Top tips for your ultimate Iceland family adventure in a camper van
With summer officially now behind us and the long, sunny days slowly fading to make way for blustery weather, dark evenings and endless days of rain, it’s little wonder that it’s a time of year when many of us think of heading off on that next luxury vacation in the sun.
But before you go ahead and book your winter sunshine getaway in the tropics, why not consider a little something different this year – and prepare to embrace the cold autumnal weather rather than escape it?
No, we’re not talking about staying at home after all, and nor are we suggesting you holiday in the UK – but with a plethora of picturesque cold-weather destinations beckoning, why not head to one of the world’s most beautiful winter hotspots this year and get out there to explore?
We’re all rather partial to a five-star hotel or a luxury villa here at LLM, but sometimes, you just need a little bit of adventure. So this year, why not hire out an opulent winnebago or a high-end camper van, and tour a new destination in style? It might be a little out of your comfort zone, but it’s a great way to immerse yourself in all that a new country has to offer and get off the beaten track with your family to uncover some incredible hidden gems and enjoy some quality time together, too.
Our top pick for a family campervan holiday has got to be beautiful Iceland. Boasting spectacular landscapes punctuated with breath-taking snow-capped mountain peaks, awe-inspiring waterfalls and more, there’s a lot to love about this beautiful nation. And, with the chance to see the incredible northern lights first-hand, it’s a destination quite unlike anywhere else.
If you’d like to plan a winter getaway with a difference this year, then look no further – we’ve rounded up all the information and tips you need to plan a luxury family campervan holiday in Iceland.
Where to start
When travelling to Iceland, you’re likely to be flying into Reykjavik, and luckily, the capital is a great place to start your luxury family campervan holiday in Iceland. When it comes to hunting down the very best campervan, Reykjavik is also your best bet – so plan to hire your vehicle here before you set off on the road.
Where to rent
A critical first step in planning your campervan travels through Iceland is choosing a rental company, so be sure to opt for a reputable firm such as Campervan Reykjavik. A family run company like this one is often the best bet, as they will provide a professional and trustworthy service that will make for a seamless experience all round. If possible, head online to book your vehicle before you arrive in the country – so all you’ll have to do is get a car from the airport to take you to your pick-up point.
If you plan to travel around Iceland during peak tourist season in summer months, be sure to plan well in advance and book your campervan at least a few months before your trip; if you don’t, you may end up finding that the best vans are already booked up. Even in the winter, it’s wise to do the same – campers in Iceland aren’t difficult to find, but you want the highest spec camper 4 x 4 vehicle, they are always in high demand.
What to see
There are a few sights worth seeing in Reykjavik itself, including Hallgrimskirkja – a modern cathedral with a striking tower – but if natural beauty is what you’re looking for, then don’t spend more than a day or two here before moving on.
The Golden Circle is a great first stop, taking you into the natural beauty of the Thingvellir National Park and up close to the powerful beauty of a multi-tiered waterfall at Gullfoss. Don’t miss the bubbling geothermal pools at the Geysir Geothermal Area – they’re almost guaranteed to be a highlight of your entire trip.
The best thing about taking a family campervan holiday in Iceland is waking up to spectacular views each morning. On the Skoga River in the south of Iceland, sip on your morning coffee whilst taking in the stunning Skogafoss waterfall at the cliffs of the former coastline. Right by Route 1, you can also find Seljalandfoss – a 60 metre waterfall that is part of the river of the same name that has its origin in the volcano Eyjafjallajokull.
What to pack
Research which items are included in your campervan rental; most rental websites will include them in the van’s listing. Most campervan companies offer sleeping bag rentals if you don’t want to pack your own, though we’d recommend bringing your own luxury bedding from home to ensure you can enjoy your stay in the utmost of comfort.
Waterproof shoes are essential if you’re planning on doing some hiking; otherwise you’ll find wet conditions and damp trails will leave your feet soaked and freezing. For the savviest way to pack, opt for lots of layers – the weather is notoriously unpredictable, and so you may find yourself needing to take one off or put it on again at a moment’s notice. In winter, temperatures often fall well below zero degrees, so make sure you have plenty of cosy attire with you at all times.
A waterproof jacket, good quality walking shoes, thermals and towels are also essential for your trip in Iceland, along with a woolly hat, scarf and gloves. Don’t forget to make sure the rest of the family have packed sensibly before you leave, too, as if you’re out in the wilderness you’re unlikely to have access to any shops.
Iceland is one of the most majestic countries in the world, boasting a plethora of natural beauty you won’t want to miss. So, if you’re willing to swap your five-star hotel for a luxury five-star camper van such as one reviewed here at RVside for a few days, you could soon find yourself having the most memorable family holiday of your lives.