Full guide for a campervan trip in Iceland
Guide to a perfect Campervan adventure in Iceland
So - you’ve set a date for your trip to Iceland. You’ve got your plane tickets and you’re ready to book a car rental and an Airbnb for your stay. Now what ?
Now : we recommend you dump a bucket of ice water on your head, check your pulse, and pinch yourself a thousand times to make sure you’re awake, because the only way to successfully experience everything that Iceland has to offer is by road tripping it the KuKu Way! Because here at kuku Campers, road tripping isn’t only about seeing places - it’s about experiencing them!
KuKu Campers is the largest van rental in Iceland, with more than 300 vehicles for rent, and 14 different categories of campers, you will find your perfect travel buddy for sure. So what are you waiting for? Get your own campervan for cheap now with the largest and sexiest rental company of the country !
Many visitors book their Kuku Camper Van and then wonder where to go from there. If all you have for your road trip is a torn up map that you can’t make sense of, never fear - this guide to road tripping in Iceland will have you graduating to Road Trip Wizard in no time!
In this blog post, there are a few things we’ll address for you, from best campsites to park for the night, the best routes to take and what to expect while driving in Iceland.
So buckle your seat belt (this is a law in Iceland) and blast the music baby (this is a law in Kuku Campers) and let’s rock this guide!
1. Roads in Iceland
There are mainly two types of roads: paved roads and gravel roads. You can see which ones are paved and which ones are graveled thanks to this map here.
Paved roads are safe to ride with any vehicle, and most of them are being taken care of during the winter when snow needs to be removed.
Gravel roads, like their name suggests, are not paved nor smooth, but a little more rocky. Some of them are safe to ride with a 2WD vehicle, some others are not: we call them the F-roads.
F-roads are only accessible with a 4x4 vehicle, sometimes only with extreme 4x4 that are very high on wheels because most of these roads are crossed by rivers, which flow can vary according to the rain. Our general rule of thumb is that regular 4x4 can cross rivers that aren't higher than your knees, or even more generally : no vehicle can cross a river that rises higher than the chassis of the vehicle.
The best website to use in order to check road conditions in real time is road.is
For weather warnings, make sure to follow our Instagram and Facebook accounts, we always keep our followers and customers aware of any special weather to make sure everyone enjoys a safe ride in Iceland.
Bonus tip: since winds are very strong in Iceland, make sure that you always park facing the wind, so that when you open your campervan or car's door, it doesn't get carried away by the wind.
No jokes: we've see doors get detached from the vehicle because the wind litteraly took it away.
2. Driving Safely in Iceland
If you’re coming from the U.K., remember that the driving lanes are opposite and the steering wheels are on the left side instead. Make sure to practice driving in the parking lot if you have to in order to adjust to the change.
It’s also important to remember these safety rules before driving: Follow the speed limits and road signs. Iceland has speed limits, road signs and in a few places, toll fees, and it’s your responsibility to abide by them. And never under any circumstances drive off the road into the country side unless you have permission from the proper authorities.
Be careful of high winds.
Here in Iceland, we have some winds that are strong enough to rip your vehicle door off, along with anything that might be holding on to the door. Be careful when opening your vehicle door, opening it with a firm grip.
Yield to the sheep
Yes, Iceland is known for sheep and cattle freely roaming the fields. Be mindful of your speed on the road, as you will probably need to stop for crossing animals. Don’t worry, they’re sweet, and you can probably manage to roll your windows down and get a selfie with one if you’re stopped!
Be mindful of the weather.
Besides high winds, Iceland is also known for changing weather quickly. You can be driving on a pretty calm day and have a blizzard out of nowhere show up. When this happens, roads become too covered in snow to drive on and visibility is impossible. If this happens, pull over somewhere safe in your Kuku Camper Van and wait until the snow dies down.
3. How to plan your perfect itinerary
Iceland has no shortage of beautiful roads to travel, each one taking you to a wide variety of amazing outdoor places. Depending on what you have an appetite for, you have a couple of options that we recommend at least starting with:
- The Golden Circle - Less driving, focuses on key attractions
- The Ring Road - More driving, get to see everything in Iceland!
There are of course infinite ways to discover Iceland, and an infinity of possible itineraries, but let's detail a little more what each of these two main touristic routes have in store for you.
→ The Golden Circle Route
This route will take about 3.5 hours to drive, but we promise you, you won’t be driving the whole time!
Packed into this scenic road are several attractions to visit, including Þingvellir National Park, Geysir Geothermal Area and Gullfoss waterfall. We could write a whole blog article on each of these places alone, but we’ll keep it short for now. Basically, if you have little time to spend in Iceland and want to see waterfalls, volcanoes, geysers and scuba dive between tectonic plates (no that's not a joke), all within the same day, then this route was made for you!
→ The Ring Road
So you have more time to hangout with us in Iceland, more like 10 days ? Maybe you’ve just gotten married and you and your spouse want to go crazy and soak in everything there is in Iceland ? Then the Ring Road (officially called Route 1) is the road for you and your Kuku Camper Van!
Without stopping, it would take you about 12-13 hours to drive the entire road, depending on how good the weather is - snowy conditions may cause delays.
This route will take you all throughout the north, east, south and west parts of Iceland, where you can visit multiple popular attractions such as lagoons, black sandy beaches and volcanic mountains.
4. Campgrounds for your Kuku Camper Van
At the end of a long successful day of exploring, mountain climbing and hanging out in the lagoons, nothing will feel better than pulling your kuku camper van in for the night at a nearby camping site. In fact, wild camping in Iceland is forbidden, so you will have to stay in campsites every night during your road trip (at least that way you get access to amenities like showers, toilets, dining areas and sometimes even hot springs or hot tubs!). Note, they do have a small cost for staying per night, but it’s nothing compared to staying in a hotel !
Here you will find our Kuku map of all Iceland's campsites, with filters for the ones open all year round and the ones open only during summer. Campsites in red are the ones included in the camping card (this card is available during summer only)
Some campsites require bookings in advance, some others not. Make sure you click on the campsites on the map to access all the information : amenities and services provided, prices, phone number and opening dates.
If you want to book a campsite, your best bet is to call them directly.
Oh and don't forget to check up our list of favorite campsites so you make the best of your road trip in Iceland!
5. Practical informations about using you KuKu campervan
In doubt about how to make your bed ? Cook or turn on the heater in you campervan ? Don't worry, we got you covered !
On our Youtube page, you can find all the tutorials you need to become a camper expert !
How to turn on the heater ?
How to use the cooler ?
How to refill he water tank ?
How to turn on the stove ?
How to turn the table and seats area in a bed ?
We have tutorials for each of our camper categories, so make sure to check them all on our Youtube page! You can also discover so campervan tours.
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Make sure you get the most out of your camper van journey to Iceland with KuKu Campers