17 tips for camping in Iceland (2024)

Camping in Iceland is a great way to explore and enjoy our little island! 

But there are things you should be aware of and mistakes you want to avoid. 

In this blog, we’ll give you 17 tips on how to make your camping trip in Iceland the best it can be and help you stay clear of some of the pitfalls!  

So let’s get to it!  

17 things to avoid when camping in Iceland

1. Don’t Rely on Public Transport. 

Sure, Iceland may have buses, ferries, and even domestic flights, but if you want to truly experience the freedom of the open road, renting a car is the only way to go.  

The buses are also infrequent when traveling outside of the capital area and they do not stop at the locations you want to explore.  

When coming to camp in Iceland, you cannot rely on public buses. 

2. Avoid Booking a Hotel in Reykjavik. 

Don’t stay in Reykjavík until the very end. You’re here to enjoy nature and explore! Not sit around in the city 

3. Don’t Wander Off the Beaten Path. 

Now of course you can wander a bit! But you should stick to designated paths and roads to protect delicate ecosystems and avoid getting lost in the wilderness. 

There are hefty fines for those who ruin nature here in Iceland. Even some sand is protected! 

4. Forget About Seeing the Northern Lights in Summer. 

Sorry to burst your bubble, but if you’re planning a summer camping trip to Iceland in hopes of catching a glimpse of the aurora borealis, you’re out of luck.  

Save your Northern Lights dreams for the winter months. 

5. Pay Attention to Warning Signs.  

From treacherous cliffs to unpredictable sea currents, Iceland’s natural wonders can be as dangerous as they are beautiful.  

Don’t be the fool who ignores the warning signs and ends up in hot water – literally. 

6. Don’t Camp in Prohibited Areas. 

Iceland may seem like one big open-air campground, but that doesn’t mean you can pitch your tent wherever you please.  

Respect private property and designated camping sites to avoid run-ins with angry landowners or the long arm of the law (yes they exist! We promise!) 

7. Always Pack for the Weather. 

 If there’s one thing you can count on in Iceland, it’s that the weather will change on a dime.  

Be prepared for rain, shine, wind, and everything in between by packing plenty of layers, a sturdy rain jacket, and, of course, sunscreen for those unexpectedly sunny days.  

You can rent the outdoor clothes and camping equipment with us! 

8. Explore Beyond the Blue Lagoon. 

Don’t get us wrong, the Blue Lagoon is undeniably cool – but so are the countless other geothermal spas scattered throughout Iceland.  

Venture off the beaten path to discover hidden gems and avoid the crowds. 

9. Don’t Rely Solely on Online Maps. 

In a country as vast and remote as Iceland, a reliable map or navigation app can mean the difference between smooth sailing and a wild goose chase.  

Make sure to download offline maps before you hit the road to avoid getting lost in the Icelandic wilderness. 

10. Plan for More Than a Week  

Don’t make the mistake of trying to see everything Iceland has to offer in just a week.  

With so much natural beauty to explore, you’ll want to take your time and savor every moment.  

So slow down, soak it all in, and make the most of your Icelandic adventure! 

11. Carrying all your outdoor equipment to Iceland. 

Rent the outdoor equipment you need when you go camping in Iceland. Then you won’t have to carry all the equipment overseas! Check out our selection here! 

12. Swimm in local swimming pools. 

When you drive past a small village, make sure to see if they have a local swimming pool. These pools are usually very small and quaint and make for a great experience on the road. 

13. Always check on the weather. 

Check vedur.is, road.is, and safetravel.is every day for updates on road conditions and the weather. 

14. Read up on traffic rules. 

Make sure to read up on our traffic laws. Here is a quick list; 

  1. Can’t take a right on a red light 
  1. The inner circle in the roundabout has the right of way 
  1. The top speed on the ring road is 90 

15. Camping card 

See if the camping card is the right choice for you.  

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16. Grocery stores 

The cheapest grocery stores in Iceland are Krónan and Bónus. We recommend that you do most of your shopping there! 

17. Don’t build a campfire 

You’re not allowed to build a campfire while camping. In some campsites, there is a designated fire pit. So, if you find one then go for it! But don’t make your own! 

And that’s it! 

I hope you have a better idea of what you’ll need when you come camping in Iceland! 

And if you want to rent camping equipment and save money on luggage, you can check out our selection right here! 

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