A week around Iceland

A week around Iceland

Volcanoes, ice, whales, and 100% green electricity.

Did you know Iceland produces 100% of its electricity from renewable energy sources?

Did you know the most breathtaking scenes of Game of Thrones, Alien, or James Bond were shot here?

Still not convinced? Then just have a look at these pictures.

Join us in this intense but pure escapism 1.600km – 7 days tour

Highlight

  • Climb a volcano and relax in turquoise colored natural bath in Mývatn
  • Marvel at the Dettifoss, Skogafoss, Gullfoss and several other incredible waterfalls
  • Meet a puffin colony at Borgarfjörður Eystri
  • Hike on the Jökulsárlón glacier
  • Tour the bars around the clock in Reykjavik under the midnight sun

Where to charge

For advice and practical tips on how to travel with an electric vehicle in Iceland, we have a complete article Visiting Iceland with an EV – The Ultimate Guide.

Sleepless nights – From Rekjavic to Akureyn

Unless you decide to reach the island using the 72 hours-long ferry connection from Denmark, you will probably start your journey at Keflavik international airport located 40km (24 miles) outside the capital city Reykjavik.
 
If you arrive in the afternoon at Keflavik International airport we suggest to spend the first night in Reykjavik, 40 min away, to start your journey the next day fresh and rested. This is also an excuse to test the highly praised capital’s dining and bar scene. There are so many options that we cannot recommend a place, so just do it like most of us and simply wander around to meet the locals in one of their favorite activities.
If you visit the country in Summer, the sun never goes down at this latitude, giving the impression of a late afternoon as we pass midnight. You can take advantage of this amazing light to combine both sightseeing and bar hopping.
Reykjavik has accommodation options for all budgets. We recommend Grand hotel Reykjavik located a few streets away from the city center and equipped with a guest charging station.
 
EV tip – Before you start

–  Most car rental agencies have a shop there with several offering electric options, making it easy to find a vehicle that fits your needs and budget. Iceland is a vast, cold, mountainous and scarcely populated country making it a good challenge for EVs so make sure to select a vehicle with at least 200km range.

– The national electricity company ON Power has created a network of more than 60 public charging points all around the island with the vast majority located on the Rind Road. It will be very useful as there are very few fast charging points outside this network. Most rental car companies will provide you an access card but if you don’t get one, make sure your eMSP has a roaming agreement.

Go North – Reykjavik to Akureyri

Distance from Reykjavik to Akureyri: 250km (approx. 5 hours – 150 miles)
 
Our suggestion, visit the Island clockwise. It is in our opinion the best way to do it since the scenery will get more and more dramatic as you drive East. Who wants to know that the best day of the trip was yesterday?
 
Exit the city and head North toward Borgarbyggð. You will spend most of your trip on Road 1 or the Ring Road that circles the country in over 1330km (826 miles) making navigation extremely easy. The first stretch of Road 1 follows the Island’s rugged coastline in a series of bridges and tunnels. Past Borgarbyggð, human presence will get more sparse so make sure you buy everything you need in this calm village. You can also make a stop at the local museum dedicated to the first human settlement on this island.
 
From this point, you will have the possibility to take Road 54 to visit the Snæfellsnes peninsula expanding westward in the Atlantic ocean. It is said to be Iceland in miniature with a mix of volcanoes, cliffs, and fishing villages. This special place is said to have inspired Jules Vernes to write his novel Journey to the Center of the Earth. Consider taking an additional day if you choose this option.
 

The landscape slowly opens up to vast expanses of rolling hills, grazed by local sheep, a place that could remind you of the Scottish Highlands. Further East, the hills become mountains as the road winds along wild rivers to finally arrive in the outskirts of Akureyri, Iceland’s second largest city.

 
A good option is Guesthouse Akurinn, a lovely wooden house with a lot of flair. The owner let guests plug their car to the utility room at the back of the hotel. Akureyr is famous for its dining scene. We recommend Strikid for its wonderful panorama over the Eyjafjördur Fjord. The food is fresh and delicious while on the expensive side even for the country.

Lake, volcanoes and steam – Akureyri to Mývatn

Distance from Akureyri to Mývatn: 100km (approx. 2 hours – 60 miles)
 
The second day is less intensive in terms of distance but you will discover some of the most diverse landscapes the island has to offer. Start on Road 1 heading East toward the Mývatn lake, created by a volcanic eruption 2300 years ago. On the way to the lake don’t forget to stop at the very picturesque Goðafoss, the first large cascade from this trip. It is a short hike from the visitor center parking and is ideal for stretching one’s legs.
                                                                          Goðafoss

The Mývatn region is an area where the island’s volcanic nature is the most visible. You could easily spend several days there. Our top 4:

  • Climbing to the top of Hverfjall, a volcano cinder cone with a breathtaking 360 degrees view over the lake and lava fields
  • Walking around Hverir rainbow colored steaming mud pots
  • Hiking to Krafla deep blue caldera lake and lava fields
  • Relaxing in the turquoise colored Mývatn Nature Baths.

After a long day of hike and drive, reward yourself with an evening at the Mývatn Nature Baths. The warm turquoise blue water can be enjoyed year-round.

 
Fosshótel Mývatn located on the lake’s northern shore is our favorite. Fosshotel is an Icelandic hotel chain with sophisticated modern design and exceptionally well-integrated in the landscape. Part of their green credentials is to offer charging stations. It is not for all budgets but you will be blown away by the view over the lava fields from the morning breakfast table.

Far from planet Earth – Mývatn to Egilsstaðir

Distance from Mývatn to Egilsstaðir: 180km (approx. 3 hours – 110 miles)

The next 200km are some of the most surreal the Ring Road has to offer. You start your journey surrounded by lush green fields but as you drive East, the scenery slowly turns into a barren landscape that would not be out of place on Mars, saved from the few spots of neon green moss.
A few kilometers after leaving Mývatn, turn left to Dettifoss. Iceland’s largest cascade can only be described with superlatives. Its surrounding lava formation made of hexagonal rock blocks has been the shooting location from many Hollywood blockbusters such as Alien – Prometheus or Oblivion. The falls, hidden in a canyon appear to the visitor at the last moment, making the impression even greater.
DettifossDettifoss
A few kilometers after leaving Mývatn, turn left to Dettifoss. Iceland’s largest cascade can only be described with superlatives. Its surrounding lava formation made of hexagonal rock blocks has been the shooting location from many Hollywood blockbusters such as Alien – Prometheus or Oblivion. The falls, hidden in a canyon appear to the visitor at the last moment, making the impression even greater.

Top tip

If your schedule allows it, take advantage of the summer Midnight sun to visit the place when the crowds of visitors have left the site. It only makes it more majestic.

Come back on the main road and continue your trip East. There are several attractions on the way but you can also only stop for photo shooting or sit down and enjoy the view.

A few kilometers outside of Egilsstaðir are the Völk Bath.Völk Bath

They are made of floating pools on a large lake. If they are not as striking as the deep blue bath from Myvatn, their very modern design makes it an ideal place to relax after a long day.

Vinland Guesthouse offers cute little pods on a hill overlooking the city. It is closer to a camping experience than a luxury resort but you will feel close to nature.                                                           

Were to charge
 
All pods are equipped with blue camping plug socket allowing for an overnight charge if your car is provided with an adapter.

North to South – Egilsstaðir to Hofn (with a loop to Borgarfjörður Eystri)

Distance from Egilsstaðir to Hofn: 250 km (approx. 3h – 155 miles), add 200 km (120 miles) and 3h if you take the optional route to Borgarfjörður Eystri.
 
The East coast is renowned for its myriad of fishing villages cozily nested between the mountains and the ocean. A nice option if your schedules allow it is to visit Borgarfjörður Eystri. This isolated fishing village is located on an idyllic landscape on the Northern East point of the island and is a must see.
 
It is a good starting point for hiking, horse riding, and bird watching, a giant rock right next to the harbor being the home of a puffin colony.
You can consider adding a day to your trip to make that loop.
 
Good to know 
 

There is no way out of the peninsula other than driving back to Egilsstaðir. Luckily, a fast charging point from the national network ON is located in the town’s main retail area, giving visitors the opportunity to buy groceries for the next days. Don’t forget to buy everything you need because there will be nothing but a few farms for the next 250 km before Hofn.

On the way to Hofn, you have the option to visit a couple of fishing villages located outside of the main road but most of them are detours. If you already spent a good chunk of the day in the Northern peninsula, you can take a shortcut by the Öxipass, a narrow mountain gravel road cutting 40km of coastal drive. We would love to describe the majestic scenery but the road was covered with a thick layer of fog allowing us to only see the next 30m around us. What you’ll miss on the pass, you will definitely get back as soon as you hit the coastal road back. There, the local mountains dive directly into the ocean, leaving only a few strips of land for the road to pass.
 
It doesn’t look like it but Hofn is the largest town in this part of the island, almost a city. It is a good base to organize various guided tours on the glacier or simply enjoy the local food scene. ON has a fast charging point in
the town center. Old Airline Guesthouse is a simple but elegant place.
 
                                                                            Höfn

Glacier exploration – Hofn to Vik

Distance from Hofn to Vik: 250 km (approx. 3h – 155 miles)
 
An hour away from Hofn and located directly on the Ring Road sits the famous Jökulsárlón glacier and lagoon. You have probably never heard of it but you have already seen this very photogenic place on Instagram several times. One of the unique features of this glacier is that as it descends from the icy peaks, it breaks into thousands of deep-blue ice blocks floating on the lagoon before ending up into the ocean. The glacier’s crystal clear ice often lands on the nearby black sand beach making a striking contrast. Diamond Beach can get busy at the tourist season but you won’t resist having a walk around one of these Mother Nature’s artworks on display in the black sand.
 

Most of the activities in the area are related to the glacier: climbing it, exploring it from inside, walking on it, …

We recommend a walking tour with Glacier Adventure. They also drive electric and offer visitors to recharge at the base camp during the 3 hours hike. Walking on the ice between crevices while being surrounded by the black mountains is a marvelous experience. For the most adventurous, a day trip on the top of the mountain is advised. Make sure to allow 2 days if you want to organize a longer trip on the glacier.
Located 45 min away from the main glacier is the Svartifoss, a 12m high falls on dark basalt rocks. It takes 30 minute to walk from the parking at the bottom of the mountain but the path is well maintained and accessible for most.
 
                                                                 Svartifoss
 
Continue East on the Ring Road to Vik. Vik is the perfect outpost for exploring the Southern Coast and offers many accommodations and restaurant options. For beer lovers, we advise a visit to the local microbrewery Smiðjan Brugghús and indulge yourselves with one of their amazing burgers. From the place, you can walk to the beach and observe the famous Reynisdrangar Seastacks.
 
                                                                             Vik
 
A good place for the night, Guesthouse Vellir, a cottage nested in the Icelandic prairie. This family run business kindly offers to plug guests’ cars on the garden outlet for a nightly top up.

Hot springs and sightseeing – Vik to Reykjavik via Geysir

Distance from Vik to Reykjavik: 200 km (approx. 3h – 120 miles)

The last leg of this journey will take you back to the capital city with a glimpse of the Golden Circle and quick dip into a well-hidden natural hot spring. Take the 1 along the coast for approximately an hour before heading inland to a town called Fludir. There, nestled in the rolling hills you will find Hruni Hot Spring. This tiny place sits on a private property that consists of a cute subterranean barn, a locker room, and two tiny pools filled with 37° crystal clear water from the local natural hot spring. Being alone in the middle of lush nature with the comfort of our own stone bathtub feels like a dream. To enjoy it, make sure you come outside of the rush hour, and don’t forget to tip the owner for maintaining the place and above all, to keep this gem open to the public.
 
From there, it takes 30 minutes to reach Geysir. The Golden Circle, with its mix of waterfalls, cliffs and spouting geysers is known to be a miniature version of Iceland and due to its proximity to the capital city, a very popular place.
 
At Geysir, you can expect the Earth’s crust to spit water 10m (30 feet) high in the air like clockwork.
You can resume the route towards the capital city. The road passes by Þingvellir National Park, Iceland’s birthplace from a geological and spiritual way since this is both where the American and European continents split but also where the country saw its first Parliament (and the world too in the 10th Century AD). The most adventurous can snorkel in the glacial water in the riff at Silfra and witness the tectonic plates spreading apart at 10 cm per year. You can also take it easy with a walk along the beautiful lake that sits in the middle of the park.

Reykjavik

Back to Reykjavik. No car is needed here, the city size makes most places accessible by foot. You cannot leave the country without trying traditional food specialties.
 

The irony is that the best place to find Icelandic traditional cuisine is not the countryside but in the capital city since the rest of the sparsely populated island has limited dining options, almost making you think that burgers are the national dish.

 
The choice of hotels is plentiful in Reykjavik if you avoid the high season, with a full network of public on-street chargers available all across the city center for convenient overnight charging.
 
EV charging:
Virta stations are available at several locations in the city. Payment should be supported by most charging cards from your local car rental agency.
 

Our recommended addresses

Car rental

Located at Keflavik International Airport and in the capital city, Geysir lists several electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles at attractive prices.
 

Where to stay

Reykjavik
Grand hotel Reykjavik 4 stars – From 110€ – 2 charging points
Hilton Reykjavik Nordica 4 stars – From 200€ – 2 charging points
Akureyri
Hotel Akureyri Residence 3 stars – From 100€
Myvatn
Fosshotel Myvatn 3 starts – From 110€ – 2 charging points
Egilsstaðir
Vinland Guesthouse 2 stars – From 50€
Höfn
Old Airline Guesthouse 2 stars – From 90€
Vik
Guesthouse Vellir 3 stars – From 100€
 

Activities

Natural hot bath
Myvatn – Myvatn natural bath – From 45€
Egilsstaðir – Völk Bath
Fludir – Fludir hot springs
 
Glacier exploration
 
Where to charge
For advice and practical tips on how to travel with an electric vehicle in Iceland, we have a complete article about visiting Iceland with an EV.
 

The route

EDITOR'S PICK

Visiting France with your EV – The ultimate guide

Ultimate guide to visit France with your EV. We list all the things you need to know to travel in France and find places to charge

A 7-Day Scenic Wyoming Road Trip

A fun-filled EV adventure exploring one of America’s most beautiful state

A 5 days trip to the Isle of Skye

A 400 miles journey to discover Scotland’s most emblematic island

r3charge News

New products, new features, and our opinion on the EV industry

EV News

Our take on the EV industry develpment

EV Glossary

What does DC, Type 2 or PHEV mean? We answer all your questions

ABOUT US

r3charge is the first hotel reservation website that helps travelers with electric vehicles to find their perfect accommodation. We provide detailed information on more than 10.000 hotels offering charging facilities for guests or access to public charging stations.
A pioneer in sustainable travel, r3charge supports the electric vehicle revolution by offering and promoting EV-friendly properties worldwide… read more

Interested?

We offer you the best hotels with EV charge opportunities!

Get a quote

If you want to get a free consultation without any obligations, fill in the form below and we'll get in touch with you.