Driving in Iceland
All you need to know for a safe road trip around Iceland
Driving around Iceland is a popular way to experience the country and self-drive tours are the best mode of independent travel. One of the most important rules for driving in Iceland is to be well informed about road and weather conditions. We introduce you to reliable sources and important Icelandic websites that help you make your trip safe.
In Iceland, one can find three different types of roads: paved roads, gravel roads, and F-roads.
Highway no. 1, commonly known as the Ring Road or Route 1, is the most traveled road around Iceland. All 1322 kilometers of the Ring Road are paved and open throughout the year, although bad weather conditions during winter can cause temporary and local closures.
Many accidents occur where pavement changes into gravel surfaces. Gravel roads can be driven with a normal car and do not require a four-wheel drive. But to not lose control of the car, it is necessary to reduce the speed before the road surface changes.
F-Roads or mountain roads (the F standing for “Fjall” which translates to “mountain”) lead you to the heartland of Iceland and are . If you are planning on driving into the highlands, be sure that you have a four-wheel-drive jeep with good ground clearance to tackle the rough terrain and cross rivers. Ask your car rental agency about the best choice for your trip and find more information about highland driving here: .
The Icelandic weather is famous for changing quickly and constantly. A daily weather forecast check on Vedur.is or Wet.is should be an essential part of your travel routine. Pay special attention to strong winds when driving a high vehicle, such as campers and mobile homes, as well as to heavy snowfall and storm alerts when traveling around Iceland in winter. Driving conditions can be more challenging then and we, therefore, recommend renting a four-wheel-drive vehicle to get around safely.
How to drive in Iceland
Safetravel.is is the no.1 page in Iceland that keeps you up-to-date about everything you need to know for your journey. On their conditions map, road closures, wind speed, traffic situation, and webcams are listed and it gives a great overview of the current travel conditions. We also recommend signing up for their free SMS service that informs you instantly when something is going on.
Safetravel also is the ultimate guide for learning how to drive in Iceland. A driving test, information about highland driving, an overview of Icelandic road signs, speed limits, and video tutorials prepare you for hitting the road.