composure

Stone shack, 30 miles from anywhere on Rt 61 toward Isafjordor

Iceberg lagoon, Jokulsarton near Hof

Dyjandi Falls, in the north Westfjords, far from the tour buses and day rides

Four Mile one lane tunnel toward the north tip, aka 66 degs north latitude

Road carving along fjord on Rt 61 toward Isafjordor

Helicopter ride over the melt water rivers from Vatna glacier

a finger of Vatna Glacier

Aerial shot during a helicopter ride over the volcanic area near the Vatna Glacier

Latrabjarg Cliffs, far west end of Westfjords
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Old 09-27-2016, 07:03 AM
Location: SE WI
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Motordavid, excellent informative review and stunning pictures. Just updated my bucket list. Thank you!
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Old 09-27-2016, 07:58 AM
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Dacia Dusters are maybe stout but incredibly ugly. It's a very popular model in France, particularly in its *stinky*-I mean diesel-version. One would have to pay me to get caught riding in such a vehicle.
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Old 09-27-2016, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by pigeonhole View Post
Dacia Dusters are maybe stout but incredibly ugly. It's a very popular model in France, particularly in its *stinky*-I mean diesel-version. One would have to pay me to get caught riding in such a vehicle.
why would you care if you're on vacation in Iceland? Cheap, comfortable, reliable, fuel efficient and 4WD. No BMW but very serviceable.
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Old 09-29-2016, 09:35 AM
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Photos are unbelievable! Gorgeous! Thanks for the information too. I'm currently looking into a base accommodation, where I can go 2 hours either way to sightsee or just stay in local area. I'm not sure exactly where to I want to base myself though. I'm on a budget so I'm not planning to stay in hotels.

Do you think hiking areas in the south, around Hofn will be snowy in late May?
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Old 10-06-2016, 12:43 PM
Location: Mtns of Waynesville,NC & Nokomis, FL
4,241 posts, read 8,087,515 times
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GOOG is your friend...weather this past May in Hofn:
Hofn May Weather 2016 - AccuWeather Forecast for Eastern Region Iceland

Like anywhere, it is mostly about altitude. Hofn is at sea level, (big ocean is cold, but tempers sea level areas), and going up in altitude will provide for snow. We saw snow in August at higher elevations.

Fwiw, have ridden a m'cycle through a CO/MT/WY snowstorm in July, on several occasions...it is really altitude dependent. But, the drive from Rey to Vik to Hof to Hofn was quite green at sea level and normal/lower elevations in our August trip; green as in Ireland Green, but lighter green color.

Two hours by car, even on some slow sections of RingRoad or ancillary roads can get one a decent distance, if one goes Pt A to Pt B without too many sights/sites stops.

There are several towns/places to 'base' oneself, but most/all are on perimeter of country: Rey, Vik, Hof, Hofn, Djúpivogur and other small towns in East, a few in NE, Akureyri in North, and a few in NW and West Fjords area.

Getting to one or more 'base' areas takes some serious driving though, if one is going very far east, north or west...
That is mostly why we kept moving every day or so, to see more stuff.

There are many other options besides 'hotels'; those other choices just weren't in our menu.

GOOG Map of country:

Some more pics to entice you, Reykjavik to Vik, to Hofn.

Glad to offer more of my 50Cts opins, but easier to respond to specifics...
GL, mD

River & Rapids, RingRoad to Hof

Sod House

Dyrhólaey arch, near Vik, pronounced 'deer holly'

Pinnacles on Black Sand Beach/Reynisfara

Reynisfara and Pinnacles, Vik looking South
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