Iceland Road Conditions and Weather Information

Iceland Road Conditions and Weather Information

So you have a road trip around Ice­land com­ing up but you’re not quite sure what the road con­di­tions and the weath­er will be like (the weath­er part will also deter­mine whether you need to pack your win­ter coat or not). The fol­low­ing web­sites are your friends and they will show you just what you need to know. We found them very use­ful dur­ing our vis­it.

Road Con­di­tions

For road con­di­tions, make sure you book­mark Veg­agerdin (Ice­landic Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion) web­site. This click­able road con­di­tion map is essen­tial. Don’t hit the road before con­sult­ing it first. If that’s not enough and you need to know what road con­di­tions are like in (almost) real-time, there are road web cams, ready for your perusal.
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№ 18 — Seljalandfoss, Iceland

№ 18 — Seljalandfoss, Iceland

We went to Sel­ja­land­foss before tak­ing a fer­ry to Heimaey in the West­man Islands/Vestmannaeyjar in the morn­ing. We got there before tour bus­es from Reyk­javik start­ed to arrive, which was a plus because we had the falls all to our­selves. The minus was we couldn’t spend a lot of time there because we had a fer­ry to catch. I also didn’t want my clothes to be all wet and my boots all mud­dy on the fer­ry ride so I didn’t do the walk behind the falls. My hus­band did, though. But then again, he’s always been more adven­tur­ous than me. Sel­ja­land­foss is love­ly and all but it’s not real­ly one of my favourites in Ice­land.

I was unable to take pic­tures of so many Ice­landic attrac­tions in all their glo­ry due to the lack of wide-angle lens (the widest I could get with my micro 4/3 cam­era was around 40mm) and it was quite frus­trat­ing for me at times. For those going to Ice­land, if you own a wide-angle lens, don’t for­get to pack it. If you don’t own one, buy or bor­row one from some­one! You won’t regret it. The next time we go there, I am so tak­ing my DSLR with an ultra-wide angle lens. Sure it would be heav­ier to car­ry but it’s not like we’ll have to go on a long hike or any­thing. Most Ice­land attrac­tions are locat­ed right by the side of the road! Just one of the rea­sons I love Ice­land, being a wimpy hik­er and all. :-)

№ 13 — Hraunfossar, Iceland

№ 13 — Hraunfossar, Iceland

Hraun­fos­sar is a series of water­falls in West Ice­land where the water comes from springs in a lava field. I was unable to cap­ture the whole thing due to the lack of a wide-angle lens. It’s a lot of water­falls in one and real­ly wide! We kind of stum­bled upon it on the third to last day of our trip in Ice­land. It was a nice pick-me-up since I was a bit bummed about the trip being almost over, even if we were already water­falls-d out by then. Ice­land just has sooo many water­falls! There’s anoth­er water­fall near­by called Bar­nafoss but it’s prob­a­bly my least favourite of all.

Hraun­fos­sar pours into the riv­er Hvítá. The riv­er has a light sea-green colour because it’s glac­i­er-fed. “Hvítá” itself means “white riv­er” in Ice­landic. The area around the falls is quite pret­ty. It’s close to a spot where Ice­landic (Reyk­javik?) peo­ple go for a vaca­tion in the sum­mer. We passed one area with a large num­ber of cottages/summer homes, a few were quite fan­cy. I think that’s their cot­tage coun­try.

Of all the water­falls in Ice­land, Hraun­fos­sar is def­i­nite­ly one of my favourites.

№ 10 — Búðir, Snæfellsnes, Iceland

№ 10 — Búðir, Snæfellsnes, Iceland

I had been look­ing for­ward to tak­ing pic­tures of this church at Búðir in Snæfell­snes Penin­su­la because the loca­tion is very pic­turesque, but ear­li­er in the day, the boat that was sup­posed to take us on a whale-watch­ing tour left with­out us because appar­ent­ly Ice­landic peo­ple are not the great­est at at mark­ing places so we missed the area where we were sup­posed to board the boat. When we final­ly found it with a help from a local Ice­landic fam­i­ly we met at the har­bour, the boat already left even though it was still before the time it was sup­posed to leave. We’d already had a whale-watch­ing tour can­celled when we were in North­ern Ice­land (and the tour oper­a­tor didn’t even both­er to noti­fy us about it being can­celled so we had a hur­ried break­fast that morn­ing for noth­ing — could’ve had more of that tasty, home­made skyr at the B&B oth­er­wise) so I was feel­ing extra bummed about it.

Any­way, when we got to Búðir, I was quite the Ms. Grumpy McGrump­sa­lot and my heart wasn’t real­ly in it when I was tak­ing pic­tures of the sur­round­ings. We could have tak­en the path to a near­by beach but didn’t because I was grumpy and now I kind of regret it. Oh well. Some oth­er time. When we go back to Ice­land to explore the West­fjords (the only region we didn’t get to see in our first vis­it), we will have to give Snæfell­snes Penin­su­la anoth­er chance for sure.

Adden­dum: We’re one-tenth of the way through the 100 Places Project! Hur­ray!

№ 6 — Hvítserkur, Iceland

№ 6 — Hvítserkur, Iceland

Of all the rock for­ma­tions in Ice­land that are said to have been a troll at some point, Hvít­serkur is my favourite. It looks like a 15-meter tall mon­ster ris­ing out of the sea. Pret­ty awe­some. We vis­it­ed it on an unusu­al­ly sun­ny day which hap­pened to be the day of the 8th anniver­sary of our wed­ding. It was high tide when we got there so we couldn’t get clos­er to the rock. It was a beau­ti­ful spot nonethe­less. I loved it and am glad that we found it even though its loca­tions is a bit off the beat­en path.

As we were dri­ving out of the area, we were stopped by a young farmer who explained to us in bro­ken Eng­lish that the road was closed (in actu­al­i­ty, it was blocked by a trac­tor; it was a nar­row, dirt road) because they were try­ing to get a flock of sheep to anoth­er pas­ture across the road. Three peo­ple were involved in the whole ordeal. They looked so frus­trat­ed and the flock of sheep so pan­icky. The whole thing last­ed for about 10 min­utes but I don’t think we would have mind­ed so much if it had last­ed longer because it was actu­al­ly rather enter­tain­ing to watch.

So, if some­one asked me how many Ice­landic farm­ers it takes to get a flock of sheep across the road, I’d con­fi­dent­ly say: it takes three, and a trac­tor.

№ 4 — Reynisfjara, Iceland

№ 4 — Reynisfjara, Iceland

We arrived at Reyn­is­f­jara beach in South Ice­land at the same time a bus full of tourists did. We tried to rush towards the beach to get some pic­tures with­out the horde of tourists in it but, alas, they were too fast! Then the weath­er changed from cloudy to cloudy with some driz­zles and the wind start­ed to pick up. Soon we found our­selves stand­ing in the mid­dle of a storm. We saw some pret­ty big waves crash­ing against the basalt columns this beach is famous for. A bunch of tourists took cov­er in a shal­low cave. We just made sure we were stand­ing far enough from the water because the waves on this beach are known to be treach­er­ous. I heard it’s due to the fact that there is noth­ing between this beach and the South Pole.

Luck­i­ly the weath­er changed back to the way it was ear­li­er after 5–10 min­utes of stormy weath­er and the tourists took the oppor­tu­ni­ty to go back to the bus, except for this one guy who was busy tak­ing close-up pic­tures of the rocks. I fig­ured he must have thought we were part of the bus tour and the fact that we were still stick­ing around meant he was good. Just to let him know that we weren’t part of the tour, I asked my hus­band a lit­tle loud­ly (just loud enough for the tourist to over­hear me) where we’re plan­ning to dri­ve to after this and where we’re going to have lunch. Well, dude got the hint and he start­ed run­ning towards the bus. Good thing the bus hadn’t left with­out him. Final­ly, we had the love­ly beach all to our­selves. Win!