There is nothing that can remotely compare to driving in Iceland. The roads are quiet (pay attention to sheep crossings), the landscape is magical and with a hired car, you are in charge of everything…everything except the weather. It is highly recommended to keep track of weather reports since the roads can get dangerously icy. Hiring a 4WD is also a smart idea, since many scenic roads are only accessible by four-wheel drive vehicles. Be prepared and always carry water and snacks with you. Also, fill up your tank when you see a petrol station because they are not as common as you might think. Since good music and road trips go hand in hand, fully embrace Iceland and get familiar with their artists– If Björk is a bit too much for you, try Of Monsters and Men
With all driving preparations in place, all you require now are some ideas of where to go! The Golden Circle is a popular driving route since it takes you along tumultuous waterfalls, roaring geysers, rugged mountains, sapphire icebergs and more. Furthermore, beautiful places like Þingvellir, Gullfoss, Geysir and Kerið are relatively close to one another and can thus be covered in a short period of time. The beautiful Seljalandsfoss waterfall is only a 75-mile (120km south-east) drive and then Skógafoss waterfall is only a 20-minute drive further. For unforgettable pictures, a stop at the crystal caves under Vatnajökull glacier is a must. Note that you will need to hire a guide to reach the caves. If you like peculiar little towns, then Vik (110mi/178km south-east) should also be on your list. Depending on how much time you have, you can take your rental along the 55mi/90km long Snæfellsnes Peninsula (118mi/190km north-west) and discover towns, villages, beaches and mountains.
For a shorter trip, Mount Esja, a true hiker’s paradise is only a 10-minute drive from Reykjavik. The approximately two-hour hike is not overly demanding and the views from this volcanic mountain range are spectacular. You can also visit one of the natural wonders of the world, the manmade Blue Lagoon (30mi/47km south-west) in Grindavik. This popular geothermal spa is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.