Route One Closed Between Reykjavík and South Iceland

winter weather iceland

Route One, or the ring road, is closed over Hellisheiði, between Reykjavík and South Iceland. Dozens of cars are stopped on the road, waiting for it to reopen. An orange weather alert has been issued for this afternoon in most of the Westfjords and a yellow weather alert in North Iceland. Travellers face icy and snowy conditions around the country.

Iceland has been hit by extreme weather in recent days, causing flooding and wind damage, as well as stranding travellers around the country. Ski parks Bláfjöll and Skálafell, near Reykjavík, will both be closed at least until this weekend as crews work to repair power lines destroyed in the storm.

Travellers are encouraged to monitor weather and road conditions on

Record Traffic on Ring Road in July

Traffic in Iceland’s capital area decreased by more than 3% last month while traffic on the Ring Road increased by around 6% and has never been heavier in any July on record. This data from the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration indicates that an unusually high number of capital area residents travelled to the countryside last month. July traffic in the capital area has not been lighter since 2016.

Despite lower numbers of foreign tourists as compared to pre-pandemic figures, a record amount of traffic was recorded on Iceland’s Ring Road in July. Traffic was 2.3% higher in July 2021 than in July 2019, when the previous record for that month was set. The biggest increase was recorded in East Iceland, where counters recorded a 23% rise in vehicle numbers.

Traffic has increased 6.4% in the first half of 2021 as compared to the same period in 2020. It is, however, still 3% lighter than it was during the same period in 2019. Looking at data for the month of July 2021 alone, there was less traffic on all days of the week as compared to July 2020, except on Fridays, which showed a 1.4% increase in traffic. Fridays show the heaviest traffic while Sundays show the lightest.

The Road and Coastal Administration projects an 8.5% increase in traffic by the end of the year as compared to 2020. If that figure proves correct, traffic will still be 2.5% lighter than in 2019.

Hellisheiði Road Closed Tomorrow

Route One over Hellisheiði heath.

A section of Route 1 between Reykjavík and Hveragerði will be closed tomorrow in both directions for paving, RÚV reports. The road over Hellisheiði will be closed from 9.00am to 8.00pm tomorrow for the paving of its easternmost section. Traffic will be directed to detour via Þrengslavegur (Route 39).

The road was initially scheduled for paving today but the work has been delayed due to weather.

Road “Bleeding” Creates Dangerous Driving Conditions in West and North Iceland

tjörublæðing road bleeding roads driving

The Road and Coastal Administration warns that severe road bleeding on the Ring Road between Borgarfjörður in West Iceland and Skagafjörður, North Iceland is creating dangerous driving conditions. According to a notice from the Administration, its staff is working to clear the roads of dangerous film that seeps up to the surface of some roads following extreme fluctuations in temperature. Some drivers have complained that their vehicles have sustained costly damages and the Road and Coastal Administration did not react to the issue quickly enough.

The surface film created on roads via bleeding is dangerous to drivers in several ways. It reduces grip on the roads, and it also coats tires and other parts of cars as they drive over it. The material then often dries and falls off the vehicles once more, causing danger on the road or damaging other vehicles nearby, for example by breaking lights. Heavy vehicles are more likely to trigger road bleeding and to sustain damage in such conditions, and the Road and Coastal Administration urges drivers of large vehicles to ensure their tire pressure is not too high as that can trigger more damage.

Drivers who have experienced damage due to road bleeding on Route One are encouraged to fill out a damage report on the Administration’s website. Those requiring cleaning only can contact the Road and Coastal Administration service station nearest to them, or if in Reykjavík call 354 898 3210.

Cheaper Road Surfaces Prone to Bleeding

Not all types of road surfaces suffer from bleeding. Iceland’s busiest roads (in Reykjavík, near Akureyri, and along parts of the Ring Road in South and West Iceland), are covered by asphalt, which does not have this problem. However, laying asphalt is pricey – it can be 3-5 times more expensive than the surface covering used on Iceland’s less-frequented roads. While the types of surface coverings that lead to bleeding are used in many countries around the world, Iceland’s frequent temperature fluctuations make its roads more vulnerable to bleeding.

One driver who spoke to Vísir stated that he contacted the Road and Coastal Administration about the issue on Sunday afternoon but nothing was done until Monday afternoon. The Administration claims it took action as soon as it was informed about the issue.

Route One Closed at Jökulsárlón

Route 1 winter closure

A section of the Ring Road is closed in Southeast Iceland due to weather conditions. The section, which runs through Breiðamerkursandur between Jökulsá and Kvíá rivers, was closed just after 3.00pm today due to strong winds. There is a yellow weather alert currently active in the region.

While conditions in Southeast Iceland should improve briefly on Tuesday morning, more storm conditions are expected across the southern half of the country on Tuesday afternoon and into Wednesday. A yellow weather warning has been issued from the south coast of Snæfellsnes peninsula, across the capital area, Southwest Iceland, and the entire south coast of the country from Tuesday afternoon. The storm will slowly move east across Iceland, lasting until late Wednesday morning.

Readers in the UK will have a chance to experience the storm for themselves later this week when it is expected to bring snow, rain, and strong winds to the country.

Hvalfjörður Tunnel Closes Overnight June 5-7

Hvalfjörður tunnel on the Route One north of Reykjavík will close overnight between June 5 and 7. The tunnel will close from midnight to 7.00am for cleaning and other routine maintenance work.

Hvalfjörður tunnel lies on the Ring Road between Reykjavík and Borgarnes. The Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration informs travellers to use Route 47 around Hvalfjörður fjord as a detour during the closure.

How long does it take to drive around Iceland?

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1553855989050{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]Q: How long does it take to drive around Iceland?

A: Iceland’s main highway is a circular road going all around the island, known as the Ring Road or Route 1. The Ring Road covers 1,332km (828mi) and goes through all kinds of landscapes. It’s mostly a two-lane, paved road, but there are single-lane bridges along the way, and in East Iceland, short sections are still only gravel.

The speed limit in Iceland is 90km/h (56mi/h) on paved rural roads, 80km/h (50mi/h) on unpaved rural roads, and 50km/h (31mi/h) in urban areas. If you were to drive all around Iceland in one go, it would take you about 20 hours – in perfect conditions. You probably don’t want to drive around Iceland without breaks, though, and in winter, this is definitely not a realistic estimate. What’s more useful to know is how much time you would need to comfortably see most of the natural attractions Iceland is famous for.

In seven days, it’s possible to drive the complete Ring Road and see most of Iceland’s famous sights, such as geothermal areas, waterfalls, black sand beaches, glaciers, and fjords. You would spend a lot of time in the car, however, so 8-12 days is better if you like making many stops to go sightseeing and hiking. Two weeks is recommended if you would really like to get out into nature and go on adventure tours, like a whale watching tour or river rafting. There’s a lot to see and do in Iceland, and taking more time gives you more freedom for stops along the way.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Ring Road Closed at Hellisheiði and Selfoss

Route 1 Iceland

Route One will be closed on Hellisheiði heath in Southwest Iceland due to road maintenance. Cars travelling in the area will be detoured via Þrengslavegur (Route 39). The road is scheduled to reopen at midnight tonight.

Route One is also closed at Selfoss due to maintenance work on the bridge over Ölfusá river. The closure is expected to last throughout the week. Vehicles will be detoured via Routes 34 and 39.

Travellers are advised to consult for further information regarding roads and weather.