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From Reykjavik to Akureyri: Scenic drives in Iceland you can't miss

You can’t beat an Icelandic road trip. Look out the window one minute and you’re passing incredible waterfalls and lava fields. Next, it’s icy glaciers and geothermal pools.

All of which is great, but can make planning your holiday tricky, especially when it comes to choosing the right vehicle for your trip. Luckily, we’re here to make things easier.

Reykjavik is just 30 minutes from the airport and a good place to start. Wondering how long to drive from Reykjavik to Akureyri? Just four to five hours in good weather and traffic.

With so much to see between Reykjavik and Akureyri, you’re going to want to take your time. Here are some of our top picks for your trip.

How to get from Reykjavik to Akureyri

Take time to hang out in the world’s most northerly capital city. Check out Reykjavik’s street art scene, waterfront architecture, and views from Hallgrímskirkja church.

When you’ve had your fill of the city, it’s time to get behind the wheel. The route from Reykjavik to Akureyri takes you clockwise around the Ring Road. But you’ll want to make a few detours along the way…

Which means you’ll need to know where to stay between Reykjavik and Akureyri. There are great accommodation options in Grundarfjörður, Breiðavík, Hvammstangi and Akureyri itself.

What to see between Reykjavik to Akureyri

Travel north from the capital to Glymur – Iceland’s second-tallest waterfall (it was the tallest until Morsarfoss stole its crown in 2011!). Set in a narrow canyon, you’ll need to hike for two hours to access it.

Keep heading north towards the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Start at the Gerðuberg basalt cliffs and see the dramatic hexagonal lava rock columns that form a 500 meter cliff face. The pillars are pleasingly symmetrical, and easy to access.

Head further west and you’ll come to Búðakirkja in Búðir – a small black church in a lava field. Built in 1703, the church is so isolated it can be seen from miles away, so is super easy to find.

North of Búðir is Kirkjufellsfoss. Set beside the dramatic Mount Kirkjufell, this waterfall makes for yet another impressive photo opportunity.

Next, make your way off the peninsular towards the mythical Kolugljúfur canyon. 50 meters deep and 1 km long, the canyon is named after the female giant Kola, who is said to have created it.

Keep heading east on your journey from Reykjavik to Akureyri and you will reach Grettislaug. Here, you can bathe in the hot geothermal waters, surrounded by natural stone and spectacular views. The perfect way to unwind before your final destination of Akureyri.

Can you drive from Reykjavik to Akureyri in winter?

With such unpredictable weather, driving in Iceland in winter can be dangerous, and there’s a chance that some roads will be closed.

If you’re planning to drive in Iceland in the winter it is advisable to rent a 4x4 from a reputable car rental company. Get in touch with the friendly team at MYCAR today and we can advise you on the best car for your trip.