You guys know how much I love the ring road and how I think it’s such an amazing way to experience a trip in Iceland. But what happens if you want to get a little bit off the beaten path? Or maybe you have some extra time in your itinerary and you want to go exploring. That’s what we’re talking about today, friends.
Hey, team Iceland. Welcome back to my channel. My name is Jeannie and I am here to help you plan the best trip ever to Iceland. And if you haven’t subscribed to my channel already, make sure to do that before heading off this video because every week I release a new video about Iceland planning and I don’t want you to miss any of the information. Today we are talking about the five best detours that you can take off the ring road to enhance your Iceland experience. Let’s get into it.
So, the first place is Vestmannaeyjar or the Westman Islands. So, this is actually a series of islands off the south coast of Iceland. And in order to get there, you need to take a ferry or a flight across. So, this could easily be done in a day or you could spend a few days walking around the island. One tip though is, I wouldn’t usually travel there year round. I would highly suggest visiting this area between say, May until October.
The next detour off the ring road would be Þórsmörk. And this is part of the highlands or the interior part of Iceland. In order to access this area, you do need a four wheel drive or you need to arrange for transportation with some kind of tour company that can get you in there. Because it’s quite a rough road and you do have to cross some rivers. Þórsmörk is a beautiful area for exploring and an absolute paradise for hiking. However, you can only access Þórsmörk in the summer months. So, typically only between June till September.
Next up is my personal favorite town in Iceland and the most adorable city you’ve ever seen. And that is Seyðisfjörður. So, this is a small village in the east of Iceland and it has some of the most adorable houses that you’ve ever seen. And did you know that a scene from Walter Mitty was filmed in this very village? I just love this town so much. Obviously the iconic rainbow road with the adorable church at the end. But also make time to explore around the area. Walking around the lake and maybe even going for a hike. Because this is only a twenty-minute jaunt of the ring road, I highly recommend adding this to your itinerary at any time of the year.
However, because you have to take a mountain pass to get there and wind down this crazy windy road into the fjord valley, there are times of the year where it will not be accessible to get there. So, I would say anywhere from November until March you might not be able to drive down into Seyðisfjörður. Always be checking road.is for the latest road conditions.
The next detour would be the Tröllaskagi peninsula. So, this is one of the fingers that juts off of the northern part of Iceland and it is home to stunning mountain views, adorable fishing villages, and fjords. So, you basically can’t go wrong. This detour off the ring road will only take you about two hours. So, really you can easily fit this into your itinerary.
Since there are a lot of villages on the Tröllaskagi peninsula, this area is accessible year round. However, because of winter road conditions, I always advise people to be careful on the roads in the winter, and then also usually recommending a 4wd in north Iceland because the weather’s usually a little bit worse.
Alright, last but not least is the Snæfellsnes peninsula. And you guys have heard me talk about this area quite a bit because I love it so much. I think it’s such a great area to explore around Iceland and such an easy way to fit in a detour off the ring road. Snæfellsnes has been called mini Iceland because it has so many different things on the Peninsula that you can experience throughout the whole country.
Now, some travelers are only allowing themselves one day around the Snæfellsnes peninsula. But I usually recommend two full days if you have the luxury of time. Because there is so much to see and you don’t want to rush through it. Snæfellsnes is also accessible year-round, however, I have had a terrible experience on Snæfellsnes in February, so in the winter months, the roads can get quite slippery, icy, windy, snowy and all of those things. So, always be careful around that area and then also 4wd in winter. It’s just really the best way to go.
Alrighty, friends. So, those are my five recommendations for the best detours around the ring road. I hope that you can experience at least one if not all of these areas depending on how much time you have in Iceland. Let me know in the comments below which detour you’re planning on adding to your itinerary. And as always, if you found this video helpful please give it a thumbs up. I’ll see you guys next week for another Iceland video.
Planning a trip to Iceland?
Good news: I made an entire library of FREE resources, to make your life easier!
- Instantly download checklists, guidebooks, maps, and more!
- PLUS: Instant access to the Iceland Travel Team Facebook group - a community of people to connect and interact with, ask questions, and share your awesome Iceland travel experiences!