Previously, we talked about some of the major attractions in southwest , southeast of Iceland, and East of Iceland’s infamous ring road. This article will dissect the major attractions North of Iceland. Iceland proudly boasts one main road known as Route 1 or more commonly known as the Icelandic Ring Road. The road snakes all the way across the Island and is 1332 kilometers long. This magnificent road allows travelers to see all the spectacular regions of Iceland except the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and the Westfjords. The road connects the capital city if Iceland; Reykjavik to the second largest city in Iceland called Akureyri. Moreover, some other noteworthy towns that are connected via the ring road are Blönduós, Egilsstaðir, Höfn, Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Vík, Hella, Hvolsvöllur, Selfoss and Hveragerði. Continue reading to uncover all the amazing attractions on and located near the Ring Road. We will discuss all the things you can partake in on Iceland’s famous Route 1. Additionally, we will provide you with vital information on how to locate bedazzling sparkling waterfalls, gaze upon the midnight black sand beaches, secret spots to spy on reindeers, majestic volcanoes and towering intimidating glaciers. So, keep on reading!
Ring Road’s Northern Beauty
A mountainous terrain is what defines the North of Iceland. The beautiful landscape is covered with Iceland’s most notable attractions such as the Dettifoss waterfall in the Northeast and the beautiful Asbyrgi canyon. Some attractions require tourists to detour off the Ring Road for about 37.4 miles (60 kilometers). Visitors can also enjoy whale watching at Iceland’s famed Husavik. It is located 34 miles (54.6 kilometers) from lake Myvatn.
However, a large portion of the attractions in the Northeast, such as Dettifoss waterfall, and Asbyrgi canyon, require a detour off the Ring Road of around 37.4 miles (60 kilometers). Follow us along as we take you on a journey towards your dreamscape. The main attractions in North of Iceland are:
Lake Myvatn is an absolutely breathtaking lake in North Iceland surrounded by lush rich vegetation, beautiful thriving wildlife, and a landscape filled with hot springs and mysterious caves. Additionally, Egilsstadir is located 108 miles (174 kilometers) from Lake Myvatn. The area boasts dazzling hot springs, craters, and numerous other attractions in the area that are a spectacular sight for sore eyes.
Dimmuborgir lava field; a place of dazzling beauty and revered landscape that is filled with dramatic picturesque rock formations. It is located in the proximity of Lake Myvatn and is often referred to as the gateway to Hell. This was a filming location for Game of Thrones series, during the scene where Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, Jeor Mormont, led a group of Night Watchers through the snow North of the Wall.
Grjotagja Hot Spring; a dazzling spring located inside a cave and the filming location for Game of Thrones’s famous romantic scene between Ygritte and Jon Snow. Fans of the show will definitely be thrilled to see where one of the most pivotal scenes of the show was filmed. In addition to that, visitors are not allowed to bathe in the water as the temperature is far too unpredictable and can be extremely high or low. Besides that, it is a wonderful place to visit during your time in Iceland.
Hverfell Volcano; a spectacular volcanic crater just east of Lake Myvatn and is super popular for hiking amongst the visitors. The crater boasts a diameter of 0.62 miles (one kilometer) and a depth of 460 feet (140 meters), it is widely considered one of the largest explosion craters in the world. This fact alone garners it as a “must see” sight in the north if you are visiting Iceland.
Myvatn Nature Baths are considered North’s Blue Lagoon, a natural lagoon where guests can bathe and have the time of their lives making irreplaceable memories. This ethereal natural lagoon serves as the perfect location to gaze at northern lights in winter or bask in the late-night dazzling midnight sun during the summer months. It truly is a sight to behold.
Dettifoss Waterfall, is considered Iceland’s most powerful waterfall and is amongst the most popular Ring Road attraction. Visitors can drive to a parking lot on the waterfall’s east side along road no. 864, and can also drive towards to the west side along road no. 862. Visitors can also head upriver to the Selfoss waterfall from the Dettifoss waterfall.
Asbyrgi Canyon is a gorgeous lush green valley shaped like a horse’s shoe. The canyon is also accessible from the roads that lead to Dettifoss waterfall and is only possible on a detour from the Ring Road. The canyon is extremely popular amongst tourists and the locals alike. If you are in Iceland or are planning to visit, the canyon is a must sight to see and should not be missed!
Husavik is a picturesque little town on the North Coast of Iceland. The town is considered amongst the best location for whale watching. So in case you are a whale-watching aficionado, this is definitely a must visit! The town is located 35 miles (56.4 kilometers) from Lake Myvatn. If visitors decide to go for whale watching on your trip; keep aside 2-3 hours just for that. The activity requires lots of time and patience so make sure you come sparing ample time.
Godafoss waterfall is a picturesque waterfall that’s located right by the Ring Road. Godafoss waterfall shouldn’t be missed when traveling between Akureyri and Lake Myvatn. It is an absolute wonder by those who have seen and visited! Make sure it’s included in your schedule as it is something not to be missed. The name “Godafoss” translates to “Waterfall of the Gods” and originates from a time when statues of Iceland’s Norse gods were thrown into the waterfall. This was happening because of Iceland’s shift from the traditional Norse religion to Christianity around the turn of the 11th century.
Akureyri, is referred to as Iceland’s “Capital of the North.” Situated in a beautiful fjord, the capitol of the north is a sight to beholds and commands utmost respect and attention. It is Iceland’s second largest town with a spectacular swimming pool, a beautiful church, amazing nightlife, and the best ski resort in Iceland, Hlidarfjall. Akureyri is located approximately 49 miles (78.8 kilometers) from Lake Myvatn or around 240.5 miles (387 kilometers) from Reykjavik. A must visit for all lovers of ski and night-life-watchers! Add this to your lost of absolutely must see destinations in Iceland!
We hope you had a wonderful time reading about the main attractions surrounding Southwest Iceland’s Ring Road an we hope that you will have an even wonderful time exploring them with us. This series is far from over and over the course of the next article, we will be unravelling the main attractions in the West of Iceland and some of the best modes of transport whether its driving, or by air (or a combination of both) you can take to travel to Iceland’s Ring Road. So, let the adventure begin, for Iceland awaits thee!