Every year in the past few years, over half a million people chose to overnight in campgrounds in Iceland. That’s because camping is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the beauty and adventures that Iceland has to offer.
For many people travelling from abroad, renting a campervan is the ideal way to satisfy their craving for the great outdoors, without the hassles associated with camping in a tent.
If you’re planning a trip to Iceland, campervan rental makes sense, and here’s why.
Why rent a campervan in Iceland?
There are several benefits to renting a motorhome or RV during your trip to Iceland.
For starters, you’ll save a lot of money on accommodation and car hire. When you calculate the costs of these two items alone, renting a campervan or motorhome offers significant savings.
Secondly, the onboard kitchen means you can eat what and when you want to. There are no set meal times and no expensive restaurant meals to include in your travel budget.
Likewise, you won’t have to rely on public transport or expensive guided tours to see the sights. All you need is a good map and a sense of adventure to see all the best sights and attractions Iceland offers.
You can choose your own view when you rent a campervan or RV, and you don’t have to pay extra for this outlook either. If you fall in love with a particular spot, you can easily extend your stay for an extra day or two. But remember, you must overnight in a camping ground in Iceland.
Campsites in Iceland are pretty basic so it’s important that you know what to expect when you arrive. These are our top options for an unforgettable stay in the country.
The best campgrounds in Iceland
The first thing you’ll want to consider when choosing somewhere to stay is your destination. These are the most popular areas for travellers to Iceland, what you can see there, and where you can spend the night.
Southern Iceland attractions
The southern regions of Iceland are by far the destination of choice for travellers, with many interesting and beautiful things to see. In this part of the country, you’ll find the following top spots that you simply must tick off your list:
- Þingvellir National Park
- Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
- Vatnajökull National Park
Some of the top campsites for campervans and motorhomes in this area include:
This campsite makes up for its basic amenities with a location that you just can’t beat. It’s directly in front of the breathtaking Skógafoss waterfall, so you’re surrounded by stunning views and the soothing sounds of rushing water throughout your stay.
Other nearby attractions include Sólheimajökull Glacier, Mýrdalsjökull Glacier, and the Skógar Museum.
This campsite only has cold water showers, so it’s not ideal for luxury-seeking travellers, although you can shower at the public swimming pool in nearby Vík. In the summertime, Skógar is awash with thick green grass, while wintertime brings beautiful snowy scenes.
The little beach outside Vík is also one of the best places to see the Northern Lights in Iceland.
For a little more luxury, Skaftafell offers both hot and cold water, a restaurant, electricity, a washing machine, and waste disposal for motorhomes.
The abundant amenities are not what makes this campsite one of Iceland’s most popular spots. It’s also within easy reach of some wonderful attractions, like:
- Svartifoss Waterfall
- Skaftafellsjökull Glacier
- Svínafellsjökull Glacier
- Fláajökull Glacier
- Skeiðará Bridge Monument
- Vatnajökull National Park
It’s easily accessible from the Ring Road, which makes it ideal as part of your Iceland explorations.
West Iceland is a vast area filled with volcanoes, fjords, and valleys as well as a rich history of folklore. The main attraction here is the Snæfellsjökull glacier, but you can also look forward to visiting:
- Langjökull Glacier
- Glymur Waterfall
- Hallmundarhraun Lava Field & Caves
- Deildartunguhver Hot Springs
Many of these attractions are the largest of their kind in Iceland, so it’s well worth making the trip to see them. Here’s where to stay during your travels around west Iceland.
This campsite is on the Sandahraun lava field, with many lovely trails nearby as well as gorgeous sandy beaches. It’s well equipped with toilets, showers, washbasins, and electricity.
It’s also very close to the Snæfellsjökull glacier and Ytri-Tunga, where it is possible to see seals.
This is a family-oriented camping site that a few convenient extras like trampolines and a swimming pool to keep the little ones amused. It also has a service building with basic amenities such as cooking facilities, laundry, hot and cold showers, and toilets.
The Hraunfossar Waterfalls, Langjökull and Eiríksjökull Glaciers are close by.
Head out on the Diamond Circle to see the best attractions that North Iceland has to offer. These include:
- Lake Mývatn
- Krafla Caldera
- Hveraströnd Sulphur Springs
- Grjótagjá Lava Cave
- Jökulsá á Fjöllum
These campsites are the best places to lap up the beauty of North Iceland.
Bjarg campsite’s biggest drawcard is its close proximity to Lake Mývatn. It’s an ideal base for exploring the Diamond Circle and located near Reykjahlíð village.
Apart from its lakeside location and wonderful views over the water, Bjarg campsite also has hot showers included in your camping fee. Other on-site amenities at this campsite include indoor cooking areas and outdoor sinks.
There are two pretty campsites within the boundaries of this small seaside town which is situated north of Akureyri. Both campsites are located close to the harbour and boasting magnificent views of the mountains.
Since these campsites are walking distance from all the town’s amenities, they have only very basic onsite facilities including small ablution blocks and food preparation areas. They’re perfect for enjoying the restaurants, museums, and festivals in Siglufjörður and for onward travel around the countryside.
The Westfjords are one of Iceland’s most beautiful and least explored locations and are a must-visit for nature lovers. Here you’ll find many dramatic scenic attractions, small quaint villages and isolated nature reserves. Some of the best spots around here are:
- Hornstrandir Nature Reserve
- Cliffs of Látrabjarg
- Dynjandi Waterfall
- Rauðisandur Beach
Here’s where to overnight in this remote part of Iceland.
The Látrabjarg Campsite is close to Breiðavík town and holds a prime position on the cliffs off the tip of the Westfjords. The views are spectacular from here and birdwatchers delight in the many native and migratory species found here.
There’s a lovely golden sand beach nearby at Rauðisandur and you’ll find showers, kitchen facilities, and a communal barbeque area at Breiðavík. The campsite also has an onsite restaurant as well as showers and toilets.
This town has many diverse attractions for travellers to the Westfjords. You can check out the Monster Museum and Music Museum as well as join in boating, fishing, and sailing activities.
The campground is close to town and is well-equipped with hot and cold water, showers, a washing machine, and drier.
Nearby attractions include Dynjandi Waterfall, Rauðidandur Beach, and Látrabjarg’s bird cliffs.
Guidelines for camping in Iceland
Spending time at Iceland campsites may be a little different from what you’re used to at home. These tips will help you arrive prepared.
- Fill up your motorhome or RV at every opportunity
- Pack for cold weather, even in summer
- While travelling, have a Plan B in the event of inclement weather
- Prepare to pay for the use of showers and toilets
- There’s no need to have cash on you, there are credit card machines everywhere
- Stock up on supplies in Reykjavík, grocery stores are a scarcity in Iceland
- An Iceland camping card is a great way to save on your camping fees in the summer
One thing that few travellers realize about Iceland is that you can’t build a fire here. Not only is it illegal, but the scarcity of trees makes it almost impossible even you decide to break the law. Rent a portable gas stove if you’re planning to spend your evenings around the ‘campfire’. It is also illegal to park campervans overnight anywhere except camping grounds.
If you keep these few anomalies in mind, you can avoid unexpected surprises and enjoy every minute of your stay in Iceland. Always check which extra camping equipment you can hire with your motorhome or RV so that you don’t bring unnecessary items along.
The best way to enjoy Iceland
Renting a motorhome or RV gives you the freedom to explore Iceland as you wish. Campgrounds in Iceland are easy to come by, located in all the most scenic places, and rarely fully-booked.Take the headache out of planning your trip to the Land of Fire and Ice with a campervan rental. Get in touch right away to find out more about our excellent range of vehicles and book your next big adventure.Back