AARoads Forum

Regional Boards => International Highways => Topic started by: Alps on May 24, 2016, 08:28:02 PM

Title: Iceland
Post by: Alps on May 24, 2016, 08:28:02 PM
Three of us on the forum are going to Iceland, and at least two will be circling the island. I'll start off this thread with a question - can people comment on the quality of unpaved roads? My expectation is that anything with a number is traversable, even if rather carefully, in a 2WD passenger car. (Some of the three-digit routes are not covered in Street View, but the ones I can see look equal to dirt and gravel county roads in the Midwestern US.) Similarly, I expect that anything preceded by an "F" is going to be non-traversable in a 2WD passenger car. I've read that when dry, F35 can be had in a 2WD, but I would also assume that applies to a 2WD SUV or similar, and not a low-clearance passenger car. But rather than assume, can anyone tell me their actual experience?
Title: Re: Iceland
Post by: 1995hoo on May 24, 2016, 08:51:05 PM
When do you need an answer? I haven't been there, but my parents have and I'd be happy to ask them whether they had any experience with the roads. However, they're currently on a trip to Norway without e-mail access, so the question would have to wait until they get home in early June. Let me know if that would work.
Title: Re: Iceland
Post by: Alps on May 24, 2016, 09:18:53 PM
When do you need an answer? I haven't been there, but my parents have and I'd be happy to ask them whether they had any experience with the roads. However, they're currently on a trip to Norway without e-mail access, so the question would have to wait until they get home in early June. Let me know if that would work.
Dude, totally. We're going in September. But the layman tends to be warier of unpavement than the roadgeek...
Title: Re: Iceland
Post by: english si on May 25, 2016, 05:58:57 AM
Given there is the F prefix for roads passable only in 4x4s, I'd imagine that the others are passable in normal cars.

I imagine that the bar is set low - ie that F roads are often driveable by other vehicles, but would be difficult and there's issues and so you shouldn't risk it.

Could you not hire a 4x4?
Title: Re: Iceland
Post by: Dougtone on May 25, 2016, 06:50:38 AM
This site may shed some light on F-roads in Iceland...

http://sadcars.com/en/read/2012/03/12/how-to-drive-on-f-roads-in-the-highlands-of-iceland (http://sadcars.com/en/read/2012/03/12/how-to-drive-on-f-roads-in-the-highlands-of-iceland)
Title: Re: Iceland
Post by: Alps on May 25, 2016, 08:16:56 AM
Appears that F roads may be closed even last week in September. Also clear that I would need a 4x4 to do it. Not interested in the rental contract issues otherwise...
Title: Re: Iceland
Post by: Duke87 on May 25, 2016, 08:47:47 PM
Appears that F roads may be closed even last week in September. Also clear that I would need a 4x4 to do it. Not interested in the rental contract issues otherwise...

The dates on which the roads typically close are annoyingly unavailable online, as noted in this Reddit thread (https://www.reddit.com/r/Iceland/comments/2bo7q2/historical_f_road_closing_dates/).

From the comments it looks like some F roads may be passable in late September, but don't have your heart set on it.

I'm not finding data specific to the interior, but the average high in Reykjavik for late September is in the 40s (Fahrenheit). Would not be surprised if the highlands are already starting to experience temperatures below freezing by that point, in which case the availability of those roads depends on how much snow starts falling how soon.

http://www.road.is/travel-info/road-conditions-and-weather/the-entire-country/island1e.html shows current conditions and the entire interior is closed as of today, a time of year with similar average highs as late September.
Title: Re: Iceland
Post by: Alps on May 25, 2016, 10:22:22 PM
Appears that F roads may be closed even last week in September. Also clear that I would need a 4x4 to do it. Not interested in the rental contract issues otherwise...

The dates on which the roads typically close are annoyingly unavailable online, as noted in this Reddit thread (https://www.reddit.com/r/Iceland/comments/2bo7q2/historical_f_road_closing_dates/).

From the comments it looks like some F roads may be passable in late September, but don't have your heart set on it.

I'm not finding data specific to the interior, but the average high in Reykjavik for late September is in the 40s (Fahrenheit). Would not be surprised if the highlands are already starting to experience temperatures below freezing by that point, in which case the availability of those roads depends on how much snow starts falling how soon.

http://www.road.is/travel-info/road-conditions-and-weather/the-entire-country/island1e.html shows current conditions and the entire interior is closed as of today, a time of year with similar average highs as late September.
Yes, but the entire interior is still covered with winter snow now.
Title: Re: Iceland
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 30, 2016, 01:05:54 PM
It is my understanding that F-Series roads definitely implies the need for a 4x4 vehicle. 

The Ring Highway (Route 1) is about 1400 km, and can be handled in a "regular" car.

Gravel highways (of which there are many) are generally passable in a "regular" car as well.
Title: Re: Iceland
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 30, 2016, 01:10:30 PM
Yes, but the entire interior is still covered with winter snow now.

F-Series roads are generally closed (according to a Swedish-language site I looked at) until the "end of June."
Title: Re: Iceland
Post by: Alps on May 30, 2016, 11:45:20 PM
It is my understanding that F-Series roads definitely implies the need for a 4x4 vehicle. 

The Ring Highway (Route 1) is about 1400 km, and can be handled in a "regular" car.

Gravel highways (of which there are many) are generally passable in a "regular" car as well.
F35 is the only road that they say can typically be traversed in a 2WD car - no one specifies if that means passenger car or SUV - unless it gets muddy.
Title: Re: Iceland
Post by: 1995hoo on June 12, 2016, 10:41:03 AM
When do you need an answer? I haven't been there, but my parents have and I'd be happy to ask them whether they had any experience with the roads. However, they're currently on a trip to Norway without e-mail access, so the question would have to wait until they get home in early June. Let me know if that would work.
Dude, totally. We're going in September. But the layman tends to be warier of unpavement than the roadgeek...

Following up on this, my parents got home last weekend but I didn't want to ask them about this straight off until they got settled back in, so I asked my father about it yesterday. Unfortunately no help to offer—they didn't rent a car and didn't encounter any unpaved roads.
Title: Re: Iceland
Post by: kurumi on June 21, 2016, 12:56:28 AM
Live stream of a 24-hour drive around Route One; soundtrack by Sigur Rós: http://www.ruv.is/routeone
Title: Re: Iceland
Post by: Dougtone on August 31, 2016, 09:30:49 PM
Should probably watch out for angry elves while driving in Iceland...

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/angry-elves-force-iceland-road-workers-to-dig-up-a-sacred-rock?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=atlas-page (http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/angry-elves-force-iceland-road-workers-to-dig-up-a-sacred-rock?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=atlas-page)
Title: Re: Iceland
Post by: Alps on September 28, 2016, 04:13:59 PM
Based on my experience, I can now say that numbered gravel routes are potholes strung together by some dirt, but traversable. Side streets are generally traversable but may contain a judicious number of rocks, possibly enough to make the attempt iffy. (For the record, I've successfully traversed every road on my list.) I drove an F route for about half a km looking for a turnoff (signs were misleading) and I can vouch that those are not traversable by passenger cars.
Title: Re: Iceland
Post by: Duke87 on October 13, 2016, 12:55:30 AM
In poking around for more detailed info about routes, I found this link:
http://vegasja.vegagerdin.is/eng/

This zoomable, GIS-based map shows the extent of Federal road maintenance and therefore provides specifics on where exactly the endpoints of any given route are.

Of even more intrigue is that this map shows numbers for all numbered routes... including some which are unsigned. Iceland has secret routes!
Title: Re: Iceland
Post by: Alps on October 15, 2016, 08:50:40 PM
In poking around for more detailed info about routes, I found this link:
http://vegasja.vegagerdin.is/eng/

This zoomable, GIS-based map shows the extent of Federal road maintenance and therefore provides specifics on where exactly the endpoints of any given route are.

Of even more intrigue is that this map shows numbers for all numbered routes... including some which are unsigned. Iceland has secret routes!
I could definitely have used this. I now see I clinched 6302, but 61 takes a turn seaward to the north that I had no clue about.
Title: Re: Iceland
Post by: Dougtone on February 19, 2017, 07:45:49 PM
I have started to blog about my Icelandic road experience, starting with the capital city of Reykjavik.
http://surewhynotnow.blogspot.com/2017/02/icelandic-highways-byways-part-1.html (http://surewhynotnow.blogspot.com/2017/02/icelandic-highways-byways-part-1.html)
Title: Re: Iceland
Post by: Dougtone on March 04, 2017, 06:16:21 PM
The second part of our series on driving and sightseeing in Iceland. This focuses on the popular Golden Circle Tour in the southwestern quarter of the country and will have a mix of roads, scenery, history and natural attractions that make up the Golden Circle.

http://surewhynotnow.blogspot.com/2017/03/icelandic-highways-byways-part-2.html (http://surewhynotnow.blogspot.com/2017/03/icelandic-highways-byways-part-2.html)
Title: Re: Iceland
Post by: webfil on March 09, 2017, 12:14:13 PM
Cool article.

(https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-kD65q__sfic/WLscvow9D_I/AAAAAAAARho/hY6EYZJp0RwbUSN6mQhOoKo_mrrFc4jtgCLcB/s320/092816%2B%2528290%2529.JPG)
From what I can best tell, this is a distance marker of some sort. I'm not sure if it is meant to be for touring purposes, or if it is a replica of an older marker. This is pointing out that it is 49km to the small village of Skalholt, which we'll come across later in our travels.

According to my CAA international driving license guide, the Pretzel sign (⌘) is standard for tourist attractions in Scandinavian countries, and probably in Iceland too.
Title: Re: Iceland
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 10, 2017, 09:29:11 AM
Cool article.

(https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-kD65q__sfic/WLscvow9D_I/AAAAAAAARho/hY6EYZJp0RwbUSN6mQhOoKo_mrrFc4jtgCLcB/s320/092816%2B%2528290%2529.JPG)
From what I can best tell, this is a distance marker of some sort. I'm not sure if it is meant to be for touring purposes, or if it is a replica of an older marker. This is pointing out that it is 49km to the small village of Skalholt, which we'll come across later in our travels.

According to my CAA international driving license guide, the Pretzel sign (⌘) is standard for tourist attractions in Scandinavian countries, and probably in Iceland too.

Definitely used in Finland and Sweden.
Title: Re: Iceland
Post by: Dougtone on November 12, 2017, 05:30:33 AM
For those traveling the Ring Road in Iceland, also known as Route 1, there is a change to the routing in eastern Iceland.

http://icelandreview.com/news/2017/11/09/changes-ring-road-weekend (http://icelandreview.com/news/2017/11/09/changes-ring-road-weekend)
Title: Re: Iceland
Post by: Chris on November 12, 2017, 07:54:52 AM
The 7.5 kilometer long Norðfjarðargöng, or North Fjord Tunnel, opened to traffic yesterday. It is the second-longest tunnel in Iceland, located on Route 92 between Eskifjörður and Neskaupstaður.

http://www.vegagerdin.is/upplysingar-og-utgafa/frettir/nordfjardargong-verda-opnud-a-laugardaginn