On my recent layover in Iceland, I decided to rent a car for the day. As Icelandic isn’t the most widely spoken language in the world, I figured road signs would probably be in English as well as Icelandic. While a picture illustrating the Icelandic word below often accompanies the road signs in Iceland, it wasn’t always clear what they meant for my wheels. Driving around Iceland is a popular way to see the country, but there are plenty of road signs in Icelandic you should know before you hit the pavement, or in Iceland’s case, mostly gravel. Here are five main Icelandic road signs to know for driving around the country.
Illfaer Vegur: These Icelandic words mean, “Difficult road.” You will usually see these words accompanied by a jeep and a car, with the car image featuring an X mark through it. Many roads in Iceland are not intended for anything other than four-wheel drive vehicles. If you rented a car, you might want to pay attention to these words to avoid issues with your rental car company.
Malbik Endar: If you see, “Malbik Endar,” on a road sign, this indicates that it is the end of asphalt or a tarred road and gravel is about to begin. If you see this sign and these words, you will want to slow down to avoid a flat tire or an accident.
Slysasvaedi: To avoid an accident ruining your travels in Iceland, you will want to look out for the sign that says, “Slysasvaedi.” This sign means that the area is accident-prone. You might want to be more even more cautious as you will meet more oncoming cars on the road.
Blindhaed: In Iceland, there are plenty of hilly roads where you can’t quite see cars approaching you due to the incline. In this case, you will want to look out for the sign labeled, “Blindhaed.” Meaning, “blind rise,” this indicates you are on a road where you might want to stay completely in your lane and slow down if you can’t see cars coming at you.
Eimbreid Brú: The roads in Iceland snake over a number of rivers and streams. As we were driving just a bit outside of Iceland, we came across the words, “Eimbreid Brú.” After a little bit of deducing by our surroundings, it seemed the road would narrow over a bridge to just one lane. The words mean, “Single width bridge.” The driver approaching the bridge has the right of way in this case. The words are good to know so that you don’t come charging down a bridge thinking there is room for the car also charging down the bridge in the opposite direction.