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Driving in Iceland | Do NOT do these 5 things!

Obviously, you know by now that I think the best way to experience Iceland is by renting a car and driving yourself, and I know a lot of you want to do that yourself, but you should know that there are rules that you need to be following on your trip when you’re driving through those roads in Iceland. Do not do these things. Road trip!

Hey, Team Iceland! My name is Jeannie, and you are in the best place if you are planning a trip to Iceland because I am your tour guide for all of the things. I am so excited to talk to you about this topic today because there’s nothing that I love more than road tripping in Iceland. But, you know me, I’m always talking about how to be responsible and travel in the best way possible. Number one, we need to protect the nature and the beauty of Iceland, and, number two, I am always looking out for your safety, and so we are talking about the road trip rules today.

DO NOT stop on the side of the road

All right. My first rule is so important, you guys, so, so, so. Like I literally can not stress enough the importance of the first rule. Please follow it. If you don’t follow any of the rest of these rules, just follow the first one. Okay? That is that you absolutely under no circumstance should be stopping on the side of the road in Iceland. Have you seen the roads in photos of Iceland? It’s like two tiny lanes. There’s zero shoulder, so there is no room for forgiveness. This is just putting everyone in danger if you’re stopping on the side of the road.

If you’re trying to pull off on the shoulder-less shoulder and take a photo or pet an Icelandic- No. Just don’t. Please don’t do it. Like literally there’s no room in the first place. There’s even been several deaths of tourists that do this, and it’s not always the person that’s pulled over. Sometimes, it’s the other people in the other vehicle. This is just so dangerous, and I beg you, please, like find a small driveway or something else to pull off if you want to stop and get a photo of something. Are we clear? Good. Thank you. Thank you.

DO NOT drive off-road in Iceland

The next thing that you should absolutely never do is driving off-road in Iceland. If there is not already a road to get to somewhere, never drive off the road, like not even in the sand, definitely not in the moss. Just like don’t do it because this is destroying the nature in Iceland, and a lot of times the tracks that are left behind can cause permanent damage. And, because Iceland is considered a tundra, again, it’s just really devastating to the nature if you’re driving off-road, so stay on the roads. Just like don’t drive off-road. There’s no reason to do that.

Headlights and seatbelts are a MUST

As you’re driving along in Iceland, you are going to always, 100 percent of the time, want to have your headlights on and your seat belts on. This is by law. Even if it’s just during the middle of the day, the weather conditions can make it challenging for oncoming vehicles to see you, so, for safety, always have the headlights on.

Watch out for hazards

You’re going to want to watch out for driving hazards, and the number one hazard on the roads in Iceland are actually sheep. These sheep are obviously roaming around the countryside, and a lot of times they can cross over the road. It could be one sheep. It could be many sheep. They are not watching for you, so you always need to be on the lookout for sheep. A lot of times, they’ll like sit on the side of the road, and they’ll like just maybe sit there, so always slow down and just be careful because you don’t want to hurt yourself or the vehicle or the sheep obviously.

DON’T speed!

Oh, and, also, you’re not going to want to speed in Iceland. Like it’s really expensive if you get a speeding ticket. The speed limit on the main ring road route or a lot of the main roads in Iceland and, actually, the fastest speed limit in Iceland is 90 kilometers per hour. This is about 55 miles per hour, so it’s not fast by any means. Trust me: There’s going to be times where you’re just driving the open road, and you’re going to feel like “zoop.” You want to hurry up and get to the next place, but there are speed cameras all over Iceland. Even if there’s not a cop patrolling, that speed camera is take a photo of your license plate, and they will send that bill to your car rental company, so you’re not going to get away with not paying the ticket. Fines can be up to like $1,000 U.S. dollars depending on how far over the speed limit you go, so don’t speed. Mm-mm. Do not.

Fill up wherever possible

Now, another really important tip is that you are going to want to fuel up at every chance possible. There are parts of even the main ring road that don’t have fuel stations for a long time in between where you would think is normal, and so just always be on the safe side. You do not want to get stranded out in the middle of Iceland, so always make sure that your tank is full, and, if you see a fuel station and you’re about halfway, still, just fill ‘er up.

Obey the signs

Another rule is always reading the signs and paying attention to things like if the road is closed, if the road is impassable, and, of course, if it is an F road. We’ve talked before about how you need to have the right vehicle to travel on the F roads, but you do not want to take your vehicle anywhere you’re not supposed to be. These closures or those F roads are there for a particular reason. They’re for your safety, so never just wander into a road even if you think it’s a shortcut or anything like that. If it says “closed” or “impassable,” do not ignore those signs or you’re going to get into a lot of trouble with yourself, your vehicle, and then possibly with the law.

Check the road conditions DAILY

My last tip or rule or thing not to do is always check road.is. Road.is is a really good resource for all of the road things for road tripping in Iceland, so it’s going to show you if the road is slippery or if the road is closed or impassable or any of those kinds of things. Then, they also have cameras so you can see some of the most recent activity on that road. This is a great thing to check every morning before you head out for your road trip just to make sure that you know what to expect from the roads that you’re about to travel.

All right, guys. Those are my road tripping rules and trips, and I know that you’re going to have an amazing road trip in Iceland no matter what, but please always just be safe, be respectful of Iceland, and then the rest of us can enjoy it, and it’s all good. I hope that you have the best trip ever. Don’t forget to like this video, subscribe, and all of the things. I will see you next week, and, as always, happy planning!

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