Unforgettable Road Trip to Jökulsárlón: A Guide to Renting a Car and Driving in Iceland

jokulsarlon, glacier lagoon, car rental iceland
Jökulsárlón, Glacier lagoon

Our journey today leads us to one of Iceland’s crown jewels: Jökulsárlón, the glacier lagoon, a place where nature’s artistry is on full display.

The land of fire and ice, where nature’s extremes create a landscape so breathtaking it seems otherworldly. For travelers, Iceland offers an adventure that’s both raw and remarkably beautiful.

There’s no better way to explore Iceland’s rugged terrain than by a rental car. Where every turn brings a new vista, every mile a different marvel.

Picking Up Your Rental Car at Keflavik Airport

Your adventure begins the moment you land at Keflavik Airport. Stepping into the crisp Icelandic air, you’re not far from where your trusty steed awaits.

Renting a car in Iceland is straightforward, with options aplenty right at the airport. Companies like Iceland 4×4 Car Rental and Blue Car Rental offer a fleet designed to tackle Iceland’s diverse terrains, from compact cars for the casual explorer to robust 4x4s for the adventurous spirit.

Before you sign on the dotted line, remember a few key points:

Compare prices and book in advance to snag the best deals.

Ensure you’re equipped with the necessary documentation: a valid driver’s license from your home country, and if required, an international driving permit.

Consider your driving comfort and the nature of your journey when choosing your vehicle. Iceland’s weather can be unpredictable, and its landscapes, challenging.

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Kia 4×4 in Iceland’s volcanic mountains.

Driving in Iceland: A Journey Like No Other

With the keys in hand, you’re ready to hit the open road. But driving in Iceland isn’t just about going from point A to B; it’s an integral part of the adventure. Iceland’s Ring Road encircles the island, serving as your gateway to its natural wonders. But be prepared; driving here is unlike anywhere else:

Stay vigilant for weather changes; what starts as a clear day can swiftly become a foggy or snowy expedition.

Gravel roads are common outside urban areas, so adjust your speed accordingly.

Single-lane bridges dot the countryside, requiring patience and caution.

Must-Visit Attractions on Iceland’s South Coast

En route to Jökulsárlón, the south coast of Iceland is lined with sights that demand your attention. Make your first stop at Seljalandsfoss, a waterfall you can walk behind, feeling the mist on your face.

 Not far ahead, Skógafoss awaits, with its thunderous waters and rainbows on sunny days. And no trip would be complete without setting foot on the black sand beaches of Vik, where the waves crash against dramatic basalt columns.

Each site offers a moment to pause, breathe in the fresh air, and marvel at how the elements have sculpted the landscape over millennia.

Exploring the Majestic Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

As you approach Jökulsárlón, the world seems to open up. Icebergs of every shape and shade of blue float in the lagoon, calved from the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier. Here, the silence is profound, broken only by the occasional crack and splash of shifting ice.

A boat tour offers an up-close experience with the icebergs, while the nearby Diamond Beach showcases ice chunks on black sand, glittering like jewels under the sun.

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Diamond Beach at Jokulsarlon, Glacier lagoon.

Safety Concerns and Travel Tips for the Road

Embarking on a road trip in Iceland is an adventure of a lifetime, yet it demands a level of preparation and caution to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are some indispensable safety concerns and travel tips for navigating Iceland’s roads:

Weather and Road Conditions: Iceland’s weather can be unpredictable, with conditions changing rapidly.

Always check the Icelandic Meteorological Office website and SafeTravel.is for the latest weather forecasts and road conditions before setting out. Remember, in Iceland, it’s not uncommon to experience all four seasons in a single day!

Driving Regulations: Familiarize yourself with local driving laws. In Iceland, headlights must be on at all times, seat belts are mandatory for all passengers, and off-road driving is strictly prohibited to protect the fragile ecosystem.

Emergency Preparedness: Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle, including warm clothing, food, water, a first-aid kit, and a charged mobile phone with the 112 Iceland app installed for emergencies.

Respect Nature: Stay on marked roads and paths. The Icelandic environment is beautiful but fragile. Off-road driving is illegal and can cause irreversible damage to the delicate flora.

By adhering to these guidelines, you can help ensure that your Icelandic road trip is safe and respects the natural beauty of the country.


As your journey through Iceland comes to an end, you’ll find that each mile traveled has etched a lasting impression, not just in your memory, but in your soul.

The landscapes of Iceland, from the rugged coastlines and the majestic waterfalls to the serene beauty of Jökulsárlón, tell a story of nature’s power and elegance. Renting a car and driving across this magnificent country offers a freedom and intimacy with nature that few places on earth can.

Remember, the essence of an Icelandic road trip lies not just in the destinations but in the journeys between them. It’s about the moments of unexpected beauty, the sudden snowfall or the northern lights dancing above.

It’s about the warmth of the people you meet and the stories they share. As you leave Iceland behind, you carry forward a sense of adventure, a respect for nature, and memories that will last a lifetime.

Iceland awaits your return, but until then, let the spirit of adventure guide you to your next journey, wherever that may lead. If you liked to learn more about Iceland places see our blogs.