Complete Guide to Camping in Iceland

Complete Guide to Camping in Iceland

Complete Guide to Camping in Iceland

Iceland is famous for its untouched nature and unique landscape. Camping in Iceland is the most popular way to spend the night during your route through Iceland. There are over 170 registered campsites in Iceland, it is super affordable and the facilities are usually great.

Camping in Iceland guide:

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Most of the campsites are open from the end of May until mid-September and some of them year-round. Until a few years ago it was allowed to camp everywhere you want but due to the huge increment in tourism, it became restricted to campsites only.

Pick your type of camping in Iceland

Before you’re ready to start camping in Iceland you will need to choose how you are going to camp. You have 3 options:

Campervan rental in Iceland

A campervan is a way to have your house and kitchen with you. The price of a rental campervan fully depends on the size and season. Campervan and bigger motorhomes range from $70-$250 per day. We rented ours at Happy Campers.

camping iceland campervan

Sleep in a tent

On a budget? Tent camping in Iceland is the most comfortable way to camp and save a lot of money. But due to the always changing weather, it’s best to camp near your car so you can hide from a storm if needed.

camping iceland car tent

Camp in a car

Don’t want to spend this amount of money on a rental, not a fan of tents or in Iceland for a quick visit? Rent a car where the backseat can go fully flat and sleep in it.

Please remind that camping outside the camp areas is prohibited.

Campsites in Iceland

There are many campsites all over the country. Most of them have a hot shower, toilets, a kitchen area, WiFi and a charging area for your electronics. The average price for a night on a campsite is 1500 ISK ($14) per person. There is no need to pre-book your spot for the night. Check out all the campsites in Iceland on Google Maps.

Read: 6 x Most Beautiful Campsites in Iceland

camping iceland campsites

The basics of camping in Iceland

Camping in Iceland is great. The ultimate freedom of driving and sleeping at an unknown location. Use these recommendations to be fully prepared for your camping and road trip experience in Iceland.

Also read: Packing List for Iceland in summer

Food and water

There are many supermarkets like Bonus and Kronan in the bigger cities. Remember that you have a single stove so try to cook basic. Dishes like pasta with vegetables and a sauce are very affordable. To save money, skip the meat and alcohol, those prices will force you to double or triple your budget.

Drinking water is free and drinkable from the tap in Iceland. Buy one or two bottles in the supermarket which you can refill your entire trip. Campings offer free drinking water and some even have a hose to refill your campervan tank. At HappyCampers headquarters they have the free zone where travelers leave their groceries when they finished the trip. Take everything you need from this and save a lot of money.

camping iceland happy campers free zone


Don’t go to Iceland without a camera and a spare battery. You will need to charge this battery as well. Your campervan rental has an inverter so you can charge your camera, phone or laptop battery while your driving.

While camping in Iceland, you can also charge in the kitchen area of your campsite.

Tip: Try to not use an inverter when your car isn’t running, it will drain your battery.

Staying connected

Iceland has a pretty solid 3G or 4G connection throughout the whole country. When you live in Europe, you can use the same phone subscription as you use back home. No need to buy a separate sim card in Iceland.

Most campervan rental companies like Happy Campers rent WiFi that comes with the van. A perfect way of staying connected while you’re on the road.

camping in iceland road drone

Showers and toilets

The majority of Icelandic campsites are equipped with clean hot showers and toilets. A few of them offer laundry units too. Save up coins that you can use for the showers. Toilet paper is always included but it’s good to buy a spare one while your doing groceries shopping.

Tip: Bring slippers that you can use while you’re showering.

Don’t forget that there are many natural and thermal hot pools around the country. This is the best way to relax after a day of driving.

Read: 6 x Must Visit Hot Springs in Iceland

camping in iceland hot spring


Nights are cold in Iceland! Bring a good sleeping bag and blankets especially if you’re planning to sleep in a tent. Happy Campers provides you with a bag for of extra blankets, super handy! The campers come with a great heating system to heat the van before you go to bed. WiFi and the heating are charged by a solar panel on the roof.

Tip: We had a pair of sleeping socks which kept our feet warm during the night.

Between May and July, there will be 24 hours of sunlight. Bring an eye mask or extra towels so you can cover the windows in your van. Try to make it darker about 1 hour before you are actually want to sleep, that way your body will start getting more tired.

Tip: After sleeping, roll up your sleeping bag with your pillow and blankets in it. This makes it super easy to unpack.

camping in iceland mountains freedom

Bring music and movies

While road tripping there’s nothing better than a good playlist. Use the offline music function on Spotify.
In the evening we loved to relax by watching a Netflix series. Also, use the Netflix download function to have a few episodes on you.

Also read: Packing List for Iceland in summer

Costs for camping in Iceland

Camping in Iceland is the best budget option to travel through the country. These are the prices for all categories based on this 2-week Iceland route for two people.

⛽ Fuel: 40 liter for $80 (diesel)
⛺ Camping: $25 per night
? Shower: $3 per day
? Food: $18 per day (no restaurants)
? Transportation rental: $150 per day
? Van WiFi: $4 per day
?️ Airport Hotel: $100 per night

Disclaimer: This article is focused on a summer trip in a campervan.

Blog comments (7)

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  • Hello!
    I’m planning to visit Iceland in a campervan in May for 13 days. I’m thinking about using the same company you used (Happy Campers). For a couple, do you think Happy 1 model is enough, or Happy 2 is better to have more space since it will be a long drive?
    Thanks in advance and best regards from Portugal!

    • Salt in our Hair

      Hi Sara,

      Yes, a Happy 1 is the most popular choice and fine for two people. The Happy 2 just gives a bit more space to do you things which we found very comfortable. Enjoy this beautiful country!

  • Pawna Lake Camping

    I have done camping twice in this year. It was really amaziang experience. Everyone should try at least once in lifetime.

  • Hi Folks,

    at first really cool and helpful blog! :)
    We’ll spend our honeymoon in a few days(10.09.-20.09) by renting a camper van with happy campers and want to drive the ring road in 10 days. I think our van is really close equiped to yours.
    Do you think we’ll need sleeping bags or are the blankets and the heating system enough for middle of september? Would you share, which insurances you took for the van?

    Would really helpful to hear from you, many thanks in advance, and best regards from Germany! :)

    • Salt in our Hair

      Hi Vici, happy honeymoon! If your camper already provides blankets that should be enough. If they don’t then definitely bring some. We had all our insurance included with Happy Camper…maybe your hire company offers a similar service? Have a great time!

      • Thank you very much for your answer! As I told, we use the same hire company as you did: Happy Campers. They offer different insurance packages like “gravel protection”, “sand and ash protection”, “super CDW” and so. Standard “CDW” is included and I think we´ll take “gravel protectio”, too.
        Many thanks and best regards from Germany!

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