We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Road conditions in January

Which Reykjavik hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Sterling...
posts: 46
Road conditions in January

I know, who can predict, but I'm looking at the road conditions website and seeing already part of the Gold Circle area impassable (Guilfoss?) and also interested in Hraunfossar to the north of Reykjavik. Any January expertise out there? We're going to be there January 14-18 and I'm STILL waffling about the car rental, since I really can't afford the 4WD Jeep. I need to get out more, this shouldn't be so stressful! Thanks. And I think I asked before but any suggestions for nighttime activities in Reykjavik for me and 2 17-year old girls (or for them and I'll go somewhere else!)? Blue Lagoon one night/Northern Lights same or different night. Sleep? When we get back home or on the plane, I think!

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
posts: 48,556
reviews: 15
1. Re: Road conditions in January

Since the Golden Circle is such a heavily travelled set of roads, and visitors want to get to the sights, I'll bet the Icelandic road crews are fairly diligent about keeping the roads as clear as possible. Certainly Highway 1 needs to be kept clear. Hraunfoss might be tricky, as the roads east of Borgarnes are Reykholt are narrow, although surely local people need to get back and forth to Husafell.

Nighttime activities...I usually go for a swim then head home - a dull life I lead. The Grapevine is an English language paper that might have some suggestions, or the girls could ask at the tourist office or the very useful office of www.this.is/iceland, on Laugavegur, just east of the Mal og Mennig bookshop. The staff in there are younger, very nice and helpful.

Holmes Chapel...
posts: 147
reviews: 50
2. Re: Road conditions in January

Just keep watching the www.vedur.is/english site and you'll have the latest information. On the well-travelled roads, I've not seen much change so obviously they are pretty good at keeping them clear. I am leaving for RVK tomorrow - I've hired a regular car as well. A lot of the roads were under caution a couple of days ago - but if you look now, rain over the past 24 hours has cleared pretty much all of them!!

I'll post when I get back to let you know how I got on.

Sterling...
posts: 46
3. Re: Road conditions in January

Thanks, sydneychick, I understand the weather changes every hour or so in RKV. Good luck with the roads! We are going to rent a car and I'm hoping for the best. It's through Hotel Atlantis and lots of good postings about that place.

Holmes Chapel...
posts: 147
reviews: 50
4. Re: Road conditions in January

OK - roads are really variable... snow one minute and fine the next. We had a Toyota Yaris 2WD from Budget (best rate with insurance was about 4400 krona - bargain!) and with it's studded tyres (you'll get used to the familiar clacking noise of these in the city - lots of cars have them) we made our way to Geysir and Gulfoss via Thingvellir National Park. The shortcut we were hoping to do between the two was closed, but it didn't add too much time to back track and go via Selfoss. A couple of notes I would make on our trip...

1) The road to these places is in good condition and Icelandic drivers are very courteous.

2) Keep your eyes peeled - there are not an abundance of road signs, so make sure you are on the lookout for where you want to go. Even the routes to the popular sites like Geysir and Gulfoss are not super-obvious like you get in most other countries.

3) Road signs in general are lacking - don't drive too fast - the road around the corner may fork unexpectantly and you'll find yourself having to make a very hasty decision like I did!!

4) If you are going to head to Blue Lagoon - don't take the number 42 / 427 'shortcut' from Selfoss. It's a mostly unsealed road and in the dark will test your patience and your nerves severely. In fact - I'd suggest not using it in a 2WD at all - my car struggled with the constant potholes and the ravines on either side nearly brought me to tears!

Having said all that - driving in Iceland is a really pleasant experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

As for activities, definitely do Blue Lagoon - really good fun, you won't be sorry!

Do a Northern Lights trip on another night - if you don't have to cram everything in a really short trip, then don't. During the day - other than the Geysir/Gulfoss trip - my recommendation for 2 17 year old girls would be a horse ride. Iceland only has Icelandic horses - brought in by Vikings and since then, they have not allowed any other type of horse brought into the coutnry - so they remain to this day a pure breed! In fact - if an Icelandic horse is taken out of Iceland (they are popular in Germany for example) it is never allowed to return to Iceland!! The Icelandic horse is a little shorter and stockier than your usual horse (whatever you do, don't call it a pony though!!!) and is apparantly a really comfortable ride - it's also got a unique gait called the tolt - no other horse has it! The tolt is a very smooth ride and not so up and down bumpy riding most people are used to.

Anyway - I hope this has been helpful!

Sterling...
posts: 46
5. Re: Road conditions in January

Thanks again, sydneychick, very helpful. We're retning a car and I'll hope for decent weather. Of course it doesn't seem to want to stop snowing here in Massachusetts, so I should be very used to slippery, snow-covered roads by next Saturday!

Holmes Chapel...
posts: 147
reviews: 50
6. Re: Road conditions in January

Have a brilliant time and be sure to give us a trip report when you get back to help pass on the knowledge :)