Driving in Iceland
21 February 2022

A Short Guide for Driving through Iceland

Iceland is a destination on everyone's bucket list. That's why over 2 million people visited here in 2019.

People come to experience the famous Icelandic outdoors. The country is known for its natural wonders and stunning landscape. Most notably, it's known for its hot springs and fiery volcanoes.

If you're like us, you don't want to stick to a tourist timetable and itinerary. And since most of the wonders are in remote locations across the island, you need a car to make the most out of your trip. But, before you start driving in Iceland, there are some things you need to know first.

And you can find out everything down below!

stunning landscape in Iceland

Planning Your Journey

Before you set off, write a list of the best sites and places you want to visit along the way. This way you can plan when to visit and how to get there. The last thing you want is to get caught up in your action-packed journey and forget about places to visit.

Once you plan your route, it's time to start thinking about what to pack. If you're visiting waterfalls, you must wear comfortable hiking shoes with good grip. Most areas around the waterfall are very slippery, even on the official walkways.

So, think about what activities you want to experience and pack accordingly!

Renting a Car

You should always book in advance to get the best car hire deals. But don't just book any car, book one that suits your needs!

If you're traveling on a budget, you should look at renting a city-car. In summer, a city-car will get you anywhere around Iceland. Note that there's less space for luggage and equipment. 

If you are visiting in winter, we highly recommend a mid-size SUV, Large SUV or Luxury car. Not only do you get to explore more of the island, that also goes for summer time, and has more space inside the vehicle but they're also much safer. That should always be your number one priority on any journey!

Driving in Iceland

First of all, you should know that they drive on the right-hand side of the road in Iceland. The driver's seat is on the left side.

Have you heard of the infamous F-roads? If not, it's a good thing you're learning about them now.

F-roads are unpaved tracks and paths usually found in the highlands. They're only open from around June to September every year. Only our Large SUV and Luxury cars are suitable to drive here, but they are great fun and a proper adventure! Note that Off-roading is strictly forbidden in Iceland. The amazing Icelandic nature is sensitive so let’s treat it gently and with respect. F-Road and Off-road driving is not the same.

Be alert when driving on country roads. It's common for sheep to cross the roads. Always wait until every animal has crossed before setting off for everyone's safety.

Iceland ring road

Route 1

It takes you on a loop around the whole island.

The 1,333 km route begins at the capital, Reykjavik. Along the way, you'll come across the very best of Iceland! Popular tourist spots are Mývatn, Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, and Seljalandsfoss Waterfall.

But since you have a car, you don't need to stick to the tourist attractions. Get off the beaten path and explore Iceland's hidden craters or relax in a cozy cafe, in a charming village.

Need inspiration?

Then look no further than our alternative things to do along the north of Iceland.

Explore Iceland by Car

It's often said that it's not about the destination, it's about the journey. And that's the case when visiting Iceland. By driving across the country, you have the freedom to explore as you please.

And now that you know what to expect when you get here, all that's left is for you to pack a bag, plan a route and rent a car!