Please read about Iceland’s latest COVID-19 entry requirements here.
Going camping in Iceland is a unique experience. Iceland has the most beautiful campsites in the world, located in the middle of pristine nature and with all the basic facilities you need.
Camping in Iceland is a great way to get to know the country. Not only is it a sustainable way of travelling, it is also a lot cheaper than staying at hotels. Another benefit of camping is that you don’t have to plan your trip months in advance, which is especially useful during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Camping in Icelandic nature gives you a sense of freedom, in more than one way! In this article, we tell you the ins and outs of camping in Iceland!
You can’t camp everywhere in Iceland
Be a responsible tourist, and always camp at official campsites.
Wild camping has become a problem on this small Arctic island. As most of the land in Iceland is privately owned, farmers have been bothered by people setting up camp on their land without permission.
Wild camping is discouraged in Iceland, as the only way to preserve nature and respect farmers’ properties is to camp at official campgrounds. This also counts for people travelling with a motorhome or camper van.
Good to know when you go camping in Iceland
When you go camping in Iceland, there are a couple of things you must keep in mind.
The first one is the changeable Icelandic weather. Even in summer, the weather is fickle and it is always a good idea to check the weather forecast before you head out. You do not want to get stuck in a storm, and in the highlands, it can snow as early as in August! This being said, nothing tops the experience of waking up on a sunny morning, opening your tent door and eating a simple breakfast while directly overlooking a fjord.
Always bring a waterproof and windproof tent, enough tent pegs and guy ropes. And do not forget an isolating mattress and warm sleeping bag. The temperature at night will not drop below zero during summertime, but it can be just slightly above zero. It is good to keep in mind that in the highlands, it will get colder than in the rest of the country.
The midnight sun shines bright, and you probably want to bring a sleeping mask, as the nights will not get very dark between May and August. Of course, littering is forbidden, so make sure to clean up after your stay.
One last thing to remember is that some campsites are very isolated and located far away from towns. Your campsite might not have a store. Therefore, before you go on your way, you should check where the nearest supermarket and gas station are.
What about camping in Iceland with a camper van?
If you don’t want to go camping in Iceland with a tent, renting a camper van might be the right option for you. Camper vans offer a sleeping space and depending on the option you go for, perhaps even kitchen utensils and a gas stove. When you travel through Iceland by camper van, it’s important to stay overnight at official campsites – you will have all the facilities you need and you will not spoil Icelandic nature.