7 Reasons to Travel in a Campervan in Iceland During Winter
Go to chapter
Traveling in a campervan through Iceland during the winter is an adventure like no other, and there are plenty of reasons to embrace the colder season. If you're considering Iceland campervan rental for your winter journey, you're in for a treat. Our comprehensive guide on Iceland campervan rental will help you select the perfect vehicle, ensuring you have the warmth and mobility you need to explore Iceland's winter wonderland. From the chance to witness the mesmerizing Northern Lights to the tranquility of the snowy landscapes and the cozy comfort of your campervan, there are numerous reasons to travel Iceland during winter. Discover these and more as you embark on a unique and unforgettable winter adventure.
If you’re looking at travelling to Iceland in the winter, you might be wondering whether you can explore the country in a campervan. The answer is yes, and that’s not all. While the cold and dark season might not sound ideal for campervan travel, there are some distinct advantages to an Icelandic road trip in the winter. Here are 7 reasons to travel in a campervan in Iceland during winter.
1. Prices are Cheap
One of the biggest advantages to a winter campervan trip in Iceland is the attractive prices. Due to lower demand in the offseason, prices to rent a campervan in the winter are cheaper than in the high season during summer. You’ve probably already heard that Iceland is an expensive country, and anything that eases the burden on your wallet for a trip is very welcome.
Campervan travel in Iceland is already one of the most budget-friendly ways to get around, and a winter campervan trip only increases those savings. And it’s not just for the campers either – you can also score good deals on other tourist attractions around the country for the same reason. In the end, for the same cost as a trip in the summer, you’ll be able to stay much longer in the country exploring.
2. You Can See the Northern Lights & Ice Caves
Travelling in a campervan in winter also unlocks two of Iceland’s most famous attractions: the northern lights and the ice caves. These two experiences alone make a trip to Iceland in winter worth it.
The northern lights are one of Iceland’s most famous natural attractions. Dancing above the country during the dark evenings, witnessing the ribbons of green ripple across the sky is an experience you won’t ever forget. However, it goes without saying that seeing the northern lights isn’t a given. For more information on your best chance to see them and tips for photographing, check out our Northern Lights in Iceland - Guide.
Visiting the ice caves is another fabulous winter experience. Underneath the glacier Vatnajökull, the largest ice cap in the country, the winter freezes over rivers that run underneath. At the beginning of each season, glacier guides set out across the ice cap, searching out the caves from previous years and finding new ones. Joining a tour into one of the ice caves is another memorable experience, and one of the best ways to enjoy a winter campervan trip in Iceland.
3. It’s A More Sustainable Way to Travel
Speaking of Iceland’s nature, another reason to enjoy a campervan trip in Iceland during winter is that it’s a far more sustainable way to travel. One of the main goals of Iceland’s Tourism Board is to make tourism a year-round activity, helping to spread out visitors across the year and ease the burden the high season places on the country’s tourism infrastructure.
By avoiding the big crowds in the summer, you’re also helping Iceland’s nature which can be easily damaged with too many visitors. Not only that, but your money is also going towards businesses that usually rely on the high season for most of their income, helping to stabilise work for many people who live in Iceland. All in all, it’s a great reason for an Icelandic road trip in winter.
4. There are Fewer People
Of course, one of the best pros about an Icelandic campervan trip in winter is that there are far fewer people in the country. Although it’s a relatively big place, ring road trips in the summer can sometimes feel very crowded. There are people at all the attractions, on hiking trails, and on the road as well.
A winter road trip in Iceland has no such problems. You’ll have waterfalls all to yourself, there won’t be any unwanted interruptions at a tranquil hot spring, and hardly anyone wandering into your photos. A big part of travel in Iceland is enjoying the unspoiled and beautiful landscapes and finding solitude in nature. A winter campervan trip gives you exactly that.
5. The Winter Light
Many people might be excited about summer’s long days and the midnight sun, but on the other end of that is the winter light in Iceland. With only 4–5 hours of daylight, the sun never rises fully into the sky and creates some amazing sunrises and sunsets. With vibrant hues of pink, purple, and gold falling across landscapes covered in snow, you’ll thank your lucky stars that you chose to travel to Iceland in the winter.
For many photographers, this light is a major draw for a winter campervan trip in Iceland. The soft glow falling across the country make the conditions just right for snapping some amazing shots of Iceland’s most famous natural attractions and landscapes. Whether you’re a professional or an amateur, your photos will be stunning.
6. The Weather Isn’t That Cold
Despite literally the country’s name telling you otherwise, winters in Iceland aren’t all that cold. Often, the temperatures might even be warmer than where you are reading this from (New York City and Amsterdam are two popular cities whose winters on average are a bit colder than Iceland’s).
The biggest reason for the country’s relatively mild winters is the Gulf Stream, bringing with it warmer waters from the Gulf of Mexico. The result is an average temperature of 0°C (32°F) in Reykjavik during the coldest part of winter, making it entirely manageable for most people. But that doesn’t mean that it won’t get colder – especially if the wind picks up. Luckily, our range of campervans come equipped with heaters that you can use overnight without draining the car battery. Very handy during a winter campervan trip in Iceland.
7. There’s Less Pressure
With so much of the travel in Iceland depending on the weather, you’ll likely find that there’s far less pressure on your trip when travelling in the winter. If you understand that even the best-laid plans can go awry thanks to the dramatic storms that sweep across the country, you won’t feel as if you must cram in a whole lot during your stay.
Accepting that things might change quickly is a big part of the fun in winter, and you’ll learn to go with the flow and might even end up discovering a region or attraction that you didn’t know of before. During the summer, about of good weather can mean that you try to cram in as much as possible, which is often. Slowing down and taking your time is a big part of winter travel, and a great way to travel Iceland in a campervan overall.
If you’re ready for a winter adventure in Iceland, check out our range of campervans that are available today! And don’t forget to check out more information about campervan travel during the Icelandic winter with Winter Camping guide.
A Winter Ring Road Itinerary for Campervans in Iceland
This article will outline an ideal itinerary for travelling the ring road in a campervan during the winter. We’ve also listed the best winter campsites in Iceland for you to stay at with your campervan. Take this itinerary with a grain of salt, adapt it to suit your plans, and most importantly, stay safe and enjoy yourself!Read more
Do I Need a 4x4 Campervan for Winter in Iceland?
Wondering whether you need a 4x4 campervan to travel Iceland in winter? Find out everything you need to know inside about renting a 4x4 for winter.Read more
The 10 Best Places to See the Northern Lights in Iceland
The northern lights in Iceland appear everywhere, but some locations are a little bit more magical than others. Find out where inside.Read more