Camping & Traveling in Iceland

On Your Arrival

Iceland´s International Airport is located 45 minutes from the capital of Iceland, Reykjavík, and 30 minutes from the Mink Camper headquarters in Hafnarfjörður. The airport is quite small and easily navigable compared to many other international airports.

We do not provide pick up service to the airport but we recommend taking the Flybus to our Mink Camper offices in Hafnarfjörður since taxis are expensive. The Flybus is scheduled to/from the airport in connection with every flight (the delayed ones too) all year and seats will always be available, no reservation is needed. The departure for the Flybus is in front of the airport, where arriving passengers exit and by that exit is the ticket office. One way ticket to Hafnarfjörður is approx. 30 EUR. The Flybus stop in Hafnarfjörður is in front of Hotel Viking, approx. 500 meters from our offices. We are open from 8 am to 5 pm all days of the week and our campers/cars can be picked up during those opening hours although they can be returned at any time of the day or night. Click here to see our location

Camping / Campsites

Responsible camping involves respect for nature and minimizing the impact of the travels.

Iceland has approx. 170 registered campsites around the island. The majority of these campsites are open from May/June and usually until the end of September but quite a few are open all year round, see here Reservations are not needed for camping sites. Services vary but facilities always include running water and toilets. The price is between EUR 11 - 18 per person and usually there is a small fee for showers, washing machines and dryers. Some camping grounds also ask for a lodging fee per vehicle.

Should you wish to camp on cultivated land or a fenced off farmland you need permission from the landowner. Furthermore, the Conservation Law dictates that it is illegal to camp/spend the night in campervans anywhere, including the highlands, without permission from the rightholder/landowner. For further information The Environment Agency of Iceland

Roads / Speed limit

Road conditions in Iceland are rather unusual. Route 1 (Ring Road) runs around the island and is for almost all its length two lanes wide, one lane going in each direction. The road is paved with asphalt but in short stretches it is unpaved and with gravel surface which demands reducing the speed and showing caution. Blind hills and curves as well as single-lane bridges need to be approached with caution.

The speed limit on paved roads is 90 km/h (56 mph), on gravel roads 80 km/h (50 mph) and in populated areas it is usually 30-50 km/h (19 - 31 mph).

Seatbelts are required by law at all times and it is illegal to use cell phones while driving unless using hands-free equipment. Vehicle headlights should be on at all times day and night when driving and it is against the law to operate a vehicle in Iceland after having consumed alcohol. It is strictly forbidden to drive off-road and make sure if you need to stop the car to do so where it is safe and in designated areas, never stop on the side of the road. Be prepared to see livestock (mainly sheep) on or alongside the road and always reduce the speed since they are highly unpredictable.

Weather

Iceland enjoys a much milder climate than its name suggests and generally has cool summers and cool winters with a relatively modest annual temperature range. The weather can however be extreme and is highly affected by the ocean currents.

In all seasons weather can change very suddenly and dramatically, reducing visibility as well as rapidly increase wind speed and precipitation. The average July temperature in the southern part of Iceland is 10-13°C with the north a little warmer but the warmest summer days can reach 20-25°C. The Icelandic winter is quite mild with the southerly lowlands averaging around 0°C (32°F) but the highlands average -10°C (14°F) during winter.

Check the weather forecast often when traveling in Iceland, The Icelandic Met Office is the main source. For information on weather alerts check safetravel.is

Language / Culture

Iceland has a population of approx. 350.000 with 60% living in the capital region of Reykjavík. The official language is Icelandic but in general Icelanders speak fluent English and it is not uncommon to speak one or two languages besides Icelandic.

Generally Icelanders are friendly people, welcoming and straightforward although they might not be known for being particularly easy to get to know and even might not offer assistance beforehand, but most if not all will gladly assist if asked for help.

Internet access in Iceland is excellent except from the most remote locations where the 4G infrastructure is limited and therefore connection irregular. The Mink Driver Guide which comes included with all campers also holds an optional WIFI system and for an additional fee of EUR 10 per day you can access the WIFI with five different devices and unlimited data.

Costs / Currency

Iceland undisputedly holds a reputation for being one of the most expensive countries in the world. Prices for hotels, taxis, public transport, food and drinks are high compared to almost anywhere else but do not get too disheartened for traveling in the Mink Camper, with a comfy accommodation and a fully equipped kitchenette, brings the cost down considerably.

The Krona (ISK) is the currency of Iceland and currency exchange is available at all banks around the country, open generally Monday through Friday 9am-16pm and ATM´s are widely available. Most if not all merchandise and services can be paid for with debit/credit cards which is the most common form of payment in Iceland but please note that Iceland uses cards with the chip-and-PIN system that requires a 4-digit PIN for purchase. VISA and Mastercard are the major credit cards.

Budget friendly grocery shopping is best done in Bónus or Krónan (better for fresh produce and health food, non-dairy, non-meat etc.) which can be found all around the country although far between in some parts of the island. Nettó is another budget store chain found in towns around the island, inexpensive but not as low-priced as Bónus and Krónan. The Hagkaup stores are hypermarkets offering everything from food to clothes and cosmetics, quite a bit pricier on food but mid-range on everything else. Samkaup stores are widespread around the country and very pricey as are the 10-11 convenience stores. Generally shops are open from 10 am to 18 pm. Wine and alcohol is only sold in state-owned stores called Vínbúðin and because of the state monopoly and heavy taxing it is very high priced. The outlets are also relatively few but can be found in most larger towns in Iceland. Usually the opening hours are 11 am to 18 pm Monday through Saturday except in smaller villages were the opening hours are often constricted to two a day. Consider buying wine and alcohol beverages in the Duty Free Store on your arrival for much better prices.

Tap water across Iceland is safe to drink so there is absolutely no need to spend money on bottled water, just bring a reusable waterbottle.