Renting a car to make the 122 mile (196km) journey from Keflavik to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula (known as "little Iceland") is the most popular option, but not the only option. It's possible to reach the peninsula via bus, however, this option won't allow as much flexibility for venturing around while there. Taking a private or group tour directly from the airport are also possibilities and would make more sense time-wise.
The route to the peninsula offers not only amazing scenery but a multitude of fantastic stops along the way. Travelers wishing for a taste of the capital city of Reykjavik should spend time experiencing the cultural and culinary delights that the city has to offer before heading further north. This portion of the drive takes about 45 minutes. Marvel at bountiful waterfalls without detouring too far off the main road, before heading onto the peninsula. Once there, the opportunities for outdoor exploits are plentiful, with epic scenery at every turn. Make sure to see the iconic Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall and Kirkjufell Mountain.
Check out this 4-day itinerary on Reykjavik and the Snæfellsnes Peninsula for more ideas.
Duration: 4-6 hours
After departing the airport or small city of Keflavik on the Reykjanesbær Peninsula, travelers should embark north on the Ring Road (Route 1) towards Reykjavik. Stopping to take in the sights of the city is recommended before continuing on towards the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. For hiking enthusiasts, the trail to Glymur falls is an excellent first endeavor with an impressive waterfall and diverse landscape. Take a cafe break at the seaside hamlet of Borgarnes and enjoy the quaint village feel. Travelers will then veer onto Route 54, the main road into the peninsula.
Stop at the well-photographed Black Church of Budir, feel the power of ocean waves crashing against Gatklettur, the Hellnar Arch, hike near the Svödufoss waterfall, visit the Djúpalónssandur black sand beach, and explore all the jaw-dropping scenery the Snæfellsjökull National Park has to offer. You may even discover a hidden natural hot spring. Planning to spend a night on the peninsula will allow for more time to see more of the stunning sights. Hellnar, Arnastapi, Grundarfjordur and Stykkisholmur are all solid bases for exploring the region. For more inspiration, this article features the Best Sights on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula on a 1-2 Day Driving Tour.
By Private or Group Transfer
Duration: 6-8 hours
If you're short on time, or want to take advantage of a stopover, various companies offer private or group transfers for the day. Tour groups that depart straight from the airport are possible to book in advance and offer both day and multi-day tour options to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.