In a country where 'ice' is part of the name, it's good to be prepared.
Driving in Iceland is likely to be different than what you’re used to back home, even if you’re used to snowy, icy winters. Below are important tips to keep in mind if you’re travelling on our self-drive tours in Iceland between October and April.
WEATHER AND ROAD CONDITIONS
When you check the forecasts for a clear night during your hunt for the Northern Lights, remember to check out the road conditions and travel alerts as well. Icelandic weather is known to change rapidly so it's vital to monitor weather conditions regularly over the course of the day.
We recommend the following Icelandic sites:
If you’re travelling with a smartphone, we recommend downloading the “112 Iceland” app from SafeTravel. It is connected to emergency responders in Iceland and can help locate your vehicle if you find yourself in a hazardous situation. (Of course, in case of an accident or other life-threatening situation you should first try to call 112, Iceland’s emergency number.)
Winter storms can bring high winds, poor visibility and slippery surfaces. If the weather is deemed unfit for driving and your travel plans are disrupted, rest assured that Nordic Visitor can sort out your accommodation and adjust your itinerary as needed.
If you’re in doubt about the climate or weather on your trip, don’t hesitate to ask the advice of a local or contact your travel consultant.
MAPS AND GPS NAVIGATION
Do not use only the GPS to guide you! You should always use the hand-marked map provided by Nordic Visitor as your main navigational tool when driving.
Many Icelandic place names are difficult to spell, are similar to other names or are identical to names in a different part of the country. So the GPS device might give you directions to a place you never intended to visit. GPS also tends to provide routes with the shortest journey, not taking into account any winter road closures.
Always cross-check any GPS directions with your paper map provided by Nordic Visitor, and don’t forget to check weather conditions.
OTHER CONSIDERATIONS FOR WINTER DRIVING
Looking for information about Icelandic driving laws, common road hazards, petrol stations, parking and more? Check our handy driving guide.