Choosing the best camper to explore Iceland with is just one factor you need to consider. You also need to keep in mind the best season to explore the country, where the best campsites are, where to park, and what Iceland attractions you want to visit on your trip. In this blog, we will visit all these and also provide the best answers and explanations to any questions about exploring Iceland using a 4×4 camper rental.
Table of content
- Why rent a camper in Iceland?
- Why rent a 4×4 Camper in Iceland?
- The Best Times to Rent a 4WD Camper in Iceland
- Navigating Iceland’s Roads: Tips for a Safe Journey
- Explore must-visit locations on different routes
- Overnight Adventures: Where Can You Spend the Night?
- How much does it cost to stay at an Iceland campsite?
- Why Hertz Car Rental is Your Best Choice for 4×4 Campers in Iceland
- Additional Resources to Plan Your Icelandic Camping Trip
Why rent a camper in Iceland?
A road trip to Iceland is guaranteed to be amazing, regardless of how and when you travel. But there is truly no better way to immerse yourself in the wild and untouched Icelandic terrain than with campervans in Iceland. During the summer, a camper offers you the chance to get away from the crowds without spending extra on expensive hotels. This makes your experience more budget-friendly, especially during the high season, while allowing you to go wherever you want, whenever you want.
But although camping in Iceland is most popular in the summer, campervans are available all year round, even in the winter months. While Iceland’s weather and the complicated terrain of Iceland’s roads may be more challenging during the winter, it’s still doable as long as you’re equipped with the right knowledge.
Why rent a 4×4 Camper in Iceland?
While Iceland has many well-maintained, paved routes that circle the country, you will also encounter gravel roads that weave through the interior. These can pose a challenge for 2WD cars, especially if you aren’t familiar with driving in Iceland’s conditions.
Even on the main routes, you may need a 4X4 during the winter months when you’re at the mercy of the elements. With a 4WD, there is no terrain too rugged for you to explore in Iceland, plus you’ll have access to Iceland’s f-roads and a chance to explore the Highlands. With various campsites nationwide, especially on the most popular route, the Ring Road in Iceland, a 4X4 camper van rental is arguably the best way to see Iceland.
You will save money on accommodation costs as they are lumped together with transport costs, and you’ll have a vehicle that can take you anywhere you want to go, allowing you to customize your itinerary on the fly. A 4WD camper offers ultimate flexibility and convenience while saving you the trouble of dealing with crowded and expensive hotels, Airbnb, and hostels.
The Best Times to Rent a 4WD Camper in Iceland
Many will tell you that the best time to both visit Iceland is during the summer, especially if you plan on camping. Summer in Iceland is when all the roads, including those leading to the remote and untouched Icelandic Highlands, are open and at their safest. This means you will have access to the full range of activities and attractions that Iceland has to offer, plus save money on accommodation during one of the busiest periods for tourism in the country when hotel prices increase exponentially.
Even though camping in Iceland during the winter in a tent is not recommended due to the weather, a 4X4 camper means you can implement safety precautions to mitigate the cold and still have an exciting camping experience.
Renting a campervan with in-built heaters is crucial to camping during the winter months in Iceland. You should also plan the trip in full detail, as many campsites are closed during the winter. That means you’ll need to map out campsites that stay open during the winter months and get all essential gear before embarking on your journey.
There are many wonders to explore in Iceland in the winter, including Iceland hot springs, holiday festivals, and events, and it’s the best time of year to see the northern lights. The only drawback you might find is that some roads are closed during the winter, and routes that remain open must be used cautiously. Fortunately, a 4×4 campervan is one of the best vehicles to navigate tricky winter roads that might be affected by sow.
Between the summer and winter seasons in Iceland, there are the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn, which offer unique opportunities to explore Iceland in a more laid-back way. You can avoid the summer crowds while also dodging the cold weather and icy roads of the winter period. You can still enjoy many of the attractions of the peak seasons, and you will get to do so at a fraction of the cost.
Regardless of the season, you can always get a four-wheel drive camper rental in Iceland at an affordable price that beats paying for accommodation and transportation separately.
Navigating Iceland’s Roads: Tips for a Safe Journey
Iceland’s primary road network is generally safe, but depending on the area and weather conditions at the time of the year, it can pose a challenge to unskilled drivers, especially those not used to unpredictable weather and terrain. There are a few safe driving tips to note about the roads in Iceland before embarking on your trip to help you familiarize yourself with the networks and expected road conditions in Iceland.
On a self-drive tour of Iceland, you will likely encounter three types of motorways, including the paved roads that line the city areas, such as Reykjavik and the Ring Road. However, many of Iceland’s roadways are actually gravel and will not be maintained as frequently as the main roads, especially during winter and rainy seasons. However, they are still accessible with the right vehicle.
The third road type is Iceland F-roads, the name given to the Icelandic mountain roads. While these roads can sometimes lead to some of Iceland’s best hidden gems, they are known to be dangerous in the bad weather and are, therefore, only open to tourists during the summer. Even then, they have a speed limit of only 50 km/h while also only being legally accessible to 4WD vehicles. These roads are usually closed during winter to avoid accidents caused by slippery slopes and dramatic elevation changes.
Being aware of the up-to-date weather conditions using websites like vedur.is, even when you travel during the summer, is essential when driving yourself in Iceland, and it’s best to have some prior winter driving experience if you decide to go to Iceland during the winter.
Explore must-visit locations on different routes
There are so many places in Iceland that you must see during your visit, whether you choose to tour a specific section of the country like the South Coast of Iceland or the Westfjords, or do an entire trip around the Ring Road.
One of the most popular itineraries in Iceland is the Golden Circle, featuring the famous Thingvellir National Park, the 105ft Gullfoss waterfall, and the Geysir Geothermal Area.
On the South Coast of Iceland lies the beautiful black sand beach in Vik and Reynisfjara, the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, and the Diamond Beach. We would also recommend making time to visit the Skaftafell Nature Reserve, the Fjaðrárgljúfu Canyon, and the Iceland waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss.
Apart from the sites and sounds of Akureyri, Iceland’s “Capital of the North,” Northern Iceland offers a unique opportunity to view local wildlife. The Myvatn Geothermal Area, with its volcanic lake is one of Northern Iceland’s biggest attractions, where tourists can bathe in the Iceland hot springs while also exploring hiking trails left by ancient volcanic craters and natural lava formations.
You can also go whale watching in Husavik or see Iceland’s puffins on Grimsey Island, and with some extra time on your hands, perhaps visit Goðafoss waterfall, also known as the “Waterfall of the Gods.” The Snaefellsnes Peninsula is home to Iceland’s iconic black church in Búðir, Kirkjufell Mountain, Snaefellsjökull National Park, and the Djpalónssandur black beach.
A trip around the Ring Road will allow you to see all these attractions and more, and there are tons of campsites along the entire route where you can park and stay for the night.
Overnight Adventures: Where Can You Spend the Night?
There are many exciting opportunities for camping in Iceland, but visitors must be aware of the available campsites in the country, as camping outside designated sites with a camper is illegal in Iceland. But there are as many as 170 campsites in Iceland scattered around the entire country, so campers shouldn’t have trouble finding a place to park.
The availability of numerous campsites means that most of Iceland’s top attractions will have a campsite nearby. All the major routes have designated campsites dotted along them, so you don’t have to divert very far in order to find one.
How much does it cost to stay at an Iceland campsite?
These sites are also much more affordable than hotels or Airbnbs, with the cost varying based on the time of year. They typically range from 1,500 ISK to 4,000 ISK (about 12 to 30 USD) per night, and you might even be lucky enough to find some free of charge with the landowner’s permission.
Why Hertz Car Rental is Your Best Choice for 4×4 Campers in Iceland
Being able to pick up your rental 4WD campervan directly from the Iceland airport is a great benefit of renting a car with Hertz when you visit Iceland, but it is certainly not the only one. Having a 4×4 vehicle in Iceland means that you will have a car capable of Iceland driving, regardless of the terrain, so it would be a shame to limit that potential with limited mileage.
Thankfully, with Hertz, you get unlimited mileage on the campervan, allowing you to travel the whole of Iceland as you wish, seeing the attractions that excite you the most rather than being limited by where you can go.
Furthermore, seeing as Hertz offers Iceland rental camper vans all year round, it is essential to have proper heating, especially if you plan to camp in Iceland during the winter. All Hertz 4X4 campervans contain heating systems that keep you and your family warm even on the coldest nights.
Hertz is also amongst the safest car rental companies in Iceland. With our regular maintenance checks, inspection rides, and other rigorous tests to ensure that vehicles are in optimum condition, there is no safer or more convenient option in the current market.
Additional Resources to Plan Your Icelandic Camping Trip
As a visitor to Iceland, it’s important to know which campsites are registered with the Icelandic government and when they open during the year. You can check out this campsite directory, which tells you all you need to know about each of the many camping options in Iceland. Finding parking, even in designated areas, can be tricky, but our parking guide has tips for the best locations to park your campervan while you explore.
If you want to find out the best local activities to make your Iceland trip unforgettable, see this guide to exciting Icelandic activities and check out our planned and mapped-out day-by-day Iceland itineraries to ensure that your stay is the best possible experience you can have.
With our guide to Iceland’s attractions, you can also learn about Iceland’s most popular tourist attractions and some of the country’s hidden gems that will leave you in awe without dealing with the big crowds of the most well-known attractions.
4X4 Camper Rental in Iceland
Now that you know how to see the best of Iceland in a 4X4 camper, you can begin planning everything you want to do and all the attractions you want to visit on your trip. From the capital city to the numerous attractions of the Ring Road and all the untouched wilderness of Iceland’s interior, exploring Iceland in a campervan is undoubtedly the most exciting way to do it.
When making your plans, remember that Hertz offers the best four-wheel drive campervan rental in Iceland, and you can book online and in advance of your trip to Iceland to save costs and ensure you have access to the best 4X4 camper for your group’s needs.