A Rental Car from Kef Airport to Skaftafell National Park

Svartifoss waterfall at Skaftafell National Park.
Svartifoss waterfall at Skaftafell National Park.

If you want to get the most from your trip to Iceland, get a rental car at KEF airport and head to Skaftafell National Park.

Whether you’re looking for a great hiking trial or just want to see some cool stuff in Iceland, Skaftafell National Park is where you need to go. Not only is it the most beautiful place in Iceland but driving there is a complete adventure on its own. Passing through the south coast and witnessing the most incredible scenery and interesting sights in Iceland.

Do I need a rental car in Iceland?

First of all, yes you do need to have a rental car in Iceland. Iceland is a huge island with incredible sites spread all over the country. If you want to see something other than just Keflavik Airport, you will need proper transportation. In Iceland that is having a personal vehicle.

As public transportation is both unreliable and expensive I recommend traveling on your own time and pace with a rental car in Iceland. It will save you both time and money.

Picking up a rental car at Kef Airport

It’s best to start your trip by picking up your rental car from KEF airport. With Blue Car Rental you can check-in online for your car rental, avoiding all lines and unnecessary wait at the office. This amazing service will give you a great head start to your road adventure.

You can even start your trip by checking out the best kept secrets near Keflavik airport. It can also be a great way to end your trip before returning your rental vehicle.

Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon at Kirkjubæjarklaustur.
Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon at Kirkjubæjarklaustur.

Driving on Iceland southern coast

The route from KEF airport to Skaftafell National Park takes you through Iceland’s iconic south coast. Passing by the most stunning scenery in the country and amazing stops at every corner.

The roads along the way are all paved and suitable for all cars, including economy cars. However, if you're traveling in winter or in a group I recommend a 4x4, as it is at least a 5-hour drive from the airport in Iceland. I recommend taking your time to enjoy the ride. Driving to Skaftafell is not only about reaching your destination but exploring wonders along the way.

Reykjavik: From Keflavik Airport you head straight to Reykjavik, the capital and cultural center of Iceland. Now, if you’re staying in Reykjavik, I recommend unloading your luggage before heading out to the highway again and towards Skaftafell National Park. Taking only what is needed for the trip, but I will get back to that later.

Seljalandsfoss: When leaving Reykjavik, you’ll enter the mighty Ring Road of Iceland as you head east along the south coast of Iceland. I recommend stopping at Seljalandsfoss waterfall and make the short hike behind this gorgeous waterfall for the most amazing view. 

Skógafoss: Another stunning waterfall along the way is Skógafoss. This majestic and powerful waterfall is clearly visible from the Ring Road, so you can't and should not miss it. If you have time, I also recommend checking out Kvernufoss, a hidden gem right next to Skógafoss.

Vík: The town of Vik is located on the southern tip of Iceland. Known for its black sand beach, Reynisfjara with its basalt pillar rocks and astonishing sea stacks. Just be careful, Reynisfjara can be as dangerous as it is beautiful. It is a must stop on the south coast but please read the signs and don’t get too close to the ocean.  

Kirkjubæjarklaustur: We’re getting closer to our destination but there is still another stop I recommend on the way. Kirkjubæjarklaustur is a small village tucked between the black sands and mighty glaciers of southeast Iceland. There you will also find Fjaðrárgljúfur, Iceland’s most beautiful canyon and incredible hiking experience.

Vatnajökull glacier at Skaftafell National Park.
Vatnajökull glacier at Skaftafell National Park.


Skaftafell National Park

Finally, we got to the Skaftafell visitor centre. So, let’s go over what is there and why it is the best national park to visit in Iceland.

  • Glacier: Skaftafell National Park is home to some of the most spectacular scenery in Iceland. As part of Vatnajökull National Park, there you’ll find amazing hiking trails leading to the largest glacier in Europe.
  • Svartifoss: It is the most popular and famous sight in the park. Svartifoss waterfall, meaning Black waterfall, as it is surrounded by dark, almost back, lava pillars and columns. Fun fact, this natural piece of art was the inspiration for Hallgrímskirkja, the iconic church overlooking Reykjavik.
  • Ice cave: Skaftafell National Park is known for many incredible ice caves found in the nearby glaciers. From there you can get a guided tour to see the magical blue ice caves of Iceland.
  • Camping ground: Skaftafell National Park also one of the best camping sites in Iceland. Not only is the facility fantastic but the scenery is just breathtaking. During summer the weather is usually calm, making it an ideal place to set up camp, with inspiring hiking trail in all directions.

Parking in Skaftafell National Park is not free. Visitors need to pay a fee for using the parking areas and are charge for the time spent in the park.

What do I need to have?

There are a few things I believe are absolutely necessary when traveling to Skaftafell National Park. Here’s my list of what you need to bring on this amazing trip.

  • Rental car with full insurances: There is a lot of sand in the south and heavy winds can show up from out of the blue. You do not want to pay for sand damages in Iceland. It is extremely expensive.
  • Hiking shoes: There are so many fantastic hikes you can take along the way and at Skaftafell National Park. So, a good pair of hiking boots are a must have on this trip.
  • Layers of clothing: You never know how the Icelandic weather will be, so just expect everything. The best way to deal with this uncertainty is wearing layers of clothing appropriate for each time. That and check the weather forecast daily.
  • Phone and charger: Keep your phone charged at all times. I recommend using Google Maps for the roads in Iceland. Despite being in a remote area the cellular reception is rather good, for most of the time. Allowing you to navigate Iceland and post the most amazing photos you’ll ever take from your incredible adventure in Iceland.


There we have it. You´ll need a rental car with full coverage insurance and a solid outfit and you’ll have the best trip of your life. Of course, by selecting Blue Car Rental, you will not only get the best rental car in Iceland, you’ll also get the best rental car service in Iceland. With zero waiting and worry guaranteed.

By following these guidelines this will be an experience that will last a lifetime. So, pick up a rental car at KEF airport and enjoy the best Iceland has to offer in both service and nature.

For more great travel tips about visiting Natural Wonders in Iceland and other Practical info, please visit our Blog.










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