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    Car hire in Keflavik - see what Iceland can offer

    Keflavik (which means Driftwood Bay in the Icelandic language) and the nearby capital city of Reykjavik comprise the hub of a multi-faceted tourist region replete with natural attractions and a growing number of interesting sights.

    Firmly positioned at the forefront of the ecotourism industry, Iceland today tops the holiday list of many an intrepid traveller, including hikers, bikers, road-trippers and landscape photographers.

    The word 'peaceful' springs to mind when describing the glorious land and seascapes of Iceland, which is quite understandable seeing that vast stretches of the country's interior consist largely of uninhabited terrain, not to mention the fact that the island has the lowest levels of population density in Europe.

    Home to some of the planet’s largest glaciers, as well as the world’s oldest parliament (founded in 930), Iceland (particularly Keflavik and its environs) is a land of lava fields and soaring fjords, of black beaches and hot springs set in the shade of snow-covered cliffs. In short, it’s a place of outdoor adventures and countless possibilities in a unique environment just below the Arctic Circle and in close proximity to Greenland.

    The island’s geothermal waters and other manifestations of volcanic activity are well utilised to provide locals and visitors alike with almost 200 naturally-heated swimming pools located in magnificent settings around Keflavik and elsewhere across Iceland. And when planning your trip, be well aware that the days in summer are long with almost 24 hours of sunshine, while in winter they seem much shorter with many hours of less daylight, which means that visiting Iceland in low season is a different type of travel experience altogether.

    More good news for people visiting Iceland with their car hire in Keflavik is the fact that the local area is largely uninhabited with fewer than 200,000 people residing in the capital Reykjavik and its environs, so getting around by car is normally smooth and trouble-free with light traffic and few of the unexpected obstacles found in most other destinations.

    First-time visitors are often awestruck by the island’s gargantuan nature, a seemingly endless expanse of moss-topped lava fields blanketing the surrounding Reykjanes Peninsula as far as the eye can see. The whole Keflavik and Reykjavik area was settled by Norsemen from Scandinavia and Celts from the British Isles in the 9th and 10th centuries and records show that the town of Keflavik itself was already a well established settlement with a thriving fishing industry by the early Middle Ages, despite only being officially founded centuries later.

    Auto Europe is one of the world's leading car hire companies with over 24,000 pick-up locations in more than 180 different countries, giving you plenty of options for your rent a car in Keflavik. From Mini, Compact, Intermediate and Full-size category cars to Luxury vehicles, motorhomes, stylish SUVs and classy convertibles, Auto Europe caters for all budgets large or small by offering the right car at the right price, whether it’s for a relaxing weekend break in Reykjavik or an exciting trip around Iceland's famous Ring Road. Online reservations can be made through our booking engine or by calling our car rental specialists available seven days a week on +44 123 3225 114. Check out the comments of other clients who recently experienced the high quality of Auto Europe's products and services in Iceland on our Keflavik car hire reviews and Iceland car hire reviews pages.

    How's the traffic in Keflavik?

    Keflavik is a small town of a few thousand people and, as such, traffic problems rarely occur, even during the morning and evening rush hours. With Keflavik International Airport very close by, there's sometimes an increase in traffic on the main Route 41 thoroughfare which connects the town with Iceland's capital city, Reykjavik, located just 30 miles to the north-east.

    Where can I park my car hire in Keflavik?

    Besides the airport where plenty of short- and long-term parking spaces are available, Keflavik has a good range of parking options in the town centre or along the long, scenic seaside promenade, while many of the local hotels have on-site car parks or parking agreements with the local council. Other parking options exist at the many tourist attractions located in and around Keflavik, including Viking World and the ever-popular Blue Lagoon.

    Keflavik Airport

    Keflavik and the Icelandic capital Reykjavik are both well served by Keflavik Airport, which was built by the U.S. military during World War II. Since its main terminal building opened in 1987, the airport has grown enormously with more airlines (currently over thirty) and an ever-increasing flow of passengers, whose annual numbers are expected to reach 10 million in due course. The most important airlines operating at Keflavik International Airport include American Airlines, Air Canada, Delta, United Airlines, Austrian, easyJet, Lufthansa and British Airways with flights to and from places as far and wide as Los Angeles, Brussels, New York, Geneva, Orlando, Toronto, London, Boston, Dallas, Manchester, Chicago, Washington, Frankfurt and Moscow.

    Keflavik Airport (KEF)
    Telephone: +354 425 6000
    Address: Keflavíkurflugvöllur, 235 Keflavík, Iceland

    What to do in Keflavik

    Due to its idyllic location on the Reykjanes Peninsula and very close proximity to the airport, Keflavik is an excellent base from which to explore the west coast of Iceland and the nearby capital, Reykjavik. It is also within striking distance of many of the island's most popular tourist attractions, some of which are mentioned below, meaning that you'll have plenty of possibilities to see as much of Iceland as possible with your car hire in Keflavik.

    • Blue Lagoon: A short drive south-east of Keflavik (just 13 miles) brings you to one of Iceland’s most unique natural attractions - the beautiful and very alluring Blue Lagoon. Surrounded by moon-like lava fields, this ethereal setting with its mineral-rich geothermal waters is the perfect place to chill out and chat to the locals in a relaxing and very soothing environment.

    • Reykjavik: Some of Iceland’s most treasured tourist attractions are located in the capital, Reykjavik, just 30 miles north-east of Keflavik. The city's tourist highlights include the superb National Museum with its extensive collection of priceless artefacts and the Settlement Exhibition where modern Iceland meets the Vikings. Other must-sees are the Culture House, Wilderness Centre and Langjökull Ice Cave.

    • Reykjanes Peninsula: Keflavik is situated on the Reykjanes Peninsula, one of the most picturesque parts of south-west Iceland. The whole area has an active volcanic system under its surface which accounts for the large number of hot springs and geothermal activity found in and around the town.

    • Duus Museum: Located close to the modern marina overlooking Keflavík Bay, the extensive Duus Museum is a fascinating cultural centre portraying many aspects of the local history, as well as a concert hall and a series of exhibitions covering a range of subjects such as fine art and the region's many natural attractions.

    • Viking World: One of Keflavik's key tourist attractions is Viking World, the centrepiece being the 'Íslendingur' Viking ship, a replica of the famous 9th-century Gokstad ship excavated in Norway in 1882. The building also features a regional restaurant and exhibitions depicting Iceland's importance over the centuries.

    Best day trips with my car rental in Keflavik

    There's a good selection of things to do with your car rental in Keflavik, with the best parts of the island accessible by road, particularly Iceland's spectacular coastal regions thanks to the wonderful Route 1 Ring Road.

    The Ring Road

    A long, leisurely drive along Iceland’s famous Route 1 known as the Ring Road is one of the best ways to appreciate the extent of the country's diverse and contrasting landscapes. Running for 860 miles around much of the island, this modern two-lane roadway passes a succession of glaciers, snow-covered mountains and lunar-like landscapes offering some of the world's most memorable vistas.

    Vatnajökull National Park

    Established in 2008, Vatnajökull in the south-east of Iceland is one of the largest national parks in Europe and an area most notable for its mammoth ice cap covering an area three times the size of Luxembourg. The whole park is bursting with eye-popping vistas, particularly the south side which is characterised by a series of majestic mountain ridges covered with glaciers descending down onto fertile lowlands.


    One of Iceland’s most amazing natural attractions is Gullfoss (which means ‘Golden Falls’), a pleasant 2-hour drive north-east of Keflavik. Visitors cannot help but be totally awe-struck by the thundering layers of icy water cascading down over the glistening rockfaces below, providing head-spinning views and some truly spectacular photo opportunities.


    Accessible by car from Keflavik, a sweeping spectrum of unparalleled vistas awaits visitors to the wonderful Westfjords region of north-west Iceland. Lying in close proximty to Greenland (just 180 miles away and visible on a clear day), the whole area has a wealth of tourist appeal such as waterfalls, long golden beaches and healthy regional cuisine.

    Geographic Information & History

    Formed about 25 million years ago, Iceland is one of the youngest landmasses on the planet. Its landscape is typically characterised by waterfalls, geysers, volcanoes, black sand beaches and steaming lava fields surrounded by snow-capped mountains. The country is conveniently divided into seven different geographical areas (including the district in and around the capital, Reykjavík), with each region noticeably different in terms of culture and landscape.

    When the first Viking settlers arrived in Iceland in the late 9th century AD, they found the island to be completely uninhabited. Settlement lasted from 870-930 AD with the earliest dwellers arriving from Norway, Denmark, Sweden and the British Isles, after which the Alþingi – Iceland's parliament (and the world's oldest) - was founded and a process of common law was established. Farms built by those early settlers were constructed from the abundance of natural resources available (turf, stone, drift-wood, and forested timber) and some of those ancient constructions still exist today.

    How to get around Keflavik

    Public transport operates quite economically between the airport and downtown Keflavik, while taxis (although expensive) are a regular site in and around the centre. The town itself is small and easily explorable on foot as well as bicycle, plus for those travelling light it is possible to walk from Keflavik to the airport via a trail that ends at the perimeter fence.


    The local bus service is called Strætó and the company runs scheduled services to and from Keflavik and the capital, Reykjavík. From Reykavik (where most visitors stay), you can travel by bus to and from Keflavik Airport with the journey taking approximately 45 minutes. Operated by Flybus, this ultra-efficient service which meets meets all international flights and provides visitors with a reliable hotel pick-up and drop-off service. The Airport Express also links the airport with a couple of convenient locations in downtown Reykjavik, while Airport Direct operates minibus services between the main terminal and some of the city's hotels.


    Taxis are plentiful in Keflavik due to the close proximity of the airport, the busiest air transportation facility in Iceland. A good choice of companies, including A-Stödin, Borgarbilastodin, BSR, City Taxi and Hreyfill, offer reliable services to Keflavik, Reykjavik and beyond.

    Can I hire a campervan in Keflavik?

    Besides car hire, Auto Europe offers an excellent choice of campervan hire in Iceland, including Keflavik. Motorhome holidays in Iceland are a very popular option owing to the high cost of hotels, while the chance to circumnavigate the island on the famous Route 1 Ring Road adds plenty of additional appeal. You can book your campervan in Keflavik online in a few easy steps on the Auto Europe website or by calling our reservation specialists on +49 (0) 89 412 072 98.

    Useful links

    Keflavik (and Reykjanes Peninsula) Tourist Info

    Iceland Tourist Info

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