Flying to Iceland Skip to content
Keflavík airport Icelandair
Photo: Golli. Passengers arrive in Iceland.

Flying to Iceland

Share article

Facebook
Twitter

Flying to Iceland in the near future? Which airlines should you take, and how can you find the best travel deals? Read on to find out more about flying to Iceland. 

Flying to Iceland need not be complicated.

In fact, the reality of having only a single airport, Keflavík International, already simplifies much of your travel planning. On top of that, approximately 20 different airlines include Iceland among their destination. 

Once your flights are booked, there’s nothing else for it but packing your bags, donning some thermal wear, and taxiing to the airport. Yee-hah!

(Alright, you might want to plan a little more than that. Try reading our featured Before You Go articles; How to Pack for Winter in Iceland and How to Pack for Summer in Iceland.) 

Table of Contents

 Photo: Golli. Seljalandsfoss on the South Coast

 If you happen to be European or American, Iceland is very accessible as a travel destination. It is approximately a two-hour flight from the United Kingdom, and only a six-hour flight from New York. That means, depending on where you hail from, it might be quicker getting to Iceland than it is somewhere else in your own country. 

Consider that – the world really is such a small place! And a country as strange and alluring as Iceland is right on your doorstep. 

Naturally, a vacation in Iceland promises awe, excitement, reflection – all in equal measure. But before you and your family can experience the wonders that the land of ice and fire has in store, you first have to get here

Thankfully, that can be a thrilling experience in itself given you’ll be arriving at Keflavik International Airport, a modern terminal situated atop a live lava field.  

Keflavík International Airport 

Keflavík airport
Photo: Páll Stefánsson. Iceland’s international airport in Keflavík

 As Keflavík (KEF) is Iceland’s only international airport. Do not get it confused with Reykjavík Domestic Airport, which deals solely in local flights. 

Keflavík International Airport is located on the Reykjanes Peninsula, a volcanic spit of land in the southwest of the country. You can read more about this fascinating part of the country in our full article, All About The Reykjanes Peninsula

It is approximately forty minutes drive from the capital city, Reykjavík. Bus transfers from the airport to various drop-off points throughout Reykjavík run 24/7. 

What are the cheapest airlines flying to Iceland?

 

While it might be surprising for a country with less than 400,000 citizens, Iceland actually operates multiple airlines of its own. The oldest, and largest, is IcelandAir, which flies from over fifty destinations around the world. 

Icelandair 

Keflavík airport Icelandair
Photo: Golli. IcelandAir boeing.

Icelandair began in 1937 as Flugfélag Akureyrar. It was, as the name suggests, founded in Akureyri. Three years later, it would move its headquarters to Reykjavík and change its moniker. The company began its first international flights in the 1940s, flying first to the Faroe Islands and Denmark. In the years since, they have become an internationally recognised airline, with many destinations and routes on their roster. 

Icelandair celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2017. It was a worthy milestone given the stellar reputation for comfort and efficiency IcelandAir has nurtured since first taking to the air. Most recently, Icelandair added fresh routes to Iceland’s big brother, Greenland, making the corners of the North Atlantic more accessible than ever before.   

A WizzAir Boeing
Photo: WizzAir Facebook.

Budget airlines in Iceland 

 

A cheaper option would be the recently opened budget-airline, WizzAir. With over 950 routes to choose from, it is easy to see why WizzAir is the number one option for many travellers, especially those keeping a tight grip of their wallet. 

Perhaps the fact Iceland has two airlines is not so shocking after all. In the last ten years, Iceland has become a must-visit destination amongst travellers. 

This is, in large part, due to its ethereal nature, from bubbling hot springs to cascading waterfalls and epic mountain rangers. Iceland truly is a place straight out of a storybook. 

However, a handful of guests are surprised to find Iceland a modern, technologically-savvy, culture, as well as one that recognises the importance of tourist infrastructure.

When are the best times to fly to Iceland? 

 Photo: Golli. Reyjavík in the summer, a prime time for a visit to Iceland

Ultimately, this question depends on whether you would rather experience Iceland in the winter or summer. Both seasons offer plenty of reasons to visit. 

For example, in summertime, Iceland is illuminated throughout the night by the fascinating Midnight Sun. This unique and, some might say, otherworldly phenomenon occurs because of Iceland’s geographical position, close to the Arctic Circle. 

With more sunlight means more time to explore all that Iceland has to offer. That might be horse-riding through mossy lava fields. It could be snorkelling in a crystalline glacial ravine, Maybe it’s simply enjoying waterfalls and villages along the South Coast. Whatever type of vacation you’re hoping to find in Iceland, the summer is sure to have you covered. 

Sightseeing is just one of the popular activities during winter in Iceland
 Photo: Golli. Gullfoss waterfall in Winter.

That is, of course, unless you happen to be seeking a frozen wonderland. 

Of the activities just listed, know that these can all be booked in the winter too, only the land is shrouded in twinkling white snow. Seeing the Northern Lights is just one of the greatest draws for guests at this time of year. It’s also the time to visit stunning ice caves, experience a spot of dog sledding in Iceland’s north, or even conquer a mighty glacier.  

Iceland as a stopover destination 

pedestrian street Laugavegur Reykjavík
 Reykjavíkurborg. Pedestrian street Laugavegur in the centre of Reykjavík on a busy summer day

Iceland is located midway between North America and continental Europe, and is therefore primed as a fantastic stopover destination for those travelling back and forth. Adding extra days to your itinerary in order to discover what all the fuss is about is worth it for those with time to spare. 

As we’ve mentioned, Reykjavík and many beloved natural attractions – be they waterfalls or national parks – are fairly close to Keflavik Airport. That means that even visitors staying at the airport’s hotels still have an opportunity to fill their days with fun and adventure. Best of all, an Iceland stopover has something to offer all different types of traveller, be you a businessperson or a family coming home from vacation. 

There are many quick tours that do not require multiple days of travel to experience. Take a trip into the Lava Tunnel, for instance. Not only is it a mere hour’s drive from the airport, but it can be fully experienced in a single hour. Our feature article, , breaks down what you can expect from this quick, underground adventure. 

A stopover in Iceland does not have to break the bank. Transatlantic flyers with IcelandAir can actually add stopover days in Iceland at no extra cost. In fact, you can add up to a week, completely for free! 

Is there an alternative to flying?

MS Norröna
 Photo: Smyril Line. MS Norröna is the only ferry that travels to Iceland.

Given that Iceland is an island, the simplest means of getting here is by air travel. However, there is one other option for European guests… 

Catching a ride on the MS Norröna

Travelling by the high seas like a real Viking voyager might be preferable for some visitors. Well, good news considering this car ferry makes regular trips between Denmark, the Faroe Islands, and Iceland, making port at the eastern town of Seyðisfjörður. 

In the summer, the boat is fully decked out with its own cinema, restaurants, and a swimming pool. Such luxuries might make you question the logic of flying in on a cramped plane, but winter travellers might experience less red-carpet treatment. The MS Norröna resembles more of a cargo ship during this season on account they operate a smaller crew and ferry less passengers.

Tourists in the Sapphire Ice Cave.

Where can I find travel deals for flying to Iceland? 

 

Before booking a trip to Iceland, it is advised to scour the internet for any deals that may be available. As the world is aware by now, Iceland can be an expensive destination to visit, so cutting costs wherever possible is a wise fiscal choice.

You can also keep track of airfares using websites like Google Flights and Kayak. And, while they may be better suited until after you’ve made a booking, Flightstats and Flightaware can also come in handy for keeping on top of your flight details. 

When it comes to finding the right tours and activities during your stay, you will find Iceland Review has a range of exciting and competitively-priced excursions available.

When looking for deals, your first stop should always be the airlines own website.  The following airlines fly to Iceland:

Related Posts