The 10 Best Campsites in Iceland

The 10 Best Campsites in Iceland

James Taylor James Taylor
29. Apr 2022 ∼ 8 min. read

The best campsites in Iceland all have some things in common. The location is spectacular. The facilities are fantastic, with either a great kitchen or a cozy common area. And of course, plenty of space for the campervan, with lots of spots to park and enjoy the scenery without anyone blocking the views. 

In this article, we’re going to share what we think are the best campsites in Iceland. We’ve stayed at each one of them, so we have some personal experience with what you can expect when staying there yourself. So, start planning your itinerary to include these incredible campsites in Iceland – you won’t regret it. 

Can You Camp Anywhere in Iceland?

One of the main questions asked when renting a campervan in Iceland is whether you can camp anywhere in the country. 

It used to be the case that free camping was allowed, but nowadays, campervans must stay overnight at the campsites. This is to protect the fragile nature of the country and to help keep nature free from rubbish and damage. 

Woman camping in iceland

How Much do Campsites Cost in Iceland?

An important point to take into consideration when budgeting for a campervan trip is how much campsites cost in Iceland. 

Almost all campsites in the country have a cost, varying in price depending on who’s running the campsite, the facilities included, where it is, etc. For instance, the most expensive campsites in Iceland are run by the National Park (Of which Skaftafell is one). 

In general, you can expect to pay somewhere between 1,000 – 2,000 ISK per person at campsites for a night. Some campsites are completely free, while others will only charge a fee per campervan. 

The Best Campsites in Iceland

Let’s get into it – if you have a chance to stay at these campsites, grab it! Here’s what we think are the best campsites in Iceland, our favorite spots to park for a night with a campervan rental in Iceland.  

1. Þakgil Campsite

Þakgil campsite is a wonderous place, letting you camp at the base of a stunning canyon in the foothills just below the glacier Mýrdalsjökull. This is a bit of a way off the Ring Road but trust us – it’s well worth the detour. 

A big part of the appeal of staying at the Þakgil campsite is the stunning hiking trails that venture into and alongside the canyon. The scenery is idyllic, with twisting cliffs covered in green moss. The dining room also sits in a natural cave with a grill and a fireplace, a unique spot to meet other campers and enjoy a big Icelandic BBQ together. 

To get there, it’s around a 45-minute drive from Vik on the south coast. 

Þakgil Campsite location map

2. Svínafell Campsite

Svínafell campsite is in the southeast of the country, nestled beneath Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in the country. We think this is one of the best campsites in Iceland because of its location (right next to Skaftafell and a short drive from the Glacier Lagoon) and its wonderful facilities. 

This quiet community is comprised of a handful of houses and farms, giving the place a very rural vibe. If it wasn’t for the epic views of Vatnajökull, you might even mistake the area for the lush countryside of England. 

The campsite itself is large and well-equipped, with a fantastic common room with plenty of tables and benches to enjoy a meal and warm up after a day of hiking in nearby Skaftafell. 

Svínafell Campsite location map

3. Ásbyrgi Campsite 

Our favorite campsite in the north and by far one of the most scenic campsites in Iceland, Ásbyrgi is a dream destination for a campervan trip. This U-shaped canyon is a part of Vatnajökull National Park, carved out eons ago by a powerful glacial flood released after a volcanic eruption underneath the glacier to the south. 

The campsite enjoys a prime location at the top of the canyon, where the walls to one side begin to grow taller and taller as it gets down to the base of the U-shape. From above, it looks as if a giant horse has stepped down from heaven, leaving an imprint in the earth. 

This is also one of the coolest campsites in Iceland because of how quiet it usually is. After the day-trippers have left for the afternoon, you’ll be free to roam the hiking trails that trace the rim of the canyon in peace and quiet. As it’s run by the National Park, the cost is high, but the facilities are brilliant. 

Ásbyrgi Campsite location maps

Kids playing at campsite in iceland

4. Neskaupstaður 

For those who want to feel like they’ve reached the edge of the world, the campsite in Neskaupstaður is a fantastic choice. Mostly overlooked by campers travelling through the East because of its out-of-the-way location, those who do make their way out here will enjoy a great night in the camper. 

The campsite is set above town, offering great views over the beautiful, three-fingered fjord. It’s a great campsite as well because it feels so local – you can wander down to the town for a bite to eat, swim at the pool, or head to the far end of town to explore the hiking trails that trace the remote peninsula. 

Neskaupstaður campsite location map

5. Ísafjörður 

Ísafjörður is the capital of the Westfjords and home to one of the best campsites in Iceland. Nestled at the bottom of the fjord a couple of minutes' drive from town, this campsite is surrounded by a small forest of pine trees, with the mountains rising sharply behind. 

There are plenty of different areas to park your campervan in, letting you choose between something social and something more private. Recently, the campsite has finished building two fantastic houses on-site, with indoor kitchens and plenty of tables for cozying up when it’s cold outside. 

Ísafjörður campsite location map

woman and a man talking in a campsite in iceland

6. Heiðarbær Campsite

Another campsite in North Iceland, we love Heiðarbær campsite because of its great vibes. In the summer, this is a popular spot for locals to camp out, letting those with a campervan rental in Iceland experience some authentic local vibes. Campers are parked in a large paddock. 

This campsite also has its own restaurant, with a swimming pool as well. There are also small kitchens inside some small buildings for those who prefer to do their own cooking. It’s also a great campsite to choose from when you’re planning on going whale watching in Húsavík, which is just a 20-minute drive up the road.  

Heiðarbær Campsite location map

7. Rauðisandur Campsite

Rauðisandur is one of the Top 10 Things to See and Do in the Westfjords. This sweep of sand glows orange and red in the right lighting conditions, and if you catch it on a rare sunny day, you might feel as if you’re in Spain and not Iceland. There are often seals on the shore, and you could even see whales splashing in the ocean. 

At one end of the beach is a little-known campsite, letting you camp in the middle of the area’s stunning scenery. A large paddock for campervans is available, and you can easily walk to the sand from there. There are a pair of indoor kitchens so you can cook inside as well.  

Rauðisandur Campsite location map

8. Thingeyri Campsite

Yet another campsite in the Westfjords makes it into our list of the best campsites in Iceland – maybe it’s time to start planning your itinerary to take in this incredible region of the country. 

Thingeyri makes it onto the list simply because it has everything we love about a good campsite. Great facilities, clean showers, and hardly anyone there. You can walk along the shore of the fjord to admire the views, and there’s the town’s swimming pool right next door.  

Thingeyri Campsite location map

people having fun at campsites

9. Húsafell

Húsafell campsite is one of the best in Iceland. This camping spot flies under the radar a bit thanks to it being a bit of a way off the ring road, but for those who do venture inland to this destination, it’s a great little spot to enjoy a night or two in the remotest part of West Iceland. 

The sprawling campsite is right next to Hotel Húsafell, a luxurious spot where you can enjoy a beer at the bar or visit the restaurant. The campsite also has bathrooms with hot showers and basic facilities for cooking and laundry. Although what really makes this campsite stand out is its location at the edge of the highlands. With a 4x4 campervan, you could even take the scenic F550 road down south to Thingvellir National Park. 

Húsafell campsite location map

10. Grindavík Campsite

Lastly, one of the best campsites in Iceland is just a short drive from our campervan rental in Iceland: Grindavík. A charming little town on the Reykjanes Peninsula, this is a quiet spot that makes for a great place to camp while touring the peninsula in your Icelandic campervan. 

Situated above the harbor, from this campsite in Iceland you can enjoy great views over the ships sailing in and out with their day’s catch. The facilities are also brilliant, with a brand-new building with a kitchen, seating areas, and several free showers inside. The perfect spot to camp for those looking to stray away from the ring road. 

Grindavík Campsite location map

Read: The 10 Best Hot Springs in Iceland

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