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NextGen Trips Europe - Iceland Destination
Transport in Iceland


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The social structure of Iceland is very dependent upon the personal car. Icelanders have one of the highest levels of car ownership per capita: on average one car per inhabitant older than 17 years. By tradition old or seldom used cars are often kept in laybys or turnoffs in rural areas. Most Icelanders travel by car to work, school or other activities.

The main mode of transport in Iceland is road. Iceland has 13,034 km of administered roads, of which 4,617 km are paved and 8,338 km are not. Until the second half of the 20th century, Iceland could only afford to pave roads near the biggest towns. Today, roads are being improved throughout the country and freeways are being built in and around Reykjavík. It should be remembered when travelling in Iceland that a great number of roads remain unpaved to this day. One must take particular care to notice and avoid potholes. The road speed limits are 50 km/h in towns, 80 km/h on gravel country roads and 90 km/h is the limit on hard-surfaced roads. Iceland currently has no railways.

Route 1 or the Ring Road is a main road in Iceland that runs around the island and connects all inhabited parts. The road is 1,337 km long. It has one lane in each direction, except near larger towns and cities and in the Hvalfjörður Tunnel where it has more lanes. Most smaller bridges on it are single lane and made of wood and/or steel. Most of the road's length is paved with asphalt, in the east 5 km of road are currently being moved and are gravel but will be paved soon (as of 29 September, 2008).

The main hub for international transport is Keflavík International Airport, which serves Reykjavík and the country in general. It is 48 km to the west of Reykjavík. Domestic flights, flights to Greenland and the Faroe Islands and business flights operate mostly out of Reykjavík Airport, which lies in the city centre. Most general aviation traffic is also in Reykjavik. There are 103 registered airports and airfields in Iceland; most of them are unpaved and located in rural areas. The biggest airport in Iceland is Keflavík International Airport and the biggest airfield is Geitamelur, a four-runway field around 100 km east of Reykjavik, dedicated exclusively to gliding.

Source: Wikipedia Encyclopedia

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