Route 1 (Iceland)
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|Length:||1,339 km (832 mi)|
|National Roads in Iceland|
Route 1 or the Ring Road (Icelandic: Þjóðvegur 1 or Hringvegur) is a national road in Iceland that runs around the island and connects the most populous parts of the country. The total length of the road is 1,339 kilometres (832 mi). Some of the best attractions in Iceland, like Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss and Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon lie by the Ring Road.
For almost all its length, the road is two lanes wide with one lane going in each direction. Where it passes through larger towns and cities the amount of lanes may be expanded, as well as in the Hvalfjörður Tunnel. Most smaller bridges are single lane and made of wood and/or steel. The road is paved with asphalt for most of its length, but there are still stretches in the eastern part of the country with an unpaved gravel surface. The Iceland Road Administration, Vegagerðin oversees the maintenance and creation of national to small access roads in the country.
Although paved, some portions of the road are still the original 1940s country roads, and contain hazards such as blind curves and blind hills, one lane bridges, and narrow passes. In winter, icy roads and sheer winds can make travel especially hazardous.
The maximum speed on most of the road is 90 kilometres per hour (56 mph).
Route one crosses Skeiðarársandur, a glacial outwash plain which makes road construction difficult. In addition, the plain is subject to frequent glacial outburst floods during Grímsvötn eruptions. Bridges and other stretches of road over the plain often need to be rebuilt as a result.
Traffic on the road varies depending on location; in and near Reykjavík it is around 5,000–10,000 vehicles per day, but the stretches farthest away from larger towns see fewer than 100 vehicles per day on average.
The Ring Road is popular with tourists since it covers most of the country and many sights of interest are not far from it. It has been an especially popular tour with Icelandic families on summer vacation, but in later years the route is becoming more popular with foreigners who prefer to either rent a car or bring their own on the ferry to Seyðisfjörður.
The route goes by many names depending on location. The following table shows road names (excluding tunnels) in a clockwise direction from Reykjavík.
|Vesturlandsvegur||Eastern Reykjavík to Borgarnes|
|Hringvegur||Borgarnes to northern Akureyri|
|Hringvegur||Southern Akureyri to the intersection to Höfn|
|Suðurlandsvegur||North of Höfn to Hella|
|Suðurlandsbraut||From Hella to eastern Selfoss|
|Suðurlandsvegur||From Selfoss to eastern Reykjavík|
Route 1 includes a number of bridges and a few tunnels. The most notable are:
List of cities and towns on Route 1
Travelling clockwise (initially northward) from Reykjavík, the following communities and settlements are located on Route 1.
- Vík í Mýrdal (Vík)
A typical stretch of Route 1, picture taken in Borgarfjörður
Distance sign (Southbound) near Egilsstaðir
- "Iceland: Milestones in Icelandic History". Iceland.vefur.is. Retrieved 2010-04-17.
- Gateway to Iceland
- Official Icelandic Road Administration
- Driving in Iceland
- Photos from Iceland Ring Road
- Iceland’s Ring Road: The Ultimate Road Trip
- Iceland Meteorology Bureau
- Umferðarstofa - Road Traffic Directorate
- Wikimedia Atlas of Iceland
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hringvegur.|