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Visit Iceland by driving, trip to Iceland

  1. By lisa
  2. On Nov 26, 2018
  3. Europe
  4. Travel Tips

Iceland exercises the imagination like no other destination. Waterfalls seem to pour over every cliff edge and
mountain face, mud pots pop, volcanoes smoke and fume, and a bitter Arctic wind howls across the otherworldly lava fields and fjords. Arrange your trip to Iceland by driving with our tips.

 

Visit Iceland by driving

SHEEP


Sheep actually outnumber people in Iceland! As such, please drive carefully through farmland as free-roaming sheep are frequently spotted near roadsides and often wander onto the roads. If you notice sheep near the road, slow down, and if they are on the road, honk the horn.

HIGHLAND ROADS (F-roads)


Most highland roads (or mountain roads), marked with an “F” on maps, have loose gravel surfaces so please drive with extra caution and pay special attention along the shoulders of the road. You must reduce your speed especially with oncoming traffic since these roads tend to be very narrow and often have very sharp winding turns.

 

Most highland roads are closed until the end of June or longer due to wet, muddy conditions that make the roads impassable. When opened, most of these roads are only suitable for 4WD vehicles. Please note that driving a regular-type rental car on prohibited highland roads can invalidate your rental insurance; make sure to review the rules in your car rental contract. Some car rental agencies require extra insurance for travelling in the
highlands.

OFF-ROAD DRIVING


Driving off marked roads can damage fragile vegetation and be very dangerous for motorists. Therefore, off-road
driving is strictly prohibited and heavily fined by authorities.

GAS STATIONS


Gas is slightly cheaper at self-service stations like ÓB, Orkan and Atlantsolía; they only accept credit cards with
a 4-digit PIN number. You can also purchase a pre-paid gas card from the service centre, if there is one.

N1 is a chain of gas stations with 98 locations throughout the country. Their locations typically also have kiosks
selling food, beverages and other goods.

 

Self-service pumps are marked ‘sjálfsafgreiðsla’ and full-service pumps are marked ‘full þjónusta’. Make sure to check which type of fuel your car requires (it is usually marked on the gas cap) before filling the tank.

Opening hours vary throughout the country, but most gas stations in Reykjavík area are open between 7:00 and 23:00. Typically, the larger stations, like N1, will remain open for self-service after closing hours and accept credit
cards with 4-digit PIN numbers.

Note: gas stations are sparse between Vík and Mývatn, so please keep a close eye on your fuel levels. It is better
to fill the tank when you have the chance rather than risk running out of gas.

 

PARKING IN REYKJAVÍK


Few hotels in central Reykjavík offer overnight parking for their guests. However, you can find metered parking in
many downtown areas; meter fees typically range from 90 ISK to 250 ISK per hour but are free after 18:00 on
weekdays, after 13:00 on Saturdays and all day on Sundays. Some meters require coins, but in many streets or public lots you can pay by credit card at an automat and place the ticket in the windshield.

Parking garages are another option; they are marked with a “P” and fees range from 50 ISK to 80 ISK per hour, but keep in mind that they have varied closing hours. Free parking can also be found just outside of city centre.

PARKING IN AKUREYRI


You can find parking disks at petrol stations in Akureyri free of charge—simply pick one up and post it in your
car. On the back you will find instructions, but it is essentially a simple system of setting the clock on the hour
parked.