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Driving In Iceland: 17 Things To Know Before You Go


by Charity Payton



Heading out on a road trip is an exciting way to explore new destinations and create unforgettable memories. If you’re planning a road trip, one destination that should be on your radar is Iceland. With its breathtaking landscapes, stunning waterfalls, and rugged terrain, Iceland offers a unique and adventurous road trip experience.


However, before you hit the road, there are a few things you need to know to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey. From international driving licenses to road conditions and wildlife hazards, this article will provide you with valuable insights and tips for driving in Iceland. So fasten your seatbelts, put on your favorite road trip playlist, and get ready for an epic adventure through the Land of Fire and Ice.


1. International Driving License: If you’re visiting Iceland from abroad, it’s important to have a valid international driving license. This will allow you to legally drive in the country.


2. Driving Side: In Iceland, they drive on the right-hand side of the road. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the local road rules and adjust accordingly.


3. Road Conditions: Icelandic roads can vary from well-maintained highways to gravel roads and challenging mountain passes. Be prepared for changing road conditions and check the weather and road reports before you start your journey.


4. Speed Limits: Speed limits in Iceland are generally 50 km/h in urban areas, 80 km/h on gravel roads, and 90 km/h on paved roads. Pay attention to the posted speed limits and adjust your speed accordingly.


5. Weather Conditions: Icelandic weather can be unpredictable, with sudden changes in temperature, wind, and precipitation. Be prepared for all weather conditions and drive cautiously, especially in winter when icy roads are common.


6. Daylight Hours: Iceland experiences long daylight hours during the summer months, with almost 24 hours of daylight in some regions. However, in winter, the daylight hours are significantly shorter. Plan your road trips accordingly and ensure you have proper lighting for driving during dark hours.


7. Fuel Stations: Fuel stations are not as frequent in remote areas of Iceland, so plan your fuel stops accordingly to avoid running out of gas. Fill up whenever you have the opportunity, especially on longer drives.


8. Rental Car Considerations: If you’re renting a car in Iceland, make sure to choose a suitable vehicle for the terrain you’ll be driving on. Consider factors such as 4×4 capability, size, and ground clearance for off-road adventures.


International Driving License

Before embarking on your road trip in Iceland, it’s essential to have a valid international driving license. While your regular driver’s license may be sufficient in some countries, Iceland requires an additional international driving license for non-European Union drivers. This license serves as a translation of your original driver’s license, making it easier for Icelandic authorities to understand the information.


Obtaining an international driving license is relatively simple. Most countries have designated organizations or motoring clubs that issue these licenses. The process usually involves submitting an application, providing a copy of your current driver’s license, and paying a fee. You should check with your local driving authority or automobile club to find out the specific requirements and processes for obtaining an international driving license in your country.


It is important to note that the international driving license is only valid when accompanied by your original driver’s license. Both documents must be presented together if requested by the Icelandic authorities. Carry both licenses with you at all times while driving in Iceland to ensure compliance with the law.


Keep in mind that if you are an EU citizen, you can use your regular driver’s license issued by an EU/EEA country to drive in Iceland. However, it is still advisable to carry your passport or a valid identification document along with your driver’s license.


Driving without a valid international driving license, or not carrying it alongside your original driver’s license, can result in penalties, fines, and even difficulties with insurance coverage. So, make sure to obtain the necessary documentation before hitting the road in Iceland.


Driving Side

In Iceland, like most countries in Europe, driving is done on the right-hand side of the road. If you are accustomed to driving on the left side, this may require some adjustment. It’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the driving rules and regulations in Iceland to ensure a safe and smooth journey.


Keep in mind that the position of the driver’s seat in rental cars is on the left side of the vehicle. This means that the gear shift and other controls, such as indicators and wipers, will be located differently compared to driving on the left side. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the layout of the car before starting your journey.


When driving on the right side of the road, it’s essential to pay attention to your surroundings and stay in your designated lane. Use your side mirrors frequently to check for oncoming traffic and blind spots. Remember to yield to vehicles on your right at roundabouts, intersections, and when merging onto highways.


If you are unsure about the driving rules or road signs in Iceland, consider taking a moment to review the local traffic regulations. This can help you feel more confident and avoid any potential confusion or misunderstandings while on the road.


Additionally, be aware that some roads in Iceland, particularly those in remote areas or on the highlands, may be narrow and only allow one vehicle to pass at a time. In such cases, always give way to oncoming traffic and follow any specific instructions or signs provided.


While driving on the right side of the road may feel unfamiliar at first, it quickly becomes second nature with practice. Stay alert, follow the traffic rules, and enjoy the unique experience of exploring Iceland from the driver’s seat.


Road Conditions

When planning a road trip in Iceland, it’s crucial to understand and prepare for the varying road conditions you may encounter. Icelandic roads range from well-maintained highways to gravel roads and challenging mountain passes. Being aware of these conditions will help ensure a safe and enjoyable journey.


Major routes in Iceland, including the Ring Road (Route 1), are generally well-paved and maintained. These roads provide convenient access to many popular tourist destinations and are suitable for most vehicles. However, it’s still important to drive cautiously and observe the speed limits.


Gravel roads are also common in Iceland, especially in rural and remote areas. These roads can be rough, bumpy, and prone to loose gravel, requiring extra caution. Reduce your speed, maintain a safe distance from other vehicles, and be prepared for uneven surfaces.


When driving on gravel roads, it’s advisable to slow down before approaching blind corners or hills to ensure visibility and avoid hazards. Additionally, be aware that driving on these roads can result in dust clouds, which may reduce visibility. Slow down and use your headlights or fog lights if necessary.


Iceland also has a network of highland roads, known as F-roads, which are only accessible during the summer months. These roads are unpaved, challenging, and require a 4×4 vehicle. Before embarking on a highland adventure, make sure you have the appropriate vehicle, check road conditions, and familiarize yourself with any specific restrictions or safety guidelines.


During the winter months, Icelandic roads can be affected by snow, ice, and challenging weather conditions. It’s recommended to check weather forecasts and road conditions before setting out on your journey. If you’re not experienced in winter driving, consider hiring a professional driver or guide to navigate the winter roads safely.


Keep in mind that road conditions in Iceland can change rapidly, especially in areas more vulnerable to weather and geological events. Stay updated with local news, road information, and use official websites or mobile apps for real-time updates on road conditions.


By being aware of and prepared for the varying road conditions in Iceland, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable road trip experience. Drive cautiously, adapt to the terrain, and always prioritize safety on your Icelandic adventure.


Speed Limits

When driving in Iceland, it’s important to adhere to the posted speed limits to ensure your safety and comply with the law. Speed limits are in place to protect both drivers and pedestrians, and they can vary depending on the type of road and the surrounding conditions.


Here are the general speed limits to keep in mind when driving in Iceland:

  • In urban areas, the speed limit is typically 50 km/h (31 mph). This includes towns, cities, and residential areas where there are higher risks of encountering pedestrians, intersections, and other vehicles.
  • On paved rural roads, the speed limit is usually 90 km/h (56 mph). These are the main roads connecting different regions and provide access to popular tourist destinations.
  • On gravel roads, the speed limit is lower and usually limited to 80 km/h (50 mph). Gravel roads can be more unpredictable, with loose gravel and uneven surfaces, so it’s advisable to reduce your speed and exercise caution.
  • Be aware that in certain areas, especially near schools or in residential zones, the speed limit might be lower than the posted limits. Look for signs indicating reduced speed limits and adjust your driving accordingly.

It’s essential to remind yourself that speed limits are not just legal requirements, but guidelines for safe driving. It’s always better to drive at a speed appropriate for the road conditions, weather, and traffic flow, even if it’s lower than the posted limit.


It’s worth noting that Icelandic authorities actively monitor and enforce speed limits using radar devices and mobile speed cameras. Speeding fines can be steep, and exceeding the speed limit significantly may result in license suspension or other penalties.


Remember, driving at a safe and controlled speed not only protects you and your passengers but also ensures the well-being of others on the road. Always be mindful of your speed and adjust it accordingly to promote safe and responsible driving in Iceland.


Weather Conditions

When embarking on a road trip in Iceland, it’s important to understand and be prepared for the unpredictable weather conditions that can arise. Iceland is known for its ever-changing climate, and being aware of the weather can greatly enhance your driving experience and safety.


The weather in Iceland can vary greatly from one region to another, and even within the same day. It’s not uncommon to experience rain, wind, fog, and even snow all in a single journey. Therefore, it’s crucial to check the weather forecast before setting out and keep an eye on any updates throughout your trip.


During the winter months, snow and ice can make driving conditions challenging, especially in more remote and rural areas. Ensure that your vehicle is equipped with appropriate winter tires and drive at a reduced speed to maintain control. Take note of any winter weather alerts and road closures to plan your journey accordingly.


Strong winds are also prevalent in Iceland, particularly in coastal areas. High winds can make driving difficult, especially for larger vehicles or those towing trailers. Pay attention to wind advisories and be cautious while driving in windy conditions. Keep a firm grip on the steering wheel and be prepared for sudden gusts of wind.


Visibility can be greatly impacted by fog, especially in more mountainous regions or coastal areas. In dense fog, reduce your speed and use fog lights or low beams to increase visibility without dazzling other drivers. Be prepared to pull over and wait for the fog to clear if visibility becomes dangerously low.


It’s important to note that in extreme weather conditions, certain roads may be closed for safety reasons. Check road condition websites or contact local authorities to verify if any road closures or restrictions are in place before planning your route.


Before setting out each day, take a moment to assess the current weather conditions and plan your journey accordingly. Be flexible with your itinerary and allow extra time for changing weather conditions and potential delays.


Lastly, always prioritize your safety and the safety of others. If weather conditions become too hazardous, it’s better to seek shelter and wait until conditions improve. Remember that the weather in Iceland can change rapidly, so staying informed and adaptable is key to enjoying a safe and memorable road trip.


Daylight Hours

One unique aspect of driving in Iceland is experiencing the dramatic changes in daylight hours throughout the year. The Land of Fire and Ice offers long summer days with almost 24 hours of daylight, while the winter months bring shorter daylight hours and longer periods of darkness.


During the summer, especially around the summer solstice in June, Iceland experiences what is known as the Midnight Sun phenomenon. This means that the sun remains visible for most of the day, providing endless opportunities to explore and enjoy the scenic beauty of the country. The extended daylight hours allow for longer road trips and provide ample time to visit multiple attractions in a single day.


However, it’s important to be aware that the prolonged daylight can also affect your sleep patterns and perception of time. It’s advisable to use blackout curtains or eye masks in accommodations to ensure a restful night’s sleep, especially if you’re not accustomed to sleeping in bright conditions.


On the flip side, the winter months in Iceland bring shorter daylight hours, with some regions experiencing only a few hours of daylight or even complete darkness. This can present unique challenges for road trips, as visibility is reduced and driving conditions may be more hazardous.


It’s essential to plan your winter road trips accordingly, taking into account the limited daylight hours. Start your journeys early in the day to make the most of the available light and be mindful of dusk and dawn times, as they can be particularly dangerous due to low light conditions.


Ensure that your vehicle is equipped with functional headlights and fog lights to enhance visibility during the darker hours of the day. It’s also important to familiarize yourself with using your headlights correctly, such as using dipped headlights when driving in low-light conditions.


Remember to stay alert and adjust your driving accordingly during periods of reduced visibility. Be cautious of other vehicles, wildlife, and pedestrians on the road, as they may be harder to see during low-light conditions.


If you’re planning a road trip during the shoulder seasons or winter, it may be helpful to consult sunrise and sunset times for the specific dates of your journey. This will give you an accurate understanding of the available daylight and help you plan your itinerary accordingly.


Whether you’re experiencing the Midnight Sun in the summer or navigating the shorter daylight hours in the winter, being aware of the daylight conditions in Iceland allows you to optimize your road trip experience and ensure a safe and enjoyable adventure.


Fuel Stations

When embarking on a road trip in Iceland, it’s essential to be mindful of fuel stations and plan your refueling stops strategically. While fuel stations are available throughout the country, they may be less frequent in remote and rural areas.


Major towns and cities in Iceland have well-established fuel stations, offering both gasoline (bensín) and diesel (dísel) options. These stations often have convenience stores and restrooms, providing a convenient stop for refueling and refreshing during your journey.


However, when traveling along more rural or remote routes, it’s important to plan ahead and fill up your tank whenever the opportunity arises. Some stretches of road, particularly in the highland areas, may not have fuel stations for long distances, so it’s crucial to ensure you have enough fuel to reach the next available station.


Before setting off on your journey, consider mapping out the fuel station locations along your route. Online mapping tools and navigation apps can help you identify the fuel stations in each area. It’s advisable to mark the distances between fuel stations and plan your stops accordingly.


Additionally, keep in mind that fuel prices in Iceland can be higher compared to some other countries. It’s a good idea to be aware of the current fuel prices and budget accordingly for your road trip.


When refueling at stations in Iceland, familiarize yourself with the payment methods accepted. Most fuel stations accept credit and debit cards, but it’s also wise to carry some Icelandic currency (Icelandic króna) in case of any unforeseen circumstances or rural stations that might not accept cards.


Lastly, if you’re planning to explore more remote areas or venture onto F-roads (highland roads), it’s crucial to be well-prepared for your journey, especially concerning fuel. Filling up your tank and carrying extra fuel cans can be necessary, as fuel stations are limited or nonexistent in these areas.


By planning your fuel stops strategically and being mindful of the availability of fuel stations along your route, you can ensure that you have a smooth and uninterrupted road trip experience in Iceland.


Rental Car Considerations

If you’re planning a road trip in Iceland, renting a car gives you the freedom to explore the stunning landscapes at your own pace. Here are some important considerations to keep in mind when renting a car in Iceland:


Choose the right vehicle: Consider the type of road you’ll be driving on and the number of people and luggage you’ll have. If you’re planning to explore the highlands or drive on gravel roads, opt for a 4×4 vehicle. For smaller groups or solo travelers, a compact car may be more suitable.


Book in advance: Iceland is a popular tourist destination, especially during the summer months, so it’s advisable to book your rental car well in advance. This ensures availability and gives you the opportunity to compare prices and options.


Insurance coverage: Check the rental car insurance coverage and understand what is included. Most rental companies offer basic insurance, but it’s recommended to consider additional coverage for extra peace of mind. This may include gravel protection, sand and ash protection, and even personal accident insurance.


Inspect the car: Before driving off, thoroughly inspect the car for any existing damage and make sure it is noted on the rental agreement. Take photos or videos for documentation. This will protect you from any claims of damage not caused by you when returning the vehicle.


Know the emergency numbers: Familiarize yourself with the emergency numbers in Iceland. In case of accidents or breakdowns, call the appropriate authorities or your rental car company’s emergency line for assistance.


Follow the rental company’s rules: Each rental company has specific terms and conditions. Familiarize yourself with these rules, such as mileage limitations, age restrictions, and additional driver policies. Adhering to these rules will help ensure a smooth rental car experience.


Fill up the tank before returning: Most rental companies require you to return the vehicle with a full tank of fuel. Plan your refueling stops accordingly to avoid any additional charges.


Return the car on time: Be mindful of returning the rental car on time to avoid any late fees. Check the drop-off location and arrange transportation back to your accommodation if needed.


Drive responsibly: Follow traffic rules, respect speed limits, and be mindful of other drivers. Iceland’s landscapes are awe-inspiring, but safety should always be the main priority during your road trip.


By considering these rental car tips, you can have a smooth and hassle-free experience, giving you the freedom to explore the breathtaking beauty of Iceland at your leisure.


F-Roads and Highland Driving

For those looking for a more adventurous road trip experience in Iceland, exploring the highlands and driving on F-roads can offer incredible landscapes and unique destinations. However, it’s important to be well-prepared and understand the challenges of highland driving.


What are F-roads?


F-roads are highland roads in Iceland that are typically unpaved and accessible only during the summer months. These roads provide access to remote areas, rugged landscapes, and stunning natural attractions. However, driving on F-roads requires careful planning and the appropriate vehicle.


Choose the right vehicle:


Due to the challenging terrain and river crossings, a 4×4 vehicle is required for driving on F-roads. It’s important to select a suitable vehicle with high ground clearance and appropriate off-road capabilities. Standard rental cars are not allowed on F-roads, so be sure to choose a vehicle equipped for highland driving.


Know the conditions and restrictions:


Before embarking on your highland adventure, check the road conditions and any specific restrictions in place. F-roads can be rough, steep, and filled with loose gravel. Familiarize yourself with the difficulty level of the road you plan to drive on and any F-road closures or warnings.


Assess river crossings:


River crossings are a common feature on F-roads in Iceland. It’s crucial to evaluate the depth and flow of the rivers before attempting to cross. Crossings can vary in difficulty, and it’s advisable to consult with experienced locals or information centers to gauge the current river conditions.


Inform others and share your plans:


Prior to venturing onto F-roads, inform someone about your travel plans, including your intended route and estimated time of arrival. This ensures that someone can check on your progress and alert authorities if necessary.


Carry essential supplies:


When driving in the highlands, be prepared for unexpected situations. Carry extra food, water, warm clothing, and a mobile phone with a fully charged battery. It’s also useful to have a GPS device, a physical map, and a first aid kit.


Respect the environment:


When driving on F-roads and in the highlands, respect nature and follow the principles of responsible travel. Stay on designated roads, avoid damaging fragile landscapes, and be cautious of wildlife.


Highland driving in Iceland offers a thrilling and unforgettable experience, but it requires careful preparation and a sense of adventure. By considering these tips, you can enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Iceland’s highlands while ensuring your safety and minimizing any negative impact on the environment.


Wildlife Hazards

When embarking on a road trip in Iceland, encountering wildlife is a possibility, especially in certain areas such as national parks and rural regions. While seeing Icelandic wildlife can be a memorable experience, it’s important to be aware of the potential hazards they may pose on the road.


1. Wild animals on the road: Icelandic roads can sometimes intersect with the natural habitats of animals like reindeer, sheep, and even arctic foxes. These animals may wander onto the road, especially during early morning or late evening hours. Stay alert and watch out for any signs indicating the presence of animals, as well as reflective markers along the roadside.


2. Stay at a safe distance: If you encounter wild animals on or near the road, maintain a safe distance and slow down. It’s important not to approach or feed the animals, as this can be dangerous for both you and the animals themselves. Remember that wildlife is unpredictable, so be prepared for sudden movements or changes in their behavior.


3. Watch out for birds: Iceland is known for its diverse bird population, including species like puffins and Arctic terns. These birds may nest near or even on roadsides. Be cautious when driving through areas where bird colonies are present, as the birds may not be accustomed to vehicles passing by and could fly unpredictably.


4. Be mindful of seals: Along the coastal areas of Iceland, seals can often be spotted lounging on rocks or near the shore. While they may appear cute and harmless, it’s important to give them their space and avoid disturbing their natural habitat. Do not approach them or try to interact with them, as they are wild animals and may react defensively.


5. Take precautions in the dark: Particularly during the winter months when daylight hours are limited, wildlife hazards can become more challenging to navigate. Use your headlights effectively to improve visibility and reduce the risk of encountering animals on the road. Drive at a slower speed in areas where wildlife is prevalent, and be especially cautious around curves and blind corners.


Remember, encountering wildlife is a part of the unique experience of driving in Iceland. By staying alert, driving responsibly, and respecting the wildlife and their habitats, you can ensure a safer and more enjoyable road trip while appreciating the natural wonders that Iceland has to offer.


Road Etiquette and Courtesy

When driving in Iceland, practicing good road etiquette and showing courtesy to fellow drivers is essential. By following these guidelines, you can contribute to a safer and more pleasant driving experience for everyone on the road.


1. Keep to the right: In Iceland, driving is done on the right-hand side of the road. Always stay in your designated lane and use your indicators to signal your intentions to change lanes or make turns.


2. Maintain a safe following distance: Leave enough space between your vehicle and the one in front of you. This allows for more reaction time and helps prevent collisions. Icelandic roads can be narrow and winding, so keeping a safe distance is especially crucial in these conditions.


3. Yield to oncoming traffic: When driving on narrow or single-lane roads, yield to vehicles coming from the opposite direction. Look for designated passing places or wider spots to allow safe passage for oncoming vehicles.


4. Use headlights and fog lights properly: Use your headlights during low-light conditions, including in the early morning, late evening, and during periods of reduced visibility. Ensure that your headlights are on dipped beam to avoid dazzling other drivers. Additionally, use your fog lights when necessary, but be mindful of turning them off when visibility improves.


5. Respect speed limits: Adhere to the posted speed limits and adjust your speed according to the road conditions and weather. Be mindful of reduced speed limits in urban areas, construction zones, and areas with vulnerable wildlife populations.


6. Be mindful of cyclists and pedestrians: Watch out for cyclists and pedestrians, especially in urban areas. Give them enough space and yield to pedestrians at crosswalks. Cyclists should ride along the edge of the road, and it’s important to pass them at a safe distance.


7. Use lay-bys and designated parking areas: If you need to make a stop or take a break, use designated lay-bys or parking areas. Avoid parking on the roadside, as it can obstruct traffic and pose a hazard to other drivers.


8. Be patient and courteous: Practice patience on the road, especially during high traffic periods or when encountering slower-moving vehicles. Avoid aggressive or reckless driving behaviors and show respect to other road users.


9. Give way to emergency vehicles: If you see or hear emergency vehicles approaching, safely pull over to the side of the road and allow them to pass. This helps them reach their destination quickly and efficiently.


10. Help fellow travelers: If you see a vehicle in distress or someone who needs assistance on the side of the road, if it is safe to do so, offer help or alert the appropriate authorities.


By adopting these road etiquette practices, you can contribute to a positive driving culture and promote safer roads in Iceland. Remember, by showing courtesy and respect to other drivers, you can make your road trip more enjoyable for everyone.


Emergency Situations

While we hope that your road trip in Iceland goes smoothly, it’s important to be prepared for any unexpected emergencies that may arise. Here are some key steps to keep in mind in the event of an emergency:


1. Stay calm and assess the situation: If you find yourself in an emergency situation, stay calm and assess the severity of the situation. This will help you make clear decisions and take appropriate actions.


2. Contact emergency services: In case of a serious emergency, such as a major accident or medical emergency, dial the emergency number in Iceland which is 112. This connects you to the appropriate emergency services, including police, ambulance, or fire brigade.


3. Provide necessary details: When contacting emergency services, provide clear and concise details about the situation, including your location, the nature of the emergency, and any injuries or medical conditions that may require immediate attention.


4. Follow emergency instructions: If you receive instructions or guidance from emergency services, follow them carefully. They are trained professionals who are there to help you navigate the situation safely.


5. Take safety precautions: If you find yourself in a situation where your vehicle becomes disabled or encounters mechanical issues, ensure your safety and the safety of others by pulling over to a safe location off the road. Use hazard lights to alert other drivers of your presence.


6. Carry emergency supplies: It’s always advisable to carry a well-stocked emergency kit in your vehicle. This may include items such as a first aid kit, flashlight, extra warm clothing, non-perishable food, water, a fire extinguisher, a reflective warning triangle, and a basic toolkit.


7. Use caution in extreme weather: In case of extreme weather conditions or natural disasters, such as heavy snowfall, storms, or earthquakes, follow any advisories or warnings issued by local authorities. Adjust your driving plans accordingly and seek shelter if necessary.


8. Inform someone of your travel plans: Before starting your road trip, inform a trusted person about your travel itinerary, including planned routes and estimated arrival times. Check in with them regularly to keep them updated on your progress.


9. Utilize roadside assistance: If you find yourself in a non-life-threatening situation, such as a flat tire or minor mechanical issue, contact your rental car company’s roadside assistance service or use your own coverage if available.


Remember, being prepared for emergency situations can greatly help in managing and resolving them effectively. By staying calm, following proper protocols, and taking necessary precautions, you can navigate through any unexpected challenges that may arise during your road trip in Iceland.


Parking Facilities

When traveling by car in Iceland, proper parking is essential to ensure the safety and convenience of both yourself and other road users. Here are some important considerations regarding parking facilities:


1. Off-street parking: In urban areas and popular tourist destinations, you’ll typically find designated off-street parking lots and parking garages. These facilities provide a safe and convenient option for parking your vehicle. It’s advisable to have Icelandic coins on hand for paid parking lots or use a parking app if available.


2. On-street parking: In many towns and cities, you’ll also find on-street parking options. Pay careful attention to the posted signs and markings to understand the regulations and time limits for parking. Some areas may have specific parking zones for residents or time-restricted parking. Make sure to park within the designated areas and adhere to the regulations to avoid fines or towing.


3. Rural areas and natural attractions: When visiting rural areas or natural attractions, you may come across informal parking areas. These spots are usually gravel or grassy patches along the side of the road where other drivers have parked. Ensure that you park in a manner that does not obstruct traffic or damage the environment.


4. Overnight parking: If you plan to park overnight, especially in more remote locations or campsites, it’s important to verify if overnight parking is permitted. Some areas may have specific rules or restrictions in place, so be sure to check with local authorities or on-site information boards.


5. Special considerations: Some areas, such as national parks or protected nature reserves, may have specific parking regulations to protect the environment. Look for signs indicating any special instructions or restrictions, and follow them accordingly.


6. Safety precautions: Always lock your vehicle and ensure that you do not leave any valuable items visible, as this may attract unwanted attention. Take your belongings with you when leaving the vehicle and secure any detachable parts, such as roof racks or bike racks, to deter theft.


7. Accessibility considerations: Parking facilities in Iceland strive to provide accessibility for individuals with disabilities. Look for designated disabled parking spots if needed, and ensure that you have the necessary parking permit displayed if required.


8. Consider alternative transportation options: In busy tourist areas or during peak seasons, parking can be limited. Consider using alternative transportation methods, such as public transportation or organized tours, to explore certain destinations and avoid parking challenges.


By following the parking regulations, respecting the environment, and being considerate of other road users, you can ensure a smoother and more enjoyable experience when parking your vehicle during your road trip in Iceland.


Cell Phone Network Coverage

When traveling in Iceland, having reliable cell phone network coverage is important for communication, navigation, and accessing information. Here are some key points to know about cell phone network coverage in Iceland:


1. Strong coverage in urban areas: In most major towns and cities in Iceland, you can expect to have excellent cell phone network coverage. You should have no trouble making calls, sending text messages, and accessing mobile data services in these areas.


2. Coverage in rural and remote areas: While network coverage may be more limited in rural and remote areas of Iceland, the country has made significant efforts to extend coverage to these regions. In general, you can still expect to have decent coverage in popular tourist destinations and along major highways.


3. Limited coverage in highland areas: It’s important to note that network coverage in the highlands of Iceland, especially in more isolated and mountainous regions, may be limited or nonexistent. When planning to explore highland areas, it’s advisable to download offline maps and essential information in advance, as you may not have reliable access to mobile data services.


4. Multiple network providers: Iceland has several mobile network providers, including Vodafone, Síminn, and Nova. It’s worth considering the coverage and rates offered by different providers, depending on your specific needs and travel plans.


5. Roaming and international rates: If you are traveling from abroad, it’s important to check with your service provider regarding international roaming rates and coverage in Iceland. It may be more cost-effective to purchase a local SIM card or opt for a temporary international data plan to ensure seamless connectivity during your road trip.


6. Public Wi-Fi availability: While cellular network coverage is generally reliable in Iceland, there are also numerous public Wi-Fi hotspots available in cafes, restaurants, hotels, and other public spaces. Take advantage of these free Wi-Fi spots to conserve your mobile data usage and stay connected.


7. Emergency calls: In case of emergencies, you can dial the emergency number 112 on your mobile phone, even without network coverage or a SIM card. This will connect you to the emergency services and allow you to seek assistance.


8. Preparation is key: Before your road trip, make sure to have a fully charged mobile phone and carry a power bank or car charger to keep your device powered during long drives. It’s also a good idea to have important contact numbers saved offline and have essential travel apps downloaded for offline use.


With the right knowledge and preparation, you can stay connected and have the necessary communication and navigation capabilities during your road trip in Iceland. Enjoy the convenience and peace of mind that comes with reliable cell phone network coverage.


GPS and Navigation Systems

Having a reliable GPS and navigation system is crucial for a successful road trip in Iceland. It helps you navigate unfamiliar roads, find attractions, and ensure you reach your destinations efficiently. Here are some important points about GPS and navigation systems in Iceland:


1. Mobile apps and offline maps: There are various mobile apps available that offer offline maps and navigation for Iceland. Apps like Google Maps, Maps.Me, and Here WeGo allow you to download maps in advance and use them offline, even if you don’t have data or network coverage.


2. Rental car navigation systems: Rental car companies in Iceland often offer GPS or navigation systems as additional features. These systems are preloaded with maps specifically designed for Iceland’s road network and can be a convenient option for navigating the country.


3. Road signs and markers: Iceland has a well-maintained road signage system that provides clear directions and instructions. Pay attention to road signs and markers along the way, especially in rural areas where GPS signals may be weaker.


4. Familiarize yourself with the routes: Before starting your journey, familiarize yourself with the routes and directions of the places you plan to visit. Having a general understanding of the geography and road layout can help you navigate more confidently.


5. Follow the official travel websites: The official travel websites for Iceland often provide updated road information, including closures, alternative routes, and road conditions. Consult these websites for the latest information before and during your trip.


6. Use landmarks and mile markers: In more remote regions or when GPS signals may be weaker, use landmarks, distinctive natural features, or mile markers to navigate. The Icelandic landscape is known for its unique landmarks and breathtaking scenery, making it easier to identify your location.


7. Ask locals for directions: If you are unsure about the directions or need specific guidance, don’t hesitate to ask locals for help. Icelandic people are generally friendly and willing to assist travelers with navigation and directions.


8. Plan your stops in advance: Use your GPS or navigation system to plan your stops, including fuel stations, rest areas, attractions, and accommodations. This ensures that you have a well-planned itinerary and don’t miss out on any important places of interest.


9. Keep your GPS updated: If you are using a dedicated GPS device, make sure it is updated with the latest maps and software. This ensures accurate directions and information throughout your journey.


Remember that while GPS and navigation systems are valuable tools, it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan and use your judgment. Stay attentive, follow road signs, and adjust your route as needed to ensure a safe and enjoyable road trip experience in Iceland.


Camping and Accommodation Options

When embarking on a road trip in Iceland, camping can be a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the stunning natural surroundings. Additionally, there are also various accommodation options available throughout the country. Here are some popular choices:


1. Camping: Iceland offers a wealth of camping opportunities, with campsites available in many locations. These campsites often provide basic amenities such as toilets, showers, and sometimes even cooking facilities. Camping allows you to fully experience Iceland’s landscapes and offers flexibility in terms of where you stay each night.


2. Camper vans and RVs: Renting a camper van or RV gives you the freedom to travel and camp at your own pace. These vehicles often come equipped with sleeping quarters, kitchenettes, and some even have shower facilities. Camper van and RV rentals are popular in Iceland, and there are numerous rental companies to choose from.


3. Guesthouses and hostels: Guesthouses and hostels provide budget-friendly accommodation options. They typically offer private or shared rooms, communal kitchen facilities, and shared bathrooms. Guesthouses and hostels can be found in both urban areas and smaller towns, making them convenient for road trip itineraries.


4. Hotels and guest lodges: If you prefer more luxurious accommodations, Iceland offers a range of hotels and guest lodges. These options provide comfortable rooms, on-site restaurants, and additional amenities. Hotels can be found in major cities and popular tourist areas.


5. Farm stays: Farm stays offer a unique accommodation experience, allowing you to stay on working Icelandic farms. These accommodations provide the opportunity to learn about traditional farming practices, interact with animals, and enjoy the peaceful rural surroundings.


6. Remote accommodations: Iceland’s remote locations offer opportunities for secluded stays in cottages, cabins, or eco-lodges. These accommodations provide an escape from the hustle and bustle, allowing you to fully appreciate the tranquility of Iceland’s natural beauty.


7. Booking in advance: It’s advisable to book accommodations in advance, especially during the peak tourist season. Popular campsites, camper vans, and hotel rooms can fill up quickly, so securing your bookings ahead of time ensures availability and peace of mind.


8. Wild camping: While wild camping is allowed in many areas of Iceland, it’s important to follow regulations and be respectful of the environment. Familiarize yourself with the rules for wild camping to ensure you are adhering to the guidelines and minimizing your impact on nature.


Whether you choose camping, guesthouses, hotels, or unique accommodation options, Iceland offers a range of choices to suit every traveler’s preferences and budget. Plan and book your accommodations accordingly, so you can rest and recharge for your unforgettable Icelandic road trip adventures.


Travel Insurance

When embarking on a road trip in Iceland, having travel insurance is essential for your peace of mind and protection. Here are some key points to consider regarding travel insurance:


1. Medical coverage: Travel insurance provides coverage for medical emergencies and treatment while you’re in Iceland. This includes hospital visits, doctor appointments, and emergency medical transportation if needed, ensuring that you can access quality healthcare if the need arises.


2. Trip cancellation or interruption: Travel insurance can provide reimbursement for non-refundable expenses if your trip gets canceled or interrupted due to unforeseen circumstances. This may include situations such as illness, injury, or other unexpected events that prevent you from continuing your journey.


3. Lost or stolen belongings: Travel insurance can cover the loss or theft of your personal belongings, including valuable items, travel documents, and luggage. This ensures that you are financially protected if your belongings are damaged, lost, or stolen during your trip.


4. Rental car coverage: Check if your travel insurance policy covers rental car damages or accidents. This can provide additional peace of mind when driving in Iceland, as it protects you from potential financial liabilities in case of any damage to the rental vehicle.


5. Emergency evacuation: In the event of a natural disaster or other emergency situations, travel insurance can provide coverage for emergency evacuation from remote or challenging locations. This ensures that you can be safely transported to the nearest medical facility or back home if needed.


6. Iceland-specific coverage: Before purchasing travel insurance, check if the policy includes specific coverage for activities such as hiking, glacier exploration, and other adventure sports that you may participate in during your road trip in Iceland.


7. Read the policy details: Carefully read and understand the terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy. Pay attention to coverage limits, exclusions, and any pre-existing conditions that may impact your coverage. Familiarize yourself with the claims process and keep copies of all relevant documentation.


8. Compare different insurance providers: Shop around and compare quotes from different insurance providers to ensure you’re getting the right coverage at a competitive price. Consider the level of coverage, benefits, and customer reviews before making a decision.


Remember, travel insurance provides a safety net in case of unexpected events or emergencies. It’s important to have coverage that suits your needs, so you can fully enjoy your road trip in Iceland with peace of mind, knowing that you are protected financially and medically.



Embarking on a road trip in Iceland is an adventure like no other, offering breathtaking landscapes, unique experiences, and the freedom to explore at your own pace. By being prepared and considering the various aspects of road tripping in Iceland, you can have a safe, enjoyable, and memorable journey.


In this guide, we covered crucial information such as obtaining an international driving license, driving on the right side of the road, understanding road conditions, and being aware of speed limits and weather conditions. We also discussed the importance of having reliable cell phone network coverage, GPS navigation systems, and travel insurance.


Additionally, we explored the different accommodation options available in Iceland, from camping and guesthouses to hotels and farm stays. Each offers a unique experience to enhance your road trip adventure.


Remember to exercise road etiquette and practice courtesy towards other drivers, especially in remote areas or when encountering wildlife. Stay vigilant, follow traffic rules, and be respectful of Iceland’s stunning natural environment.


As you embark on your road trip, always prioritize safety and be prepared for any unexpected situations. Familiarize yourself with emergency procedures, have a well-stocked emergency kit, and stay connected through reliable communication channels.


Lastly, take the time to bask in the beauty of Iceland’s landscapes, indulge in local cuisine, and immerse yourself in the rich culture and history of this remarkable country. Let your road trip be a journey filled with unforgettable moments, stunning vistas, and lifelong memories.


Now, it’s time to buckle up, start the engine, and embark on your Icelandic road trip adventure. Enjoy the open road, embrace the unexpected, and savor every moment of your incredible journey through the Land of Fire and Ice.