There are many great locations for a one-month sabbatical in Europe and today we’re going to be adding Iceland to that list.
This is a location I’ve long dreamt of visiting after a colleague of mine shared some amazing photos of his time diving and viewing the Northern Lights on Europe’s second largest island.
Unfortunately, I’ve not yet had the chance to visit, so I picked up with Indie Campers – an RV rental company who specialise in rentals in Iceland – to answer all your questions about taking a one-month campervan trip in Iceland.
So without further ado, let’s get started.
Before we get into the specifics of an Iceland Campervan trip let’s start with some basic information about the island.
How much does it cost to get to Iceland?
Because of its location, the only real option for getting to Iceland is by plane.
I always use a combination Skyscanner or Agoda alongside Google Flights to make sure I’ve got the best price. I use Google Flights to save a route and monitor price changes and a combination of the others to search for the cheapest tickets, but if you are in the UK and flexible with travel dates I also suggest signing up for Jack’s Flight Club for regular flight deals.
As in idea of lowest prices flight to Reykjavik are available from as cheap as:
- £56 from London
- £100 from Berlin
- £115 from Paris
- £111 from Barcelona
These are just indicative prices though and they may well change throughout the year depending on how busy the routes are.
What would your basic outline for a 28 day itinerary in Iceland look like?
I would make sure to cover all the top sites along the Ring Road. After picking up the campervan hire in Reykjavik we would recommend staying a day or two to explore the city, luckily, there are a few nice campsites near the city centre such as Reykjavik Eco Campsite that are very accommodating and convenient. It’s worth taking a few hours resting from your trip in the geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon Spa before leaving the capital.
Reykjavik and Southern Iceland
Continue to Thingvellir National park – famous for being a location in Game of Thrones.
This area is definitely worth spending a few days, especially for the adventurous ones. A hiking trip to the Oxarafoss Falls is definitely worth the effort.
This is also the home to one of the world’s most spectacular scuba dives where you can dive between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. The geothermal baths at Haukadalur is definitely worth a visit.
Turn south towards Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls. On the way to Vík, stop by the black sand beach just south of the village from which you can also see the Reynisdrangar rock formations. Head to the picturesquare Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon – during winter you can enjoy a guided snowmobile tour on the glacier.
Skaftafell, a part of the immense Vatnajökull National Park and a place of great natural beauty with many interesting hiking trails, including a short walk to the beautiful Svartifoss waterfall.
This area is also full of opportunities for more adventurous pursuits, such as guided glacier-walking or ice-climbing excursions. Next, head to the spectacular Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, where you can join a boat ride among the maze of floating icebergs (optional).
While in the area stop by the black sands of Diamond Beach, and spend the night in Höfn (Make sure to have some of the famous Lobster).
East Iceland – Egilsstaðir, where you will find the monster habitat Lagafljót and Hallormsstaðarskógur forest, one of the few large areas that actually have woods in Iceland.
After this, a good suggestion is to go by the iconic tiny and isolated village of Bakkagerði. Make sure not to miss the great hiking trail to Hengifoss waterfall, one of Iceland’s tallest at 118 metres.
Head towards the mystical area of Mývatn.
First stop is Europe’s most powerful waterfall – Dettifoss. Follow up with a relaxing stay at Nature Baths, with milky blue waters to ease you up. During winter Mývatn is a great place to take part in snowmobiling and dog-sledding.
Head to Lake Mývatn to explore all it has to offer, don’t miss the Dimmuborgir caves and rock formations, and the Krafla area, the active volcano Leirhnjúkur and the Viti crater is also worth a visit. Then head to Akureyri and horse ride in nearby Skagafjörður, or detour to the mountainous and magnificent Tröllaskagi Peninsula.
The whale watching capital of Europe, Húsaví is with a visit for several reasons, go by Ásbyrgi canyon as well as Vesturdalur in Vatnajökull National Park to see Hljóðaklettar, arched cave with impressive basalt columns.
Next up is the north capital of Iceland – Akureyr. Offering more metropolitan vibes from hipster cafes to an idyllic harbour area.
Moving north to the city of Tröllaskagi, you can visit the mesmerizing mixed landscape of mountains, jagged cliffs and wide fjords. If you continue to Siglufjörður, once the herring fleet of Iceland, you can stop at Hofsós and enjoy the thermal pool and continue all the way to Skagafjörður to meet the purebred icelandic horses.
The wild west fjords.
It’s worth spending some time exploring the area of Ísafjörður, with dramatic mountains and fjords, offering several activities from guided tours to kayaking trips and hikes. On a clear day head to the radar station on top of Bolafjall where you can have spectacular views over Hornstrandir Nature Reserve.
Explore Snaefellsnes Peninsula, first up is the stratovolcano and glacier Snæfellsjökull. Next, spend a few hours in the town of Flatey where you board the ferry to Stykkishólmur on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Make sure to spend some time seeing the best of the iconic Kirkjufell Mountain and Grundarfjordur.
A good suggestion for some final luxury on your trip is to head back to Reykjavik via the Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths
What are your highlights of an Iceland trip?
Most of it is emphasised above but I would make sure not to miss:
- Snaefellsnes National Park
- Grundarfjordur – on the north coast of the Snaefellsnes peninsula and has become famous the world over for its majestic Kirkjufell Mountain.
- Thingvellir National Park (filming location of game of thrones, Oxarafoss Falls, Silfra
- Gullfoss Falls and Stokkur Geysir,
- Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths
- (see more suggestions above)
- Vik vulcanic Black sand beaches
What’s the best time of year to visit Iceland?
This totally depends on what you are looking for.
If you are looking for the famous northern lights, also known as Aurora Borealis – the best time to go is between October and April. However, this is also the coldest time of the year and the time with the least light (From November the sun sets before 4pm).
Summer in Iceland is also spectacular, even if you have to exchange real summer with epic midnight sun with magical lights 24/7.
If you want the best of both worlds, you can visit Iceland around March where you get milder weather with more sunlight, but still getting that winter feeling. Plus, there’s still a chance you get to see the northern lights.
What are some of the best tours to do whilst on Iceland?
Is Iceland expensive? How much should be put aside for food, excursions etc?
In general Iceland is like many other nordic locations not a budget destination, however by far the cheapest way to travel is by a campervan, as campsites are daily cheap and you can make most of your meals in the van without having to resort to expensive restaurants.
Campervanning in Iceland
In this section we are moving on to some specifics of taking a campervan around Iceland.
How much does it cost to rent a campervan in Iceland?
Right now we have a 10% sale on 2021 bookings, our prices are based on dynamic pricing but based on our current prices you can rent 28 nights from €2626.00, 21 nights from €1982.59and 7 nights from € 696.76. If you’re planning a longer stay or living in a campervan for some time, the best value is through our subscription plan where you get a fixed price, from 1000.00€ per month.
Fuel is around € 40 a day for around 5 hours drive.
Can you sleep anywhere in a campervan in Iceland?
Wild camping is illegal in Iceland, so you have to stay at registered campsites.
Luckily prices are quite low per night and you usually find a good campsite for around €15 per night.
Do I need to book campsites in advance in Iceland?
It depends on the time of the year, but I would especially make sure to do so in the peak season (Christmas, easter and summer) as it can get quite busy. As a general rule it’s always a good idea to book a campsite at least a couple of days in advance to avoid getting to a campsite that is full at night without any other sleeping options nearby.
Are the roads safe to drive on in Iceland?
Yes roads are safe, but if you are planning on going during winter it depends on your confidence and experience driving on snow and in dark conditions. In the middle of winter there is only 3-4 hours of daylight, so ensure you know when light is up to put most of your miles down during these hours to stay safe.
All cars in Iceland have winter tires that have a stronger grip on the snow when compared to normal tires, however practice makes perfect. To be safe, it might be a good idea to book extra snow chains if you are going in winter, as this will make it easier to get out if fresh snow hits overnight. Also be safe to ensure you keep an eye on the forecast throughout your trip, as it might not be that easy to find the way back in a snowstorm (also as roads might get blocked).
What should I pack for my campervanning trip to Iceland?
- Knitted style product designed for great look and protection against the cold.
- Inner polar fleece layer to provide extra warm protection against the cold with the classic soft touch of polar fabrics.
- Discover new trails and hit every path in the Darn Tough Vermont Hiker Merino Wool Boot Socks Cushion.
- Sold as a one-pair pack.
- Packable Protection for Mountain Pursuits | With a high warmth-to-weight ratio and impressive packability, this down jacket is a go-to for adventures at altitude.
- Eco-Friendly Materials | Made with recycled fabrics and insulated with ethically sourced recycled down.
Regardless of the season, you need to pack a lot of outdoorsy and warm clothes for your iceland trip.
A thin wool layer should be on top of your packing list, together with warm sweaters, a wind and waterproof jacket, wool socks and some hats and gloves.
Good hiking boots are also recommended so you can make the most of the magical scenery. Make sure you bring enough warm layers during winter, also for sleeping (even if the campervans have heating it might be beneficial during the coldest months). Also, don’t forget a bathing suit if you’re planning on going to the Blue Lagoon.
About Indie Campers
How long has Indie Campers been going for?
Indie Campers was established on the 14th February 2013 in portugal, we have operating in Iceland since the summer of 2019.
What types of camper vans and RVs do you have available in Iceland?
Currently we have 3 types of vans available in Iceland:
- Active – 4 people, 2 beds internal and external showers, and a toilet included. The Active is a medium-sized model offered by Indie X. It is compact yet spacious, thus ideal for families and groups of friends. Smaller than a traditional motorhome, it allows for easier navigation.
- Sporty – 4 people, 2 beds and exterior shower. A practical option for travel needs. Its compact size makes for an ideal vehicle both for city driving, as well as, remote road adventures.
- Dawn Patrol – 4 people, 2 beds and exterior shower. Compact-sized camper van, ideal companion for adventurers who spend most of their time outdoors or in the ocean and less in their van.
Where do I collect the camper van from?
Our depot is located next to Keflavík International airport, at Brekkustígur 42, Reykjanesbær.
Do you have links to reviews of people who’ve done a similar trip?
The platforms we use for reviews do not allow to search per location, but you can check our general reviews at trustpilot here.
Is there anything else we need to know?
We’re giving out a 10% discount on all bookings for 2021 and free cancelation made before the 30th of November as part of our early bird campaign.
Where can I book a Camper van with Indie Campers?
You can book a camper van with Indie Campers in over 40 locations across Europe in Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Belgium, Switzerland, Ireland, Iceland, Croatia, Sweden and Austria. Visit our website to hire a campervan.
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