Renting a car to self-drive the 59 miles (95km) from Iceland's capital city of Reykjavik to the southern village of Hella is the most popular option for travelers looking to explore on their own time along the route. Hella serves as a solid base for travelers looking to spend time visiting the Golden Circle, hiking near the active volcano, Hekla, or embarking on multi-day hikes in the Þórsmörk and Landmannalaugar regions.
Although the journey can be done in a little over an hour, it's advised to allow for extra time to venture around the plethora of natural attractions that Southern Iceland has to offer. Taking the public bus or arranging for a private transfer are possibilities as well, if you're interested in staying in the area for a few days.
If you're planning on touring the entire southern coast, check out this Ultimate Guide to Iceland's South Coast.
Duration: 2-4 hours, more with stops
From Reykjavik, you can take a direct route on the Ring Road (Route 1) to reach Hella. You may want to consider a detour to see the main stops on the Golden Circle if you have an extra couple of hours. There, you can hit up the Thingvellir National Park, Geysir, and Gulfoss. Within the same area, visitors can plan to stop at the Sólheimar Eco Village, and the Fridheimar Tomato and Horse Farm. Discover some lesser-known waterfalls like Urriðafoss and Aegissidufoss.
Once in Hella, there are many opportunities for outdoor activities like horseback riding, hiking, and even salmon fishing in the nearby Ytri-Rangá river. If you venture a bit past Hella on the Ring Road (a half-hour detour), you'll find yourself at the iconic Seljalandsfoss waterfall.
Duration: 1-2 hours
From the Mjodd station just outside of Reykjavik, it's a straight ride (with a few stops) on the 52 bus line to Hella. To get to Mjodd from downtown, you can either take a taxi or the 3 bus line from Ráðhúsið, which takes about 20 minutes.
By Private or Group Transfer
Duration: 2-4 hours
It's possible to arrange for a private driver to make the drive to Hella, however, it's likely the more expensive option. Day or multi-day tours that stop at Hella and the surrounding attractions would be an option too, but offer less flexibility than self-driving.