October 5, 2022

Touring to Iceland is warmer than ever, and it’s no longer simply on account of 2021’s volcanic eruption. The land of fireside and ice is a mystical island country with shocking waterfalls, wealthy tradition and customs, and gasoline station scorching canine well worth the trans-oceanic shuttle on my own (sure, we imply it), so it’s no marvel that as flights develop into extra to be had, everyone seems to be having a look to test Iceland off their bucket checklist. 

As #vanlife has grown past a pattern right into a devoted go back and forth taste, getting round Iceland by means of camper could also be rising in reputation; it’s a very good vacation spot for road-tripping and tenting. Iceland could also be notoriously pricey, however tenting is an reasonably priced selection that still permits visiting portions of the rustic steadily unseen through those that stick with Reykjavik and its close by points of interest.

Right here’s how you can plan your #vanlife shuttle to Iceland.

Make a choice a camper van that’s best for you

When opting for your camper van, it’s crucial to stay a couple of issues in thoughts. First, what season are you touring in? Summer season vacationers can to find convenience with the barest of accouterments (even though it’s at all times essential to pack for inclement climate in Iceland), whilst low season or wintry weather vacationers will need to imagine such things as a heating gadget, further blankets and wintry weather tires.

Subsequent, what number of people are becoming a member of you? The standard small, entry-level van is sufficient to very easily are compatible two adults and their baggage, however any longer touring partners and also you’ll wish to splurge for extra space. The biggest trucks in most cases don’t seat or sleep greater than 5 adults.

Finally, what are your riding talents or skills? Handbook transmissions are extra not unusual in Iceland than they’re in the United States, and steadily computerized transmissions are dearer. Additional, if you happen to’re making plans to power into the Highlands or alongside any of the designated “F” roads, you’ll desire a camper provided with 4wd, which is able to upload to price and complexity.

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Iceland, man sitting in van using smartphone and laptop
Selecting the proper van from the fitting corporate is very important to an stress-free revel in © Westend61 / Getty Pictures

The place to discover a camper van condominium

This isn’t a complete checklist of camper condominium firms to imagine, however those are the preferred and best-reviewed. It’s smart to buy insurance coverage, as Icelandic roads, climate, and geologic options will also be temperamental.

Glad Campers is Iceland’s first-ever camper condominium corporate. It is family-owned and has a super observe document for having dependable cars, in addition to an emphasis on being eco-friendly, planting one tree for each and every camper that’s booked. The cars vary from mid-size trucks that sleep two to very large trucks that sleep 5. Handbook and automated transmissions are each to be had, and facilities like snoozing baggage, barbecues, and camp chairs will also be added on one at a time.

Kuku Campers is Iceland’s greatest camper van condominium corporate, with cars snoozing two to 5 other folks and starting from handbook to computerized transmission. Facilities like snoozing mats, moveable bogs and acoustic guitars will also be rented at an additional price. An advantage of Kuku is that its fleet comprises cars with rooftop tents, an alternative choice to bringing or renting one.

Campervan Iceland rents out no longer most effective camper trucks, however motorhomes as neatly. Its trucks vary from usual to very large, whilst the motorhomes are available in more than a few sizes as neatly, and will sleep as much as six other folks. Renting with Campervan Iceland additionally comprises snoozing baggage, chairs, and cooking apparatus, amongst different facilities. There are just a few pieces that wish to be introduced or rented along with the car.


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Don’t pass overboard at the extras

Maximum campers are tight, that means area for facilities comes at the price of area for passengers. The concern when tenting in Iceland is to stick heat. If the camper does no longer include snoozing baggage, you should definitely carry or hire them, in addition to further blankets. In case you’ll be cooking, take hold of a range, grill, utensils, desk and camp chairs. And even if you received’t be going off street, renting a security package can lend a hand in an emergency.

The northern lights appear above a campervan in an Iceland landscape
Making plans for foods, the place to sleep and the place to seek out gasoline will make or destroy your camper van shuttle to Iceland © FEBRUARY / Getty Pictures

What you wish to have to understand as soon as you are at the street

Foods: from grocery shops to gasoline stations

Renting a range and purchasing provisions at grocery shops like Bónus (glance out for his or her brand of a wild-eyed pig) is an economical strategy to devour in Iceland, and steadily the best choice on the extra faraway campgrounds. In a different way, maximum cities have no less than one eating place, and the entire gasoline stations promote Iceland’s well-known scorching canine, in addition to a collection of produce and snacks.

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Routes: condominium firms permit you to plan your manner

Maximum road-trippers will encircle the rustic at the Ring Highway whilst going out and in of the Westfjords’ a lot of peninsulas is a detailed 2d. Move Campers has a information to forcing and tenting in that exact area. In a different way, Kuku Campers suggests a couple of routes on your street shuttle, a useful making plans device whilst deciding on which campsites to e-book. And Glad Campers has a shuttle making plans information that permit you to determine your Iceland tenting shuttle according to if you wish to talk over with all through wintry weather, pass to puts requiring 4wd, or need to see the highest sights.

Fuel: plan gas stops upfront

Iceland would possibly appear little, however what’s really small is its inhabitants of 350,000. Greater than half of of this quantity are living in Reykjavik, that means it’s imaginable to power nice distances between villages and cities – infrequently as much as 150 miles aside at the Ring Highway. Fuel stations don’t seem to be prevalent in empty spaces of the rustic, so it’s essential to devise your gasoline station stops with that during thoughts: needless to say half-full method empty in Iceland. Gasoline costs are at all times in flux however be expecting to pay more or less ISK 203–235 in line with liter (more or less $6–7 in line with gallon).

A road zigzaggin through a barren landscape, with blue skies above
Maximum of Iceland’s roads, corresponding to this one in Norðurland Eystra, are neatly maintained, however many others can pose a problem © Roc Canals / Getty Pictures

Using in Iceland: street laws and prerequisites

Iceland does a super activity of keeping up its roads, no less than the portions which are paved. There are nonetheless quite a lot of spaces the place gravel and dust make up the roads, which will also be tough to navigate. That is particularly so when sturdy climate hits, which in Iceland has a tendency to be each and every 5 mins (or so the native shaggy dog story is going).

Using sparsely is very important given the unpredictable climate, and in addition on account of the rustic’s resident sheep that roam about unfenced all through the summer season. Hitting them is an unlucky twist of fate that does occur, and if it does, there may be protocol to apply. Seek for the sheep’s proprietor through checking its ear tag, to find that rancher, and ensure they’re compensated for his or her loss.

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In terms of passing vehicles, on the other hand, look forward to the motive force in entrance of you to signify to the fitting that the best way forward is apparent. It’s most probably most effective Icelanders will do that, and no longer different vacationers, however the locals will indisputably respect their customized being picked up through guests. In addition they ask that drivers no longer pull off the street (or worse, the center of the street) for pictures or to test a map. As a substitute, look forward to a delegated shoulder or turn-off to take action.

There are many toll tunnels, one-way bridges, and seasonally out there roads known as F-Roads, so be able for the rest. Be sure you scrutinize indicators, because the sturdy climate can exchange street availability, and obtain the 112 app for emergency help together with getting misplaced. The attract of Iceland is steadily in its faraway vacancy, however that’s no longer as amusing while you’re by chance caught there.

Woman looking at mountains from camper van
Get up with a view like Vestrahorn mountain © Oleh_Slobodeniuk / Getty Pictures

Learn how to to find the very best campsite

Campers are legally obligated to pitch their tents in designated campsites, aside from within the Highlands the place wild tenting is authorized. Don’t pitch a tent on personal assets or you should really feel the wrath of an indignant Icelander, which isn’t beneficial. It’s a lot more straightforward to browse Glad Campers information to tenting in Iceland, together with the addresses of each and every campsite within the nation. Hire.is, every other camper condominium corporate in Iceland, additionally stocks an up to date map on their web page.

Every campsite is exclusive in terms of value, laws, timing, and length. Some have amenities like kitchens, wireless or scorching springs, whilst others are extra pared down. Campingcard is €159 (round $180) possibility giving campers get entry to to over 40 designated campsites with no need to e-book upfront or pay a person price upon arrival. 

Lonely Planet’s Very best in Trip 2022

Westfjords, Iceland is on our 2022 Very best of Trip checklist. For extra tales from one of the vital global’s most fun locations click on right here.

Protection suggestions and restrictions all through a virulent disease can exchange all of a sudden. Lonely Planet recommends that vacationers at all times test with native government for up-to-date steering ahead of touring all through Covid-19.