Spent the week leading up to Christmas driving around Iceland and it is definitely a place to put on the list.
It was a place neither of us had visited and we're both keen to see the northern lights - unfortunately that didn't happen. Still, it is full of stunning vistas.
It is an eerily different place to visit compared to the forested areas we're used to. There are few trees and most of the countryside is open, exposed and appear barren. Mountains are always in view - it is a spectacularly beautiful place though. It is very much big sky country and things are very spread out. A quite strong wind was almost always blowing adding to the otherworldly feeling.
Driving is a very different experience to home. Roads are (with a few exceptions) single lane roads with no guard rails, despite the often sphincter tightening drops on both sides. A lot of them also happened to be covered in ice which made the unrequested, but fortuitously fitted, studded tyres that much more of a useful thing. I certainly wouldn't venture north or up any of the passes without them and we did come across another couple completely stuck trying to drive over a pass. Their winter tyred Hyundai could barely remain stationary on the road, not helped by the wind that was so strong I could almost not remain standing. We turned back to follow them down to safety not least spurred on by the wind pushing our car sideways - the wide open spaces made for some seriously powerful wind.
We drove for hours without seeing a single person or vehicle on a couple of occasions and it emphasised how big the place is. Although the map may say differently 50 miles is a long way when you're crawling along on ice at less than 20 mph.
The Kuga we had as a hire car is fairly big, but it was dwarfed by some of the jacked up full-size trucks and SUVs coming the other way on tyres that wouldn't look out of place on a tractor.
As for vehicles they have an eclectic mix of everything. From clapped out 80s/90s Micras to Cayenne Turbos and everything in between including lots of American metal. 4x4s make up more than 50% of the cars you see outside Reykjavik and there are some odd ones too (Corolla 4x4 among them).
The two below are on the extreme end of the scale, but not massively different to many other vehicles.
The days were short, the sun barely rose and started setting soon after. On the upside it meant being able to have a long morning in bed, lazy breakfast and still get to do sunrise photography. By 5 PM it was completely dark and as streetlights were few and far between it was properly dark outside. In the few breaks in the clouds we did get there was an amazing starscape with so many more stars visible than we normally see.
If we're ever going back in winter we'll definitely request studded tyres and also get some crampons for our boots. We walked up to and around the Allthing site. It was in total less than a mile yet took nearly two hours. The paths and roads were covered in solid ice making our sturdy hiking boots fairly useless and we had to turn back from another site because there was simply no way to safely descend (or ascend) the path.
And finally, the obligatory Geyser picture.