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FAQs about Travel in Iceland

Voyages sur mesure en Islande

Below you will find the answers to questions that our clients frequently ask us. Of course, we can't address every aspect of travelling to Iceland here; so, if you need more information, feel free to contact us.

1. Getting to Iceland by Plane
Iceland isn't halfway around the world!
Reykjavik's Keflavik International Airport is only a 3 hour flight from Europe and 5 or 6 hours from Boston or Toronto. There are direct flights to Iceland from cities like Washington, Seattle, Chicago and Minneapolis! Iceland Air, the national airline, and Iceland Express, the low cost option, offer direct flights all year long to and from a variety of European and North-American cities. In the summer, the number of flights and destinations is much higher.
Other airlines like Transavia, Lufthansa, British Airways and Delta offer flights to Iceland from a variety of European and North American destinations in the summer. That being said, if you plan on coming to Iceland we encourage booking in advance and supplying us with your travel dates as soon as possible.

2. Domestic flights, flights to Greenland, and flights to the Faroe Islands.
From Reykjavík, you can fly to a number of Icelandic cities (Akureyri, Ísafjörður, Höfn, Egilsstaðir, etc.). There are also several flights to Greenland from Reykjavík (Kulusuk, Narsarsuaq, Ilulissat, Nuuk and Ittoqqortoormiit) as well as to the Faroe Islands.

3. Who will book my international flights?
As a local travel agency we can only book your domestic flights in Iceland or flights between Greenland or the Faroe Islands and Iceland and not international flights. Consult our page about flights in our service section for additional information.

4. Getting to Iceland by boat.
You can bring your own car to Iceland by taking a cruise offered by the Smyril Line. This ferry service will take you on a mini cruise through the North Atlantic stopping by the Faroe Islands. The cruise sets sail from the harbour of Hirtshals in Northern Denmark and sets anchor at Seydisfjördur on Iceland's Eastern coast. The cruise itself however takes up to a week.

5. What kind of car to rent in Iceland?
You can rent a two wheel drive vehicle which will allow you to drive along the island's perimeter and explore its coastal regions. This is your cheapest option, and the best one for discovering all of Iceland's rich variety of landscapes (fjords, glaciers, volcanoes, deserts, geothermal zones, etc.)
You can also rent a 4WD vehicle in Iceland. These can access the main trails cutting through Iceland's isolated volcanic interior. Access to these trails is prohibited in two wheel drive vehicles. A 4WD gives you access to the beautiful sites of Landmannalaugar, Eldgjá, Askja, Laki, Kerlingarfjöll or Kverkfjöll, as well as many others!

La location de camping-cars est également possible en Islande. Ils ne sont cependant pas 4x4 mais vous permettront eux aussi de découvrir toutes les régions côtières de l'île.
Finally you can also rent 4WD caravan. Like a regular camping car, these will allow you to stop for the night pretty much anywhere in Iceland besides, of course, in the natural parks and reserves where camping is limited to very specific areas.
Please read our article about renting a car in Iceland attentively for more information.
Car rental in Iceland comes with restrictions that travellers should be aware of and follow for their own security but also to avoid expensive fines.
Whatever you read or are told it is very important to respect the following restrictions when driving two wheel drive vehicles: not to drive on roads marked with an F before the number on road maps (trails and mountain roads), as well as the roads of Kaldidalur (route 550), Kjölur (route 35) and route 428 on the Reykjanes peninsula in Iceland's southwest. All roads that are not marked with a number are also closed to access for regular cars.

4WD vehicles and 4WD caravans are only allowed to drive on trails and mountain roads larked with an F before the route number on road maps. Access to unnumbered mountain roads is forbidden even if they appear on road maps.

Car rental agencies and insurance agencies are uncompromising when it comes to violations of these restrictions, and we will not question any resulting fines and sanctions that they deem appropriate.
Note that off road driving is expressly forbidden in Iceland! Besides doing permanent damage to the landscapes, it is punishable by very harsh fines.

6. What are the road conditions like in Iceland?
While there are more and more asphalt roads throughout Iceland, a large part of the road network in Iceland still consists of dirt roads. Even though they are relatively well-kept, they are not always open to two wheel drive vehicles because taking them often involves crossing rivers. Along the coast, about 90% of the roads are paved, and you'll be able to drive along the perimeter of the island easily in a car with two wheel drive. There are a few non-paved roads that are also open to cars without four wheel drive. (see above).

The interior trails are open beginning in mid-June and you need a 4WD vehicle to be able to drive on them. Sometimes they will close in the summer if there is snowfall or other precarious conditions. And they all close around the second week of September.
LThe speed limit on paved asphalt roads never exceeds 90km per hour and 80 km per hour on unpaved roads. Nevertheless speed should be adjusted based on the road and weather conditions.

The speed limit in cities is usually 50km per hour or 30km per hour depending on the zone.
Traffic enforcement cameras are used fairly extensively in Iceland. There is a website that you can consult for constantly updated information on Icelandic roads and conditions: Iceland Road Conditions. You can also call (+354) 1777 for information.

7. What are the conditions for renting a car in Iceland?
- Driver's licence has to be held for at least one year.
- Minimum age of 20 years to rent 2WD vehicles and caravans.
- Minimum age of 25 years to rent 4WD vehicles and caravans.
- A European, Canadian or American driver's license is sufficient and international driver's licenses are not necessary. If your license is not European or North-American, contact the Icelandic embassy of the country issuing your driver's license to find about your permit's validity in Iceland.
- A credit card (Visa or Mastercard) for a security deposit.

8. Can you travel in Iceland by bus?
Travelling in Iceland by bus is one of the best ways to get around on a small budget.
The network of buses links several points of the island year round. However, there is generally only one bus or less per day between many destinations.
In the summer, all terrain buses cut north and south through the central highlands and other interior lands. These allow for a deeper exploration of Iceland at minimal cost. Meanwhile, you have to have a backpacker's mentality to opt for this method of transportation!
You cannot reserve seats on buses in advance but we can include bus transportation in your trip.

9. Other modes of transportation in Iceland
There is no rail network in Iceland.
Taxi services are available in the country's urban areas.
It is possible to rent a bicycle for a day in Reykjavik and in a few other places in Iceland such as Myvatn Lake for example. Mountain biking excursions are available in Skaftafell. Biking in Iceland does require previous experience however.

Ferry crossings linking populated islands off the coast or for crossing several bodies of water are available (the Breidarfjördur fjord in the west, the Westman Islands in the south). These offerings diminish in number from September to May. During the summer, boat trips out to sea are offered from many harbours around the island to whale watch, bird watch or go fishing (Reykjavík, Westmann Islands, Djúpivogur, Húsavík, Ísafjördur, Stykkishólmur, etc.)