Tourists Trapped in North Iceland Cold Spell Skip to content

Tourists Trapped in North Iceland Cold Spell

A number of foreign tourists have run into difficulties in north and east Iceland due to the cold spell which hit the region on Sunday. Many of them are driving rental cars with summer tires not suited for slippery and snowy road conditions.

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Húsavík on May 14. Photo by Mila Koponen.

“We were expecting a large delivery of winter tires for rental cars that were stranded here,” Karl Ingólfsson at the Mývatn Information Center told Morgunblaðið yesterday. “The car rentals ship the tires and a service agent in the region puts them on.”

Even though there isn’t heavy snowfall, the wind creates snowdrifts. “I guess the drift at my house is about 1.40 meters high,” Karl said.

Tourist information centers have been busy dealing with requests from foreign travelers on weather and road conditions. An Italian tourist stated at the Akureyri Information Center that he had spent the night in a tent in -1°C (30°F) but was unfazed by the experience.

The East Iceland Marketing Office advises tourists in the region to sit out the weather and not drive ahead into snowstorms.

Search and rescue was called out on three occasions to assist drivers on mountain passes yesterday. Continued snowfall is forecast today and tomorrow but temperatures are expected to rise again on Thursday.

Click here to read more about the weather.

ESA

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