Top Secrets and Tips of Renting a car in Iceland: The Ring Road.

We all love the idea of a memorable road trip.

The freedom that comes with it and the perks of having your own car; driving around an awesome area in your own time, stopping when you see something interesting, and taking as long as you please.

Iceland is the perfect place for a road trip ranging from 1-2 weeks. It has unparalleled scenery; glaciers, volcanoes, waterfalls, and  geysers to name a few. It also has an easy to navigate ring road circling the island which will bring you right back to where you started!

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Here’s how to do your road trip right and not miss out a thing.

WHEN

It’s probably not advisable to rent in the winter months, there’s a chance you might get blown off a cliff. It’s very windy and there will be ice and snow on the roads. Many back roads will also be inaccessible. If you do go during this time you need snow driving experience and a 4×4. This being said, when we were there in February (a winter month) there was no snow and ice, due to unusually warm weather – stop burning coal China! In the summer months (May -August) its a definite yes. The roads will likely be clear of snow and driving conditions much better, but of course weather can change so you should check this!

With regards to when to actually book your rental: as far in advance as possible for the best deals 🙂

WHAT

Whether you’re renting in the winter or summer months a 4×4 is best to rent. Although slightly more expensive, a 4×4 will be able to access all the backs roads, gravel tracks, as well as drive on beaches. It will also help you out on snow and ice, but if you’re renting in the winter months make sure your car comes with either studded tires or snow chains for some extra grip!

Another great option is a camper van. These can be rented relatively cheaply and provide you with transport and accommodation all in one! I’ve talked to many a traveler who has rented a camper van in Iceland and had a great little time. What a great idea.

WHY

Because its awesome, duh..

The whole island has a ring road encircling it which is 1332km long. Wherever you start your road trip in Iceland, if you follow this one ring road road, sooner enough you will end up back where you started.

Along this ring road there are countless geological features and a million photo ops. There are also little villages dotted around the island that will all provide some form of accommodation, if you don’t fancy sleeping in your car of course ;). If you don’t fancy sleeping in your car – take a tent; travel and accommodation sorted again, I’m on a roll with these great ideas….

WHERE

This could be a very long section but i’ll try to sum it up the best I can, these are just some of the places you could go…

Chase the Northern Lights: Cloud cover often stops you from seeing the Northern Lights. However, the Icelandic Met Office are very helpful and provide up to date cloud cover maps and forecasts for Iceland. The white sections are where there is no cloud – so go drive there to see the Aurora!

The Golden Circle: Thingvellir National Park includes a huge crack in the earths crust where two tectonic plates meet, the Gullfoss Waterfall, Geysers, and hot springs.

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Gullfoss Waterfall

Sólheimasandur Plane Crash: In 1973 a plane form the USA Navy crashed on this beach in Iceland. You can drive to the plane and explore the creepy remains.

Jökulsárlón Iceberg Lagoon: During the winter months this lagoon is full or ice burgs moving about in the water, check it out for some awesome pictures.

The East Coast. This area is rough and raw and will thrill with it’s amazing landscape.

TIPS

Fuel: Prices can be pretty high (It’s a small island) and will cost around $300 or the entire ring road. Petrol stations are in most towns. However, in between towns you are unlikely to find one, so fill your baby up when you can!

Wildlife: Watch out for sheep, horses, deer, and birds – they’re crazy little things that run across roads!

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Insurance: Ge the extra insurance, weather conditions make bumps and scrapes more likely so spend that extra dollar for some peace of mind 🙂

Speeding: A Canadian guy I met was speeding in his camper van and fined $140 on the spot, I think it’s because the Icelandic police have nothing else to do as their crime rate is so low -It’s officially the most peaceful country in the word!

If you don’t rent: Fear not, it’s so easy to get around through tour operators! All tours provide a pick up from and drop off to all accommodation in Reykjavik so it doesn’t really matter where you stay.

Comment for any extra tips you little cherubs,

Michael x

4 thoughts on “Top Secrets and Tips of Renting a car in Iceland: The Ring Road.

  1. I just road tripped Iceland last month and the roads were sketchy as hell when the sun wasn’t up. I definitely waited until blue hour to get out and about after the first day. Luckily, I had pretty decent weather. However, I cannot wait to get back to Iceland in late spring or early winter and rent a camper van!

    Liked by 1 person

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