Nature & Environment Mar 02, 2020

Iceland: The Road Trip You’ve Always Wanted

Guest post by Jenny Holt

With its blue glaciers and vast landscapes, Iceland provides the perfect backdrop for an epic road trip. The Ring Road, or Route 1, presents a huge draw for tourists, allowing them to travel from one Icelandic city to the next on a single route. At 828 miles long, it also happens to be the longest road in the country. But there are a few boxes to tick before you take to the open road, especially if you might be new to road tripping.  

Choose The Time Of Year That Suits You Best

October through May is winter in Iceland; during these months, the days are short and, due to sometimes unpredictable weather conditions, certain roads can be rendered inaccessible. If you’re planning to road-trip, this might prove a difficult time of year. Those who want to hear the purr of tires on tar should ideally wait for June to August, which are peak summer months in Iceland. This will provide enough sunlight for rolling green hills to emerge, making it a great time for roadside picnics and the occasional hike.

The May through September timeframe is the Holy Grail of Icelandic travel. In these coveted months, you get the long days and road-trip friendly weather, plus possible sightings of the Aurora Borealis. 

Your Gear Will Determine Your Level Of Comfort 

The first thing to remember is that even in summer, Iceland is fairly cool; temperatures over 70°F/20℃ are considered an anomaly. This means that thermal clothing and extra layers are recommended to keep the cold at bay. Another point to remember is that even though many of the places on the Nordic island are easily accessible, it does mean traversing through streams, mud, and sometimes snow. Renting the right car will make a world of difference in these conditions. It also helps to have a few extra items on board such as grease spray, fuel, a spare wheel, snow chains, and even batteries and spark plugs for the older cars. It’s also important to ensure that services are up to date before heading out. Keep in mind  that off-road driving is illegal, which means it’s vital to stick to routes. 

Book Attractions And Accommodation Ahead Of Time 

As mentioned, Iceland can be quite a popular destination in the summer months, which means that there are some destinations that may require pre-booking, such as day trips to the Golden Circle and Blue Lagoon. Cities like Reykjavík also have numerous bus tours and excursions that fill up fairly quickly. You will also want to get your hands on the good accommodations before they’re booked up! 

Iceland has many natural wonders that span from lava fields to crystal clear waters and hot geysers. For a traveller looking to road trip around the island, good gear and a sense of adventure are essential. 

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