5 Must-Know Things about Camping in Iceland

Camping in Iceland is exciting and breathtaking when you think of the surroundings and the experiences that are unique to the land of fire and ice.

Camping offers spontaneity and freedom, although some details would have to be sorted beforehand to make the camping trip even more awesome. Here are five things that you should know about camping in Iceland.  

1. Renting a campervan is the way to go.

Camping in a campervan makes the trip itself more straightforward. Consider yourself having a moving home containing the essentials including a heating system to create a comfortable and liveable space. Visit Cozy Campers’s website for budget-friendly campervans in Iceland.

Renting a campervan also lets you pack the important stuff, as it covers most of what you need to survive and make yourself comfortable throughout the trip. If you need more things, like table, chairs, and BBQ grill, arrange it with the campervan rental company.  

Iceland as an expensive destination is a huge deal. And being able to combine accommodation and transportation costs by traveling by camper is a cost-saving move.   

2. Camping anywhere is illegal.

It is against the law to set up camp or park your campervan (motorhome or RV) for the night other than those grounds designated for camping in Iceland. 

You may be allowed to camp on private property provided that you were able to obtain written consent from the landowner. And if you foresee camping in one of Iceland’s national park grounds, check out their rules.

There may be distinctions or exceptions to the regulations regarding wild camping in Iceland, as with respect to pitching a tent. It’s your responsibility to know them and act accordingly.

Aside from avoiding fines, sticking to official campsites shows respect for Iceland’s people and environment. This is particularly important because footprints, tire prints, and graffitis can damage or have damaged the natural environment

3. Booking a campsite in advance is not necessary.

You may not have to call or reserve your spot in a campground. The process can be as spontaneous as pulling into a designated campsite and paying the next morning. If you are on the road, look for a sign pointing to a nearby campsite. 

However, each campsite differs in terms of offered facilities, like toilets, showers, laundry rooms, and so on. So some prior research could help you choose where to camp for the night. And while you are at it, check if the campsite or which ones are open around the time of your trip.

4. Building an open fire is not allowed.

This is a hot topic in the community, and here are few pertinent points regarding the matter:

  • This article says that (a) open fires in Reykjavik require a permit and (b) campfires in public lands in Iceland are not allowed.
  • Government.is cites the approvals required for holding a bonfire and reminds people to be careful in handling equipment like candles and heaters that could cause fires outdoors. This measure is in connection with preventing brush fires.  

You may not have to build a fire to cook food when hiring a campervan, which is equipped with a gas stove and as an extra option, a barbecue grill. Still, take care when cooking outside the campervan and locate the fire extinguisher (Each Cozy Camper has one).

5. Grocery shopping is necessary.

Grocery shopping is the most cost-effective way to keep everyone nourished and your camper well-stocked. You also have a wide range of food products like local produce and frozen meals—not all stores offer the same things, so list down what you need to buy and check what’s on offer.

More tips about grocery shopping in Iceland:

  • Check the available stores in areas you are traveling to and try to get more supplies in advance where it’s cheaper.
  • Be aware of store closing or opening times. 
  • Shop with a shopping list.
  • Bring a reusable shopping bag.

Are You Ready to Go Camping in Iceland?

Leave for Iceland with helpful tips about camping in the country. Always do your research to ensure comfort and safety throughout your stay in Iceland. If you know anyone who has been to Iceland recently, get tips from them. 

Moreover, leave no trace and keep the environment the way it is. Do create memories and take nice photos. 

ILR Author Bio
About the author

Jay Patton is a serial traveler and adventure seeker, based in Portland, Oregon. He enjoys hiking, running, and traveling the world, and is always on the lookout for the next big adventure.