Travel in a Camper van
2 French, one camper van…
It was not only a van, it was a CAMPERVAN.
When we first decided to travel in a camper van, our friends and family thought we had just lost our minds.
We are a young couple (Tim & Charlotte), very serious, never done anything wild (except having a child), and for our 30s we wanted to really do something big. We both wanted to visit Iceland for a long time: its wilderness, feeling of freedom and beautiful and various landscapes had totally won us…
Picking up the camper van
So here we were, the first day in Iceland, it was August 2016 and it was my birthday!
We arrived at Reykjavik airport and after a short night in a little cottage about 5mn away from there, we went back to the airport in order to grab our keys to freedom…
What a strange feeling it was to drive a camper van, which would also be our bed, our kitchen, and our living room for the next few days! After a brief but complete explanation of how everything worked in the van, off we went to our first destination: the supermarket!
Iceland can be affordable if you don’t eat in every restaurant you see, and I always go in supermarkets when I travel: I think you can learn a lot about a people by seeing what’s in store!
Read more: Ten don’t do in Iceland
On the road
At first we were a bit stressed on the road, most of all because of the driving itself, and then, because of the sheep. These animals are so free, that they don’t care if a car is coming or not, they just cross the road and that’s it!
Unfortunately for me, they would always cross the road when I was driving… Maybe they did not like the way I drove, or maybe they just wanted to test me. I had to keep my eyes wide open…
So many beautiful landscapes ! As we did not want to drive all day long, we decided to stay in the south of Iceland.
We did not prepare a lot for our trip: we just roughly decided which regions we were going to visit, but letting us the opportunity to discover things as they came and enjoying the feeling of freedom as each day was not prepared in advance…
So the regions we were planning on visiting were : NorthWest fjords, Reykjavik and its area, and the south. And we stick to this plan. It’s a really nice tour when you have a week or so to spend in Iceland. I would not recommend to do the whole tour of the island if you only have a week: it’s possible, but then you never go out of your car… such a shame !
We did not want to spend too many hours in the van, but mainly to enjoy the adventurous outdoor.
However, the van was so comfortable and we so much wanted to discover new horizons, we kept driving every single day…
The best thing about visiting Iceland in a camper van, is that you can stop wherever you want to, and whenever you want to. We then had the opportunity to sleep besides waterfalls, next to volcanic deserts, by the seaside, and many more extraordinary landscapes.
We felt like we were the remaining couple on earth, just free, being ourselves, back to the essential.
We have been very lucky with the weather, having only one day of rain for the whole trip.
Despite the summer season, it can be relatively cold, especially at night, when the sun goes down. I think we were not properly equipped for this moment: we wanted to spend every moment we could outside, breathing the fresh and invigorating air, even at night…
But then don’t forget to bring extra layers to put on!
People thought we were crazy doing this trip! In fact we were just enjoying every second of our lives.
When we wanted to stop, we stopped, if we wanted to go further, we went further, it was that simple !
Every now and then, we were surprised by the magnificence of Iceland: as we were enjoying a nice drive with very green landscapes, all of a sudden, after a turn, we were facing Icebergs… Incredible I told you! It was the first time for us seeing active volcanoes, icebergs, geysers, beaches with black sand… and all of these wonders were reunited in only one little country…
You think you’re not fit for this adventure? Trust me, you can do it!
It’s very easy to drive on the Ring road, you can hardly miss a thing because a lot of signs show you the way to gorgeous sites all along.
• Stuff to make some hot food (you will need it after a long day of walking)
• A very big container for water (10 liters to drink, to wash your teeth, and to clean your dishes)
• Comfortable and hot sleeping bags: and don’t forget that there’s a heating system within the van if you think you’re going to be cold
• A nice GPS to show you the way
• A WiFi connection (useful to tell your friends and family that you’re still alive from now and then)
• A nice fridge to keep your favorite drinks and food at the best temperature (it charges when you drive, so you can’t run out of battery !)
Iceland in a camper van
I wish that anyone could try it once, just because it’s worth it…
I wish we could come back one day, in a bigger van with our kid(s) and make them discover the gigantism of Iceland.
This time we would try to spend at least 2 weeks and visit the north of the island as well.
I wish I had seen polar lights: from the pictures I’ve seen, they seem incredible!
I wish next time I can try some more local food and also see some whales !
If ever you need something else to convince you to rent a campervan right now, ladies, keep in mind that this is a great opportunity to have your husband do the cooking (feeling adventurous while using the gas heater) or even to clean the dishes (because it’s so manly to do it outside with cold water), so don’t miss this chance!
When we went back to the airport, it was the day of our wedding anniversary, and we never felt so much in love that at this very moment.
We enjoyed this unique experience with nature, just the two of us, laughing and being mesmerized every second we shared.
Read more: South along the Ring road
Happy Camping! #CamperStories
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