Friday, 2 October 2015

Top 20 Things to Do in Lake Mývatn - Trip to Mývatn

Mývatn offers a unique natural environment. With large contrasts and small distances you can experience the most and the best that Iceland has to offer. Large open spaces with roads and walkways lead travellers to interesting locations, were volcanic eruptions have played a crucial role in the formation of the landscape.

Top 20 Things to Do in Lake Mývatn - Trip to Mývatn

Whether the plan is to enjoy the landscape, examine unique natural phenomena or take a closer look at the plant and bird life, Mývatn has it all. Furthermore the area offers a variety of services in accommodation, food and entertainment, based on years of experience and knowledge. A large number of travellers visit Mývatn in the summer, but many believe the lake and its surroundings to be no less impressive in the wintertime.

The lake was created by a large basaltic lava eruption 2300 years ago, and the surrounding landscape is dominated by volcanic landforms, including lava pillars and rootless vents (pseudocraters). The effluent river Laxá is known for its rich fishing for Brown Trout and Atlantic Salmon. The name of the lake (Icelandic mý ("midge") and vatn ("lake"); the lake of midges) comes from the huge numbers of flies (midges) to be found there in the summer.

Top 20 Things to Do in Lake Mývatn - Trip to Mývatn

Must do

-Drive or cycle around Lake Mývatn, one of the largest lakes in Iceland, 37km2. Varied bird life, unique nature with landscape being formed by intense volcanic activity. Possible to rent a bike.

-Climb up to the crater Hverfjall. Walk the whole circle around the rim of this beautiful tephra ring which is one of the largest in the world.

Top 20 Things to Do in Lake Mývatn - Trip to Mývatn

-Taste the traditional “Hverabrauð” with smoked trout. This is dark bread that the locals bake underground in the geothermal heat. Available at most cafe’s and restaurants.

-Take a relaxing bath in the Mývatn Naturebaths and don ́t forget to try out the natural steam bath as well, but steam bathing is an old tradition in the area. The spa is open all year round. Spoil yourself!

Summertime (1. June - 31. August): 09:00 – 24:00
Entry no later than 23:30.
Wintertime (1. September - 31. May):  12:00 – 22:00
Entry no later than 21:30.

More information:

Top 20 Things to Do in Lake Mývatn - Trip to Mývatn

-Go birdwatching around the lake and visit Sigurgeir ́s Bird Museum for an interesting showcase and great information on icelandic birds and their habits.

-Take a sightseeing flight from the local airport in Reykjahlíð village. It sure looks different from above, great views over the region.

-Rent a bike and cycle to the Höfði Peninsula. Great view to the lake, rich birdlife, trees and vegetation.There is a hiking path around the peninsula and great view from the top of the hill.

-Get lost in Dimmuborgir lava formations. Great place for hiking, with marked trails that take you around these beautiful natural formations. Beware of the trolls and elves around.

Top 20 Things to Do in Lake Mývatn - Trip to Mývatn

The Dimmuborgir area consist of a massive, collapsed lava tube formed by a lava lake flowing in from a large eruption in the Þrengslaborgir and Lúdentsborgir crater row to the East, about 2300 years ago.

At Dimmuborgir, the lava pooled over a small lake. As the lava flowed across the wet sod, the water of the marsh started to boil, the vapour rising through the lava forming lava pillars from drainpipe size up to several meters in diameter. As the lava continued flowing towards lower ground in the Mývatn area, the top crust collapsed, but the hollow pillars of solidified lava remained. The lava lake must have been at least 10 meters deep, as estimated by the tallest structures still standing.

The lava flow surface remains partly intact around the Dimmuborgir area, so that the Dimmuborgir itself sits below the surrounding surface area. The area is characterised by large hollow cell- or chamber-like structures formed around bubbles of vapour, and some dramatically standing lava pillars. Several of the chambers and pillar bases are large enough to house humans, giving rise to the term "castles" (borgir).

-Explore the pseudocraters at Skútustaðir, interesting crater formations formed in steam explosions when molten lava flowed over wetland.

-Visit the geothermal area Hverir by Námaskarð. High temperature area where you find steaming fumaroles and bubbling mudpools. Watch out it ́s boiling hot!

Top 20 Things to Do in Lake Mývatn - Trip to Mývatn

-Get to know the icelandic horse and it ́s good temper by taking a riding tour through the beautiful district of Lake Myvatn. No riding experience needed.

-Visit the Krafla area, one of Iceland ́s most active volcanic area. Marked hiking trail to Leirhnjúkur, where the lava is still steaming hot since last eruption in 1984.

Top 20 Things to Do in Lake Mývatn - Trip to Mývatn

-Hike the marked trail to the top of Mt. Vindbelgur. Amazing view over the lake, pseudocraters and the Mývatn region from the top.

-Take a day tour to the Askja Caldera and the nature reserve Herðubreiðarlindir. Scenes of unforgettable Icelandic nature and geology. Only accessible by 4x4.

Top 20 Things to Do in Lake Mývatn - Trip to Mývatn

-Experience the Aurora Borealis - Northern lights, during winter time. You can also go on a snowmobile tour or nordic skiing tour on the frozen Lake Mývatn.

-Meet the Icelandic Yule Lads in Dimmuborgir during the month of December. These are the 13 “santa clauses” of Iceland, funny and interesting fellows.

-Dettifoss is a waterfall in Vatnajökull National Park in Northeast Iceland, and is reputed to be the most powerful waterfall in Europe. It is situated on the Jökulsá á Fjöllum river, which flows from the Vatnajökull glacier and collects water from a large area in Northeast Iceland. The falls are 100 metres (330 ft) wide and have a drop of 45 metres (150 ft) down to the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon. It is the largest waterfall in Europe in terms of volume discharge, having an average water flow of 193 m3/s.

Top 20 Things to Do in Lake Mývatn - Trip to Mývatn

-Buy a traditional Icelandic woolen sweater, as a souvenir to take home. Knitted by the local ladies.

-Participate in the Myvatn Marathon held in May every year. One of the best views one can get while running a marathon. The track goes around the lake.

-Explore the beautiful cave Lofthellir, a weird world of ice and darkness. Amazing ice sculptures inside the lava cave. Only accessible on a guided tour and 4x4.

Top 20 Things to Do in Lake Mývatn - Trip to Mývatn


Mývatn panoramic virtual tour


Many hikers go from Dettifoss to Mývatn (Krafla). This route is not marked and not within Vatnajökull National Park. However, for the many hikers that go this route, here are some points to consider.

Dettifoss – Lake Eilífsvötn (west side) 12-14 km 

Eilífsvötn - Krafla ~12 km 

Krafla - Reykjahlíð ~13 km


The route from Dettifoss to Krafla is not marked and there is no clear path to follow. The hike from Krafla to Reykjahlíð is a marked trail and starts at the car park at Leirhnjúkur. Therefore, during most of the Dettifoss-Mývatn route, hikers need to have good navigation skills. 

Hikers need to know how to use a GPS instrument and/or a compass and have a good understanding of maps. There are hills and mountains in the landscape that are helpful for navigation, eg. the mountain Eilífur, which can be easily seen from nearby Dettifoss on a clear day. However, on a foggy day the forms of the landscape cannot be seen and it is easy to lose direction. Those who do not have good navigational skills are recommended not to go this route. 

Route landscape  

There are no special dangers on the route. The route from Dettifoss to Lake Eilífsvötn goes over a gravel plain, moor and tussocks and is quite easy to pass. From Lake Eilífsvötn, the conditions of the hiking route depends on which direction is chosen. The more west hikers go the more lava and ravines they pass, where special care has to be taken. 

Top 20 Things to Do in Lake Mývatn - Trip to Mývatn

Drinking water  

Hikers need to carry all beverages for each day of the hike, as there are only three places where there is access to drinking water:  

-On the campsite at Dettifoss there is drinking water in containers. Rangers from Vatnajökull National Park fill the containers with fresh water every day. Please use this water as spaerly as possible. 
-At Lake Eilífsvötn, both on the west side and east side, are springs and brooks which are safe to drink from. 
-At the toilet house at Krafla/Leirhnjúku
Berglind Rós, Iceland24
© 2014 Iceland24, December 2014

Sunday, 27 September 2015

The Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Lush fjords, haunting volcanic peaks, dramatic sea cliffs, sweeping golden beaches and lava flows make up the landscape of the 100km long Snæfellsnes Peninsula.

The Snæfellsnes Peninsula

It has been named Iceland in Miniature, because many national sights can be found in the area, including the Snæfellsjökull volcano, regarded as one of the symbols of Iceland. With its height of 1446 m, it is the highest mountain on the peninsula and has a glacier at its peak.

Top Places we recommend to visit in Snæfellsnes Peninsula

1. Gerduberg basalt columns

An impressive wall of beautiful basalt columns, forming geometric patterns in the cliffs. Location: 46 km from Borgarnes on the way to Snaefellsnes peninsula (Road nº54).

The Snæfellsnes Peninsula

2. Arnarstapi

Arnarstapi or Stapi is a small fishing village at the foot of Mt. Stapafell between Hellnar village and Breiðavík farms on the southern side of Snæfellsnes, Iceland. Arnarstapi was an important trading post in the past and had a much bigger population than it has now.

A very interesting old path follows the coastline where you can see old lending places of fishermen, lots of birds, like the kittiwake, the Arctic tern and the fulmar and pass through a lavafield. If you take a guided tour, you will also hear a ghost story.

The Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Arnarstapi is the best place to organize an advent to the glacial crown. Snowmobile tours on the glacier are run by Snjófell. Location: on the southern side of Snæfellsnes peninsula, 119 km from Borgarnes (Road nº574)

3. Gatklettur - Arch Rock

Gatklettur is a cliff with a circular arch. Rock Arch shows how distinctive wave action has eroded the rocks into arches and beautifurl swirled patterns.There is great birdlife around the cliffs and pretty flora surrounding the area. Location: near Arnarstapi, south east of Snaefellsjokull glacier (Road nº574).

The Snæfellsnes Peninsula

4. Snæfellsjökull National Park

The park was established on June 28, 2001 and it is one of the most visited parks in Iceland. Considered by many to be the jewel of West Iceland, Snaefellsjokull is the most famous volcano in Iceland.

The Snæfellsnes Peninsula

It is an active volcano and provided the setting for Jules Vernes famous book Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Many believe the glacier to be one of the seven main energy centres of the earth and its mystique is noticed by many. Undisputedly the main attraction of the National Park.

The Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Excursions onto the glacier are offered from the village Arnarstapi on the southern side. The magnificent view from the top extends to Reykjanes Peninsula on the south side and the West Fjords on the north side as well as over the mountains of Snaefellsnes to the east.

A landmark: can be seen from many places, e.g. Reykjavik, 180 km away (Road nº570).

5. Djupalonssandur & Dritvik

Djupalonssandur is a beautiful pebbled beach, with a series of rocks of mysterious form emerging from the ocean.

It is one of the few areas that lead down to the sea along this coast with its high dramatic cliffs. Watch out for the famous ghosts roaming the place! Location: South of Snaefellsnes glacier, 10 km from the village Hellnar (Road nº574).

The Snæfellsnes Peninsula

6. Ytri Tunga

The beach near the abandoned farm of Ytri Tunga is well-known for its seal colony. The seals are friendly and curious and will climb up on the rocks near the sandy beach.Sometimes you have to be patient and wait for them.

The Snæfellsnes Peninsula

The best time to see seals is in June and July. A beautiful, serene cove with a wonderful view of the Snaefellsjokull Glacier. Location: on the southern side of Snaefellsnes peninsula, by road no. 54, 15 km before Hotel Budir.

The Snæfellsnes Peninsula

7. Vatnshellir Cave

Follow the path of the lava flow in the 8000 years old cave located in Snæfellsjökull National Park.  All guests will be equipped with lights and helmets. Very well accessible for most people. We recommend warm clothing, hiking shoes and gloves.

The Snæfellsnes Peninsula

During summer, 45 minute guided tours from 10am-6pm, every hour on the hour. In wintertime tours are offered for groups (12+ persons) on an agreement. Price for adults: ISK 2000,-

Further info:  +354-665-2818

The Snæfellsnes Peninsula

8. Flatey Island

Flatey means "flat island". The old houses, shops and warehouse buildings on Flatey reflect the optimism and development of the period around 1900. In former times, the island was important both as a fishing centre and as the hub of commercial life of the Breidafjordur area. Traders from the Hanseatic League in Germany ran a trading post here.

The Snæfellsnes Peninsula

The first Icelandic trader received a temporary licence in 1589, and in 1777 Flatey received a charter as a town. Flateyjarbok (the Book of Flatey), one of the most important and impressive of the ancient Icelandic saga manuscripts, was preserved on Flatey in the Middle Ages. A photocopy reproduction is on display in the library (the oldest one in Iceland, built in 1864 in the heyday of Flatey's prosperity).

The Snæfellsnes Peninsula

The church on Flatey dates from 1926. The frescoes in the apse were painted by Kristjana and Baltasar Samper and are based on the local landscape and traditional occupations. Flatey has been an inspiration to many artists and the film "The Bridegroom" (Brudguminn) by Baltasar Kormákur was filmed on Flatey in 2007.

The Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Berglind Rós, Iceland24
October 2015

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Volunteering in Iceland

If you’ve ever wanted a meaningful holiday without breaking the bank, then volunteering is the solution. You not only get to know the locals well but you’ll also be contributing something of value to the country of your visit. Iceland is no exception as goedele vermeeren recounts how her first volunteering experience in iceland went…

There are many ways to experience iceland. you could go there as a tourist, or make a short stopover on the way to or from europe but if you really want to get to know the country, there is an interesting alternative: volunteering because volunteering is not only a great way to save money while traveling, but you also get to meet lots of people, and immerse yourself in the local culture in a way a ‘normal’ tourist wouldn’t be able to. Plus, you get to learn a lot; both about the work you do and about yourself.

The easiest way to volunteer somewhere is to contact someone via the internet. there are great websites to help you with this, like, or Once you log on, you’ll be surprised to find these sites offering a long list of possible local hosts, even for a small country like iceland.

Goedele's experience

It all began when i contacted several families through the workaway-website weeks and months in advance of my trip. this is because the families on the site are overwhelmed daily with requests from volunteers everywhere. So when i found a family that was still looking for someone, i was unbelievable happy.

I did, however, feel a bit insecure, not knowing what the family would be like, and if i would like the work itself. i had never worked on a farm before by the way so i did have some doubts but these proved unnecessary, since everything turned out for the best afterwards.

I originally planned to stay with them for 6 weeks, as they had requested but in the end, i stayed for almost 3 months (september to december), and even then i was reluctant to leave. During that time, i was treated like a member of their family and together with another volunteer, they took us to family parties, dinners and outings; everything we, as volunteers, could wish for. It was really a pleasant experience, living under their roof, eating and working together. It also helped that the work we had to do on the farm was equally pleasant too. we started (and ended) most of our days with milking and feeding the cows, cleaning their shed, and feeding the sheep.

At other times, we worked out on the farm, shaving sheep or reining in cows that had broken loose and the best part of the gig was having free time sandwiched in between the milking, where we could do whatever we wanted.

It was also during this time that we went shopping in akureyri, indulged in some winter skiing, read some books or tried to learn some icelandic, which was really fun. to top it all off, the farm was located in a beautiful valley. We just had to step outside to witness the most amazing views and sights we had ever seen and fill our days with long scenic walks that would satisfy our souls.

So there you have it! my farmstay experience in iceland. If ever you reached a point where you don’t know what to do with your life, just take some months off and do some volunteering –in iceland, of course. Coming here as a volunteer was the wisest choice i ever made, since the experience was unlike any other. The time that i spent on the farm could probably be the best time i’ve ever had in my life and i will always remember the kind and generous people i’ve met there.

No doubt, i will probably visit them again when i return to iceland and i hope that it will be sooner rather than later.

bless, bless…

Julio 2014

Friday, 18 September 2015

6 days itinerary trip in Iceland by Brooke (October 5th-10th)

In thanks for all of the tips I picked up from other travelers, here is brief trip report. Six of us were in Iceland on October 5-10, six days on the ground. We rented a van from Mike at Reykjavík Cars ( and it worked out great.

He met us at airport, everything was incredibly convenient, even as I changed our car requirements as our group grew shortly before the trip.

Day one 

We landed in the morning, dumped the luggage at the Reykjavik Centrum Hotel, and set off on a self-led walking tour of sites in Reykjavik, including Hallgrimskirkja, the National Museum and the harbor area.

We had a tasty lunch of local fish at Icelandic Fish and Chips and took a rest. We had a truly outstanding dinner celebrating a 60th birthday at Grill Market. Service, led by waiter Yoel, was great.

The presentation of the food was lovely, food was delicious (fish, lamb, duck, veggie) and the special setting. When our staying/celebrating at the table was holding up other guests who needed to be seated, Yoel moved us into the bar area for complimentary coffee.

We then moved on for drinks at Loft Bar, properly recommended by Yoel as a good place for “older” folks.

Day two

We took on the Golden Circle, focusing on the traditional stops: Pingveller, Geysir and Gullfoss. I would say the waterfall was the most impressed spot for us.

That night we had dinner at a restaurant called Slippbarinn at the Marina Hotel that was recommended by a local contact; very nice, good food (we ate mostly fish) and nice atmosphere.

Since according to the websites and the hotel the solar activity forecast was promising, we took a Northern Lights drive back to Pingveller, but it was too overcast to see anything.

Day three

We set off on the Ringroad heading East - stopped at the beautiful Seljalandsfoss waterfall, walked behind the waterfall which was nice, had lunch in Vik at a lovely café, Halldorskkaffi.

We stopped at the little museum/shop dedicated to the Eyafjallajokull earthquake and then onto the breathtaking Jokulsarlon and a boat trip on the iceberg lagoon.

We arrived at Hofn in time for sunset and had good fish and lobster dinners where we were staying at the Hotel Hofn.

Day four

We walked along coast, harbor and through town and then back on the Ringroad headed West. We stopped at Jokulsarlon to see the changes that take place from hour to hour and day to day, quite amazing and then down to the beack to see the smaller (and not so small) pieces of ice that washed up on the black sand shore.

It began to snow and rain, and we headed to Skaftafell National Park and took walk for around 2 KM to a glacier while it snowed. After lunch at truckstop we headed back towards Vik. It was raining in Vik so we took quick look at the black sand beach and the Rrenisdranger “Troll Rocks” and then onto the lovely Volcano Hotel where we were staying for the night.

We were having dinner in the hotel dining room and had finished eating before desert when another guest ran in at 8:30 told us that the Northern Lights were visible in the sky. We stood outside and watched the natural light show.

We felt really lucky to catch this phenomenon during our shot visit to Iceland. When we returned inside for desert, we had a really informative and lovely conversation (includes pictures) with the hotel owner Johan, about his experiences living in the region.

Day five 

In the morning we did a wonderful two hour glacier walk on Myrdalsjokull with Tomas from Arcanum. Continuing West, we stopped at the impressive Skogarfoss waterfall, climbed up the steep metal stairs to the top and then walked along the muddy path which produced additional views of beautiful waterfalls, communing with sheep and vistas.

We ate a fish and chips lunch at the restaurant near the waterfall and then headed to the lodge-like Hotel Ranga, outside of Hella. An upscale place, we took advantage of happy hour, the hot tub and a nice dinner in their dining room.

Day six

This was our departure day so we headed directly to the obligatory Blue Lagoon for a couple of hours and then lunch in their dining room.

From there it was to the airport and an end to a too short Icelandic holiday.

Thanks again to all for the ideas you shared that helped us construct our trip.

Brooke, October 2013

Monday, 14 September 2015

Rent a car in Iceland: Car Comparison by price in Iceland + Tips for Renting a Car in Iceland

If you’re planning to tour Iceland by car, then Iceland car rentals provide the cheapest and best way to explore the vast island. With public transportation being scarce outside major cities like Reykjavík, renting a car becomes the cheaper and most viable option for tourists to explore the island fully. Though it may seem expensive initially, it is much cheaper and less strenuous than having to purchase a car or travel by bus. With plenty of car rental companies in Iceland at your disposal, you will never fail to get a deal that suits your budget. 

Car Rental Iceland - Iceland Car Rental - Rent a Car in Iceland

The wide array of vehicles available for hire also makes it possible for you to get a car that can take you almost anywhere on the island from SUVs, four wheel cars, luxury cars, 4×4 rental cars and jeeps just to mention a few. In this article, we give you some tips on picking an Iceland car rental provider as well as taking a look at some of the best car rental companies on the island. 

November 7th to November 15th - 2015 (8 days)

Option A - New cars:

Toyota Aygo                                 451€
Toyota Rav4                                 862€

Toyota Aygo                                 392€
Dacia Duster 4x4                         590€

Hyundai i10:                                 617€
Suzuki Grand Vitara 4x4:             1.050€

REYKJAVÍK CARS *                  BEST COMPANY JULY 2015 (2nd place)
Hyundai i10:                                    240€
Suzuki Grand Vitara 4x4:                489€ 

Hyundai i10:                               412€
Suzuki Grand Vitara 4x4:             766€

CARS ICELAND                      BEST COMPANY JULY 2015 (1st place)
Kia Rio Diesel:                            369€
Dacia Duster 4x4:                       483€
*prices with all insurances included

Car Rental Iceland - Iceland Car Rental - Rent a Car in Iceland

Option B - Old cars:

REYKJAVÍK CARS (they also rent old models)
Hyundai i10:                                240€
Suzuki Jimny 4x4:                      479€

Hyundai i10:                                  315€
Toyota Rav4 4x4:                          534€

Toyota Yaris                                 359€
Toyota Rav4 4x4                           659€

Hyundai i10:                                260€
Toyota Rav4                                490€

Hyundai i20:                                336€
Hyundai Tucson:                         564€

Car Rental Iceland - Iceland Car Rental - Rent a Car in Iceland

Renting a car is really the best and only way to see the country so be sure to factor it into your budget. We went there thinking we would just take a bus to other areas -wrong. The only buses that exists outside the capital city of Reykjavik are tour buses. So technically you can take a bus but you will pay for it because it will be part of an organized tours and it will add up fast. If you are traveling with another person a car is the cheapest way to see the country. Plus, driving in Iceland is very easy and there isn’t much traffic.


Renting a car in Iceland may not be the cheapest way to explore Iceland (it’s tough to beat hitch hiking) but it doesn’t have to blow your budget. With public transportation being non-existent outside of the larger cities, like Reykjavik, renting a car gives you the freedom at a fraction of the cost when compared to the sightseeing tours sold at tourist information centers.

Below are seven ways to save money on your Iceland car rental:

Don’t buy it: You don’t need theft insurance for the vehicle. According to our agent, car thefts in Iceland are rare and he actually told us not to bother with any of the additional insurance (yes, they have insurance for ash from the volcano) either, so we didn’t. 

Go online: The best deals can be found online for Iceland car rentals. By booking online, you will find a better deal than renting directly from a tourist center in Iceland. Some online companies even offer discounts if you book online therefore you will be able to save a lot by booking online. There are a variety of car rental companies on the island so take your time and visit their websites, compare prices, and look at their packages and whether or not they offer discounts for booking online. By doing this, you will be able to get a good deal at a pocket friendly price. 

Pick up at Keflavik International Airport: Because the airport is located about an hour from Reykjavik, you will have to spend €15 – €20 each way to get to and from the airport. So, you might as well just rent your car from the airport and roll your shuttle bus fees into the car rental. 

Car Rental Iceland - Iceland Car Rental - Rent a Car in Iceland

Get to know your vehicle: The longer you keep the rental car the cheaper it becomes.

Petrol Blues: When considering renting a car be sure to factor in the cost of gas. In Europe, petrol is sold by the liter not the gallon; therefore, expect to pay about $5 per gallon. 

Choose Your Rental Dates Wisely: Sept. 1 in Iceland signals the beginning of the low season, which runs until May 31. Renting a car in Iceland becomes even cheaper during that time. And by cheaper I mean €35/day vs. €85/day – it’s a HUGE price difference. 

Consider your budget: Look for a car rental company that falls within your budget. Remember you do not have to spend a fortune on car rental therefore try to get a car rental service that will leave you with some cash to spend on the road.

Car Rental Iceland - Iceland Car Rental - Rent a Car in Iceland


Driving Conditions in Iceland are in many ways unusual and often quite unlike what foreign drivers are accustomed to. It is therefore very important to find out how to drive in this country. We know that the landscapes are beautiful, which naturally draws the driver’s attention away from the road. But in order to reach your destination safely, you must keep your full attention on driving.

-The speed limit in populated areas is usually 50 km/hr.
-The speed limit is often 60 km/hr on thruways, but in residential areas it is usually only 30 km/hr.
-The main rule in rural areas is that gravel roads have a speed limit of 80 km/hr, and paved roads 90 km/hr.
-Signs indicate if other speed limits apply.

Car Rental Iceland - Iceland Car Rental - Rent a Car in Iceland


Driving in the Icelandic highland is quite different from driving in the lowland. The conditions can change fast due to weather, rain and even sometimes snow. Therefore roads can be closed and rivers can be too big to cross. Before you start your travel you should get information about the area as well as leave your travel plan with someone who can check up on you if needed.

You can make your travel plan here:

-Start by checking if the area you are going to visit is open
-Get as much information about the area as you can
-Information centers, rangers and hut wardens can help you get the information needed
-Are you sure that you have the experience and knowledge needed to go the highland?
-If you are driving be on a 4x4 jeep, other cars will only get you into trouble
-If you are no sure how to cross a river skip it or wait for the next car to assist you over

Car Rental Iceland - Iceland Car Rental - Rent a Car in Iceland


When the fact that the country lies right below the Arctic Circle is taken into consideration, along with the fact that the growing season is short, it is apparent that the environment can take many years, decades or even centuries to recover. For example, many people don't realise that by uprooting or driving on moss, damage is caused that can take at least a decade or, more likely, some hundreds of years to mend – and we're not even talking about the highlands where the summer is much shorter.

Whilst travelling around the country, the highest respect for the Icelandic environment must be shown. It's good to remember to take nothing besides photographs and leave nothing behind except footprints.

-Check out the road map and see where the roads and trails are.
-Get information about the appropriate routes at visitor centres, and from rangers or staff.
-Find out in advance when mountain roads are likely to be open, along with other related information, at visitor centres or here.

While on your trip around the country you’ll quickly see that in many places, road ruts and paths have formed from other people. Often they are closed off with nothing more than a row of small rocks. Don’t be caught in the pitfall of following those paths; only stay on roads and marked trails. Instead, think about the damage off-road driving has caused, take photos and educate friends and acquaintances. See how long such damage takes to heal. Notice that ruts don’t just look ugly; they draw in water and thereby cause even further damage, leading to erosion of soil and vegetation. Walk around a short distance or turn around if you can’t go any farther by driving. That’s the only right thing do. Besides, you can easily expect a sky-high fine or prison term for offences.

We should all set a good example. Together we share the responsibility of ensuring that everyone gets the chance of enjoying a pristine natural environment for years to come.

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One thing is for sure when you go hiking in Iceland and that’s that you’ll not get far without coming to the first stream. Usually they’re little brooks, which are good to get a fresh drink from. On the other hand, they can be large rivers and you will need to wade them, in which case you should bear some things in mind:

-Rivers often have less volume earlier in the day, so organising hiking trips accordingly is not a bad idea.
-Look around for suitable locations to ford. Be aware that places that are good for crossing with jeeps are seldom good for crossing on foot.
-Look for meanders in the river which are places where there is loose gravel and sand and the current dies down as the river expands.
-Meanders are usually the best location you’ll find for fording a river though the river may be wider there.
-Preferably wade the river with two or three other people at a time by clasping arms together at the elbows.
-Loosen any straps on backpacks and be sure not to have anything tied tight that could complicate things if you or someone else might fall.
-It’s best to have special wading shoes as it is not wise to cross barefoot - this can increase the likelihood of a fall.
-Before fording, it’s smart to decide on a spot farther down the river where everyone will go to if someone might unfortunately fall.
-If you fall, roll onto your back, keep your feet in front of you and trudge to the place - or near to it - that was previously decided upon.

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When planning your hiking trip get information about rivers, if they are possible to cross on foot and then what time is best and etc. Never cross a river unless you are 100% sure of how to do it and feel safe doing it.

Helpful Tips on 4x4 Driving in Iceland

If you have plans to visit Iceland's country side then you should also pick a 4x4 vehicle since you will most likely be driving on some gravel roads. And should you go off the beaten path to visit the Iceland highland then you are sure to encounter some F-roads that are only driveble by larger 4x4.

Iceland gravel roadsAll major roads in Iceland are paved. But keep in mind that of 13.000 km total roads in Iceland only about 5.000 is paved with asfalt.

Most gravel roads are not difficult to drive on or dangerous, you just need to keep special attention while driving and make sure you are not going to fast. These roads are often narrow and many bridges only have one lane. You are also likely to meet some sheeps and Icelandic horses so make sure you are paying attention.

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List of the most popular F-roads

Here is a list of the most popular F-roads in Iceland and average opening times:
F-RoadNameAvg. opening date
F206 Lakagígar June 12th
F208 Fjallabaksleið nyrðri
(Landmannalaugar and Eldgjá)
June 12th
F225 Landmannaleið, Landmannalaugar June 15th
F35 Kjölur (Hveravellir) June 11th
F26 Sprengisandur June 27th
F88 Askja June 20th
F902 Kverkfjöll June 19th
F52 Uxahryggir June 5th
F550 Kaldidalur June 13th

Driving in snow and difficult weather conditions

Make sure you are always driving according to road and weather conditions. If there is snow and the roads are slippery make sure to take it slow and drive safe. If you are driving outsite of populated areas make sure to find out the conditions of the roads on your route. You should also check out the weather forecast.

Check road conditions in Iceland here:

Check weather forecast here:

Carpooling in Iceland:

Map of Iceland:

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Kolla, Iceland24
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