Guide to the Best Sites for Camping in Iceland

Imagine setting up camp beneath the ethereal Northern Lights, surrounded by Iceland’s pristine wilderness, as you embark on the ultimate camping in Iceland experience.

This Nordic paradise, with its raw landscapes of hot springs, glaciers, geysers, and cascading waterfalls, beckons every adventurer with the promise of the great outdoors like nowhere else. If you haven’t considered camping in Iceland, it’s high time you added it to your bucket list!

Guide to the Best Sites for Camping in Iceland

Why Camping in Iceland is Good ?

The uniqueness of Iceland lies not just in its breathtaking views but also in its raw, untouched nature. Even in the 21st century, much of the country remains unspoiled, allowing adventurers to truly connect with nature. The mesmerizing natural wonders—think waterfalls like Seljalandsfoss and Geysir hot springs area—are just the tip of the iceberg (pun intended).

The Natural Wonders of Camping in Iceland

Every corner of this nation hides a treasure. From the famous Golden Circle with its trio of celebrated natural wonders to the hidden corners of the Westfjords, there’s no shortage of breathtaking locales. The joy of camping is experiencing these wonders up close, with the freedom to explore at your own pace.

Top 5 Camping Sites in Iceland

Guide to the Best Sites for Camping in Iceland

For those itching to immerse themselves in the unparalleled beauty of Iceland, camping is the way to go. Here, we delve deeper into the top 5 camping sites that are a blend of beauty, convenience, and unique Icelandic nature.

1. Þakgil Camping Ground

Location: Near the village of Vík

Highlights:

  • Secluded campsite located in a picturesque canyon, providing shelter from Iceland’s sometimes harsh elements.
  • The landscape is marked by dramatic rock formations and vibrant moss.
  • Nearby hiking trails are suitable for all levels, leading to waterfalls and panoramic viewpoints.
  • Additional facilities: Communal cooking area inside a cave and toilets.
  • Tip: The road to Þakgil is gravel, so ensure your vehicle is suitable for such terrains.

2. Skaftafell Camping

Location: Part of Vatnajökull National Park, Southeast Iceland

Highlights:

  • Offers views of Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull, alongside snowy mountain peaks.
  • Multiple hiking trails, including the one leading to Svartifoss, a waterfall surrounded by dark lava columns.
  • Open year-round, though facilities and accessibility might vary based on seasons.
  • Additional facilities: Toilets, showers, a restaurant, and a visitor center.
  • Tip: The midnight sun during summer offers extended daylight for exploration. However, it can get busy during peak seasons, so arrive early!

3. Landmannalaugar

Location: Highlands of Iceland

Highlights:

  • The renowned geothermal area is surrounded by colorful rhyolite mountains and vast lava fields.
  • Natural hot springs are perfect for a soothing dip, especially during cooler days.
  • Multiple hiking trails, including the starting point of the famous Laugavegur trek.
  • Only accessible during summer unless using a specialized super jeep during winter.
  • Tip: Remember to bring cash for the facilities as there’s no ATM, and cards might not always be accepted.

4. Þórsmörk Nature Reserve

Location: Nestled between three glaciers – Eyjafjallajökull, Mýrdalsjökull, and Tindfjallajökull

Highlights:

  • Diverse landscapes, including glacial rivers, volcanic valleys, and dense birch forests.
  • Numerous hiking trails range from leisurely walks to challenging hikes.
  • Volcano huts are available, offering a blend of camping and modest luxury.
  • Tip: Crossing the river to reach Þórsmörk can be challenging. It’s recommended to travel with operators familiar with the region or use the local bus service.

5. Akureyri Campsite

Location: Close to Akureyri, Northern Iceland

Highlights:

  • Convenient for those who want a blend of city life and nature, Akureyri’s attractions are just minutes away.
  • Excellent base for exploring the wonders of North Iceland, such as Goðafoss waterfall and Mývatn geothermal area.
  • Facilities are modern and well-maintained, making it suitable for families and solo travelers alike.
  • Tip: Make use of the campsite’s bike rental to explore Akureyri and its surrounding areas.

Each of these sites offers a unique perspective of Iceland’s natural wonders, ensuring an unforgettable camping experience. Remember to always book or arrive early during peak season, as these popular spots can fill up quickly!

Essential Regulations for Camping in Iceland

Best Sites for Camping in Iceland

While Iceland’s unparalleled beauty beckons adventurers, it’s crucial to remember that its landscapes are fragile. To ensure they remain pristine for future generations, Iceland has set forth clear regulations and guidelines for campers.

Camping Permits and Fees

  • Organized Campsites: Most organized campsites have a fee, which typically ranges depending on the facilities provided. These might include showers, kitchens, and even Wi-Fi. It’s advisable to book these sites in advance during peak tourist season.
  • Wild Camping: For those wishing to wild camp with tents (away from organized campsites), it’s permitted in many parts of Iceland unless it’s cultivated land, near national roads, or within national parks and other protected areas. However, if it’s a group of three tents or more, permission must be sought from the landowner.

Environmental Regulations and Leave No Trace Principles

  • Respect the Flora: Iceland’s moss can take decades to grow. Even a single footprint can cause irreversible damage. Always stick to marked paths.
  • Waste Management: There are limited waste facilities in remote areas. Pack out all your trash. Make use of recycling facilities when available.
  • Toilet Facilities: Only use designated toilet facilities. If none are around and it’s an emergency, ensure it’s at least 50 meters from water sources and buried 15-20 cm deep.
  • Water Sources: Always camp at least 100 meters away from lakes and streams to protect riparian areas.

Restrictions and Protected Areas

  • National Parks: Camping is only allowed in designated areas within national parks. Some areas of parks might be off-limits due to conservation efforts or to protect nesting birds.
  • Private Land: Always seek permission if you wish to camp on private land. Respect any signs or requests by landowners.
  • Fire Restrictions: Open fires are often prohibited, especially during dry conditions. Always use portable stoves for cooking.

Vehicles and Campervans

  • Parking: Only park in designated areas. Avoid parking on grass or soft ground to prevent damage.
  • Overnight Stays: Campervans and motorhomes must stay in organized campsites overnight. Wild camping in a vehicle is prohibited.

Wildlife Considerations

  • Disturbance: Never approach or feed wildlife. This can be distressing for the animals and is often dangerous.
  • Bird Nesting Sites: During certain times of the year, areas might be closed off to protect nesting birds, especially in coastal regions.

Understanding and adhering to these regulations is not only a matter of legal compliance but also a way of showing respect for Iceland’s unparalleled nature and the generations to come. Every traveler has the responsibility to ensure their footprint is as minimal as possible. Let’s keep Iceland’s landscapes as captivating as the tales spun around them.

Packing Tips for Camping in Iceland’s Unique Climate

Iceland’s unpredictable weather can be a challenge. Here are some quick packing tips:

  • Waterproof Everything: From tents to bags, ensure they can withstand rain.
  • Dress in Layers: This allows for adaptability in fluctuating temperatures.
  • Quality Sleeping Bag: Nights can get chilly, so invest in a good sleeping bag.
  • Portable Stove: As open fires are often prohibited, bring a small stove for cooking.

Conclusion 

Camping in Iceland is not just an item to check off your travel list—it’s an experience that stirs the soul. As you lay beneath the vast Icelandic sky, you’ll find a connection to nature that’s both profound and humbling. Whether you’re chasing the Midnight Sun or the ethereal Northern Lights, ensure you respect the land that offers you its unmatched beauty.

Planning your next Icelandic adventure? Ensure a hassle-free trip by checking out our comprehensive range of camping gear suited for Iceland’s unique climate. Happy camping and safe travels!

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Guide to the Best Sites for Camping in Iceland

Guide to the Best Sites for Camping in Iceland

Sea Kayaking

Sea Kayaking

One of the most exhilarating ways to experience Antarctica, the Arctic and beyond.

Sea kayaking holidays in the humbling wilderness of Antarcticathe Arctic, and some of the world’s most biodiverse regions, are guaranteed to stir your soul. Paddle between brash ice and icebergs of all shapes and sizes, absorbing the majestic scenery as it unfolds before you. 

In Antarctica, keep your camera on-hand for unforgettable encounters with penguins, seals and whales, and occasionally leopard seals or orcas. In the Arctic, prepare to  paddle under nesting bird colonies, past massive glaciers and around large iceberg. 

Led by experienced guides, you and your small group of like-minded adventurers will paddle between ice floes, brash ice and icebergs of all shapes and sizes. Paddling is one of the best ways to access and intimately explore the beautiful coastlines we visit and therefore make the most of your time in the wild and remote destinations we visit

Top reasons to choose a Sea Kayaking holiday

Annotation 2023-04-28 030538

See wildlife unobtrusively

Kayaking is one of the best ways to spot rare wildlife, from penguins to puffins.

Annotation 2023-04-28 030913

Better access

Access intimate bays and coves that bigger crafts can’t reach.​

Annotation 2023-04-28 030939

Knowledgeable guides

Our experienced sea kayak guides will help bring your chosen destination to life.

Annotation 2023-04-28 031035

Become an expert

Hone your kayaking skills and gain a hobby for life!

Annotation 2023-04-28 031035

Make friends

Become lifelong friends with your small group of like-minded adventurers.

Annotation 2023-04-28 031119

Stay fit on your holiday

Being active every day on your holiday means you don’t have to feel guilty about being spoilt by our expert chefs!

Annotation 2023-04-28 031119

Enhance your experience

Add another layer to your once-in-a-lifetime holiday and make the most out of your time in some of the most remote places on earth.

Annotation 2023-04-28 031213

It's fun!

Have the time of your life exploring some of the wildest places on earth from the water.

FAQs

Our guide to paddler ratio is 1:10 and we provide an accompanying safety Zodiac. There are 26 places available in Antarctica and tropical voyages, 20 in temperate regions, South Georgia and all Arctic trips except in Franz Josef Land where the maximum is 16 kayakers.

Kayakers must be 14 or over.

Sea kayaking is offered in place of regular shore excursions. We aim to paddle as often as possible. Depending on the voyage, we generally aim to paddle twice per day.

We will give you a drybag for extra clothing, binoculars and anything that needs to be kept dry. You should also carry a water bottle. We recommend bringing a waterproof camera or phone, or ensuring you have a good quality waterproof case.

If the weather changes during our outing we will head back to the ship and perhaps join a shore excursion. The ship’s captain, expedition leader and kayak guide always maintain close contact to ensure a safe paddling experience. We do not attempt to paddle too far away from the ship. The emphasis is on experiencing the destination rather than travelling long distances.

The kayaks are made with a hard plastic and are easily paddled in swell and conducting shore landings, and through small patches of brash ice. We manoeuvre around the larger ice chunks and floes.

Polar regions

Kayaking in the poles offers a unique wildlife viewing experience. In Antarctica, we have many opportunities to encounter penguins, seals and whales, and occasionally we may even spot leopard seals or orcas. In the Arctic, we’ll paddle under nesting bird colonies, past massive glaciers and around large icebergs, however we maintain a safe distance from polar bears and walruses. Our guides carry rifles and flare guns in the Arctic to ensure your safety against polar bears.

Temperate regions

Kayakers in wild temperate regions will have a unique wildlife experience, with possible encounters with seals and basking sharks. You will have the opportunity to view some of the largest sea bird colonies in the northern hemisphere.

Tropical regions

The superb wildlife-viewing opportunities are endless in the astonishingly biodiverse nature reserves we visit. Kayaks offer a unique opportunity to view marine and land mammals, coral reefs, tropical fish, sea birds and an astonishing range of rainforest birds. We will bring our snorkelling gear with us during our paddles and take advantage of any opportunities to view marine life up close.

In the unlikely event of a capsize, your experienced guide will assist by righting the kayak, stabilising it then pumping it out. Paddlers will re-enter with the guide’s help, or with a support Zodiac. With drysuits and warm clothing underneath you will be comfortable in cold water for up to half an hour. Note that the kayaks have separate compartments with bulkheads, which means they will float after a capsize.

No. Each kayaking place is for one person only. Passengers are unable to share a kayaking place as we customise the kayaks and dry suits for each individual kayaker at the beginning of each voyage.

Contact Us

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Balcony Stateroom Superior

Deck: 4 & 6

Cabin and balcony combined size: 29.2m² – 35.2m² (314.3ft² – 378.9ft²)

Beds: 
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King bed

 
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Twin beds

Features

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Private en-suite (wheelchair accessible)

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Private balcony

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Full size window

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Desk area

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Closet space

Icon

Room-controlled thermostat

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Room safe

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42″ flat-screen TV

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Mini bar*

Cabin Inclusion

  • 1 x 3-in-1 polar jacket per person (polar voyages only)

Some of these rooms are equipped with wheelchair accessible bathrooms.

*Please note mini bar items are chargeable in all cabins except Junior Suite and Captain’s Suite

Sea Kayaking

Sea Kayaking

One of the most exhilarating ways to experience Antarctica, the Arctic and beyond.

Sea kayaking holidays in the humbling wilderness of Antarcticathe Arctic, and some of the world’s most biodiverse regions, are guaranteed to stir your soul. Paddle between brash ice and icebergs of all shapes and sizes, absorbing the majestic scenery as it unfolds before you. 

In Antarctica, keep your camera on-hand for unforgettable encounters with penguins, seals and whales, and occasionally leopard seals or orcas. In the Arctic, prepare to  paddle under nesting bird colonies, past massive glaciers and around large iceberg. 

Led by experienced guides, you and your small group of like-minded adventurers will paddle between ice floes, brash ice and icebergs of all shapes and sizes. Paddling is one of the best ways to access and intimately explore the beautiful coastlines we visit and therefore make the most of your time in the wild and remote destinations we visit

Top reasons to choose a Sea Kayaking holiday

Annotation 2023-04-28 030538

See wildlife unobtrusively

Kayaking is one of the best ways to spot rare wildlife, from penguins to puffins.

Annotation 2023-04-28 030913

Stay fit on your holiday

Being active every day on your holiday means you don’t have to feel guilty about being spoilt by our expert chefs!

Annotation 2023-04-28 030939

Knowledgeable guides

Our experienced sea kayak guides will help bring your chosen destination to life.

Annotation 2023-04-28 031035

Enhance your experience

Add another layer to your once-in-a-lifetime holiday and make the most out of your time in some of the most remote places on earth.

Annotation 2023-04-28 031035

Make friends

Become lifelong friends with your small group of like-minded adventurers.

Annotation 2023-04-28 031119

Better access

Access intimate bays and coves that bigger crafts can’t reach.​

Annotation 2023-04-28 031119

Become an expert

Hone your kayaking skills and gain a hobby for life!

Annotation 2023-04-28 031213

It's fun!

Have the time of your life exploring some of the wildest places on earth from the water.

FAQs

Our guide to paddler ratio is 1:10 and we provide an accompanying safety Zodiac. There are 26 places available in Antarctica and tropical voyages, 20 in temperate regions, South Georgia and all Arctic trips except in Franz Josef Land where the maximum is 16 kayakers.

Kayakers must be 14 or over.

Sea kayaking is offered in place of regular shore excursions. We aim to paddle as often as possible. Depending on the voyage, we generally aim to paddle twice per day.

Sea kayaking is offered in place of regular shore excursions. We aim to paddle as often as possible. Depending on the voyage, we generally aim to paddle twice per day.

If the weather changes during our outing we will head back to the ship and perhaps join a shore excursion. The ship’s captain, expedition leader and kayak guide always maintain close contact to ensure a safe paddling experience. We do not attempt to paddle too far away from the ship. The emphasis is on experiencing the destination rather than travelling long distances.

The kayaks are made with a hard plastic and are easily paddled in swell and conducting shore landings, and through small patches of brash ice. We manoeuvre around the larger ice chunks and floes.

Polar regions

Kayaking in the poles offers a unique wildlife viewing experience. In Antarctica, we have many opportunities to encounter penguins, seals and whales, and occasionally we may even spot leopard seals or orcas. In the Arctic, we’ll paddle under nesting bird colonies, past massive glaciers and around large icebergs, however we maintain a safe distance from polar bears and walruses. Our guides carry rifles and flare guns in the Arctic to ensure your safety against polar bears.

Temperate regions

Kayakers in wild temperate regions will have a unique wildlife experience, with possible encounters with seals and basking sharks. You will have the opportunity to view some of the largest sea bird colonies in the northern hemisphere.

Tropical regions

The superb wildlife-viewing opportunities are endless in the astonishingly biodiverse nature reserves we visit. Kayaks offer a unique opportunity to view marine and land mammals, coral reefs, tropical fish, sea birds and an astonishing range of rainforest birds. We will bring our snorkelling gear with us during our paddles and take advantage of any opportunities to view marine life up close.

In the unlikely event of a capsize, your experienced guide will assist by righting the kayak, stabilising it then pumping it out. Paddlers will re-enter with the guide’s help, or with a support Zodiac. With drysuits and warm clothing underneath you will be comfortable in cold water for up to half an hour. Note that the kayaks have separate compartments with bulkheads, which means they will float after a capsize.

No. Each kayaking place is for one person only. Passengers are unable to share a kayaking place as we customise the kayaks and dry suits for each individual kayaker at the beginning of each voyage.

Contact Us

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