Depending how long your stay is, you may be looking if its worth hiring a 4×4 to drive across Iceland. No matter whether Iceland is your dream destination or a simple stopover, you’re in the land of elves and surrounded by natural beauty in Iceland, wherever you go.
If you’re visiting Iceland you will most likely discover there are many tour agencies offering day trips around the Golden Circle where you can visit Thingvellir (Þingvellir) National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, The geysers including the Great Geysir and the Gullfoss waterfall. If you can’t spend a full week driving along Iceland’s ring road, those who are on a short break or layover waiting for their next scheduled flight, this option is a perfect way to glimpse just what Iceland has to offer, but bear in mind that as tourism in Iceland grows, these tours are becoming more and more popular.
Before we even booked our trip, we knew the only way to truly explore Iceland was to hire our own 4×4 and find out for ourselves. Of course after reading multiple websites, you realise a drive across Iceland is not like normal driving in most countries. You don’t realise how far away from civilisation you can be with remote areas of Iceland, the low temperatures of an Icelandic winter and of course the icy snow ridden roads. Thankfully livefromiceland.is settled any nerves as I could see what the typical road conditions were like before we even set off on our journey.
Whilst in Iceland, we took up an Icelandic horse riding tour along volcanoes – As we were pausing for lunch the weather turned completely and the roads around the mountains had closed. The main road back was out of action so we were diverted through some back roads. Within a couple of moments the weather can change without any prior warning, from sunshine to snow storm in a blink of an eye. We found ourselves having to take detours that we had not planned due to closed roads just to get ourselves back in time before the weather became any worse. It’s only then you realise how Mother nature still controls Iceland and anyone visiting. With my brave pants on we managed to navigate our way back to Reykjavík safely.
It’s worth noting you should always check your route is clear before driving anywhere just to make sure you don’t end up stranded and always listen to what locals advise. Of course if you aren’t sure, it’s worth waiting it out and letting any snowstorms pass rather than trying to drive through anything crazy. Visibility can also be a big issue whilst driving as when the roads are white, covered in snow and all around you is also white snow you may find it difficult to see far ahead.
Don’t let this put you off because the sheer enjoyment to be able to drive across Iceland made up for any hairy moments where you wish you weren’t the dedicated driver. The ongoing beautiful scenic views all around you is almost dream like. Something I could never imagine and loved every moment.
We hired our rental 4×4 through Geysir Car Rental and have to say they were absolutely brilliant. We had no problems at all with hiring a Dacia Duster through them. Before booking I had read numerous forums and TripAdvisor reports of some rental companies charging extortionate amounts for damage caused by wind blowing sand and ash onto the car’s paintwork. With so many insurance cover options it can be a little misleading what the right amount of cover is to take out and what level covers for what. So please read the small print! Thank fully we found the booking process straight forward with clear explanations for each insurance option which led to a worry free drive across Iceland. We had confidence in the brand new 4×4 we were provided rather than an older half worn out 4×4 that other rental companies provide in Iceland – so be warned! After all if you are planning on driving off the ring road and onto the F roads, you want to have confidence in what you’re driving.
The most important fact to reiterate is there’s no rush when you’re traveling at your own pace. The massive benefit of hiring a 4×4 in Iceland means you can travel at your own speed and go see what you want to, when you want to. This is what myself, Kate and our friends did and we wouldn’t have seen as much or experience Iceland the way we did without.
Here are some highlights of our drive across Iceland…
We are already itching to go back this winter, so what’s stopping you taking a drive across Iceland?
For more information to drive across Iceland through Geysir.is visit their website – www.geysir.is
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**PLEASE NOTE – we received complimentary car hire courtesy of Geysir Car Rental, but rest assure all opinions are honest and our own**