The easiest way to travel Iceland is by horseback.
(kidding, but it's probably the most fun)
Renting a vehicle is our hands-down recommendation. Iceland is an expanse of far-ranging beauty and to really roam you'll need the flexibility that your own car affords. There are plenty of options to fit a variety of needs, but be sure to read reviews prior to booking as some less-than-reputable companies offer older cars with many miles on them; breakdowns aren't unheard of, unfortunately
We have had good experiences with Sixt, Budget & Avis (booked through Kayak) as well as Geysir and Lotus. Note that the optional collision/damage insurance at both US-based companies (Budget and Avis) was about 2-3x more expensive than the others, with similar daily rental prices.
SOME RENTAL TIPS:
- In Iceland, there are three types of roads: paved, gravel or "F" class. If you intend to drive off-road or on any "F" road, make sure the model you rental car is appropriate and approved to do so. The Ring Road is paved in most areas, gravel in a few, and does not necessitate a particular kind of vehicle. Small cars are dramatically less expensive, which is a big plus, but most rental companies require a 4x4 SUV for the rural or rugged "F" roads. If you love to hike, it may be worth the costlier rental fees to see some of the sights more often unseen.
- Roads are well-marked but we still found this app to be a lifesaver. It's free! With only an old school paper map as backup, we were able to easily navigate the island without renting a costly GPS. Make sure to download the entire Iceland map before hitting the road and you should be able to find anything, without connecting to Wi-fi.
- Check your credit card coverage before buying expensive car insurance through the rental agency. Many offer it free of charge. We opted out of paying for supplemental insurance, had a small accident and were reimbursed in full by our credit card company for the damages after they ran the claim.
FLYBUS (AIRPORT - REYKJAVIK)
For guests, or those planning to use the capital city as a home base, taking this shuttle from the airport to Reykjavík is a popular option. It departs regularly from Keflavik Airport to the downtown. The cost is 2000 ISK/15 USD. Prebook your tickets online for a guaranteed seat, or book in person when you arrive at the airport. The ride takes about 45 minutes.
Not renting a car? There are several bus companies that offer "passport" services that allow you to explore Iceland on your own, giving you the flexibility of an open ticket that allows you to hop on/off within the chosen time frame. If you are here for 5-7 days, check out these options, which allow you see some of the most popular sites on the island and offers stops at some great hiking trails. Many, many guided tours include transportation from Reykjavik to the sites. More on those later.
Having a wedding outside the Reykjavik area and hoping to allow your guests the option of going without a rental car? Chartering a bus to and from your venue is one definite possibility. Our new Client Lounge includes listings (with pricing!) for several great companies offering this service in Iceland.