Driving around Iceland is a recipe for a dream vacation for many, and rightly so. Open roads, clean air providing clear views as far the horizon reaches and nature so striking sometimes you hardly know which way to look. The national routes of Iceland can easily provide the road trip of a lifetime – if you drive in accordance to local rules and conditions.
Automobile traffic in Iceland is on the right side of the road. The standard speed limit in Iceland is 50 km/h (31mph) within township limits, 80 km/h (49mph) on roads connecting townships and on gravel roads out in the countryside. 90 km/h (55mph) is the country’s top speed and goes for all national routes. Nevertheless, you should always look for speed limit signs by the side of the road. You can not miss them. Also, keep in mind that even if you feel like you have driven dozens of miles without seeing a single police car – or any car, for that matter – there are active speed cameras literally everywhere. Get caught speeding above the limit and you may just get a very hefty fine.
National routes in Iceland tend to be more on the narrow side. When passing cars going in the opposite direction, mind your speed and keep your eyes on the road. A second’s distraction at the wrong moment might possibly bring your vacation to an abrupt end, and that you can easily avoid by driving carefully.
Certain conditions in Iceland must be taken into account when driving in Iceland. Sometimes, asphalt roads come to a sudden end and gravel road takes over. This means much less grip and ensuing risk of losing traction. At high speeds this can spell disaster. Icy roads can also be slippery and cause you to lose control of the car. Always drive in accordance to weather conditions and look out for slippery roads.
You probably came to Iceland to experience the incomparable nature, and that’s super. Just remember that the natural surroundings makes for an almost constant source of visual distractions. Do not stop your car abruptly to get a better look, do not exit the market road to get a better look and do not take a sudden U-turn to get a second look. There may be fewer cars on the road than you are used to but it also takes one at the wrong moment to make it all go horribly wrong.
Remember that off-road driving is illegal in Iceland and doing so, and subsequently damaging delicate nature, will result in criminal prosecution and fines high enough to ruin your weekend, even your vacation altogether. Stay on the roads, mind the speed, take it easy and the dreamy road trip you came for will soon be yours.
Safe travels and have a nice trip!
How to drive in iceland: http://www.icetra.is/road-traffic/how-to-drive-in-iceland/