Camping in Iceland: The Complete Guide

Camping in Iceland is a wonderful activity that will let you enjoy the ruggedness of our little island!

So put on a smile, some water-resistant clothing and get ready for breathtaking landscapes and unpredictable weather!  

Camping in Iceland isn’t just a holiday—it’s an experience you’ll never forget.  

In this post we’ll go over; 

  • What to pack 
  • When to camp 
  • Where to camp 
  • Tips on a successful camping trip in Iceland 

 So let’s get to it! 

What to pack if you’re camping in Iceland

 If you’re coming between May – September, then you’ll want warm clothes. 

We’re talking base layers and mid-layers. 

So to quickly go over the clothing here are some bullet points. 

  • Thermals 
  • Sweater (breathable) 
  • Hoodie (sports brand so it’s breathable) 
  • Outdoor pants (water-resistant and windproof) 
  • An insulated raincoat or a shell 
  • Insulated raincoat is completely waterproof but doesn’t breathe well. The shell breathes better but isn’t completely waterproof. 
  • Hiking boots (Gore-Tex or similar) 
  • Beanie 
  • Gloves (water-resistant) 
  • Sunscreen (yes, really!) 
  • Sunglasses  
  • Good socks (merino wool or gym socks) 

You can rent all of the outdoor items with us if you don’t want to stuff the bag full of stuff! 

For camping equipment (which you can also rent from us…wink wink) here is what we recommend. 

  • Tent (duh!) 
  • Sleeping bag 
  • Sleeping mat 
  • Cooking set 
  • Camping gas stove 
  • Gas 
  • Wind burner 
  • Backpack 
  • Chairs 
  • Table 
  • Reusable water bottle 

Of course, this list isn’t exhaustive so fi you want to bring something that’s not on this list, don’t let us stop you!

Once you’ve got everything you need, when should you go? 

When to camp

The summer is really the only time to be camping in Iceland. 

May to September is your time to go! 

May and September are the slower months while June-August are the highest of seasons. 

You’ll get to experience long days, mild (sort of) weather, and the chance to experience the midnight sun.  

One of the most magical aspects of camping in Iceland during the summer is the phenomenon known as the midnight sun.  

As the days stretch endlessly into the night, you’ll have the opportunity to experience 24 hours of daylight, allowing you to explore Iceland’s landscapes at any time of day or night.  

You’ll want to come between the 15th of June – the 15th of July for that! 

Summer in Iceland brings milder temperatures and clearer skies, making it the perfect time to explore the country’s diverse landscapes.  

From lush green valleys to rugged volcanic terrain, Iceland’s natural beauty truly shines in the summer months.  

Whether you’re pitching your tent in the Westfjords or camping beneath the shadow of a towering glacier, you’ll be surrounded by breathtaking scenery at every turn. 

But where can you camp?

Where to camp in Iceland

 Here are our 10 recommendations for where you could camp while you explore Iceland! 

Generally, you should camp at campsites. However, if you’re far from any campsite, you can camp out in the open. 

We recommend that you camp at a campsite since the facilities make all the difference. 

Here are some ideas on camping grounds to check out! 

You can find tons of information on tjalda.is 

  1. Melanes, Rauðisandur 

https://tjalda.is/melanes/

Rauðisandur is a beautiful beach in the Westfjords. It’s not black like most of the other ones, so it’s special in our eyes. 

It is a must-stop if you’re going all the way there, and why not stay the night! 

  1. Heydalur í Mjóafirði 

https://tjalda.is/heydalur/

This is a really cool place, also in the Westfjords. They have a natural geothermal hot tub!  

  1. Sauðárkrókur 

https://tjalda.is/saudarkrokur/

Sauðárkrókur is a lovely town which we recommend you check out! 

The campsite is right next to the swimming pool, which is always nice. 

  1. Vaglaskógur 

https://tjalda.is/vaglaskogur/

This forest has a special place in our hearts. There is a famous song called ‘vor í vaglaskóg’ which you can check out.  

This is located very close to Akureyri 

  1. Ásbyrgi 

https://tjalda.is/asbyrgi/

If you’re in the north, Ásbyrgi is mandatory! 

One of the most beautiful places in Iceland, hands down! 

  1. Mývatn  

https://tjalda.is/hlid/

Mývatn is one of the most popular places in the north and for good reason. 

You should check it out for yourself! 

  1. Svartiskógur 

https://tjalda.is/svartiskogur/

  1. Djúpivogur 

Once you get this far east, you’ll want to stay at a secluded location.  

https://tjalda.is/djupivogur/

If you’re in the east, try staying at Djúpivogur. A lovely town which has the campsite in the middle of it! 

  1. Skaftafell 

https://tjalda.is/skaftafell/

Skaftafell is a national park with lots of stuff to do around it. It’s a great location to stay if you’re doing the south coast 

  1. Hraunborgir Grímsnesi 

https://tjalda.is/hraunborgir/

This is a great location to camp when doing the Golden Circle. It’s also next to a pool! 

Now let’s move on to some tips on a successful camping trip! 

Tips for camping in Iceland

Now that you’re ready to embark on your Icelandic camping adventure, here are a few tips to ensure a successful trip: 

1. Pack Layers 

Iceland’s weather is as unpredictable as a cat in a cardboard box. Be prepared for everything from sunshine to snowstorms by packing plenty of layers. 

2. Call ahead 

Sometimes during the summer months the campsites can fill up. We suggest you call ahead if you’re camping in Iceland in the middle of summer  

3. Rent Camping Gear 

Save yourself the hassle of lugging around heavy camping gear by renting camping equipment in Iceland from us! 

4. Respect Nature  

Iceland’s natural beauty is its most precious asset. Be sure to leave no trace and respect the environment during your camping trip. 

5. Embrace the Adventure:  

Camping in Iceland is all about embracing the adventure. So, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and explore everything this magical country has to offer. 

6. Bring toilet paper with you 

There will be toilet paper at the campsite but it’s always good to be prepared 

7. Check the weather for the day and the evening. 

It might be wise to camp early in order to beat the rain 

8. Use road.is, vedur.is and windy.com 

Use these websites to track weather and road conditions. In the summer, the biggest thing you have to be aware of is the wind and rain. 

The road won’t be closed (most likely) but driving in pouring rain and wind can be difficult. 

9. Local swimming pools 

Go to all the local swimming pools in the little towns you pass through! 

And that’s it! 

I hope you have a clearer picture of what you’ll need to enjoy your time camping in Iceland. 

And if you have any questions, you can ask us right here 

If you want to leave the heavy luggage behind, rent what you need for camping in Iceland with us! 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top