Camper Honeymoon in Iceland

A lap around the Ring Road ­ Iceland 2016 

When my wife and I got married two years ago, we were unable to take time off for a  honeymoon due to our busy work and school schedules. However, once the opportunity  came to take a week off, we sprung at the chance to visit Iceland. What lay ahead comprised  of six full days of incredible sights, sounds and smells beyond anything we could have  envisioned.

Celebrating your honeymoon in Iceland in a camper van

 

Pre­trip:    

With the dates set for the trip, we started planning. Since we did not have a large budget for  the trip, we quickly discovered that renting a campervan were the most cost ­effective way to discover  Iceland and also gave us the most freedom to explore on our own timeline. This freedom  came in handy a few times during our trip. After researching, we planned to stay at the  plentiful campsites located around the country.
Besides having a legal place to park every  night, campsite also provide toilets, showers and often kitchens for added convenience and  were worth the small price. Another key decision before setting out was deciding if six days  was enough time to travel around the ring road. After finding an itinerary online of a five day  trip, we were certain it would be enough time and worth the long drives to make it all the way  around the country and not spend any time backtracking.

Day 1: Reykjavik to Vik

Hiking up to Gljúfrafoss Gjúfrafoss waterfall in South Iceland Dýrhólaey outside Vík in Mýrdal

We were expecting the cold but the wind really got to us as we stepped off the plane,  especially as we left behind 30+ degree weather in Toronto. After quickly getting through  customs and grabbing coffee, we soon had our campervan. One of the first features we used  in our Renault Kangoo was seat warmers; we would have never guessed we would have  that luxury in our campervan. We didn’t have to go far from Keflavik airport to get our first  glimpses of the Icelandic landscape. After stopping in Reykjavik for groceries, we headed  out on the first leg of the road trip.
First stop was Seljalandsfoss waterfall right off the ring  road. Though is was packed with tour bus visitors, most people seemed to miss the even  better Gljufrafoss just down the path. After peering over the top edge of the waterfall, we  walked through the stream into the cavern the waterfall was pouring into for some amazing  pictures.  After a battle with wind waves and water at the epic Dýrhólaey black sands beach, we  headed to a campsite next to cliffs near Vik for a rainy first night camping.

Day 2: Vik to Djúpivogur   

Skaftafellsjökull glacier in south Iceland

Crystal Beach GIF Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon in Iceland Fjaðrárgljúfur

Being on a messed up sleeping schedule we woke up at 5am and were quickly on the road  chasing better weather. This leg of the trip was one of the most visually captivating with the  landscape changing around every bend in the road. Since we were out so early, we were the  only ones at the Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon which made for great photos without anyone else in the background.
Next on the list was Skaftafell and the Vatnajökull National Park for a  hike to see Svartifoss, the basalt rock column waterfall as well as a great vantage point over  the Skaftafellsjökull glacier. As we continued driving, Glaciers lined the road to the next  destinations, the Fjallsárlón and Jökulsárlón iceberg lagoons. After the long day, we took a  break at natural hot spring tubs with views out towards a glacier before pressing on to our campsite at Djúpivogur where we ended the day watching the Euro 2016 final game at a  packed local bar.

Day 3: Djúpivogur to Mývatn

Dettifoss waterfall in North Iceland Driving around Iceland in a Camper van

The third day involved the most driving powering though the eastern side of the country  towards Mývatn. We can’t compare them to the western fjords but the eastern fjords were  impressive. We stopped at a few small towns completely surrounded by mountains and  ocean. The highlight though was definitely Dettifoss, the spectacular waterfall in the middle  of a desolate landscape. To end the long day of driving we had a great dinner at “Daddi’s  Pizza”, a small and delicious restaurant at the campsite in Reykjahlíð.

Day 4: Mývatn to Hvammstangi

Hverarönd in Námaskarð on North Iceland
Goðafoss waterfall in North Iceland. Visiting an Icelandic Microbrewery
The Mývatn region featured some of the craziest landscapes we had ever experienced. At  Hverarond, we saw, smelt and heard the earth bursting through the ground with boiling mud,  sulfur gas and steam pods which covered the ground in a variety of different colours. After  checking out the nearby Krafla power plant and Grjótagjá cave, we headed to Goðafoss  waterfall. Though not the largest or tallest waterfall we had seen, it was astonishingly  beautiful and radiant in colour. The next stop was Iceland’s second largest city Akureyri for  lunch and a stroll through downtown. We then headed off the ring road along a coastal road  winding around mountains. Along the way, we stopped a tour of an Icelandic microbrewery  which uses water from a nearby mountain for its water.

Day 5: Hvammstangi to Snæfellsnes Peninsula

The last two days of the trip were much more laid back after the quick pace at the beginning  of the trip, though still full of driving. Day 5 took us into the legendary Snæfellsnes Peninsula  with some of the greatest snow-capped mountain views of the trip. We passed a few small  towns before reaching the famous Kirkjufell mountain and nearby waterfall. We ended the  day at Hellissandur where we treated to views of the Snæfellsjökull mountain from our campsite.
Krikjufell in Snæfellsnes, just outsude Grundartanga

Day 6: Snæfellsnes peninsula to Reykjavik   

The last day of the road trip took us through Snæfellsjökull National Park where we stopped  at the Lóndrangar rock formations. Just as on previous days, we set out quite early and were  there without anyone else to enjoy views of the ocean crashing into black rock cliffs.  Exhausted after our long trip, we headed to the last stop of the trip at the famous Blue  Lagoon for a few hours in the pristine blue water. The last night of the trip was spent in a  campsite just outside of Reykjavik, the largest and busiest campsite of the trip.
Lónsdrangar South coast Snæfellnsnes

Day 7 & 8: Reykjavik

With our campervan returned, we had a couple of days to enjoy Reykjavik before heading  back to Toronto. We spent time in the main downtown area walking through shops, stopping  at cafes and enjoying the vibrant downtown. The Brauð & Co. bakery had some of the most  delicious pastries we had ever tried. The city had a very unique atmosphere to it and we  enjoyed the street art and the unique architecture of the Hallgrimskirkja church and the  Harpa Concert Hall.

The Campervan

Camper Van Rental in Iceland
After over 2200km (1367 miles) of driving around Iceland over 6 days, we were very happy with our camper van experience. The Renault Kangoo was perfect for Melody and I, providing everything we needed for our trip. The bed was comfortable and the dedicated rear heating  system made sure we were warm at night. The tiny fridge worked well enough to keep our  food cool.
Everything was provided to make meals, even though we usually stuck to  sandwiches and easy to make food (who wants to watch water boil when you have so much  to see around you?). One of the best parts of the camper van was the fuel economy. We were originally worried about the expensive gas in Iceland but with an efficient manual  diesel, we didn’t even think about gas stations until the third day of driving.
Iceland Camper Hire Camper Van Hire in Iceland
Visiting Iceland was an incredible experience. The unique trip was filled with things to do and  see. Even though we made it around the whole ring road, I would have been great to have a  few extra days in order to take it slower to be able to spend more time exploring areas such  as Mývatn, doing more planned activities/tours as well as venture into the Westfjords.  However, we now have another reason to visit Iceland again.
Happy Camping  #CamperStories

 Iceland Travel Guides

Snæfellsnes Travel guide South Iceland Travel Guide

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