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The best way to take in the natural beauty and unmatched splendor of Iceland is by renting a car and driving.
But before you sign on the dotted line and take to the roads, there’s a few things you should know first about driving in the Land of Fire and Ice.
Drive on the right side
Unlike many European countries, Iceland drives on the right side of the road.
It’s a welcome treat for Americans, making a transition to driving a simple one. But it may prove tricky for some Europeans.
Pro tip: Tie something on your right hand (a string, a bracelet or rubber band). That way, while you’re driving, you can look a your right hand and remember what side of the road to always be on.
With such a small population outside of Reykjavik, there’s not much reason to install a lot of traffic signals in the Icelandic countryside. So instead of traffic lights, Iceland has roundabouts, or traffic circles.
You’ll notice just how many there are on your drive from the Keflavik Airport to Reykjavik. Some are two lanes while others are single lane. Take them slow and steady and you should be just fine.
Wonky traffic signals
In the United States, a red light will turn to a green light to indicate that you should drive.
In Iceland, a yellow light will turn on during a red light to signal you’re about to get a green light. It allows drivers to anticipate a green light.
In all my time driving in Iceland, I have never heard someone use their horn.
That’s not to say that people don’t do it, but I have never heard it during the weeks I have driven in Iceland in the past. So, manage your road rage and don’t honk.
Be careful driving on gravel roads (f roads)
While the vast majority of waterfuls, restaurants, shops and more are located along paved roads, you may have to drive on gravel roads -- known as “f roads.”
The problems occur when transitioning from paved to gravel roads. Bright red and yellow signs warn drivers about the transition. Make sure to keep your speed consistent when transitioning and avoid slamming on the brakes.
Are there any driving tips I missed? If so, comment below!
Hey! I'm Christian.