The Freedom of a Camper Van
I have traveled and seen a lot of the world through the windshield of a camper van, so when I began planning my trip to Iceland, I knew a camper van was the only way to do it. There is nothing like the freedom of a camper van – stop when you want, sleep when you want and adventure whenever and wherever you want!
We started our adventure by taking the Icelandic Pledge. I come from a part of Ontario, Canada that also has challenges with tourism, and have developed a similar sustainable development manifesto, so I was so pleased to find this when we landed.
We started our trek by heading up to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula – absolutely stunning. We followed the recommendations from this travel blog, and used her driving tours to guide us. Making a quick stop in Borgarnes for groceries, we headed north. It was a pretty rainy day, so we didn’t do any hiking, but we did make it up to Ólafsvik for dinner – delicious! We drove through the national park and caught a glimpse of Snæfellsjökull.
“Love her, but leave her wild.” – Atticus
The next day, we headed back towards Reykjavik. However, if you are planning on doing the Ring Road, then keep driving east. We weren’t sure we had enough time, although in hindsight, I think we probably did, but you can decide what works best for your schedule.
We explored Reykjavik for the day – walking the streets, going up the tower in Hallgrímskirkja, and drinking beer at the Micro Bar. After a day of exploring Reykjavik, we made a stop at a hot spot which I found using this hot pot website – I highly recommend it! My goal was to bathe in as many hot pots as possible!
At this point, we decided to do the Golden Circle – we went to the Geyser, Gullfoss and then to the Secret Lagoon. All of it was amazing, and although I usually try to stay off the tourist beaten path, it was beautiful and I can clearly see why everyone does it. Do not skip the Secret Lagoon – this was one of our favorite stops. You can get pool noodles, and just relax with a beer in the lagoon. It is quiet and not overcrowded at all.
From here, we headed south to drive the south coast of Iceland. Along the way, we stopped at Seljalandsfoss Waterfall.
We spent the first night in Dýrhólaey– which is one of the most amazing stops! The hike was incredible. We arrived here quite late at night, and not a soul was around, so we had it all to ourselves. Tip: There is an amazing public washroom here that looks out. I definitely had very clean hands after this. In the morning, we hiked to find puffins, and we did see a few!
The next day, we went to Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach and then into Vik. Definitely make sure you stop here! As you continue along, you will soon be driving through the Eldhraun Lava Field. I have never experienced such a landscape, and it is absolutely breathtaking. Be sure to stop and take photos!
We spent the rest of the day at Skaftafell. You can hike back to Svínafellsjökull Glacier, as well as Svartifoss (Black Waterfall). Do both! Both are equally amazing and will leave you in awe. We spent quite a bit of time just staring at the glacier and enjoying the tranquility and amazement of our world. It is quite a hike to the waterfall (uphill both ways ha – not really), but definitely worth it. This was one of my favorite waterfalls!!
We drove right to Höfn from here because we wanted to get here in time for dinner. You may or may not be planning on driving this way along the coast, but if possible, check out this little town. We had pizza at Íshúsið Pizzeria and it was probably the best meal we had in Iceland!
The next day we headed back towards Reykjavik, and we were able to stop at a few places we didn’t have time to do on our way through the first time. First stop was the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon.
“Into the wild I go, losing my way and finding my soul.”
Whatever you do, do not skip this stop! This was my favorite thing (ok, I feel like I have said that a lot, but really, I mean it!). We spent a few hours here, perhaps because it was breathtaking, and perhaps because it was our only sunny day in Iceland! You can get lost in the icebergs and lose all track of time. In these moments, nature truly takes your breath away and as small as you feel next to a glacier, you realize how amazingly connected we all are.
We also stopped and hiked back to the DC-3 Plane. I had heard Iceland was the third windiest country, and after this hike, I believe it. However, we lived to tell the tale about it, and worth the walk back. It took us about 2 hours there and back, and that was walking quite quickly. You can also rent bikes, but I’m not sure if that would be easier if it is windy.
We looped back up to check out Laugarvatn Fontana – another beautiful lagoon. They also had natural steam baths, which were pretty cool. We also hiked through Þingvellir (Thingvellir), which is another stop you should be sure to put on your map.
As we were nearing the end of our adventure, we headed over to the Reykjanes Peninsula and went to the Bridge between Two Continents. So cool!!! This is also close to the top of my list of favorite things, and is close to the airport so you can easily stop on your way to or from the airport. We also had to stop at the Blue Lagoon and see what all the fuss was about – very cool, but definitely very touristy, and not as relaxing as the other lagoons. Worth the stop if you have time, but it is expensive, and some of the other lagoons offer a more authentic Icelandic lagoon experience.
The one thing we missed that I wanted to do, and I would recommend if you have time hiking in Reykjadalur Valley where there is a hot river you can bathe in – does it get any better than that?!
The camper van was everything we could have wanted and more – WiFi, heat, a fridge, charging ports for our phones, table and chairs, and not to mention, a very comfortable bed! If you are adventuring in Iceland, look no further than Rent.is!
Read more: Iceland: It was a 10 years dream journey
Happy Camping! #CamperStories
Iceland Travel Guides
If you like what you see, please subscribe to our YouTube channel!