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Female in Late 20's Driving Alone in Iceland in July... Recommended or Crazy?

Hello Everyone,

I found a great deal to Iceland for a week with WOW Air so I jumped at the chance. I am really excited to go and picked up the Rick Steves Iceland guide to help me prepare for my trip. After having read some of the items in the book I am starting to feel a bit nervous about driving in Iceland. I am a woman in my late 20's and will be travelling alone in July. I am staying in Iceland for 6 full days and am planning to book Airbnbs in the South Coast and in Reykjavik. I have hesitated on booking a car rental because of my nervous feelings but do not really see anyway around it. I am not really sure if anyone should be driving around Iceland alone after reading some of the previous forum posts and would really appreciate any advice that anyone would like to offer an excited tourist such as myself.

Thank you :)

Posted by mp125
46 posts

I drove the Ring Road with several others a few years back but would not hesitate to do it on my own (I'm female in early 30s) if I had the chance! Driving presented some challenges (sheep on the roads, weather, other drivers, etc), but as long as you drive carefully and have proper rental insurance, I'm sure you will be fine. (Take a look at some common sense but also some Iceland-specific advice here: https://grapevine.is/news/2016/07/07/teaching-tourists-how-to-drive-in-iceland/)

If you haven't already, you may want to look into having a wi-fi device or an international data plan so you can make calls in case of emergency. Iceland is incredible, and I hope you enjoy your trip :)

Posted by Agnes
Washington DC Region, USA
4404 posts

The roads are well maintained and there will be very little traffic at all. I don't see any reason for worry especially the month you're going (no really weird weather conditions like ice and winds). Obviously if you're going off-roading, then you should really prepare and assess your driving skills, but if you're sticking to the paved Ring Road, you should be just fine. Reykjavik itself is very walkable and wouldn't benefit from a car rental.

I think your biggest issue may be the cost and availability of lodging and a rental car in July. Iceland is very expensive and I'm guessing rental car availability will affect prices in July. I would get that locked down ASAP.

Posted by jbkulick
21 posts

Yes the driving by yourself won't be a problem. The big problem will be finding lodging.

Posted by Ruth
Atlanta
494 posts

Just returned from Iceland, and driving is easy. Finding places to stay, not so much! Get on it, girl! It's a beautiful country!!

Posted by gaye_lynns
1 posts

I was in Iceland in June with my son and drove all over the area you are going to be in. I was nervous, too, but found the roads easy to drive and had no issues. It's a good idea to check out the road conditions before you go out each day, so I'm a big fan of the icelandic website that posts real-time updates: http://www.road.is. You can even watch a video on driving ("Driving with Elfis") which is kind of fun. Iceland is beautiful, if expensive, and feels like no other place I've been. I can't wait to go back. Have fun!

Posted by Katherine
Spokane, WA
5 posts

Go for it!
My daughter drove the ring road by herself over a two week period in May a few years ago when she was 21. (She had a travel grant from her university program to take photos, write up a report and get a couple of college credits.) She had a great time, felt safe and was only hassled by the birds that were dive bombing her while she was trying to take photos. The funny part about the whole trip is she really doesn't like driving and doesn't own a car herself. So if she felt comfortable doing this, I think you will be just fine.