How to Use Google Drive Custom Maps to Plan Your Iceland Adventure
If you are planning on traveling to Iceland, having the right Google maps and directions can be a great asset. We started planning our Iceland adventure about a year in advance, after purchasing plane tickets shortly after returning home from our honeymoon in Mexico. With an Iceland vacation like this, where we decided to spend 10 days in the country by campervan, it was essential to make a list of Iceland tourist attractions and places to stay in Iceland. After some digging, we had discovered that some folks on Reddit's Visiting Iceland forum had made Google Drive itineraries, and we decided to create our own as a result.
You should keep in mind that when traveling to Iceland, you will need to be flexible in your plans as so many things can impact your time there. Weather, sheep herding, community events, and even volcano eruptions have impacted countless trips by tourists to this island nation.
Our Google Drive Iceland Itinerary provides a basic overview of our trip - where we traveled the Ring Road, Snaefellsnes Peninsula, and part of the Westfjords in 10 days (as well as a few other off-the-beaten road stop offs).
how to use google drive maps to plan your iceland travels
You are more than welcome to use our Iceland itinerary map to help plan the places you want to visit in Iceland. There were so many things we wanted to see, and we started having trouble remembering all the names as the Icelandic language can be quite difficult. Not to mention, remembering where certain sites are located in the country is essential to having a good Ring Road experience, because you can find yourself driving for hours and hours and missing sights if you are not careful.
Our Iceland Google Drive Map is designed to show many of the major sites you will find in Iceland that are popular tourist destinations. Some of the locations are also less popular, but very cool and worth checking out. The main blue line running around the country was, more or less, our area of travel. We approached the country in a clockwise manner, beginning from Keflavik airport, heading to the Golden Circle, making our way to Snaefellsnes, then to the Westfjords, to Northern Iceland, around the East fjords to Hofn, down South to Vik, and ending our trip with a stay at Northern Light Inn near The Blue Lagoon, and spending a few hours on our last day in Reykjavik. We were able to see many of the sites on this map, though not everything is possible in a mere 10 days!
A further breakdown of the Google Drive Map - color legend:
- The Blue Line is representative of most of the roads we traveled. As you might notice, the majority of the trip is one big circle around the island. This is the Ring Road (aka: the 1). Many places to visit are right off of this road, which makes traveling to Iceland quite easy!
- Blue Icons represent sites we'd like to see, but not the most important ones to us.
- Red icons are sites we considered to be very important to see on our trip.
- Yellow icons are camp sites. When traveling by campervan, it is important to visit these locations for sleep as it is actually illegal to just camp anywhere, though some people do it anyways. The ones selected have amenities (showers, restrooms, some have laundry facilities).
check out our traveling iceland - 10 day blog series
As traveling photographers, visiting Iceland is like a dream come true. The landscape is undeniably beautiful, and offers so many opportunities to take in the sights. We had pulled off the road within 5-10 minutes of driving from the airport to take in the sights, and kept having trouble sticking to our itinerary because there are so many scenic vistas.
In 10 days, we were able to take in a lot of what Iceland has to offer. For fellow travelers looking to do the whole Ring Road, we would not suggest less than this. It is also important to keep in mind that when you say the words road trip, you need to understand that the road part will be a reality as you might spend 5+ hours driving from one location to the next. The more time you give yourself to travel Iceland, the better your experience will be for sure.
10 Days in Iceland:
- Traveling Iceland - Day 1 - The Golden Circle
- Traveling Iceland - Day 2 - Snaefellsnes Peninsula
- Traveling Iceland - Day 3 - The Westfjords
- Traveling Iceland - Day 4 - Long Drive to Akureyri and Godafoss
- Traveling Iceland - Day 5 - Dimmuborgir, Hverier, and Myvatyn Natural Baths
- Traveling Iceland - Day 6 - Dettifoss and a Long Drive to Hofn
- Traveling Iceland - Day 7 - Icelandic Horses, Glaciers, and Waterfalls
- Traveling Iceland - Day 8 - Vik and the Surrounding Landscape
- Traveling Iceland - Day 9 - DC3 Plane Wreck and The Blue Lagoon
- Traveling Iceland - Day 10 - Reykjavik and the Return Home
Best Moments While Traveling Iceland?
We can't help but constantly think and talk about our Iceland adventure. While having a Google Drive Map provides a foundation on which to build your own adventure in this land of fire and ice, you should be prepared for the unexpected - both the good and bad. While every single day of our Iceland trip had something worthwhile and memorable, a few moments stick out in our minds that really sells us on wanting to return - and we are already planning to!
- The Icelandic Horses at the viking movie set with Vestrahorn mountain in the background (see more about this on Day 7 of our travels).
- The drive to Dynjandi in the Westfjords, and beautiful sweeping views there (more on this on Day 3 of our travels).
- Icelandic spa time at Myvatyn Natural Baths and The Blue Lagoon (Day 5 and Day 9 respectively).
- Seeing a huge glacier, and hearing the sound of it crackling and crumbling (Day 7)
- Exploring Akureyri - Iceland's 2nd largest city in the northern part of the country, and subsequently finding Hamrar Campground, one of our favorite camping site (Day 4).
- Seeing the Northern Lights for the first time (Day 4).
- The beautiful painterly sunset seen during the end of our drive to Hofn (Day 6).
There is so much to see and do while traveling to Iceland. Our experience was well worth every penny spent. With the right planning, your trip to Iceland can also be great!
If you have any questions about making an itinerary in Google Drive Maps, or about traveling Iceland in general, feel free to leave a comment and we will get back to you!