Iceland is one of those places we have always dreamed of visiting. How can one tiny island be full of so much beauty and diversity? It is a place where you can see glaciers, volcanoes, green hills and massive waterfalls all in one day! But you may have also heard about it’s high prices. Iceland is not cheap. This may be the reason we have waited so long to go. Many of our friends who have visited Iceland shared how stunningly beautiful the country is, but also how much it hurt their budget.
We knew we couldn’t wait any longer and 2018 had to be the year to finally experience Iceland. We set out to do some research and look for an affordable way to visit… and this is when we found Intrepid Travels One Week Camping in Iceland tour.
7 Day Camping Iceland Route
One of the most affordable ways to experience Iceland is by camping. If you have been following us for a while now you will know how much we love group tours. Being able to travel with other like-minded people and experience a new place with others is something we love and Iceland was the perfect place for it. Camping for a week with a bunch of nature lovers, cooking meals together and having a group to hike with and explore glaciers turned into one of the most memorable weeks of our lives!
Want to see what our week camping in Iceland with Intrepid Travel looked like… just keep on scrolling.
Day 1: Reykjavik
Our Iceland adventure start in Reykjavik, the cutest, most colourful capital city we have ever visited! There is so much to see and do here in town, from museums to stunning churches and plenty of shopping & pubs. As we only had a day and we were keen to start this trip with a bang so we decided to tick off two massive bucket list activities – snorkelling in Silfra and visiting Blue Lagoon.
Snorkelling in Silfra
We spent our first morning in Iceland swimming the clearest waters in the world situated between two continents. Snorkelling in Silfra fissure is one of those experiences we will never forget! We headed out with Arctic Adventures and would totally recommend them!
Silfra is a fissure created by the separation of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates cutting through Iceland. The Silfra fissure fills with glacial water that has been filtered underground for decades through hardened, porous lava rock. The filtering process of the glacial water makes Silfra one of the clearest bodies of water on earth with up to 120 meters of visibility. But just a heads up – the water is only 2°c (35F)!
Photo courtesy of Hoiseung Jung
Blue Lagoon is basically on everyone’s bucket list when planning a trip to Iceland – and for good reason! Being able to relax and unwind in the milky blue waters of the lagoon was an amazing activity to follow the cold waters of Silfra. We highly recommend booking your tickets in advance as spots tend to sell up fast.
When you arrive you simply show your ticket confirmation, head to the change rooms to get into your swimsuit and shower and then you can spend as long as you want soaking in the warm waters. They have two swim-up stations: one being a silica mud mask that you need to try and the second is a bar and your entry gets you one free drink.
All The Food
We were on the hunt to find delicious and traditional Icelandic foods during our time in Reykjavik – and delicious food is what we found! We decided to film an entire food related video if you are wanting to try some local dishes. We know the food in Reykjavik is quite pricey so we decided to go out and find some amazing spots to share with you all that are worth the money.
Food spots we recommend…
Coffee Spot: Kaffibrennslan
Fish & Chips: Vagninn
Lobstersoup & Haddock Fish Kebab: Seabaron
Rye Bread Ice-cream: Cafe Loki
Day 2: Golden Circle
After spending our first night in a hostel in Reykjavik it was officially time to grab our tents, pack the van and hit the road. You may have heard of a drive in Iceland called the ‘Golden Circle’ as it is the most popular drive to do in Iceland. As the drive only takes a day it is very popular for those wanting to hire a car for only a day or two, and also for those on a long layover who want to get a quick taste of the country.
Stop one was Thingvellir National Park and the Parliament Plains. This is the site of Europe’s oldest parliament, founded in 930. This is also the spot where the Silfra fissure is located, where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates are slowly ripping apart.
Our second stop was the Strokkur Geyser where if you wait a few minutes you will catch it blasting water through the air.
Finally, we swung by the Gullfoss double waterfall on the Hvita River before setting up camp in the Hvolsvöllur Valley.
Day 3: Thorsmörk National Park
Today we jumped in a 4×4 bus and drove through rivers, rocks and mud to get to Thorsmörk National Park. We arrived to green mountains, volcanic glaciers, rugged nature, and icey, cold rivers scattered through the park – this place literally sums up what Iceland is all about!
We set up camp before heading off for an afternoon hike. This national park is best seen from above so we decided to head to the highest peak we could find and the views were unreal.
This was also the night we like to call the ‘taco dog incident’. If you’ve seen the Iceland vlog below you will know exactly what we are talking about, haha!
Day 4: South Coast
It was time to say bye to Thorsmörk and return to civilization. Today was the day we would finally explore Iceland’s beautiful south coast.
The south coast has some breathtaking waterfalls and we spent the morning at two of them: Seljarlandsfoss & Skogarfoss Waterfalls.
Seljalandsfoss became famous outside of Iceland after it was a stop on the Amazing Race. What makes it so unique is that you can actually walk behind the waterfall (just be warned you will get very wet).
Skógafoss is one of those waterfalls that make your jaw drop. People once believed treasure was hidden behind it and many folklore tales mention the falls and we can totally see why. We recommend walking up to the falls to really embrace how powerful it is, and also to walk up the right side to get a view from the top – and look out for the rainbows, they are everywhere!
Black Sand Beach
Reynisfjara is a world famous black sand beach found on the south coast of Iceland. Having massive basalt stacks, puffins flying over heard and roaring atlantic waves – this beach is one of the most beautiful black sand beaches in all of Iceland. National Geographic even voted it as one of their top 10 non-tropical beaches to visit on the planet!
Day 5: Skaftafell National Park
This was our last day of camping and spending it in Skaftafell was perfect. This was our favourite campsite on the trip and an amazing way to end our time in the south.
Vatnajökull – Glacier Walk
We spent the morning hiking on Vatnajökull – the largest glacier in Iceland. With an area of 8,100 km2, it is Europe’s largest icecap and covers 8% of Iceland’s total land! We met up with our guide who gave us the gear we needed and then headed on up the glacier. Only in Iceland have we ever walked on a glacier that is not only covered in ice, but also black volcanic ash!
Jökulsarlon – Glacier Lagoon
Jökulsarlon glacier lagoon is hands down our favourite spot in all of Iceland. This lagoon is formed naturally, from melted glacial water coming from the glacier and is getting bigger each year, as big blocks of ice crumble from the glacier into the lagoon. The best way to experience the lagoon is to go on a boat ride where you can get up close to the icebergs that are slowly floating into the Atlantic.
Right by the glacier lagoon is Diamond Beach. This strip of black beach got its name as the icebergs coming from the lagoon wash up on shore. This is an incredible beach for photography lovers like us – we spent the afternoon snapping way too many photos.
Day 6: Solheimasandur Beach
You may have seen this photo scattered across your Instagram feed.
Back in 1973 a United States Navy DC plane ran out of fuel and crashed on the black beach at Sólheimasandur, in the South Coast of Iceland. Fortunately, everyone in that plane survived and today it is now a photographers dream. This was our final stop on our trip as we headed back to Reykjavik.
This plane crash isn’t just on the side of the road. Just a heads up – it takes just over an hour to walk out to the crash, but it is well worth it for a unique shot.
Day 7: Reykjavik
This was our final day in Iceland. We spent the night at the Aurora Guest House in Reykjavik and had a very early flight leaving Iceland on our way to Turkey (new Turkey series coming very soon)!
Camping in Iceland: What To Expect
We were camping out in the countryside near local farmhouses, and all amenities (such as showers and kitchens) were provided. Intrepid also provided the tents and sleeping mats, and we just had to bring our own sleeping bag and pillow. As Iceland wasn’t the only place we were visiting, we didn’t want to carry a sleeping bag through the duration of our trip so we opted to hire some in Reykjavik from Iceland Camping Equipment.
What Does a Camping Trip Like This Cost?
Depending on the time of year you go this Intrepid Iceland camping tour will cost you around $2,160 AUD.
2 breakfasts, 1 dinner
Guesthouse (2 nights), Camping (4 nights)
Golden Circle (Strokkur Geyser & Gullfoss Waterfall)
Þingvellir National Park (Parliament Plains)
Responsible Travel Tree Planting Activity
Seljarlandsfoss & Skogarfoss Waterfalls
Dyrholaey & Reynisdrangar
Skaftafell National Park
So in terms of what else you need to cover;
Flights, travel insurance
Additional activities (glacier hike, glacier lagoon boat tour etc)
Additional meals. We spent about $50AUD each a day on food.
Thanks to Intrepid Travel for inviting Flying The Nest to experience their Iceland Camping Tour, as always all opinions are our own.