Renting a camper van in Iceland is a nature lover’s dream vacation. After all, one does not go to Iceland to deplete all their time in a hotel room, but most don’t want to brave the coldnes darkness in a tent.
The Ring Road, or Route 1, is the road that haloes the entire island nation of Iceland. We’ve talked about this fantastic journeying before, but its popularity means we get a lot of is asking for more revelations to travel in Iceland .
Exploring Iceland in a campervan is one of the best ways to tackle the Ring Road. “Were not receiving” other nature to do it due to the freedom you have in a campervan. However, there are some things I learned after rent a camper van in Iceland to help you on your Iceland journey!
Tips for Renting a Camper van in Iceland!
1. Have a General Iceland Itinerary
Our goal when taking our campervan around Iceland was to drive the Ring Road. The call of the Ring Road should be pretty self-explanatory. It’s a superhighway that considers around 1,300 kilometers and circumnavigates the entire country of Iceland- like a reverberate! The whole direction should take about 16 hours if you drive non-stop- but who wants to do that?
It’s impossible to hammer the perfect Ring Road timetable. Our biggest suggestion is to travel at your own pace, it doesn’t matter if you go fast or sluggish or if you miss some sights along the way.
Just as long as you are happy traveling at the gait you are going. If you’re looking for a good amount of day we’d recommend somewhere between one to two weeks. We get with 10 periods and it felt like an ideal amount of day. It left us demanding more, but never tired of the trip.
When planning your itinerary, map out all your stops. There will be plenty of unplanned stops along the way and it’s best not to feel raced. We try our best to avoid adjusting our daylights to a strict timetable because we know we will never be happy if we do that. Here’s our precise route starting in Reykjavik and moving clockwise. You can read all about the ends here .
2. Choose a Reputable Iceland Campervan Company
One of the first steps in strategy your Iceland campervan trip is to determine your rental fellowship. We drove in different areas of the Ring Road in a Happy Campers van and loved it.
Happy Campersis category run by local Icelanders and you can find the whole family involved. We were checked out by the Sverrir or the” Happy Boss .” While his son has responsibility for setting up our booking and another picked us up from the airport. They’re very much a family business wanting to show visitors the best of the country, and something “weve been” appreciate.
The van comes with all you could need for a camping trip in Iceland. It has awesome features such as a heater for freezing darkness, a move liquid capsize, and a fridge/ freezer. If you want to learn more read our Happy Campers review.
3. Choosing Your Campervan
Manual vs. Automated
You should be prepared to drive a manual campervan in Iceland. As with the rest of the world( besides the US ), most of the campervans in Iceland are manual, but there are a few automated vehicles. If you do require one an automatic vehicle make sure to book well in advance and expect to pay a payment for it.
Size of Your Campervan
Consider the size of your campervan before you book. There is a few different sizing alternatives ideal for one, two, three, and up to five people. We started with a Happy 2 for the two of us. The van was spacious and comfy for two people.
However, with a larger campervan comes abbreviated fuel economy so you’ll pay back more for that larger vehicle in more actions than one. Gas is really expensive in Iceland, virtually$ 8 a gallon. Think carefully about the campervan representation you choose.
4. When to Book Your Campervan
If you’re planning on rent a campervan in Iceland during the summer you should really start planning and work your trip at least six months out. They do sell my shares fast, especially between the months of June-October.
5. What is Included in the Happy Campers Campervan?
Our Happy Camper was furnished with everything we could possibly need for 10 periods along the road. That included things like 😛 TAGEND
Gas Stove with GasCoolerPrivacy CurtainsPots and PansPlastic sheets, cutlery, and drinkwareKnife and cutting boardDustpan2 pillows 2 blanketsMattressYou can pay extra for an inverter, chairs, a table, BBQ grill, WiFi hotspot.
6. Insurance on the Campervan
When checking out a camper van in Iceland you have a lot of options for choosing insurance. Happy Campers includes CDW as it is mandatory in Iceland. If you go with the standard insurance your indebtednes limit is EUR2 500. They likewise volunteer cartons that shorten the waiver, sand injury, and gravel damage.
We started with the gravel policy, but I personally experienced it to be a waste, as the roads were great in Iceland during October. Had we traveled during the winter and windier months, I believe it could have come in more useful. Also, look into what your credit card coatings for automobile assurance.
Most American credit cards offer auto rental insurance as health benefits and I would recommend calling your credit card company beforehand to double-check what they cover. If you don’t have a credit card it’s definitely time to get one as it’s an important part of travel banking.
7. Inspect Your Iceland Campervan
If you run into a guardrail with your campervan rental you’re going to be charged for impairs. If someone else ran into a guardrail before you and you don’t document it when you pick up the rental car you could also be charged for shatters. Always, always, always, inspect every single rental car you get with great detail- inside and out.
Note any detriments with the company and make photos in cases where. Cam and I are both thorough with rental auto dings, scratches, windshield cracks, and cigarette burns. Never are of the view that a scratching or ding is not significant or big enough to note. When you return your rental make sure you get a slip signing off that all was okay on the car so they don’t come back and try to charge you later.
We’ve been condemned multiple times for things like” excessive sand on the storey in Mozambique ,” random articles of cheap plastic falling off in Mexico, and we were even accused for a small scratch on the hubcap in South Africa . Take photographs and was put forward a fight if you think you are in the right.
8. Get the Right Credit Card
Bringing me to my next part- credit cards with primary rental guarantee. The Chase Sapphire Reserve is my favorite cros credit cards for many reasons, but the primary rental policy is one of its best benefits( including Priority Pass membership ).
When you put your rental campervan on your Chase Sapphire Reserve card you get primary coverage various regions of the world up to $75,000.
That works out great for us since we are nomadic and don’t have a car or home. Car rental fellowships in Iceland and around the world love to scare customers and upsell all their insurance bundles. You need to make sure if you need it or not before falling victim to their trap. Call your credit card company and always catch out before you get to Iceland
9. Campervan Pick Up and Drop Off
After all the paperwork is sorted with the rental busines, you’ll be asked if you want to be shown around the vehicle. We ever feel a little foolhardy agreeing to this, but it’s ever worth it!
Unless your rental vehicle is precisely the same as the car you have at home, various methods are likely to be different. If you decide to go with a rental gondola you 100% should be indicated around. There’s a lot of aspects to a campervan !
When the negotiator shows you around, make sure you ask them to show you how all the essential arrangements run. When you depart, you should be completely happy with using your Iceland van rental- retain, you are legally responsible for it. So, make sure you know how to operate the headlights, indicator illuminates, hazard lights, and windscreen wipers. Too, be sure to understand how to engage reverse gear.
10. Expect a Hold Charge for Your Iceland Campervan
Every single one of our forty or so rental vehicles has put in place a hold the line our credit cards for the rental span. Accommodates can straddle anywhere from a few hundred horses to $1000+ in some countries. The” excess blame” as it is called is typically stated in your territory items, but it is easy to miss.
We are aware that they must made this hold the line our card, but it can be a big shocker if you are unsuspecting and be brought to an end over your credit limit on your credit card. These plethora charges are for scenarios whatever it is you disappear with the car and are never seen again, or get into a clang and refuse to pay — stuff like that.
11. Rent Your Campervan From Keflavik Airport( KEF)
If you plan to rent a campervan to get around make sure to pick it up and drop it off at international airports. It could end up saving you a buck. There is no public transport and the Reykjavik Express, one of the only bus from the Reykjavik city to Keflavik airport is 2400 Icelandic Kroner one way.
That’s a $24 airport transfer on a bus! I would recommend picking up and dropping off your vehicle at the airport to save on this fee.
If you want to rent a camper, Happy Campersas mentioned before has a orientation at international airports. We had an amusing know-how with them, and they will provide you with a free delivery to their departments once your flight lands.
You can easily book using this tie, but make sure to book well in advance during high season. Seriously- they constructed our junket to Iceland so amazing.
12. Gas for Your Iceland Campervans
Be prepared to shell out some money when you leader to the pump in Iceland. Gas expenses a little over$ 2 USD a liter or virtually$ 9 a gallon! We also attained American credit cards do not work at many of the gushes.
To pay, make sure you ask an attendant to unlock the shoot and then pay afterward inside with a credit cards. Or you can pay with a debit card that has a pin number.
Make sure to be aware of distances in between gasoline stations, granted we attained them all over Iceland and never operated low on gasoline. For our 10 daytime schedule, we wasted around $400 on gasoline- YIKES. Make sure to budget for this one, as it’s easy to forget.
13. A 4×4 Iceland Campervan is Not Necessary for Exploring
If you want to go down an unpaved or unmarked road make sure your car can handle it first! We assured several small sedans trying to push their auto too much down rutted arteries and aimed up getting put or tearing out the bottom of their rental!
14. Make Sure You Don’t Have Mileage Limits
Making friends with Icelanders
It can be common for Iceland campervans to have mileage restraints. Frequently, this is something like 200 km/ epoch can be driven.
Of course, they can’t know which daylight you are driving 200 km/ epoch and what eras you are not, so it all totals up to the end.
Say you hired a automobile for six periods and it has a mileage limit of 200 km/ era. That mean for your total rental you have 1200 km of free driving. If you return the car having driven 1300 km you will be charged for the overage of 100 km.
If you crave complete freedom when driving around Iceland, make sure you choose a rental with limitless mileage. ( Our Happy Camper “havent had” mileage limits ).
15. Navigation in Iceland
It’s worth mentioning that distances and rates in Iceland are recorded in kilometers rather than miles. This can procreate sights seem further away than they actually are, although the winding country roads you’re likely to encounter conveys traveling days are a little longer than those in the US.
It’s unlikely your rental vehicle will have a built-in GPS navigation system, generally referred to as SatNav( planet sailing ); however, it is likely that you will be offered a separate GPS( at additional cost, of course ), instead. The good bulletin is that if you are driving the ring road it’s a sound around the country and easy to follow.
Still- whether you are traveling on your own or as a group, we remember sailing- of whatever sort- is indispensable. It takes much of the stress out of driving on arteries you aren’t used to and having to rely on road signage.
You might be happy employ paper planneds, but it’s not normal for them to be supplied with a rental car, which means you may as well opt for the GPS instead.
Smartphone apps such as Google Maps are a brilliant free alternative, which give you the added advantage of knowing up to the minute traffic and road conditions. You should download a delineate of Iceland to your telephone from Google Maps while you’re in good WiFi. If you forget to do this, Reykjavik Airpot has free WiFi where you can download Google Maps to your phone before you hit the road.
16. Watch for Speed Traps!
Iceland has countless camera acceleration traps around the ring road. So it’s best to always stay within the speed limit. Fines are extremely expensive in Iceland. Between ISK 50,000 and ISK 130,000, so it’s best to follow the rules.
The good word is there is always a sign alarm you about the move camera a few cases hundred rhythms before. If you are speeding in Iceland , now is the time to slow down!
You may think that because you are a foreigner and leaving the country, you will get away with not paying for a ticket. However, the rental car busines has a copy of your credit cards and are authorized to charge it in circumstances like this.
17. Drinking and Driving in Iceland
This should go without saying, but boozing and driving is a grave offense in Iceland. The threshold blood alcohol assessment( BAT) position is extremely low. Drivers can be charged with DUI with a BAT as low-spirited as. 05%, and yes, strangers can be charged too.
The Icelandic parties take this very seriously, and most do not drive if they plan on drinking. If you want to go out for a darknes at a bar, make sure you have a responsible acces back to your accommodation.
18. Seatbelts and Safety in Iceland
It’s a legal requirement for all passengers to wear a seat belt/ safety belt at all epoch when the engine is running.
Likewise, it is not permitted to use a cell phone when driving in Iceland to utter bellows or transport/ receive SMS text sends. You can use your smartphone for navigation purposes, but it must be hands-free merely( such as safely packed on the windscreen ), and you must not program navigation while the vehicle’s engine is running.
I recommend getting a phone holder for your car dashboard for your travels.
19. How Much Will an Iceland Campervan Rental Cost?
Depends on the season! In the summer your rental automobile will likely be higher than between October- February. Happy Campers offers low-grade season frequencies, mid season paces, and high season paces. So if you’re point is to save money book a automobile rental in the off season. Here are some tips-off for coming a great deal on campervan Iceland 😛 TAGEND
The sooner you book, the better. Campervans, especially with the good companionships sell out.Do your research and go with the companies that have good recollects. They are often the ones who won’t rip you off for extra charges. Avoid peak season, which is late June-early September.
20. Emergency Numbers in Iceland
112 is the single emergency list in Iceland. Remember it and collect it in your phone in case you ever need it. You never know when you’ll be faced in a life-threatening situation- but recollect exclusively use it if it is required to. Safetravel.is keeps up all relevant alerts and informs and should be checked regularly when driving in Iceland.
I also like to join relevant Facebook radicals to stay up to date on current tour status. People are generally quite helpful!
21. Do You Need a Iceland Van Rental to Have a Good Time?
No! Iceland campervans are not essential to your indulgence in Iceland. However, it will greatly ameliorate your experience extremely if you are short on time or want to explore as much as possible with perpetual liberty.
If you adoration the great outdoors, parking under the northern lights or midnight sun, and experiencing residence cooked campervan banquets instead of expensive Iceland restaurant food then a campervan is for you.
How to Enjoy Your Iceland Campervan to the Fullest!
horseback riding in Iceland
1. Hold the Door on your Iceland Campervan
The North Atlantic and Iceland have some severely high winds. When you’re exiting a auto make sure to hold firmly to your vehicle entrance- otherwise it may blow right off the car and that isn’t covered by insurance. We’re not kidding!
2. Enjoy Your Sleep
Expect it to be pretty cold in Iceland. Our Happy Camper had a heater we are also able feed all nighttime if we wanted and it retained us toasty heated in the brisk Autumn air. If you’re rental a van without a heater or you don’t want to run the heat all night generate a warm sleeping bag.
If you’re looking for comfort, I would suggest a down comforter from home. The beds in campervans can be firm, so a camping pad will make all the difference. When you’re ready to tent for the light, make sure to park the van on a position face unless you experience sleeping with your feet greater than your head.
The key here is to bring everything you’re pleasant with to represent the van feel like home for the coming week or few epoches.
3. There’s No Bad Weather, Just Bad Clothes
Remember that you’re traveling around Iceland in a campervan. The smallest simulations don’t leave a lot of apartment for a big checked purse. The self-evident thing to jam-pack is warm weather robe. A great option is to pack a duffel bag or backpack that has soft backs and is likely to be stuffed under a seat.
Of course, always pack down coat, sweater, fleece socks, and a travel towel. The towel is really important if you plan to go to hot springs and public reserves. We have a post on what to pack for Iceland if you demand more drapes recommendations. It was necessary to go without saying that Iceland is seriously photogenic so you’re going to want a great camera for traveling photography.
Here are some things we’d recommend to impel your campervan more at home in Iceland.
Coffee pressDown comforterSpare camping burnerFavorite pillowCamping padLeatherman( I carry the Wingman model) Tripod( Photograph the Northern Lights !) Specialty food products
4. Stay Organized
It’s crucial to keep your Iceland campervan organized on your Iceland trip, this is important in more actions than one. It won’t take long to figure out that loose components in the back have a habit of shifting everywhere. We worked hard to keep the back of the van coordinated so we didn’t lose anything.
This meant we could easily access anything and it kept the small space from been transformed into a pigsty. Ten eras in a van with two beings it would be easy to let everything get out of hand.
Also, pick up a few basic cleaning furnishes like a cloth and multi-purpose cleaner. Our van came with a brush that we used to keep our storey scavenge. Without this, the van would have been a disaster zone.
If it’s your first time camping, we can not recommend bamboo baby wipes enough as they make it easy to keep yourself fresh. Of course, any newborn obliterate will do, but they are terrible for the environment so try to opt for biodegradable ones.
5. Choose a Good Campsite
You can not camp freely in a motorized vehicle in Iceland. It is required by law that you have written permission from the proprietor, or in other words, a acknowledgment. There are a plethora of campsites around Iceland in the summer and Happy Campers made this map on their website to help you find one .
Campsites in Iceland are generally decent with facilities such as showers, toilets, and sometimes even WiFi. The median camping reward strays from 1000 ISK ($ 10 US) to 2000 ISK ($ 20 US) per person, per darknes. Many times showers are not included in this price, and cost 300 -5 00 ISK for a three to five-minute shower. That’s why we love going naked in Iceland’s public wading pool instead.
The majority of campsites close down for the winter. We drove the Ring Road in October and knew many of the campsite to have already closed on September 30 th.
The availability of campsites will depend on the time of year. Traveling in October, we encountered it to be hit or miss. The good bulletin is that even when the campsites are closed, they are still accessible and you technically still park there and tent if need be. This means you don’t have to pay – you time won’t have access to equipment like toilets during the offseason. Remember when I mentioned baby obliterates?
6. Eat Good Food!
We are no strangers to prepping easy snacks, and we’ve gotten better over day. Campervans don’t supply a ton of prep space so it’s best that you stick to simple meals. If you want to learn about menu payments we have outlined them in our guide to food market in Iceland. Now are the common snacks we obligated in our campervan.
Wraps: These are super simple. Cameron moved red-hot covers by cooking a stir fry in a go applying vegan hoisin duck, frozen veggies, and sprouts. Dish it out in some folds and surface with vegan cheese.( You can use the real stuff too !) Rice: It’s a staple and finding a way to make it your own will take you for miles. We are happy to top our rice with peas, corn, avocado, eggs, and a sweetened Thai chili sauce.( There are hundreds of variances of this !) Soup: We love to establish soup because it’s delicious, asks one utensil, and it replenishes you up. For an easy and healthy soup, Cameron recommends the following: Saute onions in a cup until translucent, add sprouts, tomatoes, vegetable asset( bouillon cubes to save space ), rice, potatoes, carrots, and season with paprika. If you’re a flesh eater concoct it first with the onions. The key to a soup is layering flavors and letting it simmer for a long time.Pancakes: Who doesn’t adore pancakes? They’re dead simple and when you top them with peanut butter they’ll hinder you going for hours. For camping, we show the premade concoction from the store.Pasta: Roasted red pepper, pesto, avocado, or mushroom stroganoff there are countless deviations of pasta you are in a position to meet. We love to mix them with frozen veggies when tenting in Iceland. Fresh produce is expensive in Iceland!
Iceland is expensive and alcohol overheads are smutty. A bottle of the budget vodka Smirnoff expenses $70. You are permitted to delivering a bottle of your own booze into the country, so we came prepared with a great bottle of gin from the U.K.
If you’re worried about the heavines or a bottle breaking your next alternative is to purchase alcohol at the Airport in duty-free before you enter the country. Outside of duty-free places at international airports, you can only purchase alcohol at the state-run stores announced Vinbudin.
8. Download a Good Travel Playlist
Be prepared for some long drives and spate of hour on the road. If you’re looking for a great travel playlist or music we’ve got you enveloped. Simply make sure you download all your music to your phone as you may not ever have a connection.
9. Pros and Cons of Renting a Camper van in Iceland
Pros of Campervan Living in Iceland
Saves Money- since you don’t have to pay for hotels.Convenient- no need to plan out everything in advanceFlexible- able to change your itinerary whenever you want.Views- Never a bad idea!
Cons of Campervan Living in Iceland
Cramped- There’s no doubt about it, a campervan with more than one person is cramped living.Showers/ Lavatories- It’s hard to come by bathrooms in Iceland unless you’re at a marked campsite. Showers can be hit or miss very. Weather- If you have bad weather( which is likely) there’s no escaping it.
Plan Your Epic Campervan Trip to Iceland
Renting a Camper Van in Iceland!
A campervan is the best way to get out Iceland on a fund. While a camper is slightly more expensive than a vehicle, you can sleep and cook in it! Meaning you don’t have to search for any inns or be addressed with expensive diners in Iceland.
Plus you get to sleep in nature every night and still use a heater if there is a desire! If you want to travel with a Happy Campers van as we did( and you are able to they are the BEST !) make sure to read our full inspect . You can easily book using this tie, but make sure to book well in advance during high season.
Book a Tour
Sometimes it’s nice not is essential to do all the travel planning and tell someone else do it.
When is the Best Time to Visit Iceland?
In my opinion, the best terms to visit Iceland are June, July, September, October, and December- but it all depends on what you want! June-August is high season, but it is also summer in Iceland and when you will find the most pleasant temperatures. It’s also when you will experience the most amount of sunrise and get the most of our of your excursion. December is great because it is winter, you stand a strong chance of determining the Northern Lights, it’s low-grade season, and the temperatures haven’t gone to complete freezing hitherto.
However my personal favorite time to travel Iceland is during the fall months. It’s during September and October where you will see the buds vary dynamic complexions all over the country. Temperatures are still mild, and tourism is slowing down. You can see the full month by month failure for Iceland travel now.
Things to be done in order to Iceland
There are literally so many things to do in Iceland I could write a book about it. Unfortunately, I don’t have that kind of time so I’m showing you the eventual Iceland bucket list now . Some things that are a must do are go to an Iceland swimming pool, soak in a natural hot spring, stand under a cataract, and understand the Northern Lights.
Photography Gear for Iceland
A high-quality camera is an essential packing item for Iceland if you want some immense shots while on your vacation. We circulate with our Fujifilm Camera and 200 mm telephoto lens. Drones have kind of made Iceland by commotion and can capture superb footage as well. We had our DJI Mavic in Iceland, but make sure to use your monotone responsibly as numerous locals are getting exasperated at the batch of them.
Whatever you do, do not forget a tripod for Iceland- extremely if you plan on photographing the Northern Lights as you’ll need one for the long exposures.
Is Iceland Expensive?
Iceland is mega expensive. One of the most expensive countries in the entire world actually. Made to ensure that you plan accordingly and in line with your budget. It’s certainly possible to do Iceland on a plan of less than $100 if you are camping, cooking all your own basic dinners, and traveling by public transport or score a great deal on a rental. The good bulletin is that mood is free, and you’ll be able to see Iceland’s beauty without paying for it. So yes – it’s completely doable to have an affordable Iceland vacation.
If you plan on imbibe be sure to pick up duty free alcohol before you leave the airport. A jug of beer can easily run you $15 – $20!
Plan For Your Trip
Protect Your Trip: Don’t forget to purchase travel guarantee! We always carry roam guarantee to protect from injury, theft, or a canceled expedition. Try World Nomads for competitive short term contrives. Read our full refresh here .Travel Adapter: Make sure you find a good adapter to keep your personal electronics accused. Otherwise, you may be paying for a cheap one once you arrive. Purchase one now .Travel Backpack: We like the Nomatic Travel Backpack for our travels. Check the price here .Our Favorite Travel Shoes: Our answer to this question is always ALLBIRDS! Check them out on their site !Get a Travel Credit Card: We travel around the world for free because we have leveraged our spending into moments. See why you should get a travel credit cardshow you can do the same with our favorite hasten credit cards.
Read more: theworldpursuit.com