Travel to Iceland

Travel to Iceland

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Airport Transfers

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The island of Iceland is situated in the mid north Atlantic, between Greenland & Norway. The capital, Reykjavik, is around 1,900km northwest of London & 4,200km northeast of New York.

Flights to Iceland & Beyond

Flights to Iceland are plentiful from a host of North American & European origins. International flights arrive at the Reykjavik Keflavik International Airport (KEF), 50km west of Reykjavik. KEF airport should not be confused with the second Reykjavik airport (RKV) located closer to the city (see below). Flight times to KEF from UK & Europe are around 3-3.5hr & from the east coast of North America about 6hr.

All internal (domestic) flights depart from the Reykjavik Airport (RKV), located in the heart of the city. A handful of regular international flights to/from Greenland (Nuuk, Kulusuk et al), plus a few from the UK (London Stansted) & Spain (Madrid) et al use RKV on occasions. The major heli-ski, ski-touring & sail-ski locations like Akureyri (AEY) & Ísafjörður (IFJ) are most efficiently accessed by flights direct from Reykjavik (RKV).

During winter & early Spring, flights to Akureyri(AEY) depart Reykjavik domestic airport (RKV) around 3 to 5 times daily. The flight takes only 45min & is relatively well priced. Flights to Isafjordur (IFJ) depart RKV twice daily for the short 40min flight.

Search & book a flight to Reykjavik-Keflavik (KEF) or other Icelandic destination here.

Airport & Hotel Transfers

Once you arrive in Iceland (presumably at KEF), several private & shared transfer options exist from Keflavik International Airport into Reykjavik.

Regular bus shuttles depart KEF for the centre of Reykjavik (generally the BSÍ city centre bus terminal) with the journey taking 30 to 45min. Alternatively, the cheapest option is the Route 55 public bus which makes the journey every 2hr, although it requires a change at Fjordur on occasions.

Taxis or private transfers are the most expensive but also the most convenient & comfortable options, providing transport direct to your door. Larger groups (of 4 or more) are best to go with a private transfer. Transfers for anything up to 12 passengers can be booked for a competitive rate. Search & book your private transfer from Keflavik to Reykjavik here.

The Reykjavik domestic airport (RKV) is only 3km from the city centre. It is possible to walk there on a series of designated paths. Other wise, local buses & taxis will get you moving.

Getting Around Reykjavik & Iceland

Unless you are on a guided tour departing from Reykjavik, you will require additional forms of transport to get around Iceland. In Iceland no passenger trains exist, taxis & private transfers over major distances are expensive & the bus network is limited in winter. The bus can be utilised on a few important routes A cost effective transport method is by rental car (see Driving in Iceland section below).

Driving in Iceland

Driving in Iceland is filled with both tales of pleasure & horror. More often than not, the horror stories revolve about driving errors is poor weather conditions or on icy roads. Otherwise the freedom and value afforded by driving yourself (or hiring a driver if you have the krona, euro or dollars!). Of course many people drive in Iceland & never encounter anything more serious than than a wet windscreen 7 sun in their eyes. The weather in Iceland can be unpredictable & that can be good, bad or a combination of the two.

Things to know & points to remember when driving in Iceland.

  • Check the Iceland weather forecast here.;
  • Check local road conditions here;
  • Drive slowly, particularly on narrow roads icy roads, during poor visibility & when approaching single lane bridges;
  • It seems obvious, but don’t enter a single lane bridge if someone is already on it!
  • Avoid driving at night, noting that daylight hours in mid-winter are short – plan accordingly; Avoid driving during winter storms & during high winds.
  • If driving conditions degrade to a degree beyond your driving ability find a safe place OFF the road & wait for conditions to improve;
  • Make sure your car is preferably AWD or 4WD, equipped with winter tyres and/or studded tyres, ice scrapper etc plus you have enough provisions & equipment to spend some time inn your car if needing to ride out a storm;
  • If in doubt don’t drive, but remember that where there is risk, there is reward!

Rentals Cars

If undertaking a road trip for sightseeing & ski touring, a rental car may be the best & most efficient means of travel. Rental outlets are most prolific at the Keflavik International Airport terminal (9 options), plus in Reykjavik or Akureyri.

Read the ‘Driving in Iceland’ section above before renting a car!

Search & book all rental cars in Iceland here.

From a cost perspective, it is worth noting that most rental cars in Iceland have relatively high security deposits that tend to be the exact amount of the damage excess. The security deposits range from €1700 to €3500 & higher. A fat credit card is required to cover it all. Similarly, petrol prices across Iceland are above the global average, but equivalent to the more expensive European countries.

Bus Services Throughout Iceland

Winter bus services throughout Iceland beyond Reykjavik are far more limited than during the summer ‘tourist’ season. For many skiers, the route 57 bus to Akureyri will be a good value but time-consuming option for heading toward the Troll Peninsula. Two buses per day (one on Thursday & Saturday) make the 6hr journey. If in a group of two or more, a flight is more efficient when being met by a tour operator & a rental car is better value if moving on from Akureyri under one’s own steam! Once in Akureyri, all local city buses are free which is cool. The route 78 bus completes the journey around the coast from Akureyri via Dalvik to Siglufjordur 3 times a day during the week & once on Sundays. See the Iceland public bus timetables here.