6 Hidden Gems in Iceland: A Car Rental Guide

hidden gems in iceland seljavallalaug lagoon car rental
Seljavallalaug in Iceland.

Iceland, a land of ice and fire, boasts dramatic landscapes and natural wonders. Tourists often flock to popular attractions like the Blue Lagoon and Gullfoss Waterfall, but Iceland also has numerous hidden gems. You can best explore these treasures with the freedom of a rental car.

In this blog, we’ll journey through some of these lesser-known wonders and discuss the benefits of discovering Iceland’s beauty on four wheels.

The Freedom to Explore

Having a rental car in Iceland offers endless opportunities. Unlike organized tours, having your own vehicle gives you the freedom to explore at your own speed, visit intriguing sites, and avoid overcrowded areas in search of more exclusive adventures. Iceland’s roads, including the renowned Ring Road, is designed with travelers in mind, providing you breathtaking views that are an adventure in their own right.

Hvitserkur iceland hidden gem lagoon car rental.
Hvitserkur sea stack in North Iceland.

Off the Beaten Path: Iceland’s Hidden Gems

Rauðisandur Beach

Unlike the typical black sand beaches of Iceland, Rauðisandur Beach surprises with its vast stretches of red and golden sands. Located in the Westfjords, a region less frequented by tourists, this beach offers tranquility and stunning views, especially during sunset.

Hvitserkur Rock Formation

Hvitserkur, a 15-meter high basalt stack along the eastern shore of the Vatnsnes peninsula, resembles a dragon drinking water. This off-the-radar location is a photographer’s dream, especially at dawn when the golden light bathes the rock, and the tide is low.


Accessible only during the summer and by 4×4, Landmannalaugar, in the Fjallabak Nature Reserve, is a haven for hikers. The area is known for its colorful rhyolite mountains, hot springs, and the Laugavegur hiking trail.

Seljavallalaug Swimming Pool

One of the oldest swimming pools in Iceland, located in a valley near Seljalandsfoss waterfall. It’s hidden away and requires a short hike, offering a unique and serene swimming experience.

Fjaðrárgljúfur in south iceland lagoon car rental.
Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon in south Iceland.

Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon

A stunning, deep canyon in South Iceland, with steep walls and winding water. It’s a breathtaking sight and a bit off the typical tourist path.

Djúpalónssandur Beach

Located in the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, this beach is famous for its black pebbles and dramatic rock formations. It’s less crowded and offers a unique landscape compared to the more famous black sand beaches.

Experience Iceland’s Changing Landscapes

One of the most incredible aspects of driving in Iceland is witnessing the ever-changing landscapes. From volcanic terrains to lush green valleys, glacial rivers to desert expanses, the scenery changes within mere kilometers, offering a dynamic and unforgettable road trip experience.

Tips for Driving in Iceland

Although your car rental in Iceland offers freedom, it’s important you prepared for Iceland’s unique driving conditions. Be aware of rapidly changing weather, gravel roads, and one-lane bridges. We highly recommend checking both road conditions and weather forecasts each day when visiting Iceland. 

Landmannalaugar hiking trail lagoon car rental
Landmannalaugar hiking trail.

Making the Most of Your Rental Car

Choose a vehicle that suits your travel plans. If you’re planning to stick to the main roads, a standard car will be sufficient. However, for those looking to explore Iceland’s rugged highlands or F-roads, a 4×4 is a must. Additionally, consider renting GPS and Wi-Fi devices to stay connected and navigate easily.

The Convenience of Self-Catering

Having a rental car also means you can stock up on supplies and enjoy picnics at some of Iceland’s most beautiful spots. This not only saves money but also allows you to enjoy meals with a view, far from the crowded tourist spots.

Our Conclusion

Using a car rental in Iceland is not just a means of travel; it’s an adventure that allows you to discover the country’s hidden gems at your own pace. The freedom, flexibility, and the sheer joy of encountering unexpected wonders along the road make for an unparalleled experience. 

So, pack your bags, rent a car, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey on the roads in Iceland.

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