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Iceland – car or van rental advice

  • redlilly

    Hi All. OH and I are looking at travelling to Iceland for 8 days in November.

    We know it’s going to be cold, but we are the outdoors/adventurous sorts. We are looking to hire a van to tour the island and potentially stay in. Is it better to hire a car and stay at hotels/inns along the route, or hire a van? Does anyone have any recommendations for van hire companies?


    I’m not sure about van companies. We stayed at hotels/inns. Everything is pretty basic outside Reykjavik. Don’t expect much. Public areas are usually really done well, but rooms and bathrooms are 2-star or 3 star at best.

    Must try is lunch at the Marriott Edition Reykjavik, incredible value 3 course lunch for only £30. Even if you’re not staying, you can just walk in or make a reservation.


    I wouldn’t do it in November, it’s not just cold but dark. May to July is the time for living out of a campervan


    Hi All – thank-you. I have done a bit more research since I originally posted, and yes, I am a bit mad to even consider sleeping in a van in November!

    We are still keen to go in November, whilst appreciating the days are not as long. I think we will keep to the southern side of the Island.

    Thank-you Meta for the tip on the Marriott lunch.


    Pack wet weather gear including waterproof over-trousers and boots. You are likely to have plenty of rain. Still a beautiful place in the rain – just needs the right clothing.

    Other than that my only suggestion would be to go in summer when the roads through the highlands are open but you are clearly set on November.


    If you go in winter then you have a much better chance to see the Northern Lights compared to summer when the night sky is often too light. We went in February a few years ago and had lots of warm and waterproof clothing. We did day trips from Reykjavik via a company that took us everywhere in a LR discovery. There’s something really amazing about sitting in the Blue Lagoon while it’s snowing and the steam in the sub-zero air makes you feel like you’re on your own. So we enjoyed winter but would also love to go back in summer at some point and explore more of the island

    Super Secret Stuff

    I’d alsp highly recomend february, great time of year to go! Good chance to see a good set of northern lights too


    Very torn about when to go now. I do like what you said @RCHammer re. day trips, however I have romantisced about taking my own wheels out! This just now sounds ridiculous in November! Nevertheless, I also really like the idea of sitting in the blue lagoon whilst it is raining/snowing… this too sounds pretty cool!

    Decisions Decisions. Thank you for all the tips everyone! Will have more of a think before we start booking flights.

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