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From August 2nd to August 4th , 2019 numbers of locals and
adventurous tourists alike take to the wilderness of Iceland to
explore all of nature’s beauty !
Verslunarmannahelgin is a nationwide merchant’s day celebration wherein stores
close down, and people dedicate a weekend to embracing their wandering impulses!
During Verslunarmannahelgin, campsites fill up fast with good people and good
cheer and make for one incredible, memorable, and awe-inspiring weekend in
Iceland. To get you on your way to the vacation of a lifetime, check out these tips to
navigating Verslunarmannahelgin 2019:
What is it?
Technically, it’s a holiday. Therefore if you do happen to stumble into town on the
first Monday in August, you might wonder when the metaphorical tumbleweed is
going to float by. Stores, restaurants, and everything else closes down so that people
might get away for the weekend. And it is celebrated by the whole country! Because
everyone is off, it should come as no surprise that people have taken to forming
festivals on this weekend for different interests. This is one of the most important
weekends for all festivals in Iceland as there is so much over the entire island! Some
are centered around music, others food, and maybe most importantly: nature. There
is a whole lot of camping going on during this holiday!
How can I camp at a festival?
Considering this is such a jam packed affair, it makes sense that you’re going to have
to do some pre-planning to make it work. Be sure to book ahead of time if possible,
and if not then arrive early to the campgrounds of your choosing. Otherwise, you run
the risk of getting turned away once the venue is at capacity.
There are a few different ways to camp, although some of the most popular options
are RVs, Campervans, and good ole’ fashioned tent and sticks. It’s best to attend a
festival with a group so that you have people to enjoy the adventure with, although there is something to be said about making friends along the way! This is a great
place to make locals and make some life long friendships! Or, celebrate solo! Take
yourself out for a weekend of camping, fireworks, and good food for the most
relaxing and exhilarating weekend of the year!
What are the festivals?
Þjóðhátíð Festival in VestmannaeyjarIslands
This is easily the number one destination for Verslunarmannahelgi. Thousands of
people congregate here for an entire weekend (and some even come earlier) for non
stop, electric partying. This is the place to go if you want to dance all day, drink all
night, and make some unbelievable memories in Iceland! It is known as the premiere
party destination during this festival season, and for good reason! But as such a
popular destination, it can fill up quickly! Most people come as early as a week
before the actual festivities just to claim a spot. If you plan on camping here, you’re
going to need to plan out a strategy! But this is one festival that is well worth the
Herring Adventure Family Festival in Siglufjörður
For a much different, more relaxing environment, check out Siglufjörður for all your
festival needs. This town starts their celebrations a week before the first weekend in
August typically, and features a litany of activities available for all ages. Camping
here is open to everyone and even offers a few guest homes for those looking to
camp in style. This is a much slower, chiller event than some of the others on the
island, but it is no less fun! Here you can explore the city festival like a family friendly
carnival and enjoy all that this town has to offer!
Ein með Öllu in Akureyri
A little bit of everything! Both the fast-paced music celebration and the place to
bring the whole family, Ein með Öllu literally means “one with everything”. There is a
theatre for live performances, competitions in a variety of sports, and sprawling,
expansive camping grounds. Here you will find just as much joy in parking your
campervan as you would throwing down a simple sleeping bag as this event makes a
name for itself. It is also nestled in an incredibly beautiful stretch of Icelandic land,
and once you’ve had your festival fill, makes it pretty easy to hit the road and find
your next adventure in Iceland!
Mýrarbolti in the West fjords
A little bit different from its raving cousins, Mýrarbolti is the festival to go to for
sports lovers! Especially ‘mud football’ enthusiasts who want to face off against the
best that Iceland has to offer! Here the teams are made by groups of friends facing
off against one another, making for a weekend of good spirits and good friendly
comradery. Games range from light hearted fun to serious competition, and
depending on when you get in you might get to see both! There is even a music
festival at this location! Live musicians line up to play at this iconic event and send
the competitors off with a song (or welcome them back!). There are campgrounds all
around the West Fjords, and what is especially nice is that once you’ve had your fill of
the crowds you can jet set off to find your solitary paradise. Take a tour of all the
campgrounds in the West Fjords or stay loyal to your favorite, whatever you do just
be sure to enjoy your time during Verslunarmannahelgin!
What are the insider tips?
As this is a spread out and fairly diverse celebration, necessities and permits range
from event to event. However, there are some constants no matter what festival you
Plan ahead!
Some of these locations only have limited spacing so if you really want to get your
camp on, then commit early! Don’t be the one who gets turned away the day of so
that you spend your first day of Verslunarmannahelgin worrying about where you’ll
Throughout the whole day, keep a water bottle handle and stay hydrated!
Interact with the locals!
It’s a party, meet new people and make new friends!
This is something you’ll never want to forget. Live in the moment, and enjoy all that
Verslunarmannahelgin has to offer!


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