There is a wide range of campsites in Iceland with a huge variety of facilities and amenities for campers visiting our tiny Nordic Island. There are the traditional campsites for tent camping. You can also camp overnight in designated areas near popular attractions such as Skógafoss waterfall. And if you happen to bring Fido with you on your camping trip, there are also pet-friendly campsites for our four-legged friends. You’ll find something for everyone when researching campsites in Iceland. Let’s dive into learning a little bit more about this topic.
And if you haven’t had the chance, please check out the other sections in our Ultimate Guide to Camping in Iceland.
All About Campsites in Iceland
Before you leave Reykjavik, be sure to buy a comprehensive map of Iceland campsites from Mál og Menning bookshop on Laugavegur Street. You can also pick up a free copy of the Áning Guide (link below) at any tourist information office.
Making a Reservation at Campsites in Iceland
At most campsites, you don’t book in advance or make a reservation. These are spacious, open fields with room for everyone. Standard practice is to just show up at the reception and book your spot then. Just like at hotels, there are the usual check-in and check-out times. Campsites in Iceland accept both cash and credit card as forms of payment.
Many people worry about this casual system of reserving a spot at a campsite and leaving things to chance. What if you get there and the campsite is full? In the rare instance that this does happen (usually only at very popular campsites during peak summer season or during a festival), this is where your map from Mál og Menning or the tourist office will come in handy. Call ahead to check the availability at nearby campsites or simply head on up the road to find the next closest one. Don’t worry; you will find shelter for the night at another campground.
Campsites Open All Year Long
If you’ve decided to go camping in Iceland, be aware that many campsites close after September 15th. This is because the majority of the island’s visitors come during the summer months of June, July and August. There’s quite a bit of camping activity in May and September as well, but in mid-September, many campsites close up shop until the weather warms up again. If you’re thinking of camping outside of the high season, be sure to plan your trip using this list of campsites that are open all year in Iceland or check out this article.
What to Look For in a Campsite
Campers will want to know what facilities and amenities they can find on the campgrounds. Your needs will vary depending on the type of camping you are doing. For example, if you are traveling in a motorhome you may not need a shower or Wi-Fi as it will already be included with your vehicle. If you’re driving a car, however, you will definitely need somewhere with hot water where you can wash your hair, get clean, do dishes, etc. Once you’ve figured out if you are going to rent a car, campervan or motorhome, talk to your rental company to find out what comes standard with your vehicle and what you would like to add on (portable Wi-Fi, some sort of generator, portable battery, or power inverter). From there, you can start looking at campsites and investigating what they offer their guests.
Here are a few of the basic amenities to look for at your preferred campsite:
- Showers (be forewarned: not everywhere has hot water!)
- Bathrooms and toilets
- Power and charging stations
- Waste disposal
- Laundry facilities
- Cooking facilities
- Supermarket or another place to buy food
- Leisure area
The camping.info website is an excellent resource for looking up information about the facilities available at the campsites in Iceland you are researching. You can search by arrival and departure date, amenities available, or simply look on the map of campsites to select one.
Best Campsites in Iceland
Iceland has over a hundred and seventy campsites for you to choose from. Get the full list by downloading the free pdf version of the Áning Guide, which was last updated in 2017. You can also pick up a free copy at tourist information offices in Iceland. You might be thinking “Whoa! That’s way too many, where do I start?”. Well don’t worry, we’ve narrowed it down to just a few for your trip. These are our choices for the top five campsites in Iceland with a short description for each one. Check out the full article here.
This is one of the top-rated campsites in Iceland if not the best. Visitors rave about its facilities, and it has just about everything you can imagine and want during your camping trip. It’s also close to the Blue Lagoon, which is an added bonus for those looking to soak in its healing waters.
Egilsstaðir campsite is another great option that travelers love. The nearby mountains provide natural shelter from the harsh weather, and the campground has excellent facilities. Wi-Fi is also available for a small fee.
This campsite is part of a national park and even has a golf course. It’s wheelchair-accessible, allows dogs, and has internet access.
This campsite is truly blessed with beautiful surroundings. Located close to the black sand beaches of Vik and Reynisfjara, the site rests between Mýrdalsjökull and Mýrdalssandur glaciers. Dogs are allowed here as well.
This is a pretty well-outfitted campsite in Iceland close to every outdoor enthusiast’s dream: Vatnajökull Glacier. You can use these campgrounds as a base for exploring Vatnajökull National Park and its mountains. This campsite is open all year long
Who doesn’t love traveling with their doggy or another furry companion? If you happen to have your pet tagging along on your travels, you can still go camping in Iceland. There are plenty of different options in the different regions of the country. Check out our full article about pet-friendly campsites in Iceland here.
Ultimate Camping Guide: Everything You Need To Know About Campsites in Iceland
Hopefully, we’ve answered most if not all of your questions regarding campsites in Iceland. Next time we’ll talk about the Iceland Camping Card and why you should definitely pick one up. If there’s anything we’ve left out or anything else you’d like to know, please leave us a comment. We’d love to hear from you.