As far as dream vacations go, Iceland has always been at the top of our list. How could you not want to visit a country with incredible landscapes, extreme adventures and natural hot springs? That being said, these unique sights come with a huge price tag, including flights, hotels, rental cars, tours, experiences and restaurants. Don’t worry budget travelers: Guillaume and I found a loop hole! We adventured through Iceland in the winter season (taking advantage of the off-season prices) and went campervanning to save money on a rental car and hotels!
Winter Campervanning in Iceland
It’s a sin to visit Iceland without exploring the countryside. You HAVE to get outside of the city and, unless you book a pricey tour, you’ll need to rent a car. Many of the country’s most impressive landmarks are located just a few hours from Reykjavik. My suggestion? RENT A CAMPERVAN and take a few days to self-drive the famous Golden Circle. You’ll save hundreds of dollars on hotel fees and you’ll sleep under the northern lights!
Guillaume and I rented a campervan from Go Iceland for four nights for $454.90.
Is it too cold to campervan in winter??
Nope! Our campervan was outfitted with two heavy duty sleeping bags and an electric heater. The outdoor temperature in late November was flirting between +1°C and -1°C. At night, I curled up inside my sleeping bag and slept comfortably. Although, I must admit, it was difficult to emerge from my cocoon in the morning!
What amenities does the campervan include?
Our campervan was equipped with a gas camping stove, utensils, small water tank, full size bed, heater, and two sleeping bags.
What about bathrooms?
Sorry folks, campervans aren’t as fancy as tiny homes. We had to “do our business” outside or visit a public restroom. I wasn’t overjoyed about dropping my pants in the freezing cold, but it’s a small price to pay for the adventure. As for showers, we used wet wipes or visited a public hot spring.
Where do you park/camp?
In the summer season there are campgrounds available with amenities, but in the winter you can pretty much pull off anywhere on a rural road.
What are the best sights to see on the Golden Circle?
Check out my suggested 3-day itinerary for campervanning the golden circle in Iceland in winter!
The best part about winter campervanning in Iceland?
Chasing the Northern Lights! If you’re lucky enough to have clear skies on your visit, you can find a secluded campsite and watch the green glow twirl across the night sky. Unfortunately, Guillaume and I were cursed with clouds during our trip. We never saw aurora’s ribbon dance, but we still tried to catch a glimpse every evening.
Watch a short video about our campervanning adventure:
*Thanks to GO ICELAND for helping us rent a campervan. As always, the opinions expressed in this article are our own.