Updated: May 5
When planning your trip abroad, you need to do some preparation first. You settle the budget and plan the itinerary, but you need to plan the logistic side too. From first landing on the island at an Iceland airport to how you will be traveling around and exploring the country. When coming to Iceland, the best choice is to rent a campervan or motorhome to have as much freedom as possible.
However, if you don’t have much time but still want to experience most of the island, then we’ve got the perfect option for you. The most common and easiest way is to take one of the domestic flights and start your road trip directly from the airport.
But many visitors coming to Iceland get a bit confused about the airports. They often mix their locations, and whether they cater to international or domestic flights. In this article, we clear things up and discuss the various airports in Iceland, the main hubs, and your flight options.
Are There Only Two Airports in Iceland?
There are way more than two airports in Iceland, but there definitely are two that are the most well-known. These are Keflavik Airport (KEF), Iceland’s international airport, and the Reykjavik Domestic Airport (RKV).
These two airports are often confused with one another and have caused many an incident as visitors realize they are at the wrong airport. It especially doesn’t help that even the locals sometimes refer to both Keflavik and Reykjavík as “the Reykjavík Airport”. So, to ensure that you are on the right track, remember the following:
Keflavik Airport lies outside the capital city and is where most international flights land/depart.
Reykjavík Airport lies within the capital city. It solely caters to domestic flights with the exception of Greenland as an international destination.
If your starting point is Reykjavík Domestic Airport, some of the smaller airports you will be flying out to are Isafjordur, Egilsstadir, Husavik, and Akureyri. So, as you can see, there are many airports all over the island and it is possible to travel all across Iceland via plane.
The 2 Big Airports in Iceland
As we already mentioned, the two most-used airports in Iceland are Keflavik International (KEF), and Reykjavík ( RKV). Here is what you need to know about Iceland’s international airport and Iceland’s main domestic airport:
Keflavik International Airport
The Keflavik International Airport is Iceland’s main terminal. Here, most tourists take their first steps when arriving in our country. It is located on the east side of the Reykjanes Peninsula, around 50 km away from Reykjavík, the capital.
It takes approximately 45 minutes to get from one point to another. There are several bus companies offering transfers from the Bus Station straight to the terminal. The communication with the airport is quite well and several options for transfer, including a shuttle bus, are available.
The airport is open 24/7 and is also where most of the car and RV rentals are located. This is the most convenient option for those who want to start their trip around Iceland directly after arrival. For those going to the capital first, there are buses and taxis, and shuttles available from the terminal.
There are also several hotels and guesthouses nearby, even within walking distance if you prefer to get a night's rest first. Keflavik airport has only one terminal and is relatively small, but it still offers flights to several destinations.
Reykjavík is a domestic airport located within the city’s borders. It has two terminals. The main one operates the only international route available here and domestic flights for Icelandair. The second terminal offers connections for the Eagle Air company. Reykjavík Airport also offers flights to the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Nearby, you will find a parking lot for passenger cars, and inside the airport, there are some car rental companies.
It is quite well-connected to the city center. Bus number two goes from the terminal to the Reykjavík BSI bus station, where you can transfer in other directions. Taxis are also available from here, but it is more expensive compared to choosing public transport.
The Smaller Airports in Iceland
As we already touched on, there are many smaller airports scattered all across the island. These include Ísafjörður (IFJ), Egilsstaðir (EGS), Husavik (HZK), Hornafjordur (HFN), Vestmannaeyjar (VEY), Myvatn (MVA), Akureyri (AEY), and many, many more. All of these smaller airports, make it much easier for Icelanders and visitors alike to travel from one point to another on the island. Here’s what you need to know about some of the most popular smaller airports in Iceland:
Isafjordur Airport is a relatively small port and offers domestic flights. It is located in the beautiful but not easily accessible Westfjords. It provides connections with Reykjavík, a pretty excellent option for those who are not willing to drive on the roads in that part of Iceland. In terms of transport, you will find car rental options, a public bus service as well as taxis at the airport.
Located on the East side of Iceland, the Egilsstadir city airport is one of the four main hubs in Iceland that fulfill the requirements to be an international airport. But, once again, the majority of the flights taking place at Egilsstadir are domestic flights. When you take into account that it is a single-runway airport, it’s easy to understand why.
The airport is set up on the bank of the Lagarfljot Lake and is found close to the center of the East side of the island, which is a perfect location. Due to the very favorable weather conditions in this area, almost 99% of flights are on schedule. Egilsstadir Airport serves as an alternative airport to Keflavik international, although flights are not nearly as many. You can choose from car rentals, and taxis or make use of the popular Stræto bus service for transport after you’ve landed.
Husavik Airport is definitely the definition of a small airport here on the island. But don’t let this single-runway domestic airport fool you – as “the whale capital of Iceland” Husavik gets plenty of traffic. The airport is conveniently located a mere 10 kilometers from the city. In small airport fashion, transport options are limited, and you can either book a spot on a shuttle or rent a car.
If you thought Husavik Airport is close to the city, you haven’t seen Hornafjordur Airport yet. It lies only 5 kilometers from the city of Höfn. Hornafjordur Airport is a domestic airport that connects with Reykjavík Airport. Hornafjordur is a destination that may not be well-known, but it is a popular spot. Especially for those who want to explore the Vatnajökull Glacier and experience Viking culture.
But please take note that during the “down” season, there are only two flights scheduled on specific days of the week. There are also no public buses or taxis available upon landing. You can only rent a vehicle to move around the area.
If you don’t know where Vestmannaeyjar is, it’s probably because you know it as the Westman Islands. It is a small archipelago off the South Coast of Iceland, which makes the fact that it’s a bigger airport with two runways a bit of a surprise. One of the main reasons to visit the Westman Islands is to see the Puffins of Iceland.
If exploring the area is on your to-do list, then we recommend that you rent a car at Vestmannaeyjar Airport. If you just want to head straight to your accommodation for the day, you can grab a taxi. But, this is one of the few airports in Iceland where you can easily walk to your accommodation if you don’t have too much luggage.
If you’ve got Lake Myvatn or the Myvatn Nature Baths on your Iceland bucket list, this is going to be your go-to airport. But this is not a public airport like the rest in this article. This airport caters exclusively to sightseeing flights. If you want to get a bird's-eye view over the lake and the surrounding area, as well as chartered flights.
Myvatn Airport also offers air ambulance services to a large part of the island as part of a contract with the Ministry of Health. The air ambulance can be reached via the national emergency number: 112.
The North part of Iceland is home to another airport, Akureyri. It is Iceland’s third-largest airport and also offers international flights. It is also the only one that provides connections with Keflavik. But since Akureyri is known as “the capital city of the north” this shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Akureyri Airport is the perfect option if you want to get down to Keflavik quickly and do not want to spend all day driving. There is, however, no public transport that you can use to get to the terminal. As with Egilsstadir, you can choose from car rentals, taxis as well as the Stræto bus service when it comes to transport once you’ve landed at the airport.
Which Companies have a Direct Flight to Iceland?
As traveling to Iceland becomes more and more popular, more and more companies offer direct flights to the island. If you are looking for a direct flight for your upcoming trip, you can use the information below as a guide:
Direct Flights to Iceland from the US
You can find direct flights from the US via Icelandair, United Airlines, and Delta from the following cities:
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
New York, New York
Raleigh-Durham, North Caroline
Direct Flights to Iceland from Canada
You can find direct flights from Canada via Icelandair, United Airlines, and Delta from the following cities:
Vancouver, British Columbia
Direct Flights to Iceland from Europe
As you can imagine, the array of airlines servicing Europe is much more than in the US and Canada. You can find direct flights from Europe via Air Baltic, British Airways, Iberia Express, Icelandair, Eurowings, Atlantic Airwaves, Easyjet, Lufthansa, SAS, Jet2, Transavia, Wizz Air, Swiss, Vueling, and Tui from the following cities:
Vienna & Salzburg, Austria
Prague, Czech Republic
Copenhagen & Bilund, Denmark
Vagar, Faroe Islands
Paris & Nice, France
Berlin & Hamburg & Dusseldorf & Frankfurt & Munich & Stuttgart & Dortmund & Cologne, Germany
Ilulissat & Kulusuk & Larsarsuag & Nuuk, Greenland
Rome & Milan & Naples & Bologna, Italy
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Oslo & Trondheim & Stavanger & Bergen, Norway
Krakow & Katowice & Warsaw & Wroclaw, Poland
Alicante & Madrid & Tenerife & Barcelona & Malaga & Gran Canaria, Spain
Stockholm & Gothenburg, Sweden
Zurich & Geneva, Switzerland
London Gatwick & London Heathrow & London Luton & London Stansted. Manchester & Glasgow & Edinburgh & Belfast & Bristol & Leeds & Newcastle & Birmingham, United Kingdom
A Few Things to Remember Before Catching a Flight at an Iceland Airport
The following advice will come in handy when catching a flight at an Iceland Airport:
Ensure that you arrive at the airport at least 60 minutes before departure to avoid queues and running late.
Always ensure that you have all the adequate travel documents for Iceland that you need.
Always double-check the rules and regulations regarding luggage. These may differ between airlines. What are you not allowed to pack? What are the weight restrictions? And what are the rules regarding fluids?
Many of the smaller airports on the island do not have restaurants, coffee shops, or cafeterias. And unless you eat beforehand, you’ll need to settle for vending machine snacks. So, always make sure.
Most of our airlines offer wheelchair and other special assistance at no additional charge. But this must be arranged ahead of your flight.
An Iceland Airport; a Dime a Dozen Here on the Island
As you can see, Keflavik Airport and Reykjavík Airport are undoubtedly the most famous airports in Iceland, they are far from being the sole options. Gaining knowledge about the diverse airports across the island can be invaluable when planning a road trip. If you're on a tight schedule, consider renting the best campervan in Iceland to make the most of your adventure.
Flying between different areas in Iceland can be a convenient way to explore the country, especially if you have limited time. It allows you to quickly move between different regions and experience more of what Iceland has to offer.