Travel in Iceland

By driving in Iceland you will experience the country to the utmost, let us do it in a safe manner.

Driving in Iceland

Always wear a seat belt!

Icelandic driving differs from other countries and can often be unusual and/or challenging. It is therefore very important to be aware of how to drive in Iceland. If you are driving a car you have not driven before, extra care is needed as the vehicle may drive differently than your model back home.

Adjust your speed according to driving conditions. The speed limit in populated areas is usually 50-60 km/hr on thruways and only 30 km/hr in residential areas. In rural areas the gravel roads have a speed limit of 80 km/hr, and paved roads 90 km/hr. Most mountain roads and roads in the interior of Iceland are made of gravel. The surface on the gravel roads is often loose, especially along the sides of the roads, so one should drive carefully and slow down whenever approaching an oncoming car.

Some Icelandic road signs are unique and you may not have seen them before. Please acquaint yourself with them before you start driving.

Preparing for your journey

As conditions in Iceland are so unpredictable, we recommend to visit Safetravel‘s Website, where you can find weather warnings and information about how to travel in Iceland.
It is also necessary to monitor road conditions, the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration (IRCA) updates their website with information on road conditions, and whether roads are closed or clear for traffic.

  • By law, drivers and passengers are required to wear seatbelts in Iceland, no matter what type of vehicle.
  • Children must either wear seatbelts or be in car safety seats, depending on their age and height.
  • It is forbidden by law to operate a vehicle in Iceland after having consumed alcohol.
  • Iceland requires that vehicle headlights should be on at all times both day and night, while driving.
  • The use of hands-free equipment is an obligation when talking on a mobile phone and driving at the same time.
  • Most mountain roads are closed until the end of June, or even longer and when these roads are opened many of them may only be driven by 4WD vehicles
  • Off-road driving is strictly forbidden since it can seriously damage our sensitive vegetation, which may take nature decades to repair.

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Winter driving

Winter time in Iceland is beautiful, usually it is still and quiet. It can, however, get pretty tough as weather changes rapidly.

Read more about winter driving

Here are some useful links about traveling in Iceland:

Travel Safety Tips from the Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue

More Information and Safety from the Icelandic Road Traffic Directorate

Road Conditions and Weather

Visit Iceland with lots of information on travelling in Iceland in various languages

Driving in Iceland brochure