Lonely Planet Writer

Iceland tourism gets another summer boost - this time from the weather

It’s not just Iceland’s football team that has the temperatures soaring this summer – the country’s climate is currently so favourable that some highland roads are opening earlier than usual.

Reynisfjara beach, Iceland.
Reynisfjara beach, Iceland. Image by sergejf / CC BY-SA 2.0

It means that instead of being confined to Reykjavík and some other coastal towns, tourists visiting Iceland which often has accommodation problems around its cities, are able to explore areas that are often ruled out of bounds to visitors. According to Reykjavík Grapevine reports, a number of roads over the Arctic desert, including Route 35, stretching from from Gulfoss to close to Blönduós, are already open.

Hallgrimskirkja in Reykjavik, Iceland
Hallgrimskirkja in Reykjavik, Iceland Image by CA Luo

Several East Iceland roads heading towards the legendary Highlands are also accessible. Usually, many roads are closed to cars and other traffic because of fears of floods and other problems. Sprengisandur, the famous route through the Highlands between the glaciers of Hofsjökull and Vatnajökull on either side of the country, is due to open this week, a fortnight ahead of schedule.

Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland.
Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland. Image by Hafsteinn Robertsson / CC BY 2.0

Drivers are encouraged to check on the safety of proposed routes and are urged to rent vehicles capable of handling the terrain they are heading towards. There is also a warning to those camping overnight to ensure they have proper clothing and equipment to deal with the potential of changing weather conditions. Authorities say it is important to let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back as emergency services can be alerted in the event of a no-show.