Iceland Car Rental: Guide to a Great Summer Road Trip

Jeep Compass rental car in summer in iceland
Summer is the best time for taking a road trip in Iceland.

Greetings fellow travelers and welcome to the guide for a perfect summer road trip in Iceland. Follow me as I go through what is needed to have the best time in summer with your rental car in Iceland.

Summer is when Iceland truly comes to live after a long hard winter, displaying its natural wonders in full bloom. Opening countless routes leading to new and exciting adventures beyond your wildest dreams.


Iceland's Summer Climate

Summer is without a doubt the best time for a road trip in Iceland. The calm summer weather along with the long daylight opens up a world of possibility ready to be explored by a rental car in Iceland.

The Icelandic summer is short, usually lasting from June to September. Temperature ranges from about 10°C (50°F) to 20°C (68°F) on average over the summer months. Summer is also the time where Iceland is least windy and rainy.

Icelandic weather is however very unpredictable so you can expect sudden weather changes even during summer. So, be prepared and check the weather forecast in Iceland when traveling.


Navigating Iceland’s Summer Roads

Summer driving in Iceland is a unique adventure and the mild conditions allow travelers to roam freely across the island. As winter passes, the roads of Iceland emerge ready to transport drivers across mountain passes and off the beaten track.

To put it simply, you can easily travel all around Iceland in summer on any kind of rental car. Including the Ring Road and most popular sights such as the Golden Circle and more main road routes.

Iceland road in summer.
The open road in Iceland in summer. 

Opening of F-Roads in the Highland

The Icelandic Highland is a world of wonders and only accessible in summer. From late June towards summer's end this beautiful and vast untouched wilderness becomes available with the opening of the mountain roads called F-Roads.

These mountain roads are nothing to mess with and should be driven with extra precautions. Only 4x4 are allowed on F-roads and drivers can expect challenges such as river crossing along the way. There you can find some of Iceland’s most unique natural wonders, such as Landmannalaugar and Hveravellir, a geothermal oasis tucked between high mountains and mighty glaciers.

Here you can see the information about opening of the F-roads.  

Essential Summer Gear

What should you bring to Iceland for a summer road trip? Summer is by far the most convenient time to visit Iceland. But as always planning your trip and packing accordingly is always best. When it comes to summer outwear in Iceland I recommend layers of clothing. 

Some days can start off with cold mornings in that way it’s easy to adapt to rising temperatures as the day warms up. With that being said, make sure to bring both warm clothes and a good pair of waterproof boots for outdoor activities such as hiking. At the same time do not forget to bring your swimsuit so you can take a tip in Iceland’s famous hot springs.


Summer’s Natural Wonders

Summer means that Iceland is open for business with all the island's amazing natural wonders accessible to be witnessed in full glory. This is why summer is the ideal time for renting a car in Iceland for an epic road trip.

With the best driving and weather conditions the list of natural wonders you can visit in summer is endless. However, this is also the best time to plan both short and long road trips in Iceland as you can cover much ground on your rental car.

For example taking on the entire Ring Road and all the amazing stops it holds. Including waterfalls such as Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss and Goðafoss. Driving up and down the south coast of Iceland, visiting places like Reynisfjara, Jökulsárlón and Skaftafell national park.

On top of that you can travel off the beaten track and see the stunning Highland, Westfjords and many more beautiful sights in Iceland.  

Blue Car Rental midnight sun Jeep
Enjoying the midnight sun while driving in Iceland. 

A Season of Endless Daylight

As summer in Iceland wasn’t amazing enough, it’s also the season of endless daylight. With bright summer nights you can easily travel and enjoy Iceland without darkness throughout the summer. Imagine seeing Geyser or walking through Thingvellir National Park in the midnight sun. Now, that’s an experience that will last a lifetime!

Where to Travel in Iceland in Summer?

Since this is a guide for a summer road trip in Iceland it’s only fair that I list up my places of recommendation to visit.

Which Car to Rent in Iceland in Summer?

The great thing about driving in Iceland in summer is that you can rent any kind of car you want. It just depends on your plans which is the best rental car.

If you’re only staying on the paved roads, a small car can take you all the way around Iceland.

However, if you plan on adventuring off the main road you will need a 4x4 and preferably a large SUV for the Highland.

How Are Driving Conditions in Iceland in Summer?

Generally speaking, driving conditions are good during summer in Iceland. Here are some tips to keep in mind while cruising in the midnight sun.

  •         Only 4x4 are allowed on mountain roads marked; F-roads.
  •         If traveling in the highland be extra careful if you need to cross rivers and avoid at all costs.
  •         Be aware of sheep which roam free in Iceland during summer.
  •         Be careful when approaching single lane bridges.  

General Tips of Summer Travel in Iceland

To sum up, summer is the perfect time for taking a road trip in Iceland. It’s the season which offers the most variety. The rental car allows you to choose your own path and pace. Whether it is cruising along the coastline on the Ring Road or trailing the untamed highland.

By following these guidelines, you should have the best summer road trip in Iceland and make memories that will last you a lifetime.

If you need further information about Iceland, feel free to check out our blogs. There you’ll find interesting articles about Natural Wonder and Driving in Iceland. 







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