Iceland is a country that will stay in your heart forever. Iceland either you love it or you love it. No, that´s not a spelling mistake. There is no chance that you will not love Iceland. There is so much beauty and uniqueness in this country, that not even the strongest wind can stop your desire to keep going from end to end. So if you want to go for a “Camping Iceland” experience, this is the article for you.
In two weeks we have learned some lessons that we want to share. But before you read them we believe that if you are here it is because you are thinking of going to Iceland at some point. Do not hesitate any longer.
Camping Iceland will change your travel experience forever.
- 1 10 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE GOING ON A CAMPING ICELAND EXPERIENCE
- 1.1 Camping Iceland – Lesson 1: The wind in Iceland is not like any other wind you’ve felt
- 1.2 Camping Iceland – Lesson 2: Icelandic phrase “If you do not like the weather, wait five minutes,” is totally true
- 1.3 Camping Iceland – Lesson 3: There is no better idea than renting a campervan with built-in kitchen
- 1.4 Camping Iceland – Lesson 4: Iceland is an ideal country for camping
- 1.5 Camping Iceland – Lesson 5: Icelandic landscapes are truly unique
- 1.6 Camping Iceland – Lesson 6: Respect speed limits
- 1.7 Camping Iceland – Lesson 7: “Bad Route” warnings are not exaggerated
- 1.8 Camping Iceland – Lesson 8: The North also exists
- 1.9 Camping Iceland – Lesson 9: Fill up your car tank at each gas station you find
- 1.10 Camping Iceland – Lesson 10: Even if it is snowy, there is a hurricane wind or it rains hard, go out and discover Iceland
10 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE GOING ON A CAMPING ICELAND EXPERIENCE
Camping Iceland – Lesson 1: The wind in Iceland is not like any other wind you’ve felt
If you rent a car, never let go of the door when you open it. We hardly stepped on Keflavík and the wind slapped us in the face and told us: “Welcome to Iceland”. We had read about the strong Icelandic winds and how they can break car doors.
But we thought it was an exaggeration.
The door of the campervan that we rented with SadCars was on the verge of being taken away from the van if we had not followed the advice of the guy who gave us the vehicle.
When driving, you have the feeling of having punctured a wheel because the car tends to go to one side.
But it is only the strong wind crossing the road.
Camping Iceland – Lesson 2: Icelandic phrase “If you do not like the weather, wait five minutes,” is totally true
The best thing seems to be to wear layers of clothing, and, most of all, windproof and waterproof clothing. We got into the car with a huge wind and drizzle.
We drove with rain. A few minutes later the sky was clear and we found ourselves sunbathing on the lawn, and then again we had to find shelter in order to escape the cold and wind.
In a one week period, you can go from a pleasant day of sun and 15 degrees, to a freezing day with a snowstorm that forces you to stop in the middle of the road.
But it is part of the charm of this country, which is enjoyed both on foot and behind the car wheel through its magnificent routes.
Camping Iceland – Lesson 3: There is no better idea than renting a campervan with built-in kitchen
Iceland is among the most expensive countries in the world. Buying things in Iceland is like having a black hole in your wallet. So having the possibility to cook our own food in our Campervan, and not having to donate our savings at a dinner, is priceless.
Camping Iceland – Lesson 4: Iceland is an ideal country for camping
Beyond the almost prohibitive prices to stay in hotels, the campsites present unique opportunities to sleep in contact with the most wonderful nature you have ever experienced.
Camping Iceland – Lesson 5: Icelandic landscapes are truly unique
I confess that I have traveled, but I have never seen a landscape so desolately beautiful, so crude. Crudity not as far as the hardness of the landscape, although several places give an immense sensation of in-habitability, but as far as a gastronomical sense of the term. In Iceland there is nothing “cooked”, there is nothing touched by man.
Or at least you got that sensation when traveling for miles and miles through virgin and empty land, with colors ranging from yellow, scattered on all sides, to the black of the volcanic land, with the white background of eternal snow on the mountain peaks and the reflection in the deep blue of the frozen lakes or the hot geothermal pools.
Camping Iceland – Lesson 6: Respect speed limits
Unless you want a hole in your pocket, or even worse, a disaster in your car. The fines for speeding can go up to thousands of euros. And not for an excess of 50 kms. If the limit is 70 and a policeman picks you up going at 74, he may decide to fine you.
But beyond the fines, several sectors of Icelandic routes are not in the best conditions (especially the routes with 3 numbers), so you have to go with extreme care so that you do not end up nailed into a hole.
Camping Iceland – Lesson 7: “Bad Route” warnings are not exaggerated
Route 1, the well-known Ring Road, or Circular Route, which runs throughout the island, is in perfect condition and is paved, at least for the most part. Then there are the two-digit routes, which are fairly well maintained although they are usually gravel and must be handled with more care.
But there are also three-digit routes, which would not present problems for those who have a 4×4. But if you do not have a four-wheel drive vehicle, these routes present a challenge.
A mixture of loose gravel, bumps and almost no presence of guardrail that may avoid an extremely dangerous fall.
For the experienced and fearless driver, this type of routes are extremely attractive as they take us to hidden landscapes of extreme beauty, as is the case of the diversion after Route 998, coming from the Icelandic capital to the east by the Route 1, that leaves us in front of the majestic Svinafellsjökull glacier.
Or Route 939 that shortens the road between Djupivogur, to the east, and Egilsstadir, by means of a marvelous as well as intense ride up above the mountains, where the mist does not allow to see more than 2 meters in front of you.
Something to keep in mind: Icelanders never leave their home and into the road without first looking at the Road.is web where you can see in real time the status of all routes in the country down to the smallest detail (whether they are opened or closed, if they are slippery or in good condition, whether there is ice on the asphalt, etc.).
Camping Iceland – Lesson 8: The North also exists
The vast majority of tourists who visit Iceland concentrate their trip in the south, believing that there you can find the most beautiful places in the country. What a big mistake! Northern Iceland is a wonder and deserves the same attention as the south.
Lake Mývatn is a clear example, or the park of volcanic formations of Dimmuborgir, or the waterfall of Godafoss. And each of the corners of the route that invite you to stop. Iceland cannot be traveled in three days. Iceland is not just the Golden Circle.
Camping Iceland – Lesson 9: Fill up your car tank at each gas station you find
You can be very calm in the car with the tank almost full, but trusting you will find a gas station nearby in Iceland can be very tricky because you can be driving for 200 kilometers and not find any supplier. So if you are already with two or three bars less in the counter and find a gas station, load it to the maximum. It never hurts.
Also, if you go to the supermarket, try to make it to the Bonus chain. If you have decided to camp, chances are you want to cook your own food. The Bonus supermarket chain is the most economical in the country. There is a lot of price difference between that chain and the others, and let´s just not compare it to the small markets or the gas stations minimarkets. So if you see a Bonus, get out of the car and buy.
Camping Iceland – Lesson 10: Even if it is snowy, there is a hurricane wind or it rains hard, go out and discover Iceland
If you came to Iceland to escape the bad weather, you came to the wrong place. So if the weather does not show its best face, go out and enjoy the country, which has its charm under water and wind. You can also enjoy it from the car, crossing its routes. A whole day behind the wheel is also a great plan.
If you have already traveled to Iceland and you come up with a new advice, please comment below! If you haven´t had the luck of visiting this beautiful country, we encourage you to read our article: THE BEST ICELAND ROADTRIP. TWO WEEKS IN A CAMPERVAN.
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