If going on a ring road tour here in Iceland in summer or winter, here are a few tips:
Please feel free to ask anything 🙂
• Stay away from alcohol on the flight to Reykjavik if you’re picking up a car. Easy to forget this, but on both occasions, there were police with breathalyser tests 500m out from the airport
• Fuel: do not panic about filling up at every station. Pumps are not THAT rare, my suggestion is to fill up when you approach the half-tank mark and you should be perfectly ok. Just take a bit more care in the Westfjords area because they are more spaced apart
• Google maps worked very well and time estimates were pretty much on the mark
• Restaurants are expensive but not crazy expensive. A really good fresh fish dinner outside Reykjavik usually cost around 30-40 euros, which is not that far off from many big city prices. Beer is about 6-8euro. Glass of wine around 10Euro
• Most of the Ring Road and Snaefellsness is paved but there are sections which are gravel roads. In general even the gravel roads are very driveable albeit at a slower speed, and 2wd cars can handle them quite well. Gravel chips will hit your car quite often, so Gravel Insurance is highly recommended. Most of the Westfjord roads are gravel and bumpier
• Do take care of the sheep. They sit on the side of the road staring at you, and sometimes they just decide to cross the road when you are approaching!
• Lots of single lane small bridges when only one car can pass at a time. Reduce speed accordingly and allow the car who reaches first to cross. Many are humpback bridges so take extra care because you cannot see well who is already on it
• Check wind forecasts before going to waterfalls, so if the particular one you’d like to see has acce
ss from both sides you can avoid the side with the spray coming towards you. This applies especially to Dettifoss!
• You will often come across picnic sites who have portable public toilets. They are very clean and most even have running water and soap. You might want to leave a few coins in the donation box to help with their upkeep.
• Please please please do not jump over No Entry signs at popular locations. Not only will you probably damage the local habitat but your cliched hair-thrown-back Instagram pose in front of a waterfall is not appreciated by anyone else trying to take a decent photo while sticking to the rules
• We drove 3000km in 10 days, did all the Ring Road plus a good chunk of the Westfjords and Snaefellsness. It is doable and you will have time to see most of the sights along the day, although you won’t spend hours in each of course.
• Yes, you can have all 4 seasons in one day but you could also have consecutive days with continuous rain and low clouds swirling around you. We had 4 days of that, not pleasant, so be prepared for that eventuality
• Icelanders are very polite pleasant people who are usually only happy to help when asked anything.