Understanding Icelandic Culture on the Road

Travel is all about experiencing different traditions, customs and ways of looking at life. A road trip provides the ideal opportunity to do just that. If you’re planning to organise your rental car through Konvin, let’s take a look at some of the ways you’ll find yourself understanding Icelandic culture on the road.

Embrace the concept of “Þetta reddast”

Loosely translated, the Icelandic phrase “Þetta reddast” means “everything will work out fine in the end”. It’s a sensible mantra to adopt while you travel around the country. On a road trip, things might not always go according to plan. Roadworks might add a few minutes to your journey. Inclement weather might force a cancellation or a delay. You might have a little more trouble than you expected tracking down an off the beaten track landmark or find that the geothermal spa you hoped to visit doesn’t have availability for the time slot you wanted. But these are small obstacles and won’t ruin your trip. Adopt a positive attitude, go with the flow and trust in the concept of Þetta reddast.

Always be mindful that nature’s fragile – and precious

Iceland’s incredible landscapes are a major reason to visit. But when it comes to nature, the “Land of Fire and Ice” is nowhere near as tough as it looks. Icelanders love to share their precious countryside, but rightly advocate that you should always be mindful of the impact of your actions. So, for instance, avoid wild camping, never trample delicate mosses, don’t be tempted to pick the lupines that form dazzling purple carpets in spring and always take your litter away to dispose of properly. For the same reason, you should never drive off-road in Iceland. Stick to marked trails and proper roads – in some cases, even these are challenging enough to satisfy the most intrepid and adventurous travellers. Leave Iceland as you find it, so that future travellers can enjoy it just like you have.

Eat like a local on the road

Sometimes the most memorable meals of a trip happen in the most unexpected places. That’s definitely true of Iceland. Park up at a hot dog stand and find out why so many people rave about this humble street food. Call in at a roadside restaurant or petrol station and order a cup of lamb soup, a hearty and delicious way to refuel on the go. Stop for an ice cream – despite the often chilly weather, Icelanders love to eat this sweet treat and you’ll find ice cream shops all over the country, even in small towns. Stock up on some bags of liquorice too; Icelanders adore it and it’s ideal to dip into on a long journey.

Drive to Icelandic festivals and community events

Having a rental car makes it easy to tailor make your itinerary to the things that interest you. Also, without the constraints of an organised tour, you’ll be free to stop when and where you please. For example, throughout the year, you could stumble on a community event or celebration, from the August puffling parade in the Westman Islands, a community sheep roundup during the autumnal réttir or the mischievous antics of the Yule Lads during Advent. If you’re keen to find out a bit more about Icelandic culture, it’s worth doing a little research to see if there are any festivals that coincide with your travel dates.

Don’t be afraid to learn new things – just like an Icelander

It’s an Icelandic trait to be open-minded and try new things. Perhaps it has something to do with growing up in a place that for centuries would have resulted in a tough life. Life’s a lot easier in 21st century Iceland, of course, but nevertheless, this mindset pays dividends for visitors too. Travel at its most fulfilling is about pushing boundaries and stepping out of your comfort zone from time to time as you challenge yourself mentally or physically. When you’re working out your road trip itinerary, try to bear this in mind. Some of the most rewarding travel experiences are also the most unexpected, so why not adopt this Icelandic characteristic and see where it takes you?

Lock in your rental car with Konvin today and you’ll be one step closer to understanding Icelandic culture on the road

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