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Driving in iceland in winter

Singapore, Singapore
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Driving in iceland in winter

Hi all and please bear with me if my question sounds stupid.

Will be planning a self drive tour with some friends to Iceland in Feb 2012. Projected route would be around reykjanes/south iceland area with furthest destination being Jokulsarlon.

I've read that only the F roads require a 4WD, and F roads are closed in winter. So questions:

1. Technically there is no advantage of 4WD over a 2WD in terms of accessibility?

2. Does gravel roads require a 4WD?

Help much appreciated, thanks!

Reykjavik, Iceland
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1. Re: Driving in iceland in winter

1. This depends on weather/snow conditions. If the roads are clear then a 2WD should be sufficient. February is in the middle of winter, but in Iceland there is no guarantee as to how the weather will be. There could be snow all around, or there could be little or no snow. For inexperienced winter drivers you might feel more comfortable in a 4WD, but I recommend you book a 2WD and when you arrive, you can easily upgrade to 4WD if the road conditions look less than perfect.

2. No, a clear gravel road does not require a 4WD.

Here's a image of a typical Icelandic gravel road: visitnortheasticeland.is/files/Gunnolfsvikur…

Having said that, gravel roads are generally where the traffic is less and in winter that could mean they have lower priority regarding snow removal service. When you get to Iceland you should visit a information center (or your car rental) and ask for the road conditions on the roads you wish to travel.

Singapore, Singapore
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2. Re: Driving in iceland in winter

i see.. that kind of sums it all up. thanks for the succint info!

Icelander in...
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3. Re: Driving in iceland in winter

You might also be wise to know, that road 427 around Reykjanes peninsula is not cleared, since there is no ,,clearing schedule" for it yet. People are getting stuck out there all the time now, and there is no Mobil phone coverage in places there, and no one lives out there for a long distance !!

Like Northice said, you should book a 2WD, and then you can upgrade two days before you come if necessary. stick to the main roads, where the traffic is.

Keep a good eye on the weather and road condition: vegagerdin.is/english/… and read this: safetravel.is/en/…

B-)

Singapore, Singapore
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4. Re: Driving in iceland in winter

thanks for the valuable information! will have to be more careful planning my route around reykjanes then! :/

Keflavik
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5. Re: Driving in iceland in winter

Just few hours a go

www.facebook.com/media/set/…

Edited: 11 December 2011, 20:11
Singapore, Singapore
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97 posts
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6. Re: Driving in iceland in winter

i'm sure its alot worse than it looks!

Stoke on Trent
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7. Re: Driving in iceland in winter

Hi,

I am planning to drive around Iceland in November 2012, a similar route to yourself by the sounds of it with my furthest destination being Jokulsarlon. I was wondering how your trip was?Did you get a 4 x 4 or did you decide against it? What were the weather conditions like? I would love to know how your trip was.

Kind regards,

Gemma

Hong Kong, China
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8. Re: Driving in iceland in winter

I am planning to visit Iceland for 6D5N in Nov 2012, too. Given the weather condition (not sure if road will be closed under snowstorm), do you think I have sufficient time to cover as much of Iceland's points of interest as possible (e.g. foss, etc.)

Thank you.

Singapore, Singapore
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9. Re: Driving in iceland in winter

gemwoot, chris,

The weather was tempermental/unpredictable, bearing in mind I was there in Feb. We had heavy snow right off the airport up till the next day, car got snowed in a bit that night and had some trouble opening the doors as they were frozen shut. But that said weather was surprisingly clear mild once I hit Vik towards Jokulsarlon from Day 3 onwards.

I got a 4x4 (Ford Explorer) although I felt that it didn't make a huge difference - IF you were an experienced driver in winter/poor visibility conditions - ALTHOUGH one point I did swerve off road and without the 4x4 I would probably have needed a tow out.

Eastwards I went from Hella in the morning to Jokulsarlon and reached at sundown comfortably, stopping at Vik, Selandjafoss, Skaftafell. That was based on decent weather conditions (snow showers) and longer daylight in Feb. I would be alot more conservative in November with the shorter day and factor in alot more time for unpredictable weather and if you wanted to take up more stops (eg. Skogarfoss, hike around in Skaftafell - bearing in mind winter closing hours). Have a great trip!

10. Re: Driving in iceland in winter

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Removed on: 04 June 2013, 18:15