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13 Iceland Street Journey Ideas (Know Earlier than You Go) Get hold of US

Posted: 4/2/2024 | April 2nd, 2024

Iceland is a magical nation. It simply feels out of this world, such as you’re on one other planet. The rugged volcanoes and black-sand seashores give the island a desolate however hanging look. If you happen to ask me, it’s proper up there with New Zealand and Norway by way of probably the most lovely nations on the planet.

And, identical to each of these locations, it’s a tremendous place to take a highway journey.

Due to its beautiful pure magnificence, security, and ease of transportation, Iceland has change into a preferred vacation spot for solo vacationers and first-time highway trippers. Sure, it may be costly, however it has a lot to see and do, together with tons of wonderful hikes and waterfalls which are free to get pleasure from. You don’t want to interrupt the financial institution right here.

Having been to Iceland a handful of occasions through the years, I feel taking a highway journey is one of the simplest ways to discover the nation. So, to make sure you save money and time and keep secure throughout your journey, listed here are my high 13 Iceland road-trip suggestions:


1. Ensure you have automotive insurance coverage

I by no means depart residence with out journey insurance coverage. And I by no means hire a automotive with out complete auto insurance coverage both.

In most locations, this would possibly look like overkill. I imply, how typically do you truly use your automotive insurance coverage?

In Iceland, nevertheless, the climate adjustments typically — and drastically.

Rain and snow are frequent, and gravel and sand typically harm home windows. However the true risk most drivers aren’t ready for is the wind. The gusts listed here are so sturdy that automotive doorways are commonly ripped off their hinges (each time I’ve rented a automotive right here, the corporate has jogged my memory of this).

Mix that with winding, slim roads and an abundance of lively volcanoes, and also you’ve obtained your self a recipe for automotive bother.

That’s why I all the time suggest vacationers have complete automotive rental protection after they go to Iceland. As a result of it’s significantly better to be secure than sorry right here!

In relation to renting a automotive, I like to recommend Discover Cars. Once you ebook, it’s tremendous straightforward so as to add automotive insurance coverage onto your buy with the clicking of a button. They make it clear what is roofed and the way a lot it prices.

You should utilize the widget beneath to get a quote. It’s quick and free:


2. Lease the appropriate automobile

It’s straightforward to hire a automotive in Iceland. You don’t want an Worldwide Driving Allow in case you have a legitimate license utilizing Latin letters with a license quantity, {photograph}, and expiration date. Meaning People, Canadians, Australians, Brits, and New Zealanders can all hire a automotive right here with their common license.

When renting a automobile in Iceland, you might have three foremost selections:

  • A automotive
  • A 4×4 (4WD)
  • A van/RV

If you happen to’re simply planning to see the primary sights whereas sleeping in hostels, accommodations, and/or Airbnbs, an everyday automotive will do the trick. It’s the most cost effective choice too.

If you wish to discover the rugged inside (often known as the Highlands), a 4×4 is required, because the roads there are sometimes unpaved, gravel ones referred to as “F-roads,” which may solely be traversed by 4×4 autos (in the event you drive an everyday automotive on them, your insurance coverage protection might be void).

Your closing alternative is a campervan/RV. These are for vacationers who wish to sleep of their automobile as they journey. They’re the costliest choice, however you’ll get monetary savings on lodging, so it type of balances out.

Simply understand that normal transmissions are the norm right here, so reserve an automatic-transmission automobile if that’s a requirement for you.

(Be aware: It doesn’t matter what kind of auto you might have, by no means drive off-road. It’s extremely unlawful as a result of fragility of Iceland’s ecosystem. Not solely does off-roading harm this lovely surroundings, however you possibly can face stiff fines if caught.)

3. Obtain the appropriate apps

Everybody road-tripping round Iceland ought to have the next apps downloaded to or web sites bookmarked on their telephone:

  • Google Translate – Whereas English is broadly spoken, the app could be useful for studying indicators and instructions. Simply be sure that to obtain Icelandic for offline use in an effort to nonetheless translate issues even with out cell knowledge.
  • Google Maps – One of the best app for trying up instructions. Make certain to obtain your maps so you might have them for offline use.
  • – This app shares climate alerts, highway closure data, and extra. It’s good to have so that you could be stored updated ought to inclement climate or emergencies come up.
  • – That is one of the best climate app for Iceland.
  • Samferda – This web site is nice for locating passengers if you wish to share a experience with somebody. (If you happen to’re a passenger and wish a experience, you’ll be able to publish right here too.) One other useful website for locating passengers is Couchsurfing.

Verify the worldwide insurance policies and fees in your telephone plan earlier than leaving, in order to keep away from sudden fees when utilizing these apps and/or web sites. If you wish to keep linked with limitless knowledge in your journey, get an eSIM.

4. Convey a paper map

Every time I’m going on a highway journey, I all the time convey a paper map. I do know, Google Maps is straightforward and free, and cell knowledge protection in Iceland is dependable. However it’s higher to be secure than sorry. You by no means know when your telephone goes to interrupt, in case your sign might be misplaced, or there might be an emergency.

Give your self peace of thoughts: convey a paper highway map with you, and simply depart it within the glove field. You possible gained’t want it, however in the event you do, you’ll be glad you might have it!

5. Select your route properly

The overwhelming majority of vacationers road-tripping by Iceland drive the Ring Street (aka Route 1, the nation’s foremost freeway) counterclockwise. This lets you begin with the well-known Golden Circle after which head towards widespread sights just like the Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls, the Sólheimasandur crash website, the glacier lagoon, and extra. If you happen to solely have a number of days to discover, that is one of the best route to decide on. If it’s your first-time visiting Iceland, that is the route I recommend.

Nevertheless, if you wish to be contrarian otherwise you wish to get off the crushed path, head clockwise. There are nonetheless some sights you’ll be able to go to to kick issues off, such because the postcard-perfect Mount Kirkjufell and the rugged Snæfellsnes Peninsula.

If you happen to actually wish to get off the crushed path and beat the crowds, head to the Westfjords. Solely a fraction of vacationers come right here, so it’s residence to a few of the most unspoiled landscapes within the nation. It was additionally the spotlight of all my time in Iceland.

6. Keep away from the F-roads (in case you have a automotive)

As talked about above, F-roads are rugged, unpaved routes that usually lead off the primary Ring Street into the inside. Driving on these roads requires a 4×4 (4WD). If in case you have an everyday automotive, you gained’t be permitted to drive on them. You’ll void your insurance coverage protection whereas additionally risking blowing a tire or damaging the automotive. It’s not value it!

7. Verify the climate typically

I’ve stated it earlier than and I’ll say it once more: the climate in Iceland adjustments quickly. For that cause, you’ll wish to keep watch over the forecast. Whereas driving in wind or rain won’t be a problem, in the event you’re planning to get out and hike or go to a few of the waterfalls, you’ll wish to be sure you’re ready for the climate. The app (talked about above) is a should.

It doesn’t matter what time of 12 months you go to, convey rain gear (together with a hat), waterproof footwear, and a sweater. Even in the summertime, Iceland is never sizzling, and rain isn’t unusual both. Put together accordingly so your journey isn’t ruined (particularly in the event you plan on mountaineering).

8. Solely pull over the place there’s house

You’ll be tempted to cease your automotive typically to take pictures. And I imply actually typically. Not solely are the primary sights in Iceland awe-inspiring, however the common sights are beautiful too. You’ll come throughout random vistas and waterfalls, craggy moss-covered hills, black-sand seashores, and a lot extra.

It will likely be tempting to tug over to get out and take pictures, however accomplish that with warning. Attempt to pull off the highway solely at designated stops or the place there’s room to take action with out impeding visitors. Whereas the Ring Street isn’t a superhighway, it’s a busy route with common visitors in each instructions. Don’t endanger your self or others for a photograph. Follow designated stopping areas.

9. Regulate your gasoline tank

As soon as you permit the busier a part of the island round Reykjavik, gasoline stations change into few and much between. For that cause, you’ll wish to refill when you’ll be able to. Don’t simply wait till you might have 1 / 4 tank, as you would possibly run out of gasoline earlier than you get to the subsequent station.

Whilst you can usually lookup the place gasoline stations are by way of Google Maps, I all the time be sure that to high up once I can. The peace of thoughts is value it. You’ll even be coated in case you get delayed or change your journey plans on the final minute.

10. Don’t rush

Lots of people assume that, as a result of Iceland is small, you’ll be able to see the sights in only a matter of days.

You’ll be able to’t.

If you happen to’re seeking to drive your entire Ring Street, plan for a minimum of 10-14 days. Whereas you are able to do it in much less, you’ll be rushed and can spend extra time driving than I’d suggest. (If you happen to simply wish to see the primary highlights within the south and east, 5-7 days is ample.)

I desire high quality over amount, so I all the time recommend vacationers decelerate and actually soak within the sights. You gained’t remorse it.

If you happen to’re on the lookout for really useful itineraries, this publish breaks down all my solutions for various time frames, all the way in which as much as a complete month.

11. Keep away from the summer season (and likewise the winter)

Iceland suffers from success. The nation is swamped by vacationers through the summer season, between late June and early August, as that’s when the climate is the warmest and the times are the longest. Whereas “busy” in Iceland is a far cry from “busy” in cities like Barcelona or Venice, it will possibly nonetheless be crowded round Reykjavik and the sights closest to town.

For that cause, I recommend visiting within the shoulder season. The climate remains to be heat and there might be far fewer individuals. Every part might be a little bit cheaper too.

If you’re set on going in the summertime, I’d recommend heading off to the Westfjords. It’s the least-visited space of the nation and gives a few of the most untamed and delightful landscapes in Iceland.

Moreover, I recommend avoiding winter visits too in the event you plan on driving. Street circumstances are lower than splendid, and snowstorms are frequent. Except you might have numerous expertise with winter driving, skip that season. (You’ll be able to positively do a winter go to to see the northern lights, I simply wouldn’t hire a automotive for that.)

Personally, I feel late Might to early June and late August to early September are one of the best occasions to go to. Costs are cheaper, the climate is respectable, and the crowds are thinner.

12. Decide up passengers

If you happen to’re touring on a finances, think about taking passengers. Having individuals chip in for gasoline for a leg or two of your journey is an effective way to save cash whereas additionally connecting with like-minded vacationers. As talked about above, you should utilize web sites like Samferda or Couchsurfing to seek out them.

An alternative choice is to select up hitchhikers. Within the hotter months, hitchhiking is tremendous frequent alongside the Ring Street (I hitchhiked right here and had a fantastic expertise). Whereas they typically don’t have cash to contribute, they possible have cool tales and nice suggestions. It’s a simple means to assist different vacationers and enliven your individual journey.

13. Comply with the foundations of the highway

Being a accountable traveler means following native norms and legal guidelines. Bear in mind that Iceland has stricter driving legal guidelines and penalties than it’s possible you’ll be used to. Make certain to do the next:

  • By no means drive off-road. Respect the delicate Icelandic ecosystem and by no means drive off-road.
  • By no means drink and drive. Iceland has very strict legal guidelines about driving underneath the affect (0.02% is the restrict). Not solely are you endangering your self and others, however the fines are extraordinarily excessive (100,000 ISK).
  • By no means use your telephone whereas driving. Use a hands-free setup if you want to discuss and drive, or else pull over. Not solely is it harmful, however you possibly can face excessive fines as nicely.
  • Be careful for others on the highway. This contains sheep (there are extra sheep than individuals right here) and cyclists. Cross slowly and provides them a large berth.
  • Know who to name. If you happen to expertise an emergency, dial 112 for help. It’s the equal of 911 within the US/Canada.


Iceland Street Journey FAQ

The famous Kirkjufell mountain in Iceland at sunset standing tall amongst the rugged scenery
How troublesome is a highway journey in Iceland?
Iceland is likely one of the best nations on the planet for a highway journey. The reason being that there’s basically only one lengthy highway that circles the nation (often known as Route 1, or the Ring Street). That makes it fairly straightforward to get round and troublesome to get misplaced.

How lengthy do you want to road-trip round Iceland?
If you happen to plan to drive your entire Ring Street, you’ll need a minimum of 10 days (14 days can be higher). If you happen to simply wish to see the primary sights within the south and east, 5-7 days must be loads.

Is Iceland very costly?
Iceland could be very costly. Meals, lodging, rental automobiles, and gasoline are all dear. Nevertheless, there are many methods to avoid wasting too. By sharing a automobile (and splitting prices), cooking all of your meals, and tenting or sticking to hostels, you’ll be able to simply do it for underneath $100 USD per day.

Is it value renting a 4×4?
I might solely hire a 4×4 in case you have prior highway journey expertise and are planning to go off highway. For the common customer seeking to see the primary sights, a 4×4 isn’t vital.

What’s an F-road?
An F-road is a route on which solely 4×4 autos can journey. They’re very rugged, unpaved roads, usually main you into the inside.

If in case you have an everyday rental automobile, you’re forbidden to drive on them.

Is it secure to drive solo in Iceland?
Iceland is constantly ranked as one of many most secure nations on the planet. If you happen to’re new to solo journey, it’s the proper place to start out.


Iceland is likely one of the most lovely nations on the planet. It’s additionally among the finest (and best) locations to do a highway journey. Whereas it might be costly, it’s very secure and simple to get round, and there are many free issues to see and do to maintain prices down. Simply observe the guidelines above, and also you’ll have a enjoyable and secure go to to this rugged island nation!



Get the In-Depth Finances Information to Iceland!

Get the In-Depth Budget Guide to Iceland!

Need to plan the proper journey to Iceland? Take a look at my complete information to Iceland written for finances vacationers such as you! It cuts out the fluff present in different guides and will get straight to the sensible data you want. You’ll discover steered itineraries, suggestions, budgets, methods to save cash, on and off the crushed path issues to see and do, and my favourite non-touristy eating places, markets, bars, transportation suggestions, and rather more! Click on right here to study extra and get your copy right this moment.

E-book Your Journey to Iceland: Logistical Ideas and Tips

E-book Your Flight
Use Skyscanner to discover a low-cost flight. They’re my favourite search engine as a result of they search web sites and airways across the globe so that you all the time know no stone is left unturned.

E-book Your Lodging
You’ll be able to ebook your hostel with Hostelworld as they’ve the most important stock and finest offers. If you wish to keep someplace apart from a hostel, use as they constantly return the most cost effective charges for guesthouses and low-cost accommodations.

Don’t Neglect Journey Insurance coverage
Journey insurance coverage will defend you towards sickness, harm, theft, and cancellations. It’s complete safety in case something goes improper. I by no means go on a visit with out it as I’ve had to make use of it many occasions up to now. My favourite firms that provide one of the best service and worth are:

Searching for the Greatest Corporations to Save Cash With?
Take a look at my useful resource web page for one of the best firms to make use of whenever you journey. I record all those I take advantage of to save cash once I’m on the highway. They’ll prevent cash whenever you journey too.

Need Extra Data on Iceland?
Remember to go to our strong vacation spot information to Iceland for much more planning suggestions!

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