Guide to Camping in South Iceland

The appeal of the van lifestyle is increasingly on the rise. Visitors to Iceland are no exception as more of them discover the freedom of driving a camper van. If the South is the focus of your itinerary, there are plenty of quality sites available where you can rest your head for the night. Even if you’re just exploring Iceland’s Golden Circle, camping is a great accommodation choice!

It’s important to follow camping regulations in Iceland wherever you choose to camp. Icelandic land is privately owned, so don’t expect to rock up and be able to pitch your tent wherever you choose. Most farmers and landlords are willing to allow you to stay on their land for the night, however, you’ll need to check with them on arrival if that’s your plan. For more organized campers searching for established facilities, you might want to check out some of the following campsites in South Iceland.

1. Kleifar Campsite

When it comes to campsites in South Iceland, Kleifar is a definitive best-kept secret. Located at Geirlandsvegur, between Vík and Jökulsárlón (glacial lagoon), it is a relatively small campsite, with a price tag and amenities to match. At the back of the campsite lies the stunning Stjórnarfoss Waterfall. Depending on geothermal conditions, the water can sometimes be warm enough for a swim!

Opening Times: 1st of June – 31st of August

Price: 750 ISK per person (or free if you have a camping card!)

Location: Geirlandsvegur, 880 Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Iceland

2. Laugardalur Campsite

The Laugardalur campsite is located in the heart of Reykjavík, meaning you will have easy access to the vibrant city life at play in the capital. At the same time, Laugardalur’s proximity to green spaces means you can also easily go on hikes or cycle through the surrounding valleys. After a long day, you can even relax at the Laugardalslaug geothermal pool.

Opening Times: All year round

Price: 3,200 ISK (per adult per night)

Location: Sundlaugavegur 32, 105 Reykjavík, Iceland

A tent at the camping ground near Geysir in south-west Iceland.

 3. Þórsmörk 

Nestled in the shadow of the Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, Þórsmörk is a sanctuary of birch trees, moss, volcanic rocks, birds, arctic foxes, and even elves! There are several campsites and mountain huts across the valley of Thor. You can even explore two of Iceland’s most famous hiking trails – the Fimmvörðuháls Hike and Laugavegur Trail. Just remember to wear proper hiking gear, and seek expert guidance if you’re unsure.

Opening Times: May to September

Price: 2,000 to 2,800 ISK

Location: 861 Þórsmörk, Iceland

4. Gata Free Camping Site

Just outside of Þorlákshöfn on the south coast of Iceland lies a free campsite called Gata. If you’re familiar with how good Icelandic hot dogs are, you’ll want to try this campsite for sure. There’s a hot dog stand here where you can try out this delicacy! There are restrooms, showers, and cooking spaces, but no electricity is available. There’s no better way to embrace the true spirit of camping. 

Opening Times: All year round (but facilities close once it starts snowing)

Price: Free

Location: R8HC+VF, 816 Strandakirkja, Iceland

5. Skaftafell Campsite

If the Ring Road is part of your South Iceland camping itinerary, you’ll inevitably come across Skaftafell – a wilderness area in the Vatnajökull National Park. At the foot of the Hvannadalshnúkur mountain lies the campsite. It’s the perfect base for a number of outdoor activities. You can embark on a short but steep trek to the Svartifoss Waterfall (The Black Waterfall), or try activities such as glacier hiking and ice climbing in the surrounding glaciers.

Opening Times: All year round 

Price: 8,000 ISK

Location: 785 Skaftafell, Iceland

Orange tents set up at the Skaftafell camping ground in South Iceland.

6. Skógar Campsite 

Just a few meters from the Skógafoss Waterfall lies the Skógar campsite. It is ideal for starting the Fimmvorduhals hiking trail and also serves as the finish point. You will come across volcanic craters, glaciers, and stunning panoramic views on this trail. The Skógar camping ground in South Iceland brings together nature lovers from around the world.

Opening Times: All year round 

Price: 1,800 ISK

Location: GFHP+5WP, 861 Eyvindarhólar, Iceland

7. Grindavík Campsite

If you want to dive into your Iceland camping experience straight after landing at Keflavík, the Grindavík campsite on the Reykjanes Peninsula is very close by. Once you’ve set up camp, you can start exploring all that the region has to offer. There is Reykjanesviti – the oldest lighthouse in Iceland – where you’ll find stunning coastal views, the Gunnuhver geothermal area, the Hafnaberg Cliffs, the Viking World Museum, and lots more to discover. And at the end of a long day, the Blue Lagoon is just 4.8 kilometers away for a relaxing soak!

Opening Times: March 1st to December 1st

Price: 2,200 ISK (per adult per night)

Location: Austurvegur 26, 240 Grindavík, Iceland

8. Úlfljótsvatn 

If you’re camping in South Iceland with kids, then Úlfljótsvatn is by far the most fun-filled campsite. It is supervised by local scouts and has exceptional play areas such as a soccer field, volleyball field, climbing tower, and a frisbee golf course! The campsite sits across the scenic Lake Úlfljótsvatn, offering a relaxing time spent in the raw nature that Iceland is famed for.

Opening Times: June 1st to September 30th

Price: 1,800 ISK (adults), 700 ISK (13 to 17 years), Free (12 years and under)

Location: Úlfljótsvatn, 801 Selfoss, Iceland

A green tent set up near the Skogafoss waterfall in South Iceland.

9. Kerlingarfjöll Campground 

Kerlingarfjöll is the hikers’ campsite. Located in the Highlands of Iceland, the campsite is only accessible with a 4×4 campervan. There are numerous hiking trails leading into the Icelandic wilderness, making Kerlingarfjöll a paradise for nature lovers. The campsite has modern amenities including a restaurant offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner, where you can also purchase a sandwich to take with you on your hike!

Opening Times: June 15th to September 1st

Price: 3,000 ISK

Location: Kerlingarfjöll Highland Resort, Kjölur 35, Iceland

10. Þjórsárdalur Campground 

On the shores of the Þjórsá, the longest river in Iceland, lies the Þjórsárdalur campground. About 8 kilometers from the campsite is a reconstructed medieval farmhouse called Þjóðveldisbærinn Stöng. Just 3.2 kilometers away is another early medieval farmhouse called Stöng. 2 beautiful waterfalls, Háifoss and Hjálparfoss, are also worthwhile attractions in the area, and so is the fairy tale land of Gjáin. 

Opening Times: June 15th to September 15th (or until the frost arrives)

Price: 1,700 ISK

Location: Þjórsárdalsvegur, 804, Iceland

Camping in South Iceland is one of the best ways to experience the region. From lakes and rivers to mountains and glaciers, the campsites dotted across South Iceland offer a unique way to explore the natural wonders of this Nordic country. All you have to do is rent a car and set off on your expedition.