Driving the Ring Road in Iceland has got to be one of the best roadtrips I’ve ever organised! Let’s be honest: it’s the first one as well. Ok, I’ve gone on a couple of roadtrips already, but never drove the car myself. This time it was up to me to decide the route, rent a car and search for great hotels in between. I’ve only realised how stressful roadtrip planning can be now! What happens if you see more and can’t make it to your hotel in time? What happens if the driving distance is much longer than Google told you it was? What happens if your hotel didn’t get your booking through and you have no where else to go?
Luckily my plannings kills during this trip were quite excellent *proud* and driving the Ring Road and the distances from hotel to hotel PLUS the budget side of it all worked out! It worked out! How is that even possible?
To save you a lot of effort (because planning this took me long enough too), I am going to mention all the hotels we stayed at during the week we had in Iceland: 6 nights in total – a complete road trip around the country!
Arriving at the airport
After flying into Keflavik, the main airport of Iceland (near Reykjavik), we headed straight to our hotel. After picking up our car of course. By the time we had our suitcases, found our car guy at the airport, collected our car at SADcars and found our way to the hotel it was nearly midnight. Obviously in advance we knew we weren’t in for a midnight-roadtrip, especially because the South coast of Iceland has so many beautiful sights to offer. Therefor we decided to stay as close to the airport as we could, to start our roadtrip the day after!
Oh, right. I haven’t told you which hotel yet. Right – we stayed at the Base Hotel. An old, transformed military building super close to the airport. For this night we actually booked a dorm room (since we wouldn’t stay there long anyway + it was the cheapest option = the best option), but for some glorious reason the guy decided to upgrade us to a private.. yay!
The Base Hotel is a perfectly good hotel. It’s simple. But it’s good. It’s location for us was the best part: easy to reach, quick to get to!
Price? We paid €28,00 for a single bed in a dorm room
Photo credits: Base Hotel
The South coast
The second day, after visiting the beautiful South coast of Iceland – or at least, a big part of it, we stranded at the Icelandair Hotel Klaustur. Really: an extremely beautiful, well designed hotel with comfortable beds and great food. This, as you can guess, was also the most expensive night of our Iceland trip. Why didn’t I book a cheaper one? Two reasons: 1. around this area there aren’t a lot of hotels – and the one we could find were even more expensive or around the same budget. 2. It was my travel buddy’s birthday, and she deserved to wake up somewhere nice at the day!
Price? We paid €160 for one night – double room
The South East coast
The third night surprised me the most. We stayed at the Saxa Guesthouse. A hotel from which I now know that the photos don’t do it justice. After arriving at the little fisherman village we stumble upon the great walls of the Saxa Guesthouse. We’re greeted friendly, get to try some of the Icelandic local bread, a grilled cheese and fresh fruit after which we are brought to our room. Only when we go to our room we find out how massive the Guesthouse is. The room itself is simple. Again: good, but simple. But further than that the Guesthouse has two living rooms, a small kitchen area, free coffee and tea and a lot of games to play. Hurray!
Price? We paid €95 for one night – double room
Photo credits: Bedandbreakfast.eu
The North of Iceland
On the fourth day it was time to get used to people again. Don’t get me wrong.. there are people in Iceland, but for some reason we didn’t seen much of them yet during our first couple of days. This day it was different: we stayed at the vivid town of Akureyri. A somewhat bigger city in Iceland, with plenty of restaurants, tourists and tourist activities. This night we chose to stay in a hostel. Budget reasons only. During my internet search I stumbled upon the Akyreyri Backpackers Hostel. Again: I don’t think the pictures do the hostel justice, and again I was left surprised. The hostel had perfectly comfortable beds, great food for the budget traveler (even though the food is still expensive), lovely interior and great showers – even though they only have showers at the ground floor. The area is just lovely as well: a lot of whale watching tours, waterfalls and in winter you can go on the northern light tours from out here!
Price? We paid €38 for one night (per bed) – single bed in a dorm room
Photo credits: Akureyri backpackers
The North West
The fifth night was definitely my favorite. We rented the most perfect cabin called Stóra-Vatnshorn, somewhere in the middle of nowhere. It took us about an 1,5 hour detour from off the Rind Road – and that definitely means that it’s in the middle of nowhere. The cabin had a couch, dining table, a kitchen, own toilet (but shared shower) and a cute, cosy bedroom. But the cabin itself wasn’t the reason why I liked it so much. It definitely was the fact that we were sleeping in the middle of nowhere – only surrounded by mountains, sheep and grass. Perfectly unique!
Price? We paid €119 for one night
Ending in Reykjavik
Our roadtrip ended in Reykjavik. Which, oh my, was the absolute opposite compared to where we spent the couple of days before – where did all those people come from?! Our last night we stayed at the Bus Hostel in Reykjavik. This is the hostel from the same company as where we rented our car (SADcars), so that was easy enough! The hostel is easy to reach, has enough parking space (even in the center of Reykjavik), and is about a 10 minute walk away from the main center of the city. The Bus Hostel also has some great breakfast options and a lovely, vintage lobby/living room/dining area! Oh also: the Bus Hostel might just have the weirdest asset in their lobby: the last sold Cheeseburger from McDonalds from 2009.. wait.. what?
Price? You can sleep in a dorm room for about €42,00 *
*I was invited to stay at the Bus Hostel in Reykjavik – of course, all the opinions are my own.
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