Driving around Iceland is a wonderful way to experience the wonderful nature at your own pace. When driving in the countryside you can easily get distracted by the beautiful surroundings. Despite the beauty do not let it distract you while driving. If you see something that demands your attention, please find a safe place to park and then gaze at the beauty of the island.
There are a couple of ways to travel to Höfn, you can travel by plane, local bus or rent a car. If going by rent a car and there is an option to rent a 4×4, it is better but not necessary. When renting a car during the winter make sure that the tires are studded. During the winter driving conditions can be quite rough, and not just during winter, there are blind curves and hills, one-lane bridges, and narrow passes. Drive carefully and follow all the road regulations and speed limits.
Before starting the drive to Höfn, or anywhere, check the weather and road conditions. It is also a good idea to download the 112 Iceland app, which is an app that sends an SMS to the Icelandic emergency service 112, with the phone’s GPS location, before calling 112. The app can be found here.
Another good tip, for driving generally through Iceland, is to fill up the car when you see a gas station. There are not so many gas stations on the south coast and it can be far between them.
Check out this website that has the gas stations marked and much more
The distance between Reykjavik to Höfn is around 450 kilometers (280 miles), that’s around six hours of straight driving. It is not a complicated drive since there is only one main road, route 1. If you are going to stop on the way, either to stretch your legs or photograph nature, plan for more time. Another reason for adding more travel time is because, when driving in the winter the roads can be tricky, also less daylight during the winter than summer, here you can find a website that gives you the approximate daylight you can expect. Therefore in winter, it is a good idea to divide the south coast trip into at least two parts. If you want to cover the whole south coast during winter and see the main locations, it is good to stay somewhere around Vik and then continue towards Höfn and stay there another night.
Still, after planning the whole trip, the weather can suddenly change, or sections of roads can be closed for a variety of reasons, so always have a back-up plan and be prepared for your plans to change.
General Tips for driving in Iceland
– In Iceland, we drive on the right side of the road
– By law, you have to wear seatbelts, children to and infants must be seated in car-safety seats
– The general speed limit is 30-50 km/hour in populated areas, 80km/hour on gravel roads in rural areas and 90 km/hour on paved roads
– Car headlight must be on at all times, day or night.
– The emergency number in Iceland is 112
– Off-road driving is illegal in Iceland!