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Explore Reykjavik with Expedia’s Travel Guides to find the best hotels, flights, holiday packages and more!
Located on the western coast, Reykjavik is Iceland’s capital. It has the distinction of being the northernmost national capital city. Despite its relatively small size (Reykjavik has fewer than 200,000 inhabitants), there’s an astounding number of sights to see and things to do. The city is known for the many festivals held throughout the year. There are galleries and museums, outstanding restaurants and a vibrant nightlife.
Iceland itself offers breathtaking experiences for nature lovers. Waterfalls, volcanic craters, hot water springs, glaciers and whale-watching are just a few of the highlights of an Icelandic holiday.
A hire car is the best way to experience the sprawling natural beauty that Iceland has to offer. It will provide you with the flexibility and freedom to enjoy Reykjavik and Iceland on your own terms.
Keflavik International Airport is located 30 miles southwest of Reykjavik and is an approximately 40-minute drive along the southern shore of Faxa Bay. Avis, Budget, Europcar and Hertz all have pick-up locations in the terminal, while several other car hire companies offer a shuttle service from the terminal to the pick-up location. Most car hire company rates in Reykjavik include unlimited mileage.
Most of Iceland’s major attractions and sights are accessible via paved roads. Some secondary roads are unpaved, and their condition can vary greatly. Therefore, these require greater caution. Some roads found in the Highlands, known as F-roads, are restricted to 4-wheel-drive vehicles when they are not closed due to snow. If your travel plans include travelling through the Highlands on an F-road, be sure your hire vehicle will have the proper high clearance to navigate these rough roads. It’s illegal to drive off-road in Iceland to help protect the delicate landscape.
The route known as the Golden Circle runs approximately 190 miles from Reykjavik to the southern uplands passing by Thingvellir National Park, the Gullfoss waterfall and the Strokkur geyser. You can also make additional stops at Kerid volcanic crater and other points of interest along the way.
For a more adventurous road trip, consider the 828-mile journey along the Ring Road. Along the way, you can tour the natural ice caves at Jokulsarlon, take a dip in the Myvatn Nature Baths and marvel at the Godafoss waterfall. You will also have the opportunity to discover the Icelandic Westfjords, where you will find the Raudasandur red beach, the Latrabjard cliffs–Europe’s westernmost point and home to countless birds–not to mention the dozens of fjords.
Make sure to book the right kind of vehicle for your road trip and compare offers by using Expedia’s filter options.
Cars are driven on the right side of the road in Iceland and speed limits are expressed in km/h. It’s important to remember that vehicles in the inside or left lane of a 2-lane roundabout have priority over those in the outside or right lane. Headlights are required by law to be turned on while driving, day or night.
Although major roads are well-maintained year-round, drivers should be aware that road conditions can occasionally be more difficult in the wintertime. There are no toll roads in Iceland, save for a single tunnel on Route 1 that travels beneath the Hvalfjörður fjord.
You can hire compact cars, full-sized vehicles, SUVs, box trucks, vans, luxury vehicles and more.
European, Canadian or American driving licences are sufficient to hire a car in Reykjavik, and an international driving licence isn’t necessary.
Typically, you need to be 21 to hire a standard vehicle in Iceland and 23 if you want to hire a 4WD.