To get to Iceland, you will likely fly to Keflavik airport (KEF) which is about 40 minutes from downtown Reykjavik. From the airport you can rent a car, take a taxi, or use a bus service to reach Reykjavik. If you are not renting a car immediately from the airport or do not plan to rent a car at all, the bus option will be much more affordable than a taxi and is relatively easy.
Flybus provides transfers from the airport to many locations in Reykjavik. The Flybus costs 3000 Icelandic Kuna (about $30) so you can imagine what the taxi costs. Perhaps it is worth it if you have a group to split with, but the bus leaves just about every 20 minutes and is quick. It makes stops at all the major hotels and guesthouses (be sure to double check to find out what stop you need to get out at as the driver will ask you when you board the bus).
The large coach bus takes you to the company’s location in Reykjavik where they have lots of smaller shuttle buses that take people to different locations. There is free wifi on the buses. You can purchase these tickets right after exiting customs in the arrivals area, just follow the signs and look for the location to purchase tickets. They’ll then direct you where to catch the bus.
Downtown Reykjavik is easily accessible on foot. There is also a bus system if you need it.
When selecting a car to rent, avoid choosing the cheapest option. Instead, make sure the car has 4-wheel drive and is higher above the ground (crossover vehicle). You do not want to have to worry about your car bottoming out when driving through pot holes on gravel roads. If desired, it is also nice to have the option to go off-roading (on F roads). This is not possible with some of the cheapest rental options.
Geysir Rentals was recommended by a friend who traveled to Iceland and worked well for us. Some of the more well known rental car options including Enterprise, Hertz and Avis are also available. If required, make sure to specify an automatic rental, but note that if you or someone you are traveling with likes driving manual, this will be a cheaper option.
When renting, there are different type of insurance available. Road assistance is not great in Iceland and becomes evident when out on the road as there will often be stretches where the roads are desolate. Keep this in mind when selecting insurance. Also consider adding the wifi device onto your car rental to ensure you do not have connection issues when trying to navigate on your road trip.
When staying in Reykjavik, base yourself near the church to ensure you are walking distance from the key areas.
Note: to see the Southern Region, venture out of Reykjavik and find another home base for a few days. Anywhere near or around Vik is convenient to stay for visiting the southern region.
2 main shopping streets
View over water is nice down here
Church in the heart of Reykjavik with a viewing platform at top
Area by the water; you’ll see some colorful houses down here
Sun Voyager sculpture along the water and down the street from Harpa
Viewpoint over the water
Giant 3D map of Iceland found inside along with tourist information
Be sure to try Icelandic Fish and Chips when in Reykjavik and Lamb when traveling through the rest of the country
Good for a quick bite in downtown Reykjavik
Iceland is very expensive so we went here to get snacks and food for some meals; highly recommend this if you will be driving through Iceland sine you can have long stretches with little to no food options
You can see the main attractions in one day or an afternoon
In the summer, the temperature tends to be quite cool and the weather changes a lot. At the beginning of July, you may still need a jacket and even a hat. Bring jackets you can easily layer and do not forget a rain coat.
It stays light outside pretty much all the time in the summer so you cannot see the northern lights at this time. However, it is nice to have this many hours of daylight when you are trying to do a lot.
If renting a car, often you will go many hours without having a gas station or any food options. Prepare for this in advance so fill up the car when you get the chance and bring snacks. You will also see many hitchhikers while traveling in Iceland.
Overall, Iceland is a very expensive country so expect to spend money on this outdoorsy trip.
Transportation and Accommodations
Things to do and see
Food and Drinks