Getting Stuck in Iceland: A Hilarious Beach Misadventure

Navigating Iceland Steer Clear of Driving Roads Your Car Isn't Equipped For

Don’t drive on Iceland roads your car can’t handle.

Just imagine, the stunning beauty of Iceland, the black-sand beaches, and a group of tourists with a car sinking slowly into the sand. Yes, I witnessed this delightful scene on my summer trip to Iceland. Let me share the amusing tale of how these unfortunate adventurers found themselves in this sticky situation.

The Troublesome Black-Sand Beach

While strolling back from the picturesque Víkurfjara beach in Vík, Iceland, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I spotted a group of tourists whose car was sinking into the black sand. They had parked a bit too close to the shore and, oops, ended up stuck in the sand. Talk about a beachside parking mishap!

With all my curiosity aroused, I felt compelled to lend a helping hand. I rushed over to assist them. However, with each spin of their wheels, their car seemed to dig deeper into the soft ground. It was a comical sight, reminding me of when we rev our engines in vain hope during a fashion emergency. Alas, the car wasn’t budging.

The Wise Icelandic Car Rental Lesson

As I scratched my head, trying to come up with a magical solution, I couldn’t help but recall the wise words of the car-rental employee when I picked up my own rental car. She had warned me, “Don’t drive on roads that your car isn’t equipped for.” Ah, such valuable advice!

According to her, Iceland offers three types of roads: paved roads, gravel roads, and the notorious F-1 or mountain roads that require a sturdy four-wheel drive during their limited summer opening. Clearly, these tourists had taken a wrong turn on their Icelandic adventure.

While the main streets and highways in Iceland are paved like any civilized country, the roads leading to many of the enchanting tourist sites, including waterfalls, rural hotels, and beaches, are made of good old gravel. Those pesky gravel roads can wreak havoc on a car, hurling rocks at the body or windshield, causing damages that make you wish you had purchased an extra layer of car protection insurance.

Driving in Style and Safety

Luckily for me, I had rented an SUV that tackled all sorts of Icelandic terrains with grace and confidence, without a hitch. However, observing this group of tourists stuck in the sand served as a hilarious reminder to always drive carefully and follow local instructions. Trust me, you don’t want your vacation to turn into a comedy show with your car playing the lead role!

To avoid any unnecessary car troubles, be sure to keep an eye out for road signs indicating rough terrain. And remember, saving your rental company’s phone number for roadside assistance is as essential as remembering the latest beauty trend or fashion tip.

So, my dear fellow adventurers, when you find yourself amidst the breathtaking landscapes of Iceland, resist the temptation to navigate roads your vehicle isn’t prepared for. Let’s keep those wheels on the road and the fun flowing without any unwanted detours.

A car stuck in black sand in Iceland.

Photo: Talia Lakritz/Insider