Iceland is a place of beauty. Driving around the mountainous territory can be a thing of wonder, but with such raw beauty comes various hazards on the roads that you will need to look out for and be aware of before planning your drive.
Some of the roads are not asphalt like you find in cities. The gravel on these roads can be kicked up by your vehicle and others which can potentially crack the windscreen. At Firefly we provide insurance for this instance. Although the roads are often surrounded by wide-open countryside and appear to have nothing for miles, you may find the occasional sheep or horse jumping into the road, or even reindeer in the east, so do be aware.
The weather can also be brutal and changeable, with decreased visibility due to fog, rain and snow; as well as the occasional ash cloud if there has been a volcanic eruption. One of the most famous in recent history was the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in 2010 which grounded European flights, filling news headlines for weeks.
Checking weather websites in an absolute must, especially when travelling in the highlands. These websites also provide risk warnings of avalanches and landslides that can cut off routes. It is important to investigate the road conditions before you take your journey, rather than finding out as you drive towards it. Landslides in the mountains are often caused by a freeze-thaw effect after heavy rain that softens the rock which eventually can give way – the sights of the landslides create a tongue-shape from the mountain that can stretch very far.
We have covered hiking safely in Iceland in our previous blog for when you are out of your vehicle and hope that you have an enjoyable and safe experience during your stay.