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The Best Way to See Iceland … is By Camper Van

camper van

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For those who’re planning to discover Iceland – and belief me, you want want to go to Iceland – by driving the Ring Street, you have to assume out of the field. Renting a camper van is the best way to go.

Positive, a camper van round Iceland might appear to be isn’t for everybody. Nevertheless it’s a good way to chop prices: your lodging is your transportation, in any case. Plus, you possibly can see as a lot of the island as attainable, and it makes for some nice tales.

In the event you’re not bought on the camper van strategy, learn on to seek out out why it’s the best way to go in Iceland and what it’s wish to spend every week driving and dwelling inside one.


To Camp, or To not Camp? Why You Ought to Lease a Camper Van in Iceland

Earlier than we get into what it’s wish to journey Iceland in a camper van, let’s lay all of it on the road. There are some particular execs to seeing Iceland by camper van, however some cons to remember, too.



  • You could have the whole lot you want in a single place: automotive, lodging, kitchen, baggage storage, and Wi-Fi.
  • No want to maneuver your luggage right into a lodge every day; simply unpack and manage your baggage within the camper van.
  • It’s reasonably priced: a 2-in-1 rental automotive and nightly lodging for one worth!
  • You’ve the liberty to go so far as you need in a day, or keep put. No reservations wanted.
  • It’s an expertise, and makes for nice tales to inform family and friends again house!



  • It’s tenting. It’s not for everybody.
  • Icelandic campsites will not be luxurious lodges. Campsite amenities are sometimes restricted to restrooms, showers, and perhaps a kitchen or visitor space.
  • It’s tight quarters. You’re cooking the place you’re sleeping, and the mattress isn’t probably the most snug (in ours, at the very least!)
  • Relying on if you’re there, it could get chilly at night time, however you’ll need to use your battery-run warmth sparingly.
  • You’re staying in a van, so it’s more durable to satisfy many Icelandic locals than when you have been staying in guesthouses and eating at native eating places every single day.


For me, the advantages of getting cellular lodging on a street journey round Iceland far outweighed the negatives. Everybody’s choice will probably be totally different, but when the camper van expertise excites you, learn on!


Rental Course of

Renting a camper van to drive the Ring Street is a highly regarded solution to see the nation, so there are a number of totally different well-reviewed corporations you possibly can ebook via. A few of the highest-rated rental corporations embrace:

Pricing and van facilities are fairly comparable for all these corporations. We selected Pleased Campers for our journey, based mostly on critiques and a number of suggestions from household and pals who had carried out the identical journey with a Completely satisfied Campers van.



We chosen the Completely happy 1 Auto camper van: the one automated van obtainable with Comfortable Campers. As a result of our journey was from April 30 by means of Might 7, we paid the low-season worth for a couple of days and the mid-season worth for the remainder of our journey.

All informed, our complete for eight days within the camper van plus insurance coverage and facilities like Wi-Fi got here to only underneath $1,500.

Let’s do some math. A mean automotive rental will value $35 to $75 USD per day, if not significantly extra. When you add in resorts for every night time – which might be very costly in Iceland – it’s straightforward to see that this can be a fairly nice deal.

Add within the capability to prepare dinner your meals on the street, and also you’ll save much more on meals. Eating out in Iceland is expensive.


What the Van Consists of

The camper van has every thing you’ll want for cooking, sleeping, and dwelling within the van on your journey. Our Pleased 1 Auto camper van included:


  • Fuel range
  • 4 fuel canisters
  • Heating system
  • Fridge
  • Sink with operating water
  • Pots, pans, and cookware
  • Dishes and cutlery
  • Curtains
  • Linens, pillows, and blankets
  • CD participant & Auxiliary outlet
  • Limitless km/miles
  • Gasoline low cost playing cards (-3kr/l)
  • CDW insurance coverage


You can too buy some add-ons, similar to:


  • WiFi ($45 per rental)
  • BBQ grill ($33 per rental)
  • Tenting desk ($22 per rental)
  • Inverter ($22 per rental)
  • Further fuel canisters ($eight per rental)
  • Additional driver ($40 per rental)
  • Tenting chair ($17 per rental)
  • Sleeping bag ($28 per rental)
  • Baby automotive seat ($11 per day)
  • Winter package (Free throughout winter)


We bought the Wi-Fi and an additional driver. The Wi-Fi labored surprisingly nicely all through our whole journey, and was good for loading Google Maps and searching up info on our subsequent cease on the itinerary.

CDW insurance coverage is the essential insurance coverage protection package deal and is included within the van worth. You should purchase further insurance coverage for tires, sand and ash, theft, gravel, and so on. from roughly $5 to $85 extra per day. We selected to buy further gravel safety for about $11 per day.

Pleased Campers additionally provides free shuttle pick-up to and from the airport to Joyful Campers workplace. The employees went over some assets and ideas like emergency numbers, climate info, and roads to keep away from earlier than we headed out.


camping iceland


Additionally they had a free part within the workplace, the place you would decide up leftovers that different campers had left behind. We grabbed some salt and oil so we wouldn’t have to purchase these ourselves.




Touring the Van

Once we received into our van, I used to be pleasantly stunned.

First, it wasn’t obnoxiously giant! I might have been nervous to drive an enormous motor house round windy Iceland, however our van wasn’t a lot bigger than a mean SUV. It’s necessary to notice this isn’t a four×four car and can’t be taken off-roading. If that’s your fancy, you’re higher off renting an off-roading truck.


camping iceland van


In case you look again from the 2 entrance seats, that is what you’ll see. The couch folds right down to make a mattress with storage beneath. Our sink, cookware storage drawers, and fridge (appears like a cooler however is temperature managed and powered by the van battery) are on the appropriate. There’s a dial simply above the yellow drawer: that’s the battery-fueled heater.




Come bedtime, right here’s what it seems to be like. This wasn’t a TempurPedic mattress by any stretch, nevertheless it definitely labored for every week.

The blankets weren’t tremendous heat, so I’d think about renting sleeping luggage subsequent time. We had the heating system, however that makes use of the battery and we didn’t need to run the battery all night time. Our technique was to blast the warmth within the entrance for an hour earlier than mattress, then if we received too chilly at night time, flip the battery-run heating system on for the remainder of the night time. 

You’ll be able to higher see the fridge right here, and the place the water for the sink is saved and could be replenished. We simply match every week’s value of ham, 24 eggs, cheese, broccoli, peppers, and any leftovers we had all through the week comfortably within the fridge. It’s sneakily spacious!




Right here is the space for storing beneath the couch. It simply match all the bags and clothes we introduced.




Another groceries and the bedding didn’t match beneath comfortably. Fortunately, there’s some additional area behind the driving force’s area for extra storage.


camping iceland


Right here is the cooking setup! We have been capable of retailer some extra groceries within the drawers as properly.




Cooking within the Van

The primary cease in your camper van journey ought to be, (drumroll please…) Costco! When you’ve obtained a Costco membership card, remember to pack it in your journey.

If not, seize your groceries at a Bonus grocery store, one of many different low cost grocery choices in Iceland. We loaded up on $200 value of groceries at Costco in Reykjavik, and deliberate to organize all our meals for ourselves (apart from a scorching canine in Reykjavik on the final day).




Want some concepts for camper van-friendly meals?


  • Aussie bites and granola nut bars
  • Clementines

Lunch and dinner:

  • Scrambles: eggs, ham, bell peppers, and potatoes
  • Stir fry: boil-in-a-bag rice, eggs, and broccoli with candy and bitter sauce or korma sauce
  • Tenting Pad Thai: rice noodles, eggs, canned peas and carrots, leftover greens with candy & bitter sauce or peanut sauce


  • Rice desserts and Nutella
  • Carrots and hummus
  • Cheese squares
  • Chips


camping iceland


I discovered cooking within the camper van to be numerous enjoyable! I really like cooking and loved the added problem of utilizing one stovetop and one pan at a time. For those who choose to spend much less time cooking, go the ramen and soup route as an alternative.


Driving the Van

Let me say this primary: Driving the Ring Street could be very simple. You keep on Freeway 1 for nearly all the time, and the well-paved street is marked with loads of signage. I feel it’s almost unattainable to get misplaced in the event you keep on that one street!




Driving the camper van was straightforward and gratifying. It’s not a lot totally different than driving any SUV. All you U.S. drivers can be used to driving on the correct aspect of the street, and the automated transmission made it straightforward.

We didn’t have too many hours to drive every day, however with the variety of waterfalls, gorges, and viewpoints we stopped at every, we did spend a lot of our time driving within the automotive. And truthfully, that was simply as fulfilling! The topography and landscapes of Iceland change dramatically each hour you drive, so the automotive experience isn’t boring.

I personally loved how few different automobiles have been on the street. It felt very peaceable and adventurous.


camping iceland


Costs differ, however fuel is usually 221.9 – 231.7 isk per liter of diesel gasoline in Iceland. That works out to roughly $7 USD per gallon, so it’s removed from low cost. To provide you an concept of what fuel costs to anticipate: We spent about $50 on a half tank of diesel fuel day-after-day or two. 


camping iceland


Iceland’s inhabitants is simply 300,000, and roughly half of them these individuals stay in Reykjavik. Meaning the remainder of Iceland is pretty sparsely populated. We handed a small city each few hours or so, so ensure that to refill your tank and use a WC whenever you get the chance. We by no means let our fuel tank get under half, and crammed up every time we have been in a decent-sized city.


Tenting within the Van

No, you don’t simply pull over anyplace in Iceland and spend the night time in your trusty van.

Iceland has a plethora of campsites obtainable to each tent campers and camper vans. Some campsites even have little cabins or heated rooms to lease!

This Google My Maps of campsites in Iceland created by Pleased Campers provides you an concept of the sheer variety of campsites you’ll be able to select from. Nevertheless, notice that the colours on this map point out whether or not the campsite is open year-round or solely throughout summer time.

Regardless that you don’t make reservations at Iceland campsites prematurely, we did our analysis on every campsite beforehand and chosen a number of in every space that we might need to keep at based mostly on facilities, worth, and site.

Costs vary from 700isk to 2000isk per individual, per night time – about $5 to $15 per individual per night time for campsites with all of the facilities. Paying for these campsites varies: some have an internet type to fill out, some have a small workplace, and others have a warden come round to gather or direct you to pay on the close by swimming pool or fuel station.

These aren’t your common campsites: You’re in Iceland! Take a look at this beautiful view we had of the Seljalandsfoss Waterfall at Hamragarðar campsite. Along with a kitchen and lounge space, this website additionally provided washing machines for lower than $three a load.




We tried to pick campsites that had cooking amenities as nicely, because it’s a lot quicker to prepare dinner with a number of stovetops than only one. That is the Seydisfjordur Tenting Website. We didn’t keep right here, however stopped in to prepare dinner lunch and use the restrooms.




Campsites could also be a bit extra naked bones when it’s not the thick of summer time. The recent water will not be turned on or showers might not open up till the top of Might, so make sure to choose year-round websites in the event you’re touring outdoors of summer time months.




The Grundarfjordur Tenting Floor was merely a plot of land and two restrooms with scorching water, bogs, and a sink. Nevertheless it labored for an evening! We visited so many thermal swimming pools and scorching springs with showering amenities that we didn’t miss that a lot when a campsite didn’t supply it.

A few of our favourite campsites have been people who provided a communal area, like this one at Mosskogar Campsite – one among our favorites. It had a backyard and this greenhouse with a kitchen to chill out and luxuriate in a meal inside.


camping iceland community room


All of the campsites have been beautiful, however I saved the most effective for final. The Sæberg/Farfuglaheimili HI Hostel presents tenting along with hostel rooms. The campsite had a full kitchen and lounge cabin with a stunning view. Plus, a pure thermal pool proper on the water!


camper van

Tenting doesn’t get a lot better than this.

Backside Line

You’re not really exploring Iceland when you’re not deep in nature. And whereas tenting in a van will not be for everybody, there’s no higher approach to immerse your self within the majesty of Iceland.

So in the event you’re planning to drive the Ring Street, renting a camper van is a should. It’s not probably the most luxurious expertise, however it’s an unforgettable expertise. Parking in entrance of Iceland’s biggest views will probably be a visit you’ll keep in mind ceaselessly.


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