Around Iceland in Camper van
To explore Iceland from the most authentic point of view we decided to travel around Iceland by renting a Camper van through Campervan Iceland. It gave us the freedom to make stops for enjoying nature, eating lunch and sleep wherever we wanted to.
We started the tour in Reykjavik and drove for seven days all the way around the beautiful island. We started driving north, then east, south and then ended up in Reykjavik again. To remember all the amazing views and experiences we perpetuated the moments, not just in our minds, but also with a lot of pictures, which we want to share with you.
No road trip without snacks! We had a big craving for chocolate and licorice and found our favorite ‘Sambo Super Boltar’. It is a must try! Following The Ring Road you will find a lot of different and unique nature. The nature changes all the way around and you will never get tired of looking out of the window.
When you need a break it is easy to make a stop. The advantage of having your “home” right next to you is that you have the freedom to prepare your meals on the go, while you are looking at big volcanoes, sheeps and big mountains bathing in sun.
Note to yourself; you have to bring A LOT of camping gas. When feeling tired and filled up with experiences for the day you just choose one of many campsites available around Iceland. We bought a camping card that gave us the opportunity to camp at certain campsites around the island. It is easy and you have access to the most necessary facilities, some better than others, but if you are only staying for one night all of them are okay.
You do not feel like a tourist in Iceland while driving around. If not stickers were put on the rental car you could easily blend in and feel like you are a part of the Icelandic population. A tribute to Iceland; they do not put a lot of souvenir shops at many of the popular attractions, which also make it a more authentic experience when you are visiting the popular sites.
The drive following the Ring Road includes a couple of long drives but it is not a big deal, because you are surrounded by different and beautiful landscapes all the time, which is an attraction in itself. Here we want to list some alternative sites, campsites and attractions, which we find worth seeing.
Snæfellsjökull National Park
Driving through this national park you can make a lot of stops. We had a spontaneous stop by a cave that was amazing. Water was running down the mountain from a cave and by walking along the flowing water towards the mountain you were able to enter the cave. By entering the cave you can walk deeper inside. Remember to look up in the sky and watch all the birds flying above your head.
Hell’s Kitchen at Námafjall
Even though Hell’s Kitchen is a quite touristy place it s definitely worth to make a quick stop here. It is not a big area, but you really feel the power of nature when observing the mud pots and craters. When saying a quick stop we mean a quick stop, because the smell of rotten eggs make you want to leave when you have explored the area and taken some photos.
Mývatn Nature Baths
When needing a break from driving make a stop in Myvatn Nature Baths. It is similar to the Blue Lagoon but it is only for “Ring Road Travellers”, as it is placed in the northern part of the island, but it is as nice as the Blue Lagoon. As the camping life do not offers a lot of showers it is a perfect stop to get completely clean. Sink into the blue water and feel how your body gets warmer while having an overview of Myvatn’s fascinating landscape.
During the drive from Mývatn to east Iceland you will not find many campsites. However, one of the campsites available is a must try. It is placed away from the ring road in a very small but cute town. It provides you with the opportunity to cook your food in a small hut covered in grass. Inside the hut that is made of big stones you get the feeling that you are many years back in time, and this place is filled with cosiness. If you need to be warmed up, also in July, there is a small café where you can get warm, drink a cup of hot chocolate and use their Wi-Fi. Outside we also found these really cute baby foxes that were not shy at all and you could easily get some nice shots of them.
If you want a little creativeness during your road trip the Icelandic scenery is perfect for making a stop and paint some of the natural motives, and find your hidden artist. You do not have to be a good painter, just look at our paintings 😀
Horseback riding at Hella Horse Rental
No trip to Iceland without getting in touch with some horses. Scared and anxious we went to the horse rental place where the two nice tour guides welcomed us. They calmed us and gave us the calm horses, and as the riding tour began we forgot about our anxiety. Riding in tölt the tour guides took us through plants and beautiful purple flowers, crossing streams and we had a break by a waterfall. Views of the volcanoes Eyjafjallajökull and Hekla were in the background during the whole tour.
Away from the Ring Road we made a stop in Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon. Do not be scared when entering the road as a sign says that it is only allowed for 4×4 vehicles. Luckily the road leading you to the canyon is not included in the warning and we were able to drive to this awesome spot in the camper van. You can walk along the top of the canyon, which is about 2 km long. The canyon is 100 meter deep and surrounded by enormous landscape as long as the eye can see. Here you get the feeling of being really small in this big world.
One of the campsites led us to Stokkseyri. It is not an interesting town, but while you are there you can take advantage of the opportunity to visit Fjörudorid. The restaurant is definitely a must try. It is not fancy furnished, but they serve the most delicious, sweet and tasteful lobster and there is no doubt that it is just freshly caught from the ocean.
The Golden Circle
We do not have much to say about these sights, which you cannot read about elsewhere. However, the Golden Circle is worth visiting even though it is a touristy place.
There is a reason why it attracts so many people. When you are getting hungry and need a break you definitely have to make a stop in Estidalur between Geysir and Thingvellir, because the restaurant offers tasty meat from the farm. Order a John Deere sandwich (or whatever you like) and enjoy it in the cowshed while watching the cows.
Iceland is an amazing destination and perfect for a camper van experience. Just remember to bring some warm clothes, even though you are travelling during summer time 😀
Sofie & Henriette
Read more: Our epic adventure in Iceland
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