Quick Facts for Your Trip to Iceland
Just the quick facts to get your travel research going! Go here to read about my story driving all the way around the Island (Coming Soon!).
Quick Price Ranges
Rental Car: $60—$90 a day (52—78 Euros).
Accomodation: $60—$80 a day (52—70 Euros).
Campgrounds $5—$13.5 per night (4—12 Euros).
Gas/Petrol: $70—$80 standard size tank (61—70 Euros).
Most camping sites do not require advanced booking, which is good news. Therefore, you can just arrive to the campground of your choice, and pay on the spot. However, if you are two people camping six nights or more, buying an Iceland camping card becomes worth it. At $122 (110 Euros), it allows you and a partner up to 28 nights in any of the 41 camping sites around Iceland that participate in the program.
Campgrounds charge anywhere from $5—$13.5 per night (4.3—11.8 Euros).
Showers are usually about $2 (1.75 Euros).
Rental Camping Materials
2-3 person tent: $12.60 per night (11 Euros)
2 single self-inflatable air mattresses: $10.30 per night (9 Euros)
2 sleeping bags: $19.50 per night (17 Euros)
2 pillows: $3.50 per night (3 Euros)
Helpful Links for Camping
Sometimes gas stations will be closed or not monitored in the more remote spots, so before you leave, it’s better to buy a gas card loaded up with credit so you can just swipe and fill direct from the machines instead of having to pay at the counter.
Your Station Visit
There aren’t any rest stops. Take bathroom breaks at gas stations. Public defecation is a big problem in Iceland. They don’t want your shit.
Generally costs a minimum of $70-$80 (61—70 Euros) to fill up a standard size fuel tank.
Use 95-octane gasoline which is the equivalent of unleaded gasoline in the US.
It’s like the island is a national park with everything included. So to see all the glaciers and waterfalls and volcanic beds and other scenic attractions, it's all free of charge with no admission cost or even parking fees. The larger attractions also have visitor centers where you can get local advice for free as well.
Stuff to Know On the Road
Driving on the right side of the road is correct.
Driving off-road is 100% illegal in Iceland.
At many places in Iceland, it costs money to use the bathroom.
Download the offline Google maps.
Full loop is 1010 miles (1625 km) which takes about 21.5hours. That’s about 100 miles a day—2 hours of driving a day.
Minimum 7 days to drive the entire ring road and do a little exploring.
Helpful Maps for Driving
Food prices are typical of what you'd find in most supermarkets in the US or Europe. However, certain things can be much more expensive, so you have to be careful when shopping and doing currency conversions in order to save money.
Where to Go
Many gas stations around the country have fast food restaurants built in, so it's fast and easy to pick up a sandwich or hot dog by the side of the road.
Go to one of the cheaper grocery stores like Bonus (You can’t miss it — the logo is a giant cartoon pig) or Kronan. You will find all sorts of foodstuffs there including sandwiches that will be half the price compared to roadside shops.
On average breakfast pastries cost around $2-$4 each.
Hot dogs cost around $3-$4 each.
Burgers and pre-made sandwiches were around $6-$8 each.
Snacks like chips or cookies ran around $2-4 per pack.
Eat gas station hot dogs—they are delicious.
Bring a lot of water with you.
Packaged dark rye bread keeps really well and is super tasty.
Ultra cheap option: Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Helpful Link for Your Survival
Just as the landscape varies astronomically, so does the weather. Be prepared for it to change in a second and have plenty of layers of clothes with you.
Link to Plan Around the Weather
The key pieces to have when layering is a good, quick dry base layer, a good, warm soft shell layer and an absolute waterproof and windproof outer shell.
When checking in on the plane, wear your heaviest clothing (jackets, pants, hiking boots) and pack your pockets with the small heavier items. You can even fill a small grocery bag with stuff and they probably won’t count it as a carry-on item.
Cheapest Flights will be through Wow Air—a Iceland based airline.
No snacks, not even water—so fly prepared.
WoW Air Carry-on Standards
Small Carry-On 22 pounds 17x13x10in
Carry-On Bag: 26 pounds 22x18x10in