Discover Iceland's beauty
Only 334 thousand people live in Iceland, but the area that the country covers is bigger than Portugal's territory and twice as big as Denmark's territory. That's why you can't really explore this country in one afternoon. It is an ideal option for the lovers of sensual impressions, as spectacular geysers, magnificent fiords, and uncharted caves fill almost all of the country's recesses with colour and endless tourist possibilities.
It's futile to search for trains, trams, and subway in Iceland. In order to get from one place to another, you need to take a walk, take a taxi or a bus, or simply reach the place by bicycle. That's why most of the tourists flying to Iceland choose renting a car as their main and most comfortable means of transport. Car rental spots are available not only at Keflavik Airport, but also in the nearby Reykjavik, which will be the most convenient starting point for your adventure around the land of geysers.
Discover Road Trips in Iceland
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Driving around Iceland - in the land of volcanoes and glaciers
Reykjavik, located in the southern part of the island, is one of the most popular attractions in the country. Despite the fact that the Icelanders are known for observing traffic rules, you'll come across a number of daredevils who quickly lose their cool here. The city centre is ideally adjusted for driving a vehicle. Therefore, you won't face any problems in getting to such tourist attractions as Hallgrimskirkja, the National Museum of Iceland, or the famous Sólfar monument.
Selfoss is another pearl of South Iceland well-known for its harsh climate and interesting geological forms. It will be an ideal starting point for the adventure around Landmannalaugar, or the Rainbow Mountains, which are a paradise for the fans of trekking and hiking.
Vík is another interesting town in the southern part of the island. You can find there a breathtaking glacier, Mýrdalsjökull, which is home to a large population of puffins. Other magnificent geological forms include Eyjafjallajökull, an active volcano luring hundreds of tourists on an annual basis.
The lovers of natural landscapes and tranquility should direct their steps to Skaftafell situated in an area characterised by high volcanic activity. Here, you'll find multiple examples of geysers and glacier foreland. Fjallsárlón, a glacier lagoon, will offer holidaymakers interesting boat trips to the nearby glaciers, whereas in Hornafjordur, you'll have the opportunity to try various types of fish and local treats.
In the eastern part of the island, you'll find, among other things, Eglisstadir, a scenic town located on the shore of Lagarfljót. In the region, it's also worth visiting the Asbyrgi Canyon or the Dettifoss Waterfall, which are located only 30 km apart.
Akureyri is an ideal option to admire the Eyjafjörður Fiord. Well-known for fishery, the small town of Husavik entices tourists with its peaceful atmosphere and small-town architecture - from here, there's only a short trip to the colourful Mývatn Lake that is 35 thousand years old.
Those who came to Iceland in search of geysers should travel to Laugar, which is famous for geothermal waters. On your way to Stykkisholmur, which dates back to the 16th century, it's also worth paying a visit in Flokalundur, which will guarantee you an excellent view on the eastern fiords.
Another place that is a proof of the diversity of Icelandic landscapes is Snaefellsjoekull, a one-of-a-kind stratovolcano. An observant beholder will spot a gigantic glacier on its summit.
While travelling around Iceland, you can't miss Borgarnes – an industrial and commercial centre located on a green promontory. The greatest highlights of the city include the Borgarfjörður Museum and the Skallagrimsgarður Park.
However, before you start your journey around the spectaculat natural wonders of Iceland, it's worth familiarising yourself with the most important traffic rules previaling on the island.
Traffic rules in Iceland
What do you need to remember and what to avoid while driving around Icelandic roads? Will you reach all tourist attractions of this icy country by car equally easy? On which side of the road do the Icelander drive? - you can find the answers to these questions and many more below.
In Iceland, there are almost no toll roads. The only place where you have to incur costs is the Hvalfjudor Tunnel, where you will pay ISK 1,000 for a six-metre-long vehicle.
Most of the Icelandic roads are characterised by unpaved roads which are often covered with gravel. The harshness of the climate forces motorists to stay extra cautious while sightseeing regardless of the season, and many roads running in the mountain areas are available only in the summer.
For your own safety, you should check the state of the roads on the website of the Icelandic Road Authorities before a longer venture along the mountain trails. It's best to stay on the main route as off-road trips are heavily penalised in Iceland.
Safety on the roads
The Icelanders drive on the right side of the street, owing to which most of the tourists won't have any problems with changing their driving habits. While driving along the Icelandic roads with your rental car, you should remember about two most important road signs, namely malbik endar, which means the end of a paved road and the beginning of a gravel road, and einbreið brú, which means a one-lane bridge.
In Iceland, you need to keep your dipped headlights on in all seasons. There is also a special integrated emergency system, owing to which it's enough to dial 112 to reach police department, fire department, or emergency medical services. When it comes to speed limits, you can drive at a speed of 50 km/h in built-up areas as well as 80 km/h on gravel roads and 90 km/h on bituminous roads in rural areas. You should also remember about wearing seatbelts which are obligatory both for the driver and the passengers. Failing to observe this regulation may cost you a lot...
Drinking and driving is considered a crime and is penalised with high penalty payments, driving bans, and even prison. The permitted blood alcohol level is 0.05%.
While driving around Iceland, you need to make sure that your rental car is properly equipped. The obligatory equipment includes a warning triangle, whereas a reflective vest, a fire extinguisher, a first aid kit, and a set of spare bulbs are optional. Nevertheless, it’s practical to have these elements with you as you never know when they are going to come in handy.