Where to drive in Iceland
Europe’s most sparsely populated country is a great location for a road trip. Whether exploring its famed capital Reykjavik or touring the country’s lava fields, mountains and waterfalls, you’ll see more with a hire car.
Here's where to go...
The Ring Road
One of the best places to take a hire car for a spin is around Iceland’s main motorway Route 1, aka the Ring Road. The route loops the island in a full circle taking in Iceland’s central uninhabited highlands. As you journey along the route you’ll also see some of the country’s most popular tourist attractions. These include the Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls, Dyrhólaey cliffs, and Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.
The Golden Circle
One of the country’s most popular driving routes, the Golden Circle is a 234km round trip from Reykjavik and offers something new depending on the season. Dramatic waterfalls, lonely Lutheran churches, horse farms and spouting geysers; the Golden Circle is a drive packed with unforgettable sights. Major attractions include Thingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area and Gullfoss waterfall.
Just 15 minutes’ drive from Keflavik International Airport or 30 minutes from Reykjavik, a trip to this famous Icelandic landmark is a fantastic way to refresh after a long flight or unwind after a busy sightseeing holiday. Opened in the early 1980s its blue waters are rich in minerals including silica and sulfur and are renowned for their regenerative qualities. Bathers can enjoy a silica mud face mask while they relax in the waters.
Snæfellsjökull National Park
One of three national parks in Iceland, Snæfellsjökull is packed with fascinating sights, the main one being the sub-glacial volcano from which it takes its name. This twin-peaked landmark stands at the tip of the peninsula and has inspired numerous writers and artists. It was the inspiration for the Jules Verne novel A Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Other notable features include the otherworldly Buðahraun lava field, which encircles the glacier; lava caves, some of which can be toured during the summer months, and the Lóndrangar basalt fortress, aka ‘The rocky castle’ – basalt volcanic dykes that stick out from the ocean.