I received two tickets for Iceland from my lovely boyfriend for Christmas 2015. Even though the tickets were only for next September, we were so exited that we started to look for campers in January. We finally decided to rent a cozy Renault Kangoo Camper with Rent.is! The year passed by and September was finally around the corner. We had completely omitted to plan our trip… All we had was our flight tickets, our first two nights of hostel in Reykjavik, our camper renting for 12 days and an old Iceland Lonely Planet. We were ready for adventure.
We arrived in Reykjavik on September 24 and spent the weekend there. We were meeting friends from Montreal to celebrate our friend’s birthday. Reykjavik has a great nightlife and we really had a crazy night. I’ll spare you the details of the night but we ended up eating Hlöllabátur sandwiches at 5:00 in the morning. What a night that through us a bit out the next morning. Let’s say that we did not do as much as we would have liked that next day. That night, we were lucky enough to see the northern lights from the city. It was so impressive!
We went to pickup our camper Monday at noon. We were so excited. We went directly to the supermarket to buy groceries for a couple of days: bread, ham, mayo, eggs, bananas, popcorn and candies (the basics to survive!). We then hit the road to go to our first stop: Þingvellir national park. On our way there, we saw a horrible car accident which reminded us that we should really make a big effort to keep our eyes on the road at all time, even if the landscapes are just unreal.
During our first day with the camper, we visited Þingvellir national park, the great Geysir and the Gullfoss. In between the sights, we got the time to lose ourselves a bit. I was the one in charge of the map and the itinerary and let’s say that I wasn’t so good at first. We were just so excited to be able to go anywhere without having a specific place to be for the night. Having a camper provided a great source of freedom. That night we decided to camp in Flúðir. It was starting to be pretty dark. We painfully heated our soup outside with a random setup to try to protect our soup from the wind. A pretty hard exercise! We ended up eating our soup not so hot and fell asleep rolled in our sleeping bag.
When we woke up on Day 2, we took our first “smelly egg shower”. The good news was that the water was hot, which was really appreciated on that 3-degree morning. The temperature variation is quite big in September. We hit the road again and visited a couple of nice “foss”. We stopped on the road to enjoy a quick lunch in good company. The Icelandic horses we really curious about our meal! This is another great thing about campers: you can stop wherever you like and prepare your lunch. We went for a long trek at Skógafoss. We were trying to reach sheep that seemed not so far away but we ended up spending 2 to 3 hours walking. Everything is so big in Iceland that you really lose your points of reference. You look at a point and think it’s going to take you about 20 minutes to get there and finally it takes you an hour and a half. But anyway, this walk was worth it. It was just so beautiful. We watch the sunset at the top with a sea view on one side and the volcano on the other. It was really a magic moment. We then drove all the way to Vik and spent the night there.
On Day 3, we woke up in Vik’s camping and took a nice hot shower. We then went to take a big walk on the black sand beach. After the walk, we slowly drove to the Skaftafell national park. We took the short trek to the bottom of the glacier. It was superb! We spent the night at the camping. Every night we would play Yum in our camper. It was our little game before passing out.
On Day 4 we did a long trek in the Skaftafell. The view was just incredible. We were also very lucky because the sun was shinning and it was about 20 degrees. We were really stunned by this walk and the beautiful Svartifoss.
The following days we did a couple activities between Höfn and Mývatn. We enjoyed hot springs, we went sea kayaking with a really nice guide and slept in a town that really spooked us out. I don’t know if you have seen Hannibal on Netflix, but this town really reminded us of that. It had weird statues (not made from of humans but still pretty close in the look) and a house full of reindeer horns. In Mývatn, we got lost in the Krafla for a couple of hours and finally found our way back to the parking. We were already tired that day and just wanted to take a 30-minute walk, but it finally didn’t turn out this way. The next day we went for a little walk and then relaxed in the Mývatn natural baths.
On October 4th, we were in Akureyri. It was my boyfriend’s birthday so we decided to spoil ourselves a bit. We went for dinner at Rub 23 and enjoyed a delicious four course meal with a nice bottle of wine. It was really a great evening. That night, we woke up around 2am because the car was moving. The wind was so strong that we were scared the camper would flip around. We moved the car next to a building to protect us from the wind.
The next days, we visited a couple of towns and stopped closed to Hvammstangi to try to see some seals. We saw only one, but it was the cutest! It was a white baby seal probably waiting for his mother to bring him food. I really wanted to touch it because it looked so soft, but I respected the nature and just watched it from a close distance. We were lucky to see it.
The lasts days with our camper were quite rainy. It was actually the flood! We spent a lot of time just driving and visited some museums. We really wanted to go for treks in the western fjords but the weather decided otherwise.
We were really sad when we returned the camper on the last day. We felt has if we were giving away our new home. We had gotten used to it and had our little routine. We enjoyed the nomad lifestyle a lot! We believe that renting a camper is definitely the best way to visit Iceland. It gives you all the freedom you need.
We really wish we can go back! Iceland is a magnificent country!!