O ne of the key things for any travel site anywhere must be to help and assist the traveler in any way possible. Which is why we are responding to a number of questions about driving distances from the capital of Iceland to a few great scenic spots and larger towns in the country.
We understand this need perfectly. More and more of you are visiting on your own terms and not content to have to rely on organized tours. We concur, that´s the absolute best way to travel if possible.
Below you´ll find rough estimates of driving distances within the country in both summer and winter. There is quite a difference. More popular roads will be kept open but ice and frost will keep any sane person from jammin´ that pedal to the metal.
* Time and km/miles based on one-way drive
REYKJAVIK – AKUREYRI A straight drive between the capital of Iceland and what is known as the capital of North Iceland is 388 km / 242 miles. The official speed limit is 90 km but in summertime you´ll find few adhering to that. Speeds of 100 and up are more frequent. If driving leisurely, not stopping much anywhere and keeping to the speed limit in summertime expect the journey to take you 4,5 to 5 hours. Should traffic be heavy this might end up being 5,5 hours or thereabouts.
In wintertime this route tends to get quite complicated since on few places the road leads over mountain passes which fill up quickly with snow. Expect your heartbeat to go up a notch on the way. This drive in winter will never be less than 5,5 hours and could be up to 6,5 if snowy or icy.
This route is frequented by large vehicles which often block the narrow road. Also keep in mind there are still some one-lane bridges on this way.
REYKJAVIK – JÖKULSÁRLÓN Most of you will give anything to visit the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon in the Southeast of Iceland. Problem with giving estimates here is the fact that on the way there are so many distractions one would be foolish not to stop a dozen times or so.
But should you have but one desire to see the lagoon your journey will be 380 km / 236 miles. In summer conditions expect that drive to take 4,5 hours and 5 hours if serious traffic. Add half an hour to an hour at least for winter driving the same distance.
REYKJAVIK – SNÆFELLSNES Snæfellsjokull glacier can often be seen from Reykjavik across the Faxafloi bay and the area attracts a huge number of people. The drive is pretty straightforward and the distance to the down of Olafsvik in the shadow of the glacier mountain is but 191 km / 118 miles. That´s about two hour drive in summertime and perhaps 15 to 20 minutes longer in winter.
REYKJAVIK – GOLDEN CIRCLE The Golden Circle is one of Iceland´s must do things covering roughly a circle tour between Thingvellir, Geysir and Gullfoss waterfall.
In fact, this route can be done in a number of different ways but for those pressed for time driving to the three places will take you around 1,5 hour in summertime plus 30 minutes to an hour more in winter conditions. The distance from the capital to Gullfoss, which is the farthest away, is 112 km / 70 miles.
REYKJAVIK – SEYDISFJORDUR Seydisfjordur village is the destination port for the only passenger ferry connecting Iceland to mainland Europe and that particular place is as far from Reykjavik city as is possible in Iceland. The whole distance is 679 km / 422 miles.
Again here it is possible to go either the North route or the South route but the southern is a bit shorter. Straight driving in summertime with little stop and keeping mostly to the speed limit will get you all the way in 8,5 to 9 hours.
Winter drive this route will not take less than 10 hours and could well be 12 hours depending on conditions. This route goes over a number of mountain roads too and once in awhile the route over some mountains are completely impassable.
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