Secret guide: Iceland’s Ring Road

Iceland positively encourages intrepid exploration – head into the hinterland for surreal volcanic landscapes and craggy peaks that shelter cascading falls.

Luckily for you, Icelanders built a vast road network that circles the far reaches of the island. Aptly named the Ring Road, it circles the outer edge offering access to a host of breathtaking sights. Discover steaming landscapes straight from a sci-fi movie, dramatic coastlines with jet-black sands, and the elusive, evocative emerald green of the Northern Lights.


Wonderfully non-touristy, the Westfjords mark a dramatic end to the land before it plummets into the roaring sea. The Hornstrandir hiking reserve offers sublime views, passing along the coastline and through isolated, traditional villages. Don’t miss the vast, dramatic Dynjandi falls.


A luminous collection of icy sculptures dot the glacier lagoon. The ethereal blue of the ice works in sheer contrast to the black sands of the beach, making this a truly spellbinding place. Take a boat tour to get close to the larger icebergs, with the odd seal passing by for company.


Set within a natural park, Skaftafell encompasses some truly humbling sights. River valleys and vast glaciers carve through the landscape. Head for Svartifoss, a truly spectacular waterfall framed by outlandish geometric rocks, before seeking out the magnificent ice caves where the light refracts through the ice ceiling forming an electric-blue hue.


The glorious black sand beach of Reynisfjara is another unique treasure in Iceland’s inspiring repertoire. Other-worldly sands break into wild seas, framed by iconic rock formations that tower over the beach. A photographer hotspot.


This magnificent volcanic landscape, beset with azure caldera pool, offers a truly surreal sight. Burnt orange and scarlet interrupted by bubbling streams of white smoke make for a truly martian landscape. If you can take the noxious sulfuric smell of course…

Northern Lights

From September to April, the dark winter skies of Iceland make catching the elusive Northern Lights that little bit easier. Your best heading away from built-up areas, like Vik and Þingvellir, but there are certainly a few spots closer to Reykjavik where you can take your chance at catching the dancing emerald lights.