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Winter travel in Iceland: Northern lights self-drive tour

Northen Lights self-drive tour
Northen Lights self-drive tour

A major reason people take on self-drive tours in winter is to see the northern lights. Driving in Iceland is a pleasure at any time, and although winter driving is unpredictable, it can still be rewarding. Self-drive tours are very popular as there is so much to see, plus the roads are usually uncongested and the scenery is just breath-taking.

For northern lights-goers, although you canít get right into the Highlands of Iceland during the winter, you can get to most of the main landmarks and see the aurora borealis when they make a showing. As you will be driving at night to see this most majestic of natural phenomena, having studded tyres is a must.

Driving in Iceland naturally presents more challenges; even driving along the main highway Ė Route 1 Ė can be hairy. Thus, having special winter tyres (with studs) is a big plus. Blue Car rental fits studded tires to its vehicles as standard in the winter Ė that is, between mid-October and mid-April. That applies to all cars, including two-wheel and four-wheel drive ones.

A few tips for safer winter driving:

  • Keep track of local websites through the day as to conditions. Also check with your hotel in the morning.
  • The weather can change on a whim, so be prepared.
  • Although you can use GPS units while driving, the use of mobiles is forbidden.
  • Keep your headlights on at all times, even in the summer when itís bright outside.
  • Animals on the roads are a regular occurrence but are harder to spot in winter. Sheep and reindeer are the most common road wanderers.
  • F roads are closed in winter and off-road driving is illegal at any time.
  • Icelandís emergency number is 112.

Blue Car rental have a good range of vehicles for summer and safer winter driving in Iceland. All their cars are fitted with studded tires during the winter, including economy, luxury and four-wheel drive models.

For more information on winter-worthy cars, visit

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