Driving in Iceland in winter
When driving in Iceland in winter there are few things you should know. Driving in Iceland in winter requires you to be on your toes and ready for all different weather and conditions all the time.
The weather and difficult road conditions can make driving in Iceland in winter quite difficult. But if you are already reading this, being prepared and understanding what you are going for can be a game changer for driving in Iceland in winter.
If you are up for this adventure, the next step should be planning your trip. If you plan on driving your self, you need to rent a car. If you are not sure about the driving part you can always hire a guide or join a tour which will then include someone driving for you. We do customized tours after your request, send us a request here.
When hiring a car it’s very important to have spikes on the tire or at least winter tires. Spikes are allowed on tires in Iceland from 1. November till 15. of April. In that period I do recommend you to hire a car with spikes. It can also change a lot to have a 4wd car in this period, they are more stable on ice and snowy conditions.
When driving in Iceland in winter it is very important to check the weather forecast every few hours a day and plan your day according to that. Wind and ice on the road can be a very difficult situation. You can find local forecast here or here. The weather is constantly changing and there for the road condition are always changing so you should pay attention to www.road.is. On www.safetravel.is you can also find warnings for storms and closing of roads, which should be respected, they are not closed for no reason. A good friend of mine also made an app to make your life easier Road Weather Iceland, his app will give you instant access to the latest reports from numerous automatic weather stations all over the country all in the same page. When deciding whether it is safe to travel or not you should check many different sources of information to make the decision if it’s safe or not. It can also be helpful to ask around where you are staying about the condition, some might have local information.
Few local tips to add, always keep warm clothes, some food, and drinks with you in the car, even though you only plan to go for a drive, if something happens such as flat tire you will be happy to have warm clothes and snacks. Also very important if you happen to get stuck in a storm somewhere don’t leave your car to try to walk back or to get help, you are much more vulnerable to the storm when outside in the cold and dark. Rather just make yourself comfortable in the car until help reaches or the storm has slowed down. In case of emergency call 112.
Very important to read my blog about 10 things you should know about driving in Iceland where you learn about more general things to know about driving in Iceland. Such as using lights is mandatory, what to watch out for and what are the unwritten rules of driving in Iceland. Those rules also apply to driving in Iceland in winter so check them out.