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Icy glaciers, roaring geysers and endless, uninhabited plains in the middle of moss-covered lava landscapes — the small island just south of the Arctic Circle never ceases to surprise and impress. When you and your tent leave the diverse capital city of Reykjavík to uncover the secrets of the world’s largest volcanic island, you’ll head out on an adventurous trip through the wilderness; Mother Nature is truly Iceland’s greatest sightseeing attraction. No two campsites here are alike: You could be camping on a frosty glacier one night and then out on a sheep pasture the next. You’ll be in a new, exciting environment at each site you visit. We’ve got all the information you need for a once-in-a-lifetime camping holiday in Iceland.
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The reference price represents the total cost of one night during peak season and includes 2 adults with a car & caravan plus electricity & local taxes.
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Iceland has both diverse and extreme weather: The sun could be shining one moment, and then dark clouds could roll in with downpours. Hurricane-force winds or thick fog could become extremely dangerous when you’re out hiking, so never underestimate the weather and always stay up-to-date.
If, after a day of hiking, there’s no campsite in the area, you are allowed to spend the night in the wilderness using less than three tents. If the land belongs to an Icelander, you must get their permission. These rules do not apply to motorhomes, caravans or other similar camping set-ups, unless you get permission from a landowner, of course.
Campers who’ll be in Iceland for a while should consider getting a Campingcard: For around €110, it covers 28 nights on 42 campsites for up to two adults and two children under 16, and the Icelandic pitch tax of about €1 per night is also waived. You can spend up to four consecutive nights on a single campsite using the Campingcard.
Iceland’s wild nature is perfect for a drive, but be careful! Racing across the wide, open plains is strictly forbidden. Mother Nature can heal the tyre tracks, but it takes a lot of time and effort. Most of the roads are only minimally developed anyway, so you can still legally get that off-road feeling.
The roads in Iceland can be rough and bumpy at times. Even the most experienced driver needs to concentrate on the road completely, and that’s only possible when sober. That’s why Iceland has strictly enforced drink/drive laws in place.
With fines of 5,000 ISK (about €30) for going 6-10 km/h over the limit and up to 150,000 ISK (around €950) and having your driving licence taken away from you for three months, speeding in Iceland can really cost you. If the police catch you, you’ll even have to pay the fine immediately. So drive a little more slowly and enjoy the gorgeous natural surroundings rather than letting a speeding ticket tear through your holiday budget.
Whaling is forbidden and frowned upon in many countries, but in Iceland, it’s a centuries-old tradition. Whale meat is offered all over the country, so this is the place to try it. If you like the taste, though, get your fill while you’re there. Don’t pack your bags full of this delicacy, as any places won’t let you import it.
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