Discover the easiest ways to get between Keflavik International Airport to your Reykjavik accommodation on your holiday with this easy guide to bus transfers in Iceland!
- Read Ultimate Guide to Flights to Iceland
- Book this Airport Direct Transfer from Keflavik Airport to Your Accommodation in Reykjavik
- Check out this Affordable Airport Transfer from Hotel to Keflavik Airport
Unless you are terrified of air travel—in which case, you'll arrive in Iceland via the ferry docks at Seydisfjordur—almost all travelers to the land of ice and fire will pass through its one central transportation hub, Keflavik International Airport. After all, it is the only international airport in the country.
Keflavik Airport saw an increase in traffic in recent years (except during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic), yet it still feels much quieter and calmer than many of its counterparts worldwide. Regardless, it is always wise to remember that any airport can also be inherently stressful.
Photo above from Premium Airport Direct Transfer from Keflavik to Reykjavik
After all, you have to check in your bags, keep your passport handy, wait in queues, get patted down by a stranger, find the right gate, maybe handle an unruly toddler, stand in more lines. The last thing you need to worry about is successfully transferring from the airport to your accommodation in Reykjavik.
Thankfully, a Keflavik International Airport transfer is a straightforward affair, made easier by the various methods available. It is, however, a good idea to get a general understanding of the transfer process in Iceland before your arrival.
An Introduction to Airport Transfers in Iceland
Found nestled within the harsh, volcanic fields of the Reykjanes Peninsula, it is almost impossible to imagine Keflavik International's humble beginnings. At first, it was a solitary landing strip at Gardur (a little way north to the current site). In 1942, it grew to the Patterson Field and Meek Field, respectively, a two-runway project by the US Military, and finally to the Naval Air Station Keflavik, under the command of NATO.
Today, the airport is run by an enterprise of the Icelandic government, measuring out at 10 square miles (25 square kilometers) with three runways in total. The airport's leading carriers are PLAY Air and Icelandair.
- See also: Ultimate Guide to Flights to Iceland.
Without prior research, many prospective travelers to Iceland will be somewhat surprised to find the country's only international airport is located not by its capital, Reykjavik, but just west of Keflavik, a town of just under 16,000 people.
Regardless of the proximity, it is, generally, a rare occurrence that holiday-makers choose to transfer directly to Keflavík. The airport lies 50 km (31 miles) southwest of Iceland's bustling capital city, with far more options regarding accommodation, cultural opportunities, and tour departures. The journey between the airport and the capital takes approximately 45 minutes.
Those who choose to visit the town of Keflavik will often do so on a day when they are exploring the whole of the Reykjanes Peninsula. Thankfully, the transfer between Keflavik International Airport and Reykjavik runs through the Reykjanes Peninsula on Road 41, meaning you will gain immediate insight into this area's rugged and fantastical landscapes.
Most passengers can't help but spend this hour enraptured by Iceland's majestic introduction. To the right, fields of jet-black lava rock and distant, blue mountain peaks strike an appealing contrast to the vehicle's left side view, an ever-changing panorama of grizzled coastlines and sleepy fishing settlements.
- See also: Maps of Iceland.
Many guests choose to visit the world-famous Blue Lagoon Spa, renowned for its soothing azure waters, healing silica mud, and geothermal energy on their arrival or departure day. It is particularly cherished by those who deal with skin diseases such as psoriasis, as the Blue Lagoon Spa operates a research facility, examining new ways to treat skin ailments.
Of course, the Blue Lagoon is just loved by visiting guests who jump at the opportunity to take a dip in one of the country's most iconic attractions. Not only will guests here have the chance to engage in some rejuvenating activities such as getting a face mask or massage, but they can also enjoy some fine dining at the spa's restaurant.
The Blue Lagoon is found between both destinations, roughly fifteen minutes from the airport and 30 minutes from the capital, and is one of Iceland's most popular tourist destinations. With the recent addition of a luxury hotel to the Blue Lagoon in 2018, guests here can elongate their stay indefinitely. Visit the spa on a winter night for a chance to watch the northern lights as you bathe.
- See also: The Ultimate Guide to the Blue Lagoon.
Appreciating not only the fine landscapes but also the lack of traffic, visitors will find that, by the time they have reached the hotel, their jet lag has almost entirely dissipated—this is particularly true after bathing at the Blue Lagoon.
Of course, not everyone will be arriving in the same manner, nor intending on the same type of holiday, meaning some clarification is needed as to what type of transfers from Keflavik are available. We'll first break down the three primary options to keep things simple.
Renting A Vehicle
Your first option, and perhaps your likeliest given an extended stay in the country, is to drive the route yourself. If you've been planning on renting a car from the get-go, it's more than likely that you will be picking it up and dropping back off at the airport anyway.
Having a car in Iceland is a great way to get around and explore the country. It means you can explore sights such as the Golden Circle, South Coast, and East Fjords without feeling constrained. Take a self-drive tour if you want the freedom to travel as you please but would like help to plan your itinerary.
Rental car operators are by no means few and far between in Iceland. Big-name operators such as Hertz, Budget Car & Van Rental, Europcar, and Avis Car Rental can all be found here, and in fact, keep a permanent booth open at Keflavik International Airport. This convenience makes picking up your vehicle upon arrival easy and accessible.
- Book Rental Cars here
As a side-note, remember that whatever cars you'll be renting should fit the criteria of your plans. For instance, there is no use considering going into the highland reserve of Landmannalaugar if you do not have a 4X4 rental vehicle (or if you are coming in wintertime) or the right insurance.
Flybus Transfer Between Keflavik Airport and Reykjavik
Flybus services, as operated by Grayline and Reykjavik Excursions, are one of the most accessible means of getting between the airport and the city, with a scheduled transfer occurring directly after each flight.
More often than not, these Flybus transfers will travel to the main BSI bus terminal in Reykjavik before splitting the passengers into smaller groups then taking them individually to their respective hotels. With just one cross-over during this transfer, those considering forsaking a personal vehicle will find this the most efficient and cost-effective option.
It is also worth pointing out that BSI is only a ten-minute walk from downtown Reykjavik, where you can find most of the city's hotels. Considering the hotel's location, this means that you may be able to walk the last leg of the journey yourself.
Note that there are some restrictions on where the buses can drive you in downtown Reykjavík, so if your accommodation is central, you will be dropped off at one of the nearby bus stops and will need to walk for one or two minutes to reach your hotel.
- See also: Airport Transfer from Keflavík Airport to Reykjavík Hotels
- See also: Airport Transfer from Hotel to Keflavík Airport
The Flybus prices vary depending on passenger age, and it is possible to have this pre-booked in advance or purchase it upon arrival in Iceland.
Tickets for those between 12 and 17 are 50% of the adult fare, while children 11 years old and below ride for free.
Taking a Private Shuttle
Private transfer is not for everybody, but those with the cash, or the inclination to avoid other humans, might opt-in for one of Iceland's personalized shuttles, taking them between the airport and the capital. With your own personal driver/guide, tinted windows, and often a complimentary glass of bubbly, there really could be no more luxurious way of beginning your trip abroad.
A private shuttle offers a level of intimacy and comfort that is, perhaps, not so easily found on more public transportation. It allows you to pick the vehicle model and size you have in mind. You will also have the benefit of listening to your driver as they tell you, and you personally, about the history and culture of Iceland.
Of course, because it's a private shuttle, you can also choose to pull up the shutter so that you can sit back and enjoy the peaceful solitude.
Another great benefit of taking a private shuttle is that your journey is ready to commence once you meet your driver. As an added security, they will follow your flight path during the trip, making sure to arrive on time regardless of whether the aircraft arrives early or late.
These delays can sometimes cause a problem with the Flybus service, which will often hang on for an extra fifteen to twenty minutes in an attempt to fill up all remaining seats. This pause can be a little frustrating if you're looking to shoot off as quickly as possible, adding even more appeal to a private transfer.
- See also: Private Tours in Iceland
Use Public Transportation
Another option, though this one no doubt comes with a degree of hassle, is utilizing Iceland's public transportation system, Straeto. No doubt, upon a few days in Iceland, you'll instantly recognize these canary yellow buses as they make their routine stops around the capital. If you take some time to use them, their cleanliness and reliability are bound to make a lasting impression.
Those who use these Straeto buses for airport transportation while in Iceland or just for travel around the city should know that booking tickets and scheduling journeys on the companion mobile application is possible.
Bus 55 is the most direct between the airport and the capital.
- See also: Top 10 Apps for Travelling in Iceland.
However, you choose to transfer from the airport to your accommodation is entirely up to you and heavily dependent on your adventures ahead and budget. As mentioned previously, it is possible to arrange this transfer upon arrival in Iceland, though we recommend that you do so beforehand.
If none of the above options suits you, there is always the option to take a taxi. Note, however, that Icelandic cabs are expensive, particularly if you are traveling alone or with a small group, so you should only consider this in an emergency.
Hitchhiking is also popular in summer in Iceland. Please note, however, that this is unreliable, there is no guarantee for your safety, and winter conditions make such an option impossible.
To avoid the pressures of arrival in a new country, it is best to take one of the other, more straightforward options listed above. They provide a fantastic welcome to Iceland and will allow you to get on with your adventures as quickly as possible!
Did you find our article about airport transfer options between Keflavik International Airport and Iceland's capital, Reykjavik, helpful? Which Reykjavik airport transfer did you utilize when you arrived in Iceland and were there any obstacles to your trip? Make sure to leave your thoughts and queries in the comments box below.
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