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The stunningly beautiful island nation of Iceland is filled with phenomenal landscapes that are just waiting to be explored. Hiring a motorhome is a fantastic way to do this, with the Route 1 ring road making this easy to do. Those that wish to venture into the rugged interior of the island will need to hire a four wheel drive motorhome, as much of these roads are unpaved.
Though its name suggests otherwise, Iceland has quite mild winters, though some areas are completely inaccessible. The summer is the best time to drive around Iceland, with spring being a great alternative. Most campsites are located off of Route 1, yet there are a few that can be found in popular destinations in the interior. Going completely off-the-beaten-path is not recommended.
Southwest Iceland is the main gateway onto this magnificent island nation and where most visitors start their motorhome holiday. South Iceland holds most popular attractions and it is accessible via Route 1. West Iceland is also accessible via the ring road and is a region filled with wonderful landscapes, while East Iceland is home to the largest glacier in Europe, Vatnajokull.
As it is home to Iceland's main air hub, most visitors start their self-drive vacation in Southwest Iceland. This region is dominated by the Reykjanes peninsula and features the famous Blue Lagoon. The water at this geothermal spa is 40 degreescelcius year round and is rich in sulphur and silica. From here, drive south to Krysuvik Cliffs for dramatic panoramic views of the birds and surrounding water. Graenavatn, a 6,000-year-old crater, is just north east of the cliffs.
Sitting along the North Atlantic Ocean is Southwest Iceland, the most visited region in the country. The Golden Circle route is the most popular drive, looping from the capital city of Reykjavik and back again. This 186-mile drive has three primary stops: the historical pingvellir National Park, the magnificent 32-metre double waterfall Gullfoss and Haukadalur, which is home to the Geysir and Strokkur geysers.
The Snaefellsnes peninsula in West Iceland has been nicknamed 'Iceland in Miniature' as a result of its many natural sights. It is an area of mountains, rivers, waterfalls and cliffs and is home to the 700,00-year-old stratovolcano Snaefellsjokull.
Deildartunguhver is also located in West Iceland. This is one of the largest hot springs in the world, with its water heating to 97 degrees Celcius.
Vatnajokull National Park separates South Iceland and East Iceland. It is Europe's largest national park and is it filled with spectacular landscapes, including Dettifoss and its namesake Vatnajokull, which is Iceland's largest glacier. Along the southern edge of the park is Jokulsarlonn, a picturesque large glacial lake that separates the park and the Atlantic Ocean. One of the most lovely towns in the country is Seyaisfjordurur, which sits in the Eastfjords on the edge of a lagoon surrounded by mountains.
Iceland's one major highway (Route 1) makes it very easy to travel around the country, though caution should always be taken when driving in the winter. There are several single-lane bridges along this route with the vehicle closest to the bridge having the right of way. Icelanders drive on the right-hand side and police have a zero tolerance policy towards drinking and driving. Just don't do it.