Camping and Road Trips in Iceland: A Guide to the Ultimate Adventure

camping in iceland lagoon car rental
Camping at Skogafoss waterfall.

Iceland, a land of sheer wonderment, offers more than just picturesque landscapes; it provides an adventure of a lifetime. Combining a road trip with camping here allows you to immerse fully in the raw beauty of its natural wonders.

Imagine pitching your tent under the ethereal glow of the Northern Lights or, alternatively, next to the soothing sounds of a nearby waterfall. Moreover, this guide will assist you in smoothly navigating the process of renting a car. Additionally, it will help in choosing campgrounds that are accessible by vehicle. Lastly, it provides advice on what to pack for your Icelandic camping adventure.

Why Choose Iceland for Camping and Road Trips?

Iceland’s natural beauty is unmatched, making it a prime choice for both campers and road trippers. The country boasts well-maintained roads that wind through a variety of landscapes—ranging from volcanic fields and expansive lava plains to breathtaking fjords and peaceful lakes—ensuring every mile is an adventure.

Furthermore, camping in Iceland allows you to explore these wonders at your own pace. Additionally, since most of the stunning sites are reachable by car, you have the freedom to find hidden gems and wake up to some of the most incredible views right outside your tent.

Lagoon car rental driving tips road in iceland
Navigate to a beautiful waterfall in Iceland.

Renting a Car in Iceland

Renting a car in Iceland is the first step to a great adventure. When choosing your rental, consider the kind of terrain you’ll encounter. Four-wheel drives are ideal for navigating Iceland’s rugged landscapes, especially if you plan to venture off the main roads. Look for rental options that offer camping gear, including tents, sleeping bags, and cooking equipment, to save you the hassle of bringing or buying your own.

Here are a few tips for renting a car in Iceland:

Choose a reputable rental company: Check reviews and compare prices.

Insurance: Make sure you understand what’s covered. Consider additional insurance for gravel protection, especially if you’re exploring gravel roads.

Understand the rules: Know the local driving laws, such as speed limits and alcohol limits. Also, be aware that off-road driving is illegal in Iceland to protect the natural environment.

Top Campgrounds Accessible by Car

Iceland is dotted with campgrounds that offer amenities and are easily accessible by car. Here are a few top picks:

Þakgil Campground: Nestled in a beautiful valley surrounded by high mountains, this campground offers a remote experience accessible by a gravel road suitable for 4WD vehicles. It’s perfect for those looking to escape into nature.

Skógafoss Campground: Located near the iconic Skógafoss Waterfall, this site offers breathtaking views and is a perfect spot for photographers and nature lovers. Facilities are good, and it’s easily accessible by any vehicle.

Skaftafell Campground: Part of Vatnajökull National Park, this campground serves as a fantastic base for hiking and glacier tours. The facilities are excellent, and the views are some of the best in Iceland.

Húsafell Campground: Ideal for families, this site offers a variety of services and activities. Including a swimming pool and nearby hiking trails. Accessible by all vehicles, it provides a comfortable stay amidst stunning scenery.

Svartifoss waterafall, Skaftafell Lagoon car rental.
Svartifoss waterfall in Skaftafell National Park.

Packing List for Camping in Iceland

Packing appropriately is crucial for enjoying the Icelandic outdoors. Here’s what you should consider bringing along:

Clothing: Waterproof and windproof jackets, thermal layers, and sturdy hiking boots.

Camping Gear: While some rental cars come with gear, ensure you have a durable tent, sleeping bags suitable for cold weather, and a portable stove if you plan to cook.

Navigation Tools: A GPS device and physical maps.

Safety Items: A first-aid kit, a flashlight or headlamp, and a portable charger.

Tips and Best Practices for Camping and Road Tripping

To make the most of your road trip and camping experience in Iceland, keep these tips in mind:

Travel during summer: While Iceland’s summer is short, it offers milder weather and the mesmerizing midnight sun.

Use designated campgrounds: Camping in the wild is restricted in many areas to protect the environment. Always use designated camping areas.

Leave no trace: Be mindful of the environment, take all trash with you, and respect wildlife.


Embarking on a road trip combined with camping in Iceland provides an unmatched chance to discover the island’s stunning scenery at your leisure. Equipped with the appropriate vehicle, equipment, and a sense of adventure, you’re prepared for an unforgettable experience.

Additionally, keep in mind that every twist and turn along the road could unveil new wonders—be it a secluded waterfall, a tranquil fjord, or a charming village. So rent a car, pack your bags, and set out on a road trip that promises to be as exhilarating as the destination itself!

For more travel tips and inspiration for your trip to Iceland, check out our Blog.