Iceland May 2019

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tmarton05

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Taylor
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Marton
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My girlfriend and I are planning a trip to Iceland for May 2019. We are planning on renting a camper-van and exploring the country. I have been doing some research on different rental companies and am leaning towards https://happycampers.is/ They get great reviews and seem to have a good fleet of vans.

Anyone on here have any tips or recommendations for things to do/see or other bits of advice.

Let me know

Thanks!
 

NotGumby

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I spent about 4 weeks there this summer touring with a LC and RTT. How much time will you have? Saw many happy camper branded vehicles and they all seemed in good shape. Spoke to some renters and no mention of problems. We came in on the ferry on the east coast. Traveled west on the northern route hitting some fjords and the Myvatn area. Went in to the West Fjords for three days, then down to the ferry at Stykkisholmur and in to Reykjavik for two days. Golden circle, highlands, southern coast, highlands around Hekkla, southern coast, then east and back to Seydisfjödur to catch the ferry. I can give you some ideas but it’ll depend on how much time you have and if you want or need to concentrate on a specific region.
 

tmarton05

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That sounds like an awesome trip. We will be there for a week and are planning on basing our trip around the Ring Road. Still in the early planning stages but if you have any recommendations for must see places(other than the obvious ones) let me know
 

NotGumby

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Okay, a week will probably keep you in Reykjavik, the golden circle, and the southern coast. The F- roads will still be closed, which is okay because you’re in a happy camper which isn’t ideal for the f- roads, and just to drive it (f-35 for example) would burn too much time. In the coming days I’ll go through our travel journal and post some things WE found great, good, or could’ve been skipped. I’m sure you’ve read about the weather. It’s no joke. Mid July to mid August we were in wool teeshirt, flannel shirt, thin down jacket or fleece, often with rain shell, hat and boots. It was either rainy, windy, cold, or a combination of the three every day. They did have their worst summer this year. More to come.
 

smlobx

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Interested in people's reports.
Iceland is on our radar as well.
I also hear that it is crazy expensive there so be prepared for that..
 

CampWithChin

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@tmarton05 Did you visited Iceland on May? Bring back this as I'm planning to do similar trip in April 2020. I read that it's illegal to wild/van camping in Iceland since they pass the law in 2015. Only can camp in designated campground. Any insight?
 

tmarton05

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Taylor
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Marton
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@CampWithChin yes we went last May and it was amazing! I can't wait to go back! You are correct that you can no longer wild camp or just camp on the side of the road in your van. That being said there are campgrounds all over the island that are very affordable, generally 10-15 Euro per person. Here are a few links to sites that are helpful when planning camping:


Feel free to reach out to me as you plan.
 
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CampWithChin

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@CampWithChin yes we went last May and it was amazing! I can't wait to go back! You are correct that you can no longer wild camp or just camp on the side of the road in your van. That being said there are campgrounds all over the island that are very affordable, generally 10-15 Euro per person. Here are a few links to sites that are helpful when planning camping:


Feel free to reach out to me as you plan.
Thanks for the info. Iceland is not overlanding/vanlife friendly now. But, the scenery still worth to experience. Looking forward to our trip in April 2020. Research has been done for 2+ year already. We just have the time to commit the adventure.
 

OutsideSeth

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My wife (then girlfriend) and I did Iceland back in 2017 and loved it. We rented a Suzuki Jimny and tent camped half of the nights and airbnb'd the other half for a little more comfort, showers, etc. This was our first major trip together and I think the first overlanding type trip either of us had done. We spent 7 days driving the ring road and taking some side trips down F roads to visit hot springs and other places off the beaten path. We looked into a van, but it was more expensive than the route we went and don't forget to account for the cost of gas there. It was around $7.25 a gallon when we were there I believe.

My advice:
  • Take time to get off the beaten path. Iceland is a beautiful country.
    • Any travel on the F roads should be done in something with ground clearance and preferably 4x4
    • We followed signs for a random hot spring out to the coastline and found primitive stone pools right on the coast. I can't for the life of me figure out where exactly it was now looking at a map.
  • Getting there is fairly cheap, but everything in-country is expensive.
    • If you drink alcohol, consider buying it duty-free before leaving the airport.
    • Food is also expensive. We took camping meals with us and stopped at gas stations for a lot of meals, the hot dogs were decent.
    • Coffee is expensive and comes in tiny cups. Think like a 6oz espesso cup. Definitely wish we'd taken coffee with us to make on the camp stove
    • The hostel and bar in Akureyi offers a nice stop for affordable food and beverage.
  • Have fun and enjoy your adventure!