8 Helpful Tips For Driving In Iceland In The Winter To Alleviate Your Fears

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Are you headed to Iceland in January and February and wondering if driving in Iceland in the winter is for you? Uncover 8 helpful tips for winter driving in Iceland.

My driving-in-Iceland-in-snow night terrors kept me awake well before booking our February Icelandic road trip adventure.

Were we being unsafe by choosing to drive in Iceland in February?  Did we have a death wish?  Would we hit a patch of ice and slide off the road? 

Could an avalanche bury us alive? What if we could not find gas or help for hours?  What type of road conditions would greet us? 

I did not want to meet my icy grave prematurely or leave my four furbabies orphaned.  Who would take a poopy panda mutt Maine Coon?  Mom?  MOM?!

However, after a few days of cruising down Route 1 and 7-days of Icelandic road tripping, we started to get the feel for driving in Iceland in the winter

Although we had to change plans frequently due to Icelandic winter road conditions, driving in Iceland in February was manageable and not a decision we regret.

Driving In Iceland In Winter with picture of Icelandic mountains, road, and snow on roadPin
Don’t miss our ultimate guide for navigating and driving Iceland in the winter.

Below, find the must-know tips for driving around the snowy Icelandic roads.  Read about the essential websites, emergency numbers, and helpful suggestions to keep you safe.

Let this post be an Iceland driving guide to aid your decision-making and know what to expect.  Driving in Iceland isn’t necessarily a breeze. 

Silver car driving on road in Iceland in winterPin
Renting a car and driving around Iceland in the winter is beautiful. You just have to be safe, smart, and cautious. You will need 4WD if you want to see places like Dyrhólaey lighthouse.

Please just keep in mind: I am not an expert or professional on Icelandic driving.  After 12 years of driving abroad, though, I hope these guidelines make you have the best driving experience possible. 

Always be sure to do your own research and verify the information. Make the best decisions for yourself.

P.S. Looking For Places To Stay In Iceland?

You can also check out these Hotels Around Reykjavik and the Golden Circle.

Is It Safe To Drive In Iceland In The Winter, Especially January And February?

Must-Know Tips Driving In Iceland In Winter Pinterest Pin with pictures of Icelandic horses, Icelandic road with snow, Icelandic church, and waterfallPin
Don’t head to the land of fire and ice without reading these tips for driving in Iceland in the winter, especially with all of that snow. It’s easy to make amateur mistakes: go prepared!

Do I recommend driving in Iceland in the winter for everyone? Is it safe to drive in Iceland in February? 

Honestly, I cannot make that decision for you.  Driving internationally, for some, may always be out of the question. We mostly prefer to rent a car and go.

Driving in Iceland and abroad in general — regardless of the weather conditions — requires extra diligence and attention. Some signs may look unfamiliar, and you might not know where you are going.

blue and green Northern Lights Around Vik IcelandPin
Seeing the Northern Lights was one of the main reasons that we decided to visit and drive around Southern Iceland in February. You are not guaranteed to see the Northern Lights, but your chances sure do go up in the winter. We recommend staying in Hella and Vík — away from the light pollution.

The rules of the road vary, and the terrain might be much different than back home. Plus, you are driving a car that you aren’t used to. The sights get pretty distracting.

However, I also read quite a few terrifying blogs that said, “Absolutely do not drive in Iceland in the winter.” We rented a car, and it wasn’t a decision we regretted.

What I can advise from personal experience is to know what to expect.  Gauge your expertise and comfortability.  We are incredibly glad that we spent our week driving around Iceland — even in the winter — but you have to be careful, smart, and safe. 

Oh, and adaptable, too! The weather may thwart your plans.

Don’t miss this 7-Day Iceland Itinerary.

Do You Need To Rent A Car In Iceland?

Let’s start at the beginning. Do you need to rent a car for a week in Iceland in winter?

If you are nervous to rent a car and drive around Iceland, you can always book a group bus tour. In fact, we met up with an old friend who was doing just that. She saw a lot of the same gorgeous Icelandic attractions that we did without the hassle of a car.

You can take group tours either from Reykjavík or around other areas of Iceland.  Some people use the local airport to fly around the island too.

Why Rent A Car In Iceland?

Red and white Church in Vik IcelandPin
One of the reasons we loved renting a car and driving around Iceland was to stop in places that we wanted to for a random lunch or pretty picture. We had fewer time restrictions.

Although it’s pretty nice to get chauffeured around, especially in inclement weather, tour buses can be limiting and expensive.

I suffer from extreme motion sickness, and neither of us loves traveling in big groups. We always feel like we are being herded around on someone else’s clock.

So, why rent a car in Iceland? These are our 5 main reasons for renting and driving a car in Iceland in winter:

1. Travel At Your Own Pace

Driving Dyrholaey in Iceland Winter with black sand beach and blue waterPin
Because we decided to rent a car in Iceland, we spent extra time visiting Dyrhólaey Nature Reserve and Lighthouse.

As we get older, we love traveling at our own pace. While we might book one or two group tour day trips, we love the comfort of exploring, building our own schedule based on how we feel, and lingering at a destination for as little or as long as we want.

Sometimes, you just want to sleep in or take a day off to wander a city and plunk down at a cafe. We also used to overbook our time, and a vacation is no fun if it’s exhausting.

As a traveler with a chronic illness (UC), I also like to be on my own schedule with no pressure.

2. Convenience

Reykjavik Iceland with mountains and cityPin
As Iceland’s largest city and capitol, although Reykjavík looks like an intimidating place to drive, we actually found the roads fairly easy to navigate.

We loved having a car at the tip of our fingers in Iceland for convenience.  Reykjavík is easy to navigate, and you can find free and metered parking plus [expensive] parking garages. 

You don’t have to worry about bus schedules or wait around for a ride. You can come and go as you please.

See how to Spend One Perfect Day In Reykjavík.

3. Ability To Build Your Own Itinerary

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon in Iceland with pink and blue clouds and bright blue glaciers floating on the waterPin
For our Iceland road trip, we knew that we wanted to drive as far as Jökulsárlón, the glacier lagoon. We started in Reykjavík with the Blue Lagoon and drove to Hella, Vík, and Jökulsárlón.

We tend to build our travel itineraries by booking our road trip stops and hotels. We jot down some key sights ahead of time but love to ask for local recommendations when we land — places not always in the travel guides.

Renting a car allows you the extra cushion and time to add in spur of the moment activities.

For our week-long Icelandic road trip, we drove around Southern Iceland, including Ring Road and the Golden Circle.  We made it as far east as Jökulsárlón and as far west as the West Fjords.

4. Won’t Have To Worry About Public Transportation

Lamppost and Bus Station in Reykjavik IcelandPin
While there is public transportation in Iceland, it is not as plentiful as some of the other countries that we’ve traveled to — making driving in Iceland in the winter a bit easier of a decision.

When it was snowing, we didn’t always want to walk to our destination or take public transportation. Slush gets cold and gross on the feet. Driving was the best option, for us.

There is public transportation in Iceland, but it felt scarce. Iceland is still largely untouched.  Unlike Italy, you won’t be able to hop on a train from Florence to Venice to Milan and Lucca. You won’t find Switzerland’s train system, either.

There is also no Uber in Iceland. We saw few taxis, although they are around.  Taxis in Iceland are expensive.

5. Carry As Much As You Like

Self Driving In Iceland Pro Bring More Luggage with stack of red, black, and pink suitcases on a bedPin
Although you still have to consider how much luggage you can travel with on the plane — those fees add up — we always pack what we want when we know that we are driving.

Lastly, if you are renting and driving a car in Iceland in the winter, you can pack as much as you want, including all of those extra socks and sweaters.

You are the one schlepping all of your stuff around. I always pack worry-free when I know that I am driving.

Don’t leave for Iceland without getting all of our Winter In Iceland Tips.

Where Can You Rent A Car In Iceland?

We rented our car from Auto Europe, which in Iceland, landed us at the Avis/Budget counter at Reykjavík–Keflavík Airport. You can also find rental car places in major cities, but we have always rented directly at the airport.

4 Essential Tips When Renting A Car In Iceland

When renting a car in Iceland in winter, I highly recommend:

1. Renting A Car With 4WD

Snow and Icy Road Driving Conditions In Hella IcelandPin
Driving in winter in Iceland is no joke. Many of the roads off of Ring Road are not cleared. You want a car with 4WD and snow tires to navigate the ice and snow.

This one isn’t even debatable.  You will need 4WD for the snow, smaller roads, and road conditions.  Of course, you will pay more for 4WD.

Also, know that some Icelandic road signs are labeled ‘4WD only.’  That means that if you want to visit Dyrhólaey to see the infamous arch and lighthouse, you need 4WD for the massive offroading hill. Trust me; you really do.

2. Consider Full Coverage Car Insurance

As we landed at the Icelandic rental car counter, the family next to us was crying and yelling at rental car staff.  I cannot even begin to tell you how many times we return our rental car to watch others owe thousands in minor damages.  Thousands.  

Plus, in Iceland, for us, this coverage included roadside assistance.

Driving in Iceland in the winter means that most likely something — hopefully minor — may happen to the car.  The winds are strong and might scratch the paint.  The door might blow off its hinge or take a hit. Rocks will kick up and dent the windshield. 

While watching the Northern Lights, lava stones pounded the car to death.  Your car will take a beating.

When we received our rental car, my side door required a nudge to shut it from previous damage. The windshield had a sizable, recently sealed crack. The car was safe and still in great condition, but the car also demonstrated incessant battles with the landscape.

Even with a rental car booked on a credit card, we never surpass full auto coverage for a vehicle.  Your personal insurance, if you get hurt, is another story.

3. Get Trip Insurance Coverage

We have AAA travel insurance and added extra coverage to our Iceland road trip, which we almost always do when traveling abroad. 

If we didn’t make it to a hotel due to snow or not feeling safe driving that day in the snow, we’d get our money back. 

4. Say Yes To Snow Tires

Icy Road Driving Conditions In Hella Iceland with house at the endPin
Imagine driving down a sheet of ice like we did in Hella, Iceland without snow tires.

Triple check to make sure you get snow tires when renting an Icelandic vehicle.  Most rental cars have them in the winter these days.  If you are driving in Iceland in the winter, you need 4WD with snow tires.

What Does It Cost To Rent A Car In Iceland In Winter?

For our 7 days, we spent a little over $500 on the rental car.  Not so bad, right? Then, add in the $90 a day for insurance… Most rental car companies also charge for more than one driver.

Lastly, add in the price of gas, which for us was around $80 every two days based on our driving.  We had to fill up with diesel.

I also searched around, but I loved Auto Europe.  They had quick and easy service, acted professionally, and gave us a solid car.  We didn’t have a single problem.

Do You Need An International Driver’s License To Drive In Iceland?

Renting A Car Driving In Iceland In Winter with Icelandic landscape in rearview mirror of carPin

Do you need an international driver’s license to drive in Iceland? We always check this before traveling to a country.

In Iceland, you do not need an international driver’s license, although I always carry mine. You will need your home or national valid driver’s license, and when driving abroad, I always have my passport ready, too.

We’ve been pulled over in other countries before: the rental car company didn’t tag the car correctly (Ireland) or we had to stop for a routine DUI check (think Riga, Latvia at 4:30 AM on the way to the airport). The police asked for a valid national driver’s license and (sometimes) passport.

We find that regardless if an international driver’s license is needed to drive in a country, rental car companies like to see them, too.

We typically road trip around multiple countries a year, and someone always requires an international driver’s license anyway.

So, once you get your rental car, how can you stay better prepared to drive in Iceland in the winter?

8 Tips For More Safely And Successfully Driving In Iceland In The Winter

Imagine leaving lightly flurrying Reykjavík first thing in the morning.  You check road conditions on your phone and with the hotel.  All looks smooth. You head out barely 30-minutes into your Golden Circle tour.

You are headed to Þingvellir for some ruin-hiking.  As the snow gently falls, you watch as a beautiful Icelandic horse grazes in the distance. 

Brown  Icelandic Horse In SnowPin

Rather suddenly, the horse disappears into a white gust of snow.  Where are the mountains?  Where is the horse?  But, look at all of that glorious white!

Then, you disappear. The road disappears. Everyone has stopped, and there is an accident in front of you. You can’t really see it, though.

You make a call to turn around.  This is an unfamiliar land.  You are in a whiteout.  Your GPS and cell service are wavering, and you only know the way back and not forward.  Gosh only knows what happens if this weather gets worse ahead.

Snow Driving In Iceland Winter with car on an icy and snow road with lights onPin

Returning to the hotel you just checked out of, you look at weather conditions.  That road has officially been labeled a blizzard area and the road gate is up now.  Within a 45-minute period, a clear road is closed.

Does this sound like an oddly true story?  If yes, it’s because it is.

The above happened on our second driving day in Iceland in February and made us approach the weather and roads even smarter in the future.  Was it the end of the world?  No.

With that said, these are the most important tips and tricks that I found helpful for self-driving in Iceland in February:

1. Check Traffic and Road Conditions Frequently

driving in Iceland in winter snow as yellow truck clears the roadPin
Sometimes you get lucky and end up behind a snowplow as we did on our way from Reykjavík to Hella.

If bad weather suddenly turns in front of you, check the weather and roads.  I highly recommend having some sort of phone service.  We turn on our Verizon international plan for short trips.

Important Websites & Numbers To Know While Driving In Iceland In The Winter

The best source for Icelandic road conditions is the Roads IS website.  Click on ‘Road Conditions and Weather.’  That map is your new Bible.  

If you don’t have internet, you can also call 1777 for road information.  

112 is the Iceland emergency number.

Also, use a weather app for radar and weather conditions.  Check it frequently.

Be sure to stop at these Legendary Southern Iceland Waterfalls.

2. Know A Few Key Road Tricks

Yellow Poles Along Road While Driving In Iceland In Snow Pin
Don’t miss the yellow poles that help guide you while driving in the snow in Iceland.

Something we quickly learned from hotel staff members:  Look for the yellow poles on the side of the road.  These mark the road’s edge. 

A single and usually silver line across them designates the right side of the road.  A double silver line signifies the left side of the road.

3. Have Back-Up Maps As A Screenshot Or Printed

Spotty GPS Driving In Iceland screenshot from iphonePin
At times, your GPS may look like this while driving in Iceland… Be prepared with physical maps and a screenshot of directions to get to your next destination.

We did not venture too far off of the Golden Circle or Ring Road/Route 1.  Although we took some side roads for sights and used routes off of the main roads, we almost always knew our way around. 

We took rougher roads in uncharted territory only 2 to 3 times that week.  Southern Iceland is not hard to navigate.

However, with sometimes spotty cellular reception and after our whiteout experience, I always took a screenshot map of the day’s route. 

If my navigation died, I knew where to go and how to get back.  I am sure you can buy an actual map (you mean those aren’t just for decoration and book crafts?!), but I’m an older millennial.

4. Expect Strong & Sporadic Wind Gusts

Strong wind driving in winter Iceland with road covered in blown snowPin
Road conditions can quickly change when driving in Iceland in the winter. Expect strong wind gusts and even whiteout conditions.

Prior to going to Iceland, Crystal of the dark tourism blog, Wandering Crystal, and I not so jokingly laughed about driving in the winter in the northernmost places. 

Crystal warned that car doors can literally blow off the car, which a sticker in our rental car also depicted.  As Crystal recommended in our chat about not blowing away in Iceland:

“We put sandbags in the trucks of our cars in the winter to weigh down the vehicle a bit more to help prevent being pushed around by the wind. I have definitely noticed a difference! Just always carry all your luggage with you in the trunk of your car on your Iceland trip, haha.”

HAHA, for REAL.  I am writing this blog post so that you won’t be like Rabbit in the Hundred Acre Wood.

However, Iceland is windy in the winter.  We rented a Subaru Forester. Just know that wind will push and shove you all over the road. 

As noted above, we also watched the Northern Lights from a hill in Vik.  Lava rocks and sand pelted the car at 30+mph.  I opened the window for a picture and let’s just say that lava rocks jiggled all over the dashboard the next day.

5. Never Pullover In Random & Undesignated Spots

brown Icelandic horsePin
Remember that it is illegal to go off-road in Iceland — even if you see a pretty horse or are chasing the Northern Lights. Pull over in designated spots only.

Ohhh, pretty horse!!  Let me just stop on the side of this extremely narrow road on a blind turn with 60 mph driving speeds… Don’t DO THIS!!!

The car rental place will tell you never to pull over on the side of the road in random spots.  The locals will tell you the same advice, and the hotel staff members will remind you again. Driving off-road is illegal in Iceland.

You can pull over in spots designated for cars.  There are plenty of them everywhere.

6. Watch Your Speed – There Are Speed Cameras

50 Speed Limit Sign Driving In Iceland Ring RoadPin
Always follow the posted speed limit signs, and know that Iceland has speed cameras. You don’t want your rental car agency to contact you with a huge speeding ticket bill.

Pay attention to speed signs and know that cameras monitor some of Iceland’s roads.  I don’t think we saw speed signs higher than 90 km/h. 

In the winter, I doubt you’ll want to surpass this.  Signs tell you where the road is under surveillance too.

Main roads are cleared frequently and dusted with gravel/sand. Tiny roads are an adventure in themselves.  A few are sheer sheets of ice.

7. Stay Calm At Single-Lane Traffic Bridges

Single Lane Bridge Driving In IcelandPin
Stay calm and courteous around those single-lane, Icelandic traffic bridges.

I will never understand the logic of single-lane traffic bridges.  Usually, you can see traffic coming from afar, but a few times, you could not spot oncoming traffic.  We nervously giggled our way over a giant one-way, steel-grated bridge on the way to Jökulsárlón.

You get there first: you go.  BUT, you may get there first, and the other car may be a tourist, too, and not know…proceed with caution.

8. Fill Up You Rental Car With Gas Whenever You Can

Driving In Iceland In Winter Tip To Keep Gas Tank Full with male wearing black coat and hat covered in show getting gasPin
Never drive anywhere with an almost empty gas tank, especially when driving in Iceland in the winter. You don’t want to get stuck somewhere cold and isolated.

When people described Iceland, they made it sound like we would never find food or gas along the south coast.  They really freaked us out. 

However, none of this was the case. As two people with food intolerances galore, there were plenty of food options.

The myth of no gas is unwarranted for Southern Iceland.  You should always try to leave with more than half a tank in an unknown country, though.  We found gas stations in small and big cities, every 1-1.5 hours at least.  Maybe we hit a two-hour stretch, too.

However, be safe and fill up when you can. Plus, if you are in an unfamiliar car, don’t be so trusting of that gas gauge.

How To Better Prepare For Driving In Iceland In Winter with snowy road and Icelandic mountains

8 Helpful Tips For Driving In Iceland In Winter

Yield: 1 Safer Road Trip
Prep Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour

Thinking about driving in Iceland in the winter? These are our 8 tips and tricks for how to drive more safely and successfully for your Icelandic road trip.


  • Rental Car
  • Valid National Driver's License
  • Insurance
  • Printout Of This Guide


  • Navigation
  • Backup Maps
  • Snow Tires


  1. Rent a car with 4WD and snow tires

    Some Icelandic road signs are labeled ‘4WD only.'

    You will want snow tires for the ice. Also, consider extra trip and car insurance coverage.

  2. Check the weather and road conditions

    The best source for Icelandic road conditions is the Roads IS website.  Click on ‘Road Conditions and Weather.’

    If you don’t have internet, you can also call 1777 for road information. 112 is the Iceland emergency number.

  3. Have a backup map paired with GPS

    Download offline maps. Screenshots and handwritten directions are your friends.

  4. Expect strong & sporadic wind gusts & know about Icelandic roads

    Look for the yellow poles on the side of the road.  These mark the road’s edge. 

    A single and usually silver line across poles designates the right side of the road.  A double silver line signifies the left side of the road.

    Car doors can literally blow off the car. Pay attention to the wind and be attentive.

  5. Park and pull over only in designated areas

    Driving off-road is illegal in Iceland. You can pull over in spots designated for cars.

  6. Know and drive the correct speed limits

    Pay attention to speed signs. Iceland has speed cameras that monitor some of Iceland’s highly trafficked roads.

  7. Use etiquette and caution for one-way bridges

    Iceland has many single-lane bridges. If you get there first, you go first. Be cautious and patient, too.

  8. Fill up with gas where you can

    You should always try to leave with more than half a tank of gas in an unknown country.

    In Southern Iceland, we found gas stations in small and big cities, every 1-2 hours at least. Don't let your gas tank get too low.


    For full details, website links, and pictures, please don't forget to visit https://www.theuncorkedlibrarian.com/driving-in-iceland-in-the-winter.

    We have tons of Iceland guides, too!

    Have a wonderful road trip!

    Did You Find These Tips Helpful?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share it with friends.

    Considering  Driving In Winter In Iceland Road Trip Pinterest Pin with Icelandic road, yellow markers, snow, and mountainsPin
    Planning your Icelandic vacation? Save these driving in Iceland in winter tips and tricks for later to better prepare for your road trip.

    Looking For Places To Stay In Iceland For Your Road Trip?

    You can check out these Hotels Around Reykjavik and the Golden Circle.

    Are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime? Will you be driving in Iceland in the winter?

    Iceland in the winter is beautiful. February is the best month for catching the Northern Lights and avoiding the crowds. 

    We visited the Blue Lagoon first thing in the morning and had the infamous bucket list item largely to ourselves until after the gorgeous sunrise.  We never had to make dinner reservations for popular places. Overall, we greatly enjoyed visiting and driving in Iceland in the winter.

    Is there anything else that you would add to this list about driving around in snowy conditions? Have you driven Iceland in the winter? Would you do it again? What were the pros and cons for you.

    This post originally published on February 28, 2019 and has been updated for 2021.

    You May Also Love These Iceland Posts To Plan Your Trip:

    Is The Blue Lagoon Worth It?
    Will I Enjoy Iceland In The Winter?
    One-Week Iceland Road Trip Itinerary
    One Day In Reykjavík

    For TUL’s Book Lovers:

    Best Books About Iceland To Read Before You Go
    Iceland’s Book Flood, Jolabokaflod
    Must-See Southern Iceland Waterfalls & Their Legends

    For TUL’s Booze Lovers:

    Must-Try Icelandic Drinks & Spirits

    Christine Owner The Uncorked Librarian LLC with white brunette female in pink dress sitting in chair with glass of white wine and open bookPin
    Christine Frascarelli

    Christine (she/her) is the owner, lead editor, and tipsy book sommelier of The Uncorked Librarian LLC, an online literary publication showcasing books and movies to inspire travel and home to the famed Uncorked Reading Challenge.

    With a BA in English & History from Smith College, an MLIS from USF-Tampa, and a U.S. Fulbright Fellowship in Christine's back pocket, there isn't a bookstore, library, or winery that can hide from her. Christine loves brewery yoga, adopting all of the kitties, and a glass of oaked Chardonnay. Charcuterie is her favorite food group.


    1. Holy. HELL. Woman. I knew you were adventurous, but…well, holy hell. *bows down* I am in awe of your adventurous spirit. I loved this post and you give some amazingly helpful advice…but this has decided it for me: I am NEVER visiting Iceland in the winter, lol. I am way too anxious to handle it. Before reading this post, I might have thought I could handle it, but now I know that I just couldn’t, lol. Thank you for the honest depiction of what one might (okay, will) encounter if visiting Iceland in the dead of winter. BTW, I would be that tourist randomly pulling over to pet the horsie on the side of the road. Just sayin’. So…I’ve noted not to do that. At any time of the year.

      Your photos of Iceland are STUNNING. I love a good wintry landscape, and these photos are everything. #AllTheHygge. That drive up to your B&B in Hella looks hella icy, though. 😉 Bahahahaha. Sorry. I couldn’t let that one slide! Thanks for letting me live vicariously through your Iceland adventures. 😀

      1. LOL! So fair warning: I did pull over plenty to see the horses. I also jumped over a moat-like gap between me and the horses, haha. I don’t think I trespassed; nor do I think anyone cared. BUT, I did follow the law and pull over to a safe spot off the road; there are plenty so you’d be good. The horses are the best–so handsome and Elvis-like.

        If you do want to drive in Iceland, just wait until spring or summer. I was OK driving, but I did have my husband drive more for this one. He felt way more comfortable than I did.

        Thank you! I am SO glad that the photos came out so well. Between my husband and I as well as 2 phones and a professional camera, someone had to get a good shot. Iceland is just beautiful.

        OMG another blogger on Instagram and I just made the EXACT same joke word for word. It was hella cold and hella icy. So true! I am sure they hear it all of the time. What a beautiful town–and our hosts were SO nice.

        Thanks for following along. Hope you had a great weekend!

    2. Wonderful post Christine! I will be referring back to it if I’m ever brave enough to drive in Iceland! With the only lisence holder between Dave and I being myself I don’t think I’d be brave enough just yet! It scares me to my bones driving in the UK when it snows and it’s little like you said, so much commotion for not so much snow! Looks like you guys did a great job though thank you for sharing your tips!

      PS Iceland looks so beautiful and the horses are too cute!

      1. You definitely have to gain a little courage to drive in Iceland. I never gripped a steering wheel so tight.

        I’ve never driven in the UK–although I don’t think that I’d last in London–but Ireland at least prepared me for the other side of the road, which wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Snow in general, though, is extremely nerve-wracking. Ice is even worse.

        Iceland is stunning! I want ALL the horses. I wish we had time to go riding.

    3. What great tips! This whole post did give me heart palpitations though since I’m such a nervous driver. Those one way bridges!? Yikes! Hopefully one day I can go with someone who is a good driver! We’ll definitely be referring back to your post. It’s so helpful!
      Also, I LOVE your pictures!

      1. The one way bridges were wild. I meant to look up why they are one way–we definitely felt like they could have been built two-way. Probably wishful thinking on our behalf.

        Thank you! You’d love Iceland.

    4. So glad you had a fantastic and safe journey in Iceland! Winter driving sucks! However, the views in Iceland are definitely worth the torment! Great tips! ESPECIALLY the one about making sure your vehicle is equipped with snow tires! I notice such a huge difference in the winter. Can’t wait for more Iceland blogs!

      1. Me too!! I am glad that for the most part, we had pretty decent weather. The views definitely make driving in Iceland in the winter worth it, and I do think that the snow added a magic component. The snow also made us appreciate what we got to see.

        Thank you!

    5. When I read about one-lane bridges, I was like, what? I am glad that I know, but as you said, there could be other tourists who are unaware. For me, the scariest part of driving in winter(or any time) is other drivers.

      I can handle snow and ice. In Ohio, it takes subzero temps or blizzards for schools to close, and I still have to drive to work. I got this. I am just going to keep hyping myself up! I CAN drive in Iceland!

      Thanks for sharing. This post makes me feel a bit more confident.

      1. Yes, it truly is about the other drivers too. We definitely saw a few minor tourist wrecks, and we stayed far away from anyone that looked like they were struggling. This car in front of us starting swaying back and forth. They freaked out and yanked the wheel (not sure if they thought they saw ice?! Nothing was there)…we just backed off and hoped they didn’t wreck. Other than that, it really is not that bad at all. You just have to watch the road closures and conditions when you get off the beaten path.

        I remember driving in CT to work in blizzards. I worked for this nonprofit that would not close and let us go home unless the state was released. State workers rarely got sent home early so we had to drive home in insanity. Or, they’d let the state out after it was too late: the roads were wrecked. CT wasn’t amazing with plowing. CT closed schools with the threat of snow, though. lol

        You can totally drive in Iceland. Just slow down when you need to and enjoy the sights. My biggest recommendation is just be flexible with plans. Ring Road should be cleared. It’s just those side roads and anything into the mountains/higher elevations that gets a little iffy. We missed out on some parks and minor hiking due to weather, too. Our days were still ballz to the wallz, though.

        Honestly, the snow makes Iceland pretty beautiful. I just loved it! And your Ohio blood is thicker than my now FL blood so you won’t need 3 layers of clothes before the coat. Hehe.

    6. Another informative post! I am pretty confident in hubby’s driving if and when we ever visit Iceland, however, there are some amazing tips here to let us know what to expect. Driving internationally always scares me. Usually, it’s not because hubby is driving, it’s everyone else on the road that I’m worried about. Only recently have we rented cars and decided to go out on our own. It’s just cheaper that way.

      Next time you should look into travel car rental insurance. $90 a day?!!! Omg. That is steep!

      Can we talk about your photos?! They are amazing! I swear the picture at the very top belongs in a commercial or something. The editing is on point. There is lots of snow but its so pretty! Loved this post!

      1. Usually, I am the international driver unless it’s a manual car. I just can’t handle anything other than an automatic–although I tried to learn in the Sicilian vineyards. I was much better at driving in Ireland than Tom, but he was the better driver for Iceland. The snow exhausted me. So I can manage the other side of the road with jumping sheep, and Tom can do ice.

        It’s true: the other people are really the problem most times. We watched some of the craziest driving in Iceland. Sometimes I think that some of these tourists might not drive a lot, if at all, back home. In Ireland, we saw people on the other side of the road. In Iceland, we watched people drive off the road, have no idea how to approach a one-way bridge, drive with their hazards on in snow…you name it, we probably saw it.

        So we’ve actually tried travel car insurance via home before. It seems like most times you find out the international car company won’t honor the policy or there are major loopholes. This trip was insured by AAA but cars are another beast. When we got to Ireland, we had paid for travel car insurance in advance elsewhere only to find out it was unacceptable. We had to pay again at the car rental place and did get our money back via the other insurance company. It was a mess. After that lesson and talking to car rental places and insurance companies, my understanding is the rental place is the safest/best option. I’m open to suggestions, though!

        Thanks in regards to the photos! It is so funny because that top photo was taken from a moving car! My iPhone is magic only sometimes.

    7. It makes me so nervous thinking about driving on those very icy roads, but the views look incredible! Great tips! I think your post will really help people decide if they can handle Iceland in winter or not. I’m thankful I went in September and only had to worry about one snow storm and some crazy wind.

      1. As we were driving around, my husband and I joked about what Iceland might look like at a different time of year. Since most of the landscape was under snow, I bet we would not recognize some places in the summer or early fall. We stopped by Kerið Crater during a snowstorm. Typically, you can see this gorgeous blue crater. All we got was a hole with some snow. It was still cool…kinda.

        The views overall were still stunning and breathtaking, though. I think there is something magical about snow all over Iceland. When the sun would set, the mountains would turn navy blue. Plus, you have a better chance of seeing the Northern Lights.

        Thank you so much! And thanks for reading!

      1. I have yet to drive in the UK. However, I feel like driving in Ireland might have better prepared me for the UK. I’ve only been to London, and I could not imagine driving through the wild city streets. Although…Palermo was pretty crazy too, but at least I was on my known side of the road in a much smaller car.

        Iceland is my favorite to-date. Thanks for reading and commenting! Hope to catch you in FL one of these days. Xxx

    8. I’m just going to keep repeating that I want your life or i want you to hire me as your personal assistant. Then you can enjoy more of all these exotic places and I’ll do all the logistics. Just let me read and write. That is all I ask in return.

      These pictures are absolutely stunning. Who would ever have thought… Iceland? Mercy. Do that thing.

      1. Haha, thank you! Reading and writing is my favorite part! I feel you: that’s all I want to do. Read, write, travel, and not do SEO ; )

        Iceland is stunning! I hope you make one day. Thank you for your support!

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