Exploring Iceland by car

Iceland1Iceland is a truly spectacular country, packed with beautiful natural scenery, stunning coastal settings and picturesque buildings.

It’s also a prime spot to spy aurora borealis – the Northern Lights – in their true glory, and is definitely a country best explored by car.

However the weather also has a part to play, as wintery conditions often continue through to April and visitors that hire cars will need to ensure they are prepared.

The capital Reykjavik is relatively easy to get around using public transport and by walking, but venturing beyond it requires a vehicle.

Highway 1 circles the island and you can see all of the main region’s by driving along it. In the summer you could do the journey in just over a day, but it’s more fun to stop off and sightsee on the way.

What to consider

Although it is well maintained, the road is still susceptible to sudden weather changes and heavy snowfall, which means drivers need to take care.

The good news is that you can hire manual and automatic cars that are set up for driving on the right-hand side of the road.

You’ll need winter tyres by law in the winter and may need them in spring – most rental companies can supply the necessary equipment.

Any driver will also need to have their driving licence in their possession at all times when they are behind the wheel and you could be fined if you are stopped by the police and cannot produce it.

If you intend to hire a car, you may wish to consider car hire excess insurance to cover what you would need to pay should your car be damaged or stolen.

Where to visit

Reykjavik is packed full of restaurants, shops and bars, while the original geyser at Geysir, Pingvellir, the waterfalls at Gulfoss and the renowned Blue Lagoon are all within easy reach.

Snaefellsnes Peninsula offers accessible hiking while the most spectacular scenery can be found in northwest of the country, although there are few settlements.

Akureyri is known as Iceland’s second city and there’s plenty of spectacular scenery nearby, as the landscape is dominated by past volcanic activity.

If you visit in the summer months, then a trip to the volcanic island Heimaey is a must, as it plays host to one of the largest puffin colonies in the world.

Date Created: 12 March 2018 by Questor Insurance