Winter Driving In Iceland

different experience

What to be aware about

Winter Travel

Northern Lights in Iceland

different experience

Visiting Iceland in winter is a totally different experience than during the summer as there are fewer people, beautiful winter landscapes, and chances to see the Northern Lights to name a few. The same goes for when winter driving in Iceland in your rental car. Although some attractions in Iceland close or become inaccessible during the winter, many of Iceland’s most famous spots are still easy to visit, including the Golden Circle, waterfalls, Blue Lagoon, glaciers, black sand beaches, museums, ice caves, and the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. If you want to travel by car we would recommend something with 4-wheel drive and studded winter tires.

Please note that during wintertime the Icelandic highland F-Roads are impassable/closed for anyone not in a modified vehicle (super jeep). Timing of these closures depends on weather and conditions, see here.

Weather, snow and ice

To ensure the safety of our customers, all of our cars are fitted with studded tyres as standard during the winter, meaning you can explore Iceland safely and confidently, whatever the weather. Speaking of weather, conditions can change within an instant during winter and is much more unpredictable. The weather can change at a moment’s notice, making driving conditions a lot more challenging. Be sure to check out road and weather conditions before you set out each day and we would like to make note of the SafeTravel website before winter driving in Iceland.

While driving your rental car in snow can often be quite amusing, it is at the same time very challenging and requires focus from the driver as well as a great deal of respect for the rental car and the road. Most accidents during winter time occur when there is so called black ice on the road. It is most likely to form when temperature is around freezing (0°C or 32°F) and relative humidity is high. Please pay special attention to the road conditions when temperature is around freezing as black ice is usually not visible and the road may look ice free.


winter conditions in Iceland
Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue
Icelandic Road Administration
Icelandic Met Office