Although at first blush Iceland’s Route 1 highway may not appear to be distinct from any other highway, a recent journey shared by CBS contributor Conor Knighton proves otherwise. Route 1 is a unique link between the city of Reykjavik and Iceland’s natural attractions. The 828-mile loop, which encircles the entire country, has garnered almost as much attention as the attractions it leads to. While vacationing in Iceland, CBS contributor Conor Knighton circled the island on Route 1 on a 10-day exploration.
The highway, dubbed “Ring Road,” consists of two lanes of ordinary blacktop that pass by a variety of scenic locations, including glacial lagoons, waterfalls, and lava fields. Over the course of his journey, Knighton visited a number of these attractions in what he describes as “one of the most scenic drives in the world.” To his pleasant surprise, the majority of the locations he visited weren’t packed with tourists, enabling him to enjoy the pristine views uninterrupted.
Despite reservations that driving in a circle would be dull, Knighton continually discovered more locations to visit: “Every side of the road begged to be explored…Iceland feels like another planet.”
Knighton isn’t the first to notice how exotic and almost extraterrestrial Iceland’s landscapes are: the island has fallen into favor with fantasy and sci-fi filmmakers who have filmed otherworldly scenes for movies like “Prometheus” and “Oblivion” in Iceland In fact, Askja, a remote location just off Ring Road, was used as a training spot for the Apollo lunar missions in the 1960’s.