Is wild camping allowed in Iceland?

No, wild camping and freestanding with a car is unfortunately not officially allowed in Iceland and is frowned upon by the population. It is allowed to stay in a tent overnight, as long as you are not in populated areas.

Last researched: Autumn 2020

Wild camping and free standing are not permitted in Iceland and are prohibited by law. Especially in the south of the country, and inhabited areas, free camping is prohibited. However, if you are on a walking tour and would like to pitch your tent, there are exceptions.

You can still camp wild in Iceland despite the prohibition, but this only applies to a few points. Camping is allowed if you adhere to the following rules:

  • Your tent must be set up away from public roads
  • You can only camp where people don't live permanently.
  • You may only camp where there is no infrastructure.
  • You can't camp in the national parks.

Even if wild camping and standing free with motor vehicles are not possible, you can still explore Iceland with your tent on your back.

Diamond Beach
Diamond Beach
Polar lights in Iceland
Polar lights in Iceland

Tips and tricks for wild camping in Iceland

In the morning wake up at the coast by the sound of the sea, marvel at a volcano before noon, take a coffee break next to the largest glacier in Europe and fall asleep under the polar lights in the evening. Only Iceland offers that. We have put together some hints on what you should consider when traveling through Iceland to enjoy this country and its nature without any problems.

Weather forecast
The weather in Iceland is unpredictable, and reliable forecasts are hardly possible. So you should prepare for all eventualities. Check the weather forecasts regularly, as a storm can make some roads impassable.

Provisions
Iceland is known for its vast and untouched nature. However, if you are traveling with your camper, the sparsely populated country can also become a problem, as the supply possibilities can be scarce. So make sure you have enough food with you.

Nature
In addition to the prohibition of wild camping with motor vehicles, both open fires and driving off the road are prohibited. If you pitch your tent in nature, it is also forbidden to sleep on moss or to lift or shift it.

Have a contingency plan at hand
Even if you are well prepared for bad weather and have enough provisions with you, you should have an emergency plan if the weather is too bad. To be on the safe side, have one of the permanent shelters on the island in mind that can provide shelter in bad weather.

10 interesting, bizarre and funny facts about Iceland

Iceland is the northernmost country in Europe and the capital Reykjavík is even the northernmost capital of the world. Maybe you already knew that or heard it somewhere. But did you know that Icelanders believe in elves? But of course not trolls, they are only mythical creatures. We have compiled these and 8 other interesting facts for you here.

Fact #1 - More sheep than inhabitants
With just 330,00 inhabitants, Iceland is not a very populous country. With 460.00 sheep there are even more of this livestock on the island than people.

Fact #2 - Thermal springs
If you have been traveling through Iceland for a few days and are cold you can warm up in one of the 170 thermal springs on Iceland.

Fact #3 - The Flag
The mountains, the volcano fire, and the glaciers. So striking for the Icelanders that they determine the colors of the flag: blue, red and white.

Fact #4 - Elves
In Iceland, there is an ivory commissioner who ensures that no elves are disturbed when new construction projects begin. If this is the case, the road will be moved, for example.

Fact #5 - Trolls and Rock People
Even though about 80 percent of the population believes in elves, most Icelanders doubt the existence of trolls and rock people.

Fact #6 - Islendinga
"Islendinga" is an app developed in Iceland. Here you can enter data and find out the relationship between two Icelanders. The reason? Avoid dates with too close relatives.

Fact #7 - Icelandic cuisine for the first time
Burger King and McDonald's are not sought in Iceland, the two fast food companies have closed their branches in Iceland due to high costs.

Fact #8 - Icelandic cuisine for the second time
Fermented Greenland shark or also called Gammelhai, ox testicles with dip and braised sheep's head, these are some of the delicacies from Iceland.

Fact #9 - Crime
The crime rate in Iceland is the lowest in the world, which is why the police here do not need firearms, they only carry pepper spray and rubber truncheons.

Fact #10 - Per capita
Thanks to their small number, Icelanders are at the top of per capita comparisons in many respects, such as cola consumption, Nobel Prize winners or tractors.

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