Visitors in Iceland often drive the full ring-road during their trip. However, if you are short on time or want to spend more time on excellent detours, here is one of my favorite ways to explore the North, East and South of Iceland in one go.
In short: Stop 2-3 days in Reykjavik -> Fly to Akureyri -> Rent a car -> Drive clock-wise to Reykjavik.
This itinerary combines seeing some of the highlights of the ring-road but also allows for plenty of time to get off the beaten path.
Note: This itinerary is not recommended in winter, and even in the spring and fall there is always a chance of storm, snow or some winter conditions in northern Iceland. Please follow the weather while driving, be ready to make adjustments to the plans, and check out road.is for road conditions when in Iceland.
Spend a few hours in the Blue Lagoon after arrival to Iceland.
Spend time exploring the capital, Reykjavik. Explore the city, see my recommendations for things to do and see and restaurants in Reykjavik here. Highly recommend these guys for a free fun walking tour.
Start your journey with a soak in the Blue Lagoon. Travelade/iStock.
Reykjavik is your first stop after the Blue Lagoon. Travelade/iStock.
Drive around and explore the countryside. Here's a good framework, which you can tailor to your needs e.g. stop longer in some places and shorter in others, detours etc. By design, I'm not suggesting an exact itinerary, more of a path which you can tailor to your interests and preferences.
Svartifoss Waterfall, Skaftafell. Travelade/iStock.
The best travel recommendations come from locals. Check out these Wanderguides from Iceland by locals sharing their travel tips and hidden gems.