So what is the camping season in Iceland?
Contrary to what tourism officials and tour operators want there are quite a lot of folks out there interested in visiting Iceland that do not have bank vaults full of cash lying around. With hotel prices going through the roof many of those pack a tent and travel cheap. But how good an idea is camping here really?
It is actually the most wonderful idea. The whole country is a natural wonder and what better way to connect than camping out somewhere? All towns and villages have specialized campsites and those often with decent or great service. Many farmers or landowners are accommodating if folks want to camp on their property as long as people ask permission beforehand and clean up afterwards.
But there is a serious caveat. Two actually.
One is the fact this island is pretty far North on the globe. Weather here can get pretty serious in minutes. By serious we mean storms of the lets-give-it-a-name variety. What folks elsewhere might call a hurricane in other words. You would be surprised to know how powerful gusts of wind get here regularly.
Second thing is the short season. Let´s face it, camping or not, we want to enjoy our travels and for a care-free camping adventure here campers are really limited to four or five months a year. In other words; even if weather permits camping here in wintertime is not really recommended. Possible yes but hardly enjoyable. The month of May is pretty much the first decent camping-month of each year and after September the cold starts to seriously kick in.
Outside of this time frame you are on your own. Most official campsites are closed and landowners weary about allowing camping in wintertime. That makes them partly responsible if something happens. Campers have to deal with winds, the cold, water, ice and often snow as well. Forget also visiting the beautiful highland. Camping in the highland over winter is a recipe for sudden death.
Add to this the horror of fleeing your tent because of weather only to pay millions of dollars for a stay in the nearest hotel. Well, not millions but same-day hotel prices here are hefty indeed.
Team Total Iceland recommends delaying your trip to arrive in summertime if camping is the idea. Either that or forget about camping and book a warm night indoors here below.