Driving in foreign countries is always daunting, even for the most experienced drivers. For starters instead of driving on the left-hand side of the car, you’re driving on the right, and to make things even more of a pain, you’re also driving on the opposite side of the road! I can happily say driving in Iceland was a complete and utter pleasure, and lay all my initial apprehensions to rest!
Arriving at the AVIS office, situated just on the outskirts of Reykjavik center, I was given the keys to a Volkswagen Golf automatic – I would highly recommend renting an automatic if you are at all nervous about manual drive, after all, all you need is one foot and two hands on the steering wheel, and the rest is done for you!
I requested a Sat Nav for my travels in Iceland, and was offered one featuring a program called myway. Basically, myway acts as a virtual tour guide to three routes in Iceland; The Golden Circle, The Reykjanes Peninsula and The South Shore.
The tour begins from the Avis office, and takes you along the paths of your chosen routes, telling you interesting historical and geological facts about many of the locations along the way and also a variety of stories. My girlfriend and I were particularly fond of a ghost story told whilst driving back from our Golden Circle tour at nighttime! May I also add that the great thing about myway is that it can easily be turned on or off at any point along the way, which makes visiting areas not shown on your tour fantastic, as it can easily be turned off, and then when turned back on, recalculates your route from your current location!
The roads in Iceland are magnificent. We drove for hours along long, straight roads, and watched the scenery evolve around us. One minute we’d be driving through lava fields as far as your eyes could see, the next minute we’d be surrounded by meadows, watching the cattle graze on the grass, and then the next minute watch the ocean ferociously crash into the cliff edges and spray our car. We drove for hours without seeing a single other car or person, and at times we would pull over at the side of the road to stop in awe at the otherworldly landscape surrounding us, and listen to the silence.
Everywhere in Iceland is signed very well, and petrol stations are a common site, so there’s no need to worry about getting lost or running out of fuel. Driving in Iceland really is a fabulous experience and is the best way to truly explore this beautiful country. Returning back to the UK roads, I can safely say that I miss driving in Iceland!