No. There’s no Uber in Iceland.
You can get taxi rides in Reykjavík but you are not going to want to pay for a taxi anywhere outside of Reykjavík – and that includes going from Reykjavík to the airport.
So I know not everyone is going to have the same kind of trip in Iceland. Not everyone is renting a car and driving around and exploring, although I think that’s the best idea. I’m biased I know. Some people want to do things a different way and that’s totally fine. So, the good news is, is there are many other options other than renting a car and doing a road trip. And today, that is what we are talking about.
I’m here today to talk to you about six transportation options for your trip to Iceland!
Hey Team Iceland, my name is Jeannie and I’m your tour guide for all things Iceland planning. Today, we’re talking about the six different ways that you can get around Iceland to explore this beautiful country. Let’s get into it.
Tours in Iceland
So there are a lot of different tour companies in Iceland. So I’m just going to go ahead and let you make the decision on which company to hire. There are tour companies that travel around the Golden Circle, south Iceland, Snaefellsnes, and then also you have tours for things like whale watching and the northern lights and all of those fun activities. So tours are definitely a great way to see Iceland. Now these tours can last anywhere from a few hours up to a few days. It really just kind of depends on the package that you’re looking for. So it is a nice way where you don’t have to say I’m only doing tours in Iceland. You can maybe do a mix of a few different things.
Just know of course that the downside of tours is that it is a predetermined route. So there’s no stopping and saying, I want to check this place out.
They’re pretty much only going to stop at the places that they have picked out for you. Tours are nice, however, for those of you that just don’t want to think about anything and you want just someone to take you and to show you the best places, get out and take your photos and then back safe to your hotel that night.
Another way to get around Iceland is by air. You may or may not know that there are a couple of domestic airlines that travel throughout Iceland. And these airlines go from Egilsstadir to Akureyri, Isafjordur, the Westman Islands, and even Husavik. So there’s a lot of different options if you want to just take a quick flight and get around the country. Of course, the benefit of this option is that it’s just so much faster. So instead of taking a couple of days to get from one end of Iceland all the way to the other end, you’re thinking about just a couple of hours. A few downsides of this option is that number one, it’s obviously a lot more expensive, two, cancellations can occur. The weather. What can you do about it? Another one is luggage. So you’re not going to be able to bring a lot of luggage with you, so you’re going to have to minimize the amount of luggage that you take with you. And last, but not least, you’re not going to get as much sight-seeing, right, so there’s no driving through the roads and seeing all the beautiful landscapes, but it’s faster. So you have to decide what works for you.
Another way to get around Iceland is by bus. There are a few main companies that operate bus tours around the whole country. Reikevic excursions, Sterna, and Stræto. Those are the three main companies that will take you on routes throughout the Ring Road, west fjords and even into the highlands during the summer months. A really cool option that they have is this hop on, hop off bus, so you can kind of choose what option is best for your travels. That’s such a great option for those travelers that have a little more flexibility and maybe just want to spend a little more time and the area but then not have to do that road trip themselves.
Renting a Vehicle
Now, of course, there’s the option of renting a car and driving everywhere yourself. Obviously, I’m biased, because I think this is the best way. So when you rent a car, you have lots of different options to choose from. Everywhere from your tiny Prius size vehicle, all the way up to an SUV 4×4 type or even like a camper van or a motorhome. Renting a car is obviously going to give you the most flexibility for things like exploring on your own and kind of taking detours off the beaten path, or taking a little more time in one area and deciding okay, I’m ready to move on or maybe going through things a little bit faster than someone else would.
A really, really cool option that I want to tell you guys about, is that you can actually bring your car over to Iceland on a ferry, leaving out of Denmark. I realize that this option doesn’t apply to everyone, but for those of you that are coming from Europe, a lot of people do choose to take this option. So you actually land in Seydisfjordur in east Iceland, which is an amazingly beautiful town. One of my personal favorites, but that’s kind of a cool way to really make it a do-it-yourself road trip.
Maybe a less known option, which is to cycle around Iceland. Yes, I mean on a bicycle. So obviously this is for people that are super intense and have a lot of experience cycling. Well, maybe you don’t have to have a lot of experience. I can imagine that this would just be an amazing way to experience Iceland. Talk about like being one with nature. Just you on your bicycle, cycling through Iceland Walter Midi style. Couple of things to note, the weather is obviously is going to play a huge factor in your experience doing this. So you’re going to have to be prepared and accepting of the fact that it’s going to maybe rain, snow, wind, hail, all of those things at once. I do see a lot of people doing this in Iceland, so I know it, it’s been done, and I know that people really, really enjoy it.
The other thing to consider is that the terrain is going to be quite different throughout the country, so it depends on where you’re going. You’re going to want to be prepared to come on some gravel roads and some steep hills and things like that. So I think that the recommended bicycle is more like a mountain bike, not as much of a road bike. You will want some thick tires and you want to make sure that you have everything to repair the cycle yourself because you’re going to be out in the middle of nowhere! You can rent these bicycles in Reykjavik for about 4,000 ISK per day (which is about $40 US dollars per day) or you can bring your own.
Hitchhiking in Iceland
Last but not least, is hitch-hiking. I’m just going to say up front that Iceland is really, really safe. If you didn’t already know that, I think that Iceland would maybe be one of the safest countries to hitchhike in ever. So you don’t have to worry about someone like swiping you off the streets or, I don’t know, whatever hitchhikers think about. A lot of people are traveling this way. We have actually picked up quite a few hitchhikers on the side of the road, because why not, and they’re always so appreciative of the ride. So you’re going to want to look rides at those main attractions. Ready to go, and maybe standing outside Seljalandsfoss letting everyone know that you need a ride.
So the bottom line is that no matter which option you choose, it’s going to be an amazing trip in Iceland. And the nice thing, like I said, is you can combine these options or you can just kind of stick to one and enjoy Iceland that way.