Skaftafell Camping: Exploring Part of Vatnajökull National Park

Camping in Iceland is one of the best ways to get close to nature. As Iceland is one of the most expensive countries in the world, camping can be an excellent way of keeping your costs down.

In the Land of Fire and Ice, you need to remember that free camping is illegal. You must have the permission of the landowner to camp.

During your trip, you must ensure you only camp at designated campsites. If camping in the Skaftafell national park, Iceland, is on your bucket list, here’s what you need to know.


Where is Skaftafell?

The Skaftafell national park is situated in the southeast of Iceland. Along the popular south coast, this is an area in the wilderness of the country. Visiting Skaftafell gives you a chance to get off the main Ring Road tourist trail.


If it is not already on your bucket list, it should be. Having recently become part of the Vatnajökull national park, Skaftafell, Iceland, is filled with vast glaciers, mysterious ice caves, and magical waterfalls. For the traveler who loves being outside, this is a ‘must visit’ destination.


The best part is that the Skaftafell campsite is one of the few places in Iceland that stays open all year.


Skaftafell Camping Amenities

In the Skaftafell national park, camping is easy. The campground may be situated in a wild part of Iceland, but it still comes with many of the modern traveler’s comforts.

Just a few of the main amenities at the campground include:

  • Room for more than 400 tents.
  • Designated area for camper vans.
  • Showers.
  • Laundry facilities.
  • Outdoor cooking areas.
  • WiFi across the campground.

Benefits of Camping in a Camper Van

Due to the fact that Skaftafell camping grounds permit camper vans, you may want to consider renting a camper van for the duration of your trip.

Here are some of the biggest benefits:

Save on Accommodation – Even budget travelers can expect to pay $50-$70 per night for accommodations in Iceland.

No Need to Book – Traveling in peak season? You won’t need to worry about fully booked accommodation with your camper van.

Freedom – There is no need to stick to a predetermined itinerary with your camper van. Stay anywhere for as long as you want.

Things to Do in Skaftafell/Vatnajökull National Park

Visiting Skaftafell, you will be practically surrounded by glaciers. Vatnajökull is the largest glacier in Europe, for example. There is also Öræfajökull, which is a volcano under a glacier.

Within the park, you’ll find the highest peak in Iceland, the oldest and largest forest in the country, the highest waterfall, and the largest outwash plain in the world.

Here are just some of the things you can do during your stay.


Create lifetime memories with a Skaftafell hike. There are countless different hiking paths for people of all abilities.


Whether you want a day-long hike or a short trek of just a couple of hours, there is something for you.

Some classic hikes include:

  • Bæjarstaðaskógur hike.
  • Svartifoss and Sjónarsker. 
  • Morsárjökull hike.

Make sure you pick up a detailed hiking map from the visitor center before you leave. All trails are well-signposted.

Guided Glacier Walks

It only makes sense when surrounded by glaciers to head out on a glacier walk. There are plenty of tour guides offering glacier walks. Many visitors choose to employ a guide in Reykjavik before making the trip to Skaftafell.

Skaftafell glacier hiking does not require you to possess advanced skills.

The most highly recommended adventure is on the Falljökull Glacier. This is the outlet glacier of Vatnajökull, which is the largest glacier in Europe.

Your journey will take you across the tongue of this mighty fixture. This glacier hike is possible even for those with no experience.

Skaftafell Visitor Center

The Skaftafell Visitor Center is your hub to ask any questions you might have. We highly recommend picking up a hiking map here. They also have information on accommodation and where to eat.

If you want to support local craftspeople, the souvenir shop sells local handicrafts, as well as books and postcards.

Skaftafell Camping FAQs

Do you need to reserve a campsite in advance?

Yes. This can be done when you arrive.  However, if you arrive after 11 pm, register and pay in the morning.

Can the campground host RVs?

Yes, there is a designated area on the campground for RVs.

When is the Skaftafell Camping Ground Open?

This is one of the few camping grounds that never closes. It is open the whole year, but during the winter months, only Pitch C is open.

How Much Does it Cost to Camp at Skaftafell?

It currently costs 1800 ISK ($14) per night to pitch up your tent here.

When is the best time to visit Skaftafell?

Skaftafell is an enchanting place to visit any time of the year. Most locals recommend visiting both in the summer and the winter!


A visit to Skaftafell should be a part of your itinerary. Since the camping ground permits camper vans, embrace the freedom renting a camper van in Iceland can bring. Contact us today to find out more about securing a camper van for your Icelandic odyssey.

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