Camping in Iceland
Being in Iceland is all about spending as much time in nature as possible! Traveling around Iceland in a campervan or motorhome adds mobility and spontaneity to your trip. You are free to chase the good weather and pace the journey to your own liking.
Whether you choose a fully-equipped motorhome or a practical campervan, a truck camper, a simple tent or a luxurious glamping pod - there is a camping option for every budget and preference. Find the one, that suits you best!
We want to introduce you to certain rules and tips that apply to everyone who wants to camp in Iceland.
WHERE AM I ALLOWED TO CAMP?
We know, it is tempting to set up shop for the night next to the beautiful waterfall or in the midst of the breathtaking scenery that you are enjoying at this very moment. But wild camping is not permitted in Iceland.
Camping in camper vans and motorhomes
is restricted to camping spaces and to privately owned land with the owner’s permission.
Camping in a tent
is restricted to camping spaces or to uncultivated land for one night, provided there is no campsite in the immediate vicinity and the landowner has not restricted or prohibited access by means of signs.
WHERE CAN I FIND THE GOOD CAMPING SPACES?
A spans around Iceland and you never have to drive long to get to the next one when you decide to stop for the night. Most camping grounds are situated in a beautiful environment, some even in spectacular locations!
They are standardly equipped with toilet facilities and access to electricity. The majority includes a common house with kitchen facilities and/or and an outdoor barbecue pit. Playgrounds, nearby swimming pools, horse- and kayak rentals and close-by hiking paths are only some of the many extras that camping spaces often provide.
What does camping in Iceland cost?
The price per night varies: most facilities charge between 1.500 ISK and 2.500 ISK (betweens appr. 12 and 20 USD) per person and night. Kids under 12, sometimes under 15, usually camp free of charge. Additional services like electrity, shower or the use of the washing machine, are not included in the fee.
Renting camping equipment in Iceland
A good option for traveling lightly is to . Tents, sleeping bags, crampons, clothes, cooking sets and many more can be rented in Reykjavík for a small fee per day and so save you a lot of space in your luggage!
CAMPING IN SUMMER
Most camping spaces are only open during the summer months, from May til September. The exact opening and closing dates can vary since they also depend on weather and campground conditions.
Since camping is also popular amongst Icelanders, spaces in popular areas can become quite crowded in summer, especially when there are festivals in town (almost every town has its own summer festival!). The Monday after the first weekend in August, called ‘verslunarmannahelgi’ is an Icelandic bank holiday, and many Icelanders like to use the long weekend for camping.
CAMPING IN WINTER
Though camping is mostly a summer activity in Iceland, some camping spaces are open all year-round. (see below)
Camping with a camper van
Rental companies for camper vans offer specially equipped vehicles with certain insulation and heating devices to make camping in winter possible and even comfortable. Campervans are easier to navigate and safer than motorhomes and often come with 4x4.
Camping with a motorhome
Due to strong winds, bad weather, and snowy road conditions during winter, it is advised to only travel short distances with a motorhome, if that. Some rental companies do not even rent out motorhomes during winter.
With blizzards, subfreezing temperatures, and sometimes substantial amounts of snow, camping in a tent is not recommended.
MORE CAMPING TIPS
- In summer it doesn’t get dark: if you’re light sensitive, bring a sleeping mask!
- In summer it doesn’t get dark: if you want to catch the Northern lights, it’s best to wait until September.
- It can also get cold in summer – bring enough warm clothing. Here is
- Camping spaces usually fill up around dinnertime, at six or seven pm during summer. To make sure to get a spot, you can either prebook or show up a little earlier.
- In the countryside, you will seldomly find a laundromat. In case the campgrounds are not equipped with this service, check out the local swimming pool! They often provide the use of washing machines and dryers for a small service fee.
- When camping in winter, budget for a night or two in a guesthouse, just in case of very bad weather conditions.