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Camping in Iceland: 7 Essential Tips for an Unforgettable Adventure

Sitting on top of campervan in iceland while camping

Embark on an extraordinary journey into the untouched beauty of nature in Iceland. Nestled amidst the rugged landscapes of this Nordic island, camping in Iceland provides a unique opportunity to explore pristine wilderness unlike anywhere else.

 From cascading waterfalls and dramatic fjords to ancient glaciers and geothermal wonders, the natural wonders of Iceland will leave you in awe. Whether seeking solace in serene remote campsites or thrilling adventures under the Midnight Sun, camping in Iceland promises an unforgettable experience into the heart of nature. 

So pack your camping gear, embrace the spirit of adventure, and get ready for an amazing camping experience in the land of fire and ice.

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Where is the Best Place to Rent a Campervan for Camping in Iceland?

Choosing the correct campervan is important for your trip to Iceland, as this will be your home while traveling. There are many different companies that you are able to rent campervans from. I would highly suggest getting insurance for your vehicle (especially gravel protection!) as this could save you money in the long run. 

Below are just a few different companies that are reliable for renting a campervan. During my most recent trip to Iceland I tried out Cheap Campervans (owned by Happy Campers) and had a great time as well. A friend of mine used Go Campers and had really good success as well.

Happy Campers

Happy Campers is a renowned campervan rental service in Iceland, distinguished for its vivid and colorful vans. They provide a variety of campervan models, ranging from smaller two-person vans to larger family-sized vehicles.

Prices start at roughly 14,000 ISK (around $110 USD) per day for a two-person van during the low season, and may increase to around 24,000 ISK (around $190 USD) daily for a bigger family-sized van in the high season. Furthermore, additional amenities like Wi-Fi connection, camping chairs and gas stoves can be availed of at an extra cost.

GoCampers

Go Campers is one of the most renowned campervan rental companies in Iceland, offering budget-friendly options. From small two-person vans to larger family-sized vehicles, they provide a wide selection of vehicles. What sets them apart from other rental companies is their commitment to eco-friendliness; for every rental, they plant one tree as an offset to your carbon footprint. 

Rates start at around 9,500 ISK (roughly $75 USD) per day for a two-person van during the low season and go up to around 16,000 ISK (roughly $126 USD) per day for a larger family van in the high season. Additionally, Go Campers offers extras like Wi-Fi, GPS and camping equipment for a fee. To ensure you have peace of mind while driving through Iceland’s rugged terrain, they offer various insurance options.

Camp Easy

Camp Easy is a reputable campervan rental company in Iceland that offers cost-effective solutions. They offer a wide selection of vehicles, from small two-person vans to larger family-sized campers, and they are committed to eco-friendliness through their policy of planting one tree for every rental. 

On the other hand, Camp Easy has been providing campervans for more than ten years and boasts an impressive array of vehicles to choose from. Plus, all come equipped with essential camping gear such as stoves, refrigerators, and kitchen supplies. There are also optional extras available including GPS navigation systems, Wi-Fi connections, and camping chairs if needed – at an additional fee. 

Rentals rates start at 14,900 ISK (around $118 USD) per day for a two-person van during the off season up to 22,900 ISK (around $181 USD) daily for larger family campers in peak season. Customers can also take advantage of safety insurance options when renting with them to ensure peace while exploring Iceland’s scenic environment.

Camping with waterfall in the background in Iceland

The Best Time to go Camping in Iceland

Camping in Iceland can be done year round, and both summer and winter have their reasons to visit. 

Summer months make for a great time to visit because of the long days and comfortable weather. The landscapes are lush and vibrant, offering visitors the opportunity to explore popular attractions without the hindrance of snow or extreme weather conditions. Summer months are popular though, campervans are expensive and there are tourists.

It is possible to camp during the winter months, not all attractions will be possible to visit. However, you get the beauty of sleeping under the northern lights and prices are much cheaper.

Shoulder season in Iceland (spring and fall months) are my favorite times to visit. While weather can still be unpredictable, most roads are open, there are less tourists, and campervans tend to be more affordable. 

Itinerary on Ring Road

7 Essentials tips for Camping in Iceland

Not All Campsites are Open Year Round

Many campgrounds are seasonal throughout Iceland and open sometime in April and close again in October. Below is a map of campgrounds throughout Iceland that you can filter for year round campsites if needed.

Reservations are not needed

While it may sound a bit odd, most campsites throughout Iceland do not accept reservations. It is on a first come, first serve basis. The only exception to this is usually if you are traveling in a large group.

During the summer season campsites are busy, and I mean busy. Campsites usually have room to accommodate everyone, but you most likely will be close to other campers. All of the campsites I visited during my trip mentioned that they had never had to turn anyone away for not having space.

Check Road Conditions

Make sure to check the road conditions daily to get to your campsite. If you have been planning a trip to Iceland you probably know weather can change in what seems like 5 minutes. Road.is is a great website that will help you navigate what roads are open or if there is any construction. 

Also it is important to check where your campsites are located and if they might be off on an “F-Road”. F roads require special vehicle clearance to drive on and not all campervans meet these requirements.

Check Road Conditions

It is important to do your research on campsites while planning a trip to Iceland. Not all campsites have the same amenities, and not all campsites have websites so sometimes it might be difficult. I highly recommend checking recent Google reviews or reviews on TripAdvisor. You can see see what is offered if you can’t find the campsite’s website.

Some of the most common amenities that you will find throughout campsites in Iceland are wi-fi, kitchen halls and showers. Usually they are included, but a few campsites I visited did only offer showers at a small fee.

Other amenities sometimes include laundry at a fee, pools, and playgrounds. I highly recommend Skaftafell Campground if you are looking for a good overall campground where laundry is included!

Prepare for Midnight Sun (Summer Only)

Less is more when it comes to camping in Iceland! While campervans do come with space for suitcases it is still limited on what will fit. Our camper had fit 2 carry-on suitcases and two backpacks. While it was a bit of a shuffle at times it was possible. Pack only the essentials if you plan on camping throughout Iceland.

Click here to see my packing list for camping in Iceland.

Packing, Packing, Packing

If you plan on camping in Iceland in the summer, prepare for midnight sun. Throughout the long Icelandic summers, you can see the sun all day, even at midnight. This can play physiological games on the brain and not know what time it is.

Make sure your campervan has blackout shades, or bring sleepwear that will help keep the light out. This way you can get to sleep still. Most attractions such as waterfalls, hikes, etc. are open 24 hours. If you want to visit when it’s less crowded, consider adjusting your schedule and traveling only at night.

Plan Your Route

While reservations aren’t required, it is still a good idea to plan your camping route so that you are not looking last minute. Try to choose camping locations that are near either your last stop of the day, or the first stop in the morning. This will help you with determining how much you will need to be on the road. 

Conclusion

No matter the season you choose to camp in Iceland, each one has its own unique charm and allure. Whether it’s the midnight sun illuminating the summer nights, the vibrant colors of spring awakening, or the golden hues of autumn casting their spell. Iceland’s ever-changing landscapes will captivate you.

One Reply to “Camping in Iceland: 7 Essential Tips for an Unforgettable Adventure”

  1. Icelandic Elegance: Reykjavik Edition Review says: March 5, 2024 at 2:01 pm

    […] Camping in Iceland: 7 Essential Tips for an Unforgettable Adventure […]

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