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Iceland’s Ring Road: 9 Amazing Places to Camp

Filled with some of the most spectacular (and eerie) landscapes and miles of vast, open roads, driving Iceland's Ring Road is an incredible adventure.

However, Iceland isn't a cheap place to visit, and it's even more expensive to stay for the time it takes to circumnavigate the country.

Taking the Ring Road is a much more daunting experience than the half-day tour of the Golden Circle near Reykjavík or the Blue Lagoon.

An Iceland road trip may seem like a huge splurge for the average budget traveler. The best way to save money while traveling in Iceland is by camping instead of staying in hotels or hostels.

A scenic view of mountains on Iceland's Ring Road
Scenic Iceland

If you're camping for the first time, the first thing to do is ensure you have all the necessary equipment before you leave home. There are also great places in Reykjavik to rent the gear you need. For sustainability, you can't beat a solar generator.

There are campsites anywhere you'd want to go on Iceland's Ring Road, so you can jump in a car and start your journey.

All you need to pay for is a camper van or rental car (preferably with four-wheel drive), and you can see the entire Ring Road on a self-drive tour.

Getting off the main road is a great way to find the best views, small towns, and hidden gems in places like Thingvellir National Park and Skaftafell National Park.

Your only limit is road conditions and the speed limit. Regarding road conditions, the best time of year to drive the Ring Road is in the summer months. During the winter months, snow leads to road closures.

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Campgrounds in Iceland

1. Seljalandsfoss (Hamragardar)

Seljalandsfoss waterfall is accessible from Iceland's Ring Road. (photo: Lucas Davies)
Seljalandsfoss (photo: Lucas Davies)

As a popular tourist hotspot, Seljalandsfoss is most famous for having a short hiking trail that enables visitors to venture behind the beautiful waterfalls.

It's worth visiting and perhaps getting a guided tour if you have enough time and the weather conditions allow.

Although travelers can see this waterfall on day trips from Reykjavik, the largest city, it's worth spending a night in the area to explore its many attractions.

A few miles down that road rests another smaller waterfall hidden behind a large rock. Next to that waterfall (and within view of Seljalandsfoss) is a lovely little campground where you can rest your head for the night.

Cost per night: ISK 1,300 ($12) per person per night

Facilities: Toilet, Shower

2. Skogafoss (Skogar)

Skogafoss Waterfall is accessible from Iceland's Ring Road (photo: Ferdinand Stohr)
Skogafoss Waterfall (photo: Ferdinand Stohr)

Skogafoss is Seljalandsfoss's friendly neighbor and is another popular place to see Iceland's waterfalls accessible from the Ring Road.

There's another campsite near the parking lot where visitors can pitch a tent.

This one has up-close and personal views of Skogafoss. The amenities here are very basic, and there's always a steady stream of tourists coming in and out.

However, if you don't mind the commotion, the views here are some of the best of any Iceland campsite.

Cost per night: ISK 1,500 ($14) per person per night

Facilities: Toilet

3. Vik

Reynisfjara beach on Iceland's Ring Road (photo: Mark Male)
Reynisfjara (photo: Mark Male)

If you've seen photos of Iceland, you've probably noticed its famous black sand beaches, like Reynisfjara black sand beach.

Vik is home to many of those beaches, one of the most famous being Reynisfjara, known for its geometric basalt towers and beautiful volcanic rock sculptures.

Vik is home to a campsite for budget travelers that boasts spectacular views of these incredible natural wonders.

Cost per night: ISK 1,500 ($14) per person per night

Facilities: Toilet, Shower, Laundry, Wi-Fi

4. Seydisfjordur

It's worth the extra driving time off the Ring Road to spend a night in Seydisfjordur, one of the best places in the east fjords.

You might recognize some of the views driving into the city from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – Ben Stiller's character had an epic downhill skateboarding scene along a steep and winding street.

Amidst its colored houses, mountain views, and peaceful ship-laden harbor, Seydisfjordur houses a small, cozy campsite.

Cost: ISK 1,600 ($15) per person per night

Facilities: Toilet, Shower, Wi-Fi, Laundry, Kitchen

5. Myvatn

Aurora borealis over Lake Myvatn, a fun stop on the Ring Road in Iceland (photo: Martin Brechtl)
Aurora borealis on Lake Myvatn (photo: Martin Brechtl)

Myvatn is east Iceland's playground and one of its most popular attractions for tourists looking for a good time. There's so much to see and do with its natural hot springs, hikes, lava fields, and giant lake.

It's one of the main attractions on Iceland's Ring Road, and for a good reason – its beauty was the setting for much of the famed Game of Thrones series.

Four campsites are near the lake: Hlid, Vogar, Fjalladyrd, and Bjarg.

One thing to remember here is that many midge flies inhabit the lake. They're entirely harmless but enjoy hitching a ride on clothing or backpacks.

Though having a few flies in your campervan/tent might be annoying, you should expect it when traveling in Myvatn. It's a good idea to bring bug spray.

Not sure where to rent a 4×4? Check out Cozy Campers for camper van rentals in Iceland.

Cost: ISK 1,350-1,500 ($12-$14) per person per night

Facilities: Toilet, Shower

Related: Northern Lights in Iceland

6. Husavik

Whale in Húsavík, accessible from Iceland's Ring Road. (photo: Michael Behrens)
Whale in Húsavík (photo: Michael Behrens)

Most famous for its whale-watching tours, Husavik is the perfect place to spend an evening.

With its pretty harborfront and excellent choice of restaurants, it's a relaxing place for a short walk to get some fresh air.

Husavik is a picturesque stop on Iceland's Ring Road, surrounded across the harbor by beautiful, snow-capped mountains.

Cost: ISK 1,400 per person per night

Facilities: Toilet, Shower, Laundry, Kitchen, Wi-Fi

7. Hvammstangi (Kirkjuhvammur)

Hvammstangi is a fantastic stop in northern Iceland for the average nature lover. First, it's an incredibly charming town with plenty of streets to walk around.

It is also home to many Icelandic seal habitats, where visitors can watch seals rest or play on shore. There's also a seal museum in town where you can learn more about these hunting creatures.

Cost: ISK 1,200 ($11) per person per night

Facilities: Toilet, Shower, Laundry

8. Stykkisholmur

A seaside town on the edge of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Stykkisholmur is home to delicious restaurants with Icelandic fare and a large rock to hike with a lighthouse on top.

There's also a small, picturesque harbor amid tiny, colored houses. If you're planning to explore the beauty of Snaefellsnes while driving Iceland's Ring Road, this is a fantastic place to stop.

Cost: ISK 1,300 ($12) per person per night

Facilities: Toilet, Shower, Laundry

9. Reykjavik

Reykjavik Opera House (photo: Michael Held)
Reykjavik Opera House (photo: Michael Held)

Although not surrounded by nature like most other campsites in Iceland, Reykjavik's campsite deserves mention because of its price compared to other city accommodations.

About a 20-minute walk from the city's center, the campsite has all the necessary amenities. Compared to much higher prices for a hostel or hotel in the city, this campsite is a steal!

It's also a cozy place to escape the tourist bustle of downtown Reykjavik, as it's in a more residential area.

Cost: ISK 2,200 ($20) per person per night

Facilities: Indoor Seating, Toilet, Shower, Kitchen, Wi-Fi, Tour Bookings

The Bottom Line

No matter where you'd like to rest your head at night on Iceland's Ring Road, there's a campsite waiting for you at a fraction of the cost of staying in a hotel.

So next time you're in Iceland, consider pitching a tent to save your wallet and experience the finest of Iceland's beautiful nature.

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