There are slightly different rules in Iceland than on the old continent. So I would like to share with you the experience I gained after my two trips to Iceland.
As far as the speed of travel on Iceland is concerned, the maximum permitted speed is 90 km / h, namely on paved roads outside the city. This is true for almost the entire length of Ring Road, or number one, which is a ring road around the coast of Iceland. This circuit starts right on the outskirts of Reykjavík and ends again at the same place. At the same time, it is the only road with a one-digit sign. It may seem that 90 km / h is not much, but when you take into account the fact that Iceland does not have even one kilometer of highway, as we know it in Europe, it is not so small. You’ll really give me the 90’s on the speedometer, and despite the fantastic views of the countryside, you’ll have work to keep from getting gravel at the curb or lacing on both lanes. Even the best routes are only one-lane. The only exception on the whole island is the six-lane road between Keflavík Airport and the capital, where a speed of 90 km / h applies.
A maximum speed of 80 km/h is allowed on dusty, gravel roads, i.e. gravel roads, and even if this is the maximum speed on these roads, without a proper off-road automobile and good weather, you will seldom reach this number.
These roads, which are still the primary routes going from number one, are marked with double numerals. Three-digit highways are normally only passable by a higher, stronger vehicle, and they usually pay for side roads leading to mountains or more difficult terrain. Farms or corrals containing horses are frequently found at the end of such a trek.
A separate chapter is the roads with the letter F at the beginning of the triple numbers, ie F-roads. For the passability of such a route, it is really necessary to have a 4 × 4 car and a high engine capacity. For most of the year, these F-roads are impassable. That is, for ordinary Land Rover and JEEP cars without a raised chassis with enormously high tires and an upward exhaust due to frequent fords across rivers from the mountains on this route. I definitely do not recommend a lone unaccompanied vehicle or perhaps trying to drive even a few kilometers with a city vehicle without modifications. If it is borrowed, you risk huge penalties for damage to both the landlord and high amounts for towing from these places. I was even told once that if someone with such a car crashes on the F-roads at the end of summer or during the winter, the safely marked vehicle will be left in place until next summer. As a rule, such a car will never please another customer.
Tourists who think they are on the road many kilometers from the nearest city have no one to fine, an unpleasant surprise awaits. A small and almost imperceptible column appears in the absolute wilderness or a turn with an elevation, and it gives such adventurers a pretty expensive photograph. The fines are not the lowest here and your credit card, which you have to give when booking the vehicle, is a guarantee that it will catch you even a few weeks after returning from the island. For radicals sought after by tourists, these radars are marked with a similar brand as in our country. Well, in places that look like a lunar landscape, radars are placed without notice in advance. So my foot out of the gas, not only because of the free-moving sheep that are everywhere across the island, but also because of the cyclists who cross Ring Road in a completely unexpected number, mostly in Icelandic summer. I’ve also heard of the free movement of white polar deer, but I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing them on either trip.
Because the weather in Iceland really changes within tens of minutes from a complete sunny morning to the falling water hell (in Icelandic summer), it’s a good idea to have a map of the road ahead of you. However, Icelanders have this in mind and there are online reports of all trips on the island. The website is www.road.is and you will conveniently find your route that awaits you here. I used it myself daily and I can confirm that it is very accurate and still current. The safetravel.is website, which serves similarly to our Czech ambulance, may also be useful on the road. You will indicate that you are on the island, enter the arrival and departure days and some other information, and call your local emergency service if necessary.
I would also like to talk about stops that, like others, you will do every few kilometers. Due to the fact that the local landscape is changing so drastically and with such speed that behind every elevated hill or turn around the coast you will have a completely new and amazing view. These stops are only possible on those parts of the road where conditions allow you to stop the whole car beyond the border line. That is, so that you do not endanger the traffic on your side of the road by overhanging your vehicle. So sometimes you walk to a place you passed on the way and you said that you just have to enjoy this or that and perhaps immortalize the photo. If you visit Iceland in the summer season you will be happy for this regulation. Anyone who has already experienced this will surely agree with me. It is also strictly forbidden to drive off-road vehicles into the wild. A few years ago, this was not a problem, but tourists began to demolish nature so violently that the government decided to severely fine the operation to ensure the survival of this natural beauty for future generations.
For me, parking in the city was a first. You will be unable to use coins. Everything is paid for with a credit card, from the coffee from the roadside stand to the gasoline from the isolated stand in the middle of nowhere. It pays to “don’t forget” the parking fee, just like it pays to “don’t forget” speed.
In terms of car rental, I would suggest an automatic transmission. Even though I don’t have much experience with it, I’d rather fight the strange bent leg on the first day (particularly at crossings or while braking to zero – certainly everyone knows) than miss the opportunity to photograph or snap images with one hand free. I enjoy riding in the woods. On the road, there are times when you simply do not react as quickly as you should with the manual and regret that you are no longer aware or do not have a car camera.
The last thing at the end of traveling by car around the island is the council. I advise you all, pay attention to the contents of the tank. So not that you get refueled fuel here, but there are not as many gas stations or gas stations as we are used to seeing in our country or in the rest of Europe. Whether you have a small, cheaper car to rent or you have a large 4 × 4 car that drinks more than a tourist in the Sahara, in addition to speed, watch the red fuel level honestly. I had both cars in Iceland, so I speak from personal experience. This little hand can mean big problems or at least a few hours of waiting for a willing passer-by or sleeping in the car on the spot. In any smaller city, I recommend refueling to the fullest. The most common gas stations on the island are two, namely Orkan and N1. I personally did not see any difference, maybe in the price per liter of fuel – about 0.1 €. Then there are two other brands that are around the capital and in the south of the island. I think it’s worth mentioning that gas stations are often unattended and any buildings as we know them. Sometimes you just come to the city or in a remote corner of the island to two stands and with the help of a credit card you refuel as needed. When I paid cash at the cash desk at my first trip to Iceland, I caused quite a stir 🙂 At the very end I am adding a page where you have all the gas stations on the island marked – google – gas station on Iceland.