Road trip in Iceland during winter: Essential tips

How to prepare for a road trip in Iceland during snowy wintertime 🚧

Iceland is full of amazing places. The landscape is pretty different during winter and summertime. If you are planning to make a road trip in Iceland during wintertime, here are my top tips for you:


The roads

Iceland has one main road, what goes around the whole island. This road is mostly clean from snow, but there can be unexpected surprises like snow drifts or ice spots. As the weather changes quite often the driving conditions do too. In one minute sunny, seconds after windy and snowy. So leaving the asphalted road for scenic roads will expect “constant vigilance”. These roads are rarely clean, or sometime closed. Therefore check the road conditions (here), or webcam images (here).

Never cross speed limit. During nighttime there is not much artificial light, sometimes just your car reflector. If there is no internet connection around, you can get information about road conditions and the weather by calling 1777 (or +354 522 1100), they are open 6:30-22 in winter.


The car

During wintertime it is highly recommend to book a 4 wheel drive car. Not just because the snowy conditions, but because there are roads (mountain roads) that you are only allowed to enter by these. There are many rental companies offering cars, we used Lagoon, they where nice and was no caution. When driving be slow, and watch out for gravels, rocks, because they can make damage in the car.


The time of travel

Iceland may not look that huge, but be carful, the heavy road conditions, the changing weather and the unexpected stops, spontaneous visits can make your trip much longer than you may calculate it. Visiting Vik and the Black Sand Beach from Pingvellier NP including Skogafoss and Seljalandafoss will take a whole day to make a round trip.


If there is trouble…

Yes, sadly it can happen, we have seen it too. If the wind is too strong, or the road is to slippery, snowy you can stuck. For help download 112 Iceland app, via this you can send your GPS location to the help center, or also you can call 112. But be careful, try to avoid trouble cause help can you cost a whole lot.

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