We spent 5 of our 9 nights in Iceland sleeping under the stars. Each one was nothing short of magical.
Iceland is very camper-friendly. There are countless camper vans for rent and campgrounds that will gladly let you pitch a tent. However, we camp to get away from the chaos and the crowds (and it's no secret that Iceland has become very popular), not to hear our neighbor’s generator kick on at 7:00 am, or the latest episode of whatever show they are binge-watching... this defeats the purpose of camping for us.
So, how do we do it? We avoid commercial campsites at all costs (sometimes they are pricey). Generally, we keep a lookout for dirt roads, abandoned villages, etc. We brought backpacking packs and all of our own gear. We are as discreet as possible: car lights off, no fires (unless there is already a pit), always pack in and pack out. We’ve done this all over the world and while we know we’re lucky, we’re never once had a bad experience. Take a chance. Just think... you could have places like these all to yourself!
Brunavik Bay (East Iceland)
We ditched the car and headed for the hills. Along the way, we found an awesome, secluded place to pitch a tent for the night. This was our only hike-in, hike-out overnighter in Iceland, but definitely became one of our favorite honeymoon experiences. It felt so good to get off the beaten path (or in this case, the well-paved path) and kick it with the sheep.
Directions to this campsite located here (scroll to the end).
Abandoned Fishing Village Campsite (East Iceland)
Shortly after making our way to through the fingers of Iceland’s East Fjords, we came across an abandoned fishing village (on the north eastern tip of the fjord between Stöðvarfjörður and Fáskrúðsfjörð). It was perfect. We pitched our tent and admired the foggy landscape.
Jökulsárlón Campsite (South Iceland)
Just up the road from Iceland’s famous glacier bay, Jökulsárlón, we found a dirt road that looked promising. Making a quick turn and following it back a while, we found the best campsite we could have asked for. A glacier in the background with a glowing, pink sunset… couldn’t end the day in a better way.
Ljosavatn Campsite (North Iceland)
East of Lake Ljosavatn, In between our stops at The Turf House Museum (Grenjaðarstaður) and Akueryri (and not far off the Ring Road at all) we found another great campsite. Moral of this story. When in doubt, dirt roads are your friend.
Seal Beach Campsite (North Iceland)
Without any previous spots scouted out, we ventured away from the Ring Road and were rewarded with this sweet spot for the night. We saw no seals, but the location couldn’t be beat.