Iceland a country known for its awe-inspiring natural beauty. The unique landscapes warrant a trip around the island on an Iceland road trip. One of the most popular ways to see the country is to go camping. This gives you the chance to not only save money, but to also spend time in The Great Outdoors. And if you’re interested in camping near Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, keep reading.
Whether you’re interested in tent camping or renting an Iceland campervan, Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon camping is a fun and unforgettable experience. So what exactly is this place in East Iceland and what makes it so special?
Jokulsarlon (Jökulsárlón) glacier lagoon is a glacial lake located at the edge of Vatnajokull National Park. This ice lagoon was formed by runoff from Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest glacier. It’s a spectacular highlight and one of our most beloved sightseeing attractions for tourists. It prominently features large chunks of ice that have broken off from the glacier and have turned into tiny icebergs. They float around the glacier lagoon and you can even do a boat tour to see the ice pieces up close and personal.
There’s also the beautiful Diamond Beach right across the highway. You just leave your car in the parking lot for the lake and walk over. After you’ve visited the glacial lagoon, head across the Ring Road to check out the icy diamonds scattered along the shore.
With such stunning natural scenery, it’s no wonder that intrepid travelers want to know if camping at Jokulsarlon lagoon is possible. Let’s find out.
Wild Camping Near Jokulsarlon
While many people (myself included) dream of waking up to the sight of icebergs floating in the glacier lake, unfortunately, this is no longer a possibility. Camping near Jokulsarlon in the form of wild camping is not allowed.
In the past, campers used to be able to set up shop just about anywhere. If they could find a place to park their camper van or pitch a tent, it was perfectly fine to sleep there. With the growth of the tourism sector, the situation began to get out of control. Bad behavior, littering, and destroying the natural environment started to become serious problems.
The Icelandic government put in place a set of very restrictive rules as to exactly when and where people could camp. The laws were so strict that they in essence band wild camping around the country. You cannot simply put up a tent between the parking lot and the lagoon or spend the night in your camper. Instead, you’ll have to go stay at one of the country’s more than 200 registered campsites and visit Jökulsárlón.
There are no campsites directly by the lagoon, nor is there a Jokulsarlon camping site. The closest camping near Jokulsarlon is Svinafell Campground, followed by Skaftafell Camping to the west and Camping Höfn to the east.
Camping by Jokulsarlon Lagoon at Svinafell Campground
This is the closest Jokulsarlon camping site and has several options for campers. Not only did the facilities house guests in tents, campers, and motorhomes, they also have rooms, flats, and huts.
They have six heated Icelandic mountain huts which house four people, each of whom sleep in single-bed (90 cm) bunk beds. There’s also a cold water sink, an electric tea kettle, and cutlery, plates, dishes, pots, and pans for the people in the hut.
Guests can also access the service building next door, which has a common dining area. There are also cooking facilities, small stoves, a fridge, and hot water for washing dishes. Toilets and showers are also located in this building.
There are lots of options ranging from sleeping bag accommodation tool rental housing.
The campsite itself is open from the beginning of May through the end of September. If you plan on camping Jokulsarlon lagoon, it’s important to note that they do not take reservations for camping spaces in advance. Overnight stays at the campsite in the summer are 1700 ISK per person and children under 13 stay for free.
Indoor housing is available year-round and needs to be booked in advance.
Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon Camping at Skaftafell Camping
The next best thing to Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon camping is probably staying at Skaftafell camping. Skaftafell is actually part of the larger Vatnajökull glacier and national park. If you plan on visiting these wonders, this campsite might be the best choice for you. It’s pretty close to the lagoon; around 57 km (35 miles) and will take you about 40 minutes to drive there.
Skaftafell camping is open all year round, so you’ll want to stay here if you are traveling outside of the summer high season. The reception for the campground is located at the Skaftafell visitor center, and the hours vary throughout the year. You’ll need to register before camping but if you arrive outside of check-in hours, just head to the reception the following morning to pay.
Like most campgrounds in Iceland, you cannot make a reservation in advance. Luckily the campground has room for about 400 tents, so you’ll always be able to find a spot. There are certain rules to follow and the campground asks that you respect others and maintain a low level of volume between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.
The campsite has showers, a washer and dryer, and free Wi-Fi. All cooking and dining facilities are outdoors.
Jokulsarlon Camping at Camping Höfn
You can also continue to drive northeast and camp in Höfn. If you’re looking for camping near Jokulsarlon lagoon, this is another great alternative. This Jokulsarlon camping site is further north along the Ring Road. They got both a year-round campsite and sleeping bag accommodation during the summer in cottages on site. You’re surrounded by mountains along with a picturesque view of nearby glaciers and the town of Höfn.
There’s a specific zone for mobile homes, good cooking facilities, wireless internet, playgrounds, washing facilities, and good access to electricity. This is a simple, no-frills campsite and it’s perfect for relaxing.
The campsite is nicely located and everything is within walking distance. There’s also a swimming pool and a golf course.
Camping Near Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
This world-famous ice lake definitely warrants a visit, so make time on your schedule for an overnight camping stay. There are lots of options for camping close to Jokulsarlon Iceland, it just depends on your itinerary and the time of year you come. Just be sure you’ve packed the right travel gear to stay warm and be able to brave the elements.