Winter in Iceland can be breathtakingly beautiful – we have northern lights, icy fjords, frozen waterfalls, snow-covered mountains, and low winter sun that can cover the landscape in pink and gold light. It’s no wonder that we receive many questions about camping in Iceland during the winter months.
The unofficial camping season in Iceland runs from the beginning of May through the end of September. While there are campsites open year-round, we typically do not rent tents out during the winter months because of the unpredictable and volatile weather conditions that winter can bring in Iceland. As we’ve seen this winter, Iceland can be absolutely stunning, but the weather can also turn quickly, roads can close, and gusts of winds can make it impossible to safely have a tent set up. Luckily, there are many other options for experiencing Iceland’s magnificent winter nature and beauty. We can provide you with all of the accessories needed to make your winter trip to Iceland a success!
While camping with a tent is not a viable option for most people visiting Iceland in the winter, you can rent a car and stay in hostels or guesthouses as you drive around the country. Hostels and guesthouses are a budget-friendly option, and many (especially in more remote parts of the country) offer "sleeping bag accommodation". Bringing your own sleeping bag allows you to get a lower price per night because the accommodation won’t provide linens for your bed. You can rent indoor sleeping bags and compressible pillows from us to take along, saving you valuable suitcase space. You can also rent outdoor equipment to ensure your adventures are comfortable and safe. We offer hiking shoes, crampons, winter clothing, walkie talkies, GPS systems, and more for rent through our website. You can even rent a GoPro from us to capture the winter landscape and frosty adventures to share with your friends and family back home! You can also rent a car through our website, making it incredibly convenient – pick up both the car and the equipment at the BSÍ bus terminal! There are buses that take you directly from the airport to BSÍ, so after landing you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the drive through the lava fields from the airport to our location in downtown Reykjavík.
During the summer months we have a special camping package that is offered when you rent a car, but this is not available in winter as the tents are not available. Instead, we offer up to a 50% winter discount on rental equipment when you rent a car through our website. After you have confirmed your rental through our website, send us an email with your confirmation from Enterprise and what items you are interested in renting and we will be happy to make you an offer.
Other options for winter travel in Iceland include renting a camper van or joining some of the many guided winter tours, ranging from day trips to multi-day journeys across the country. We can provide you with all of the equipment needed to participate in these trips and to make your experience as cosy as possible. We offer gas stoves for cooking, dishes, cooking sets, portable tables and chairs, and more for rent. Everything that we offer is easy to pack down and bring with you no matter what kind of trip you have chosen.
Iceland in winter is definitely worth the visit. The unique landscapes take on a magical appearance when covered in snow and ice. Feel the snow crunch beneath your feet as you gaze up to view the beautiful aurora borealis dancing above. We absolutely love winter in Iceland, and we’re sure you will too! It’s very important to always remember to check the weather forecast (www.vedur.is) and road conditions with travel warnings (www.safetravel.is and www.road.is) no matter when you visit Iceland, but especially during the winter months. Safe travels lead to enjoyable journeys.
The photos throughout this article were taken by Anna at Dóttir Experiences during her latest Iceland trip and show a great variety of what you can see on a winter road trip! Thank you to Anna for letting us use her photos 😊