Welcome to a guide designed to transform your Icelandic journey into an unforgettable camping adventure. Iceland's landscapes, a blend of ethereal Northern Lights, towering waterfalls, and majestic glaciers, are an adventurer's dream.

The Golden Circle route, a tapestry of Iceland's most iconic natural wonders, presents an ideal backdrop for a camping expedition. However, choosing the perfect spot can be daunting with its myriad picturesque locations.

This guide caters to everyone: seasoned outdoor enthusiasts seeking solitude under starlit skies, families looking for an adventurous yet educational getaway, and first-time campers yearning to embrace the wild. Our carefully selected list of the top 10 camping spots in and around the Golden Circle will guide you through diverse landscapes, from peaceful retreats and geothermal wonders to historically rich sites.

This comprehensive guide lets you chart a memorable journey through Iceland's untamed beauty. Let's set off on this exhilarating exploration of the Golden Circle's best camping experiences!

Top 10 Best Campsites Along the Golden Circle

Skjól Camping

Skjól Camping

Located virtually in the middle of the iconic Golden Circle route, Skjól Camping offers an unbeatable location for campers looking to explore Iceland's most famous landmarks. Situated near the majestic Gullfoss waterfall and the active Geysir, Skjól is more than just a campsite—it's a gateway to the incredible geothermal landscapes that make the Golden Circle a bucket-list destination for nature enthusiasts worldwide.

Skjól's spacious grounds provide ample room for pitching your tent, and for those seeking more comfortable accommodations, cozy cabins are also available for rent. Skjól Camping has excellent facilities, including a well-maintained shower block, a kitchen area for self-catering, and even Wi-Fi for those wanting to stay connected.

A lively restaurant and bar on-site is perfect for enjoying a local meal or sharing stories with fellow campers under the midnight sun or the Northern Lights. As for attractions, the nearby Gullfoss waterfall, with its thunderous cascades, and the Geysir, with its regular eruptions of hot water and steam, are must-visits.

Furthermore, the campsite also arranges horse-riding trips in the surrounding highlands, offering a unique way to explore the captivating Icelandic terrain.

Þingvellir National Park Camping

Camping at Þingvellir National Park in Iceland offers a chance to stay in a unique geological and historical setting. The park has a dedicated camping site with basic facilities like toilets and running water. The main camping season is from early June to late September.

Visitors can enjoy the park's stunning natural beauty during this time, including the rift valley where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates meet. It's important to adhere to park rules and regulations, especially concerning environmental protection.

Wild camping is restricted, so using designated camping areas is essential. The park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offering rich historical and cultural experiences.

Exploring the Thingvellir National Park area is a must for every camper. The star of the show, the Strokkur geyser, erupts every few minutes, sending a plume of hot water and steam up to 20 meters high.

Marvel at the geothermal hot springs, enjoy the vibrant hues of the mineral-laden soil and feel the thrum of geothermal energy that permeates the land. The campsite's proximity to these attractions provides an immersive experience, enabling you to soak in the geothermal wonders all day and under the enchanting Northern Lights after nightfall.

Geysir Camping Ground

Geysir Camping Ground

Awakening to the sight of a geyser erupting in a show of nature's power is an experience like no other, and it's precisely what the Geysir Camping Ground promises its guests. Nestled within the Golden Circle, close to the world-famous Geysir geothermal area, this camping spot offers a unique opportunity to dwell amidst one of nature's most fascinating spectacles.

The landscape, characterized by spouting geysers, bubbling mud pools, and simmering geothermal springs, creates a distinct and immersive camping environment. It isn't just a campsite; it's a front-row seat to the extraordinary geothermal activity that defines Iceland's landscape.

The campsite's proximity to the Geysir area allows guests to explore and appreciate the geothermal marvels at their own pace. Whether it's a daytime exploration witnessing the thrilling eruptions of geysers or a nocturnal adventure under the glow of the Northern Lights, the Geysir Camping Ground guarantees a camping experience you will cherish forever.

Faxi Waterfall Campsite

Faxi Waterfall Campsite

Tucked away in the serene beauty of the Golden Circle lies the Faxi Waterfall Campsite, a haven of tranquility for nature-loving explorers. Located close to the beautiful Faxi or Vatnsleysufoss waterfall, this campsite offers a peaceful escape from the bustling tourist hotspots.

The melodic rhythm of the cascading waterfall, the lush surrounding landscapes, and the calming simplicity of this location combine to create an idyllic camping environment. This campsite isn't just about serenity; it's a direct gateway to one of Iceland's less touristy but equally stunning attractions - the Faxi waterfall.

By day, you can enjoy the mesmerizing sight of the water cascading down in a wide, serene flow, leisurely picnic beside the river, or even try fishing in its bountiful waters. As dusk falls, retreat to your cozy tent to the soothing soundtrack of the flowing waterfall, and if you're lucky, witness the mesmerizing display of the Northern Lights painting the night sky.

A stay at the Faxi Waterfall Campsite is a rejuvenating experience, a tranquil hideaway that offers a genuine connection with the serene beauty of Icelandic nature.

Laugarvatn Campground

Laugarvatn Campground

Imagine waking up to the soft lapping of lake waters, the crisp mountain air, and a steaming geothermal bath waiting to rejuvenate you. That's the magic of Laugarvatn Campground.

Set on the shores of Lake Laugarvatn in the Golden Circle, this campsite combines the tranquil beauty of lakeside camping with the unique allure of geothermal activity. With its stunning lake views, abundant birdlife, and natural hot springs, Laugarvatn Campground offers an exciting spin on traditional camping experiences.

Whether you pitch your tent with a view of the shimmering lake or park your camper near the woods, a sense of peace pervades throughout Laugarvatn Campground. Take a dip in the warm, mineral-rich waters of the local geothermal baths, or explore the trails that crisscross the woodland and lakeside.

Birdwatchers can look forward to spotting an array of bird species, while fishing enthusiasts can try their luck in the lake. As the day ends, gather around a campfire, share stories under the midnight sun or the dancing Northern Lights, and bask in the harmonious blend of relaxation and adventure that Laugarvatn Campground uniquely offers.

Hamragarðar Camping Ground

Hamragarðar Camping Ground

Nestled in the scenic landscapes of the Golden Circle, the Hamragarðar Camping Ground offers an enticing blend of natural beauty, serenity, and outdoor adventure. With its proximity to the famous Seljalandsfoss waterfall, camping here allows guests to enjoy one of Iceland's most iconic natural spectacles in a close and personal way.

The roar of the cascading water, the lush green surroundings, and the sense of tranquility that pervades the area make this camping ground a popular choice for nature enthusiasts and waterfall chasers. Each day at Hamragarðar offers the thrill of exploration and the calm of nature.

Follow the path behind the majestic Seljalandsfoss waterfall for a unique view, or hike the nearby trails to discover smaller, hidden waterfalls. The region's rich birdlife and the opportunity to witness the mesmerizing Northern Lights add further appeal to this picturesque camping ground.

Whether you spend the day exploring or simply soaking in the beauty of your surroundings from your tent, a stay at Hamragarðar Camping Ground is a memorable part of any Golden Circle camping adventure.

Uthlid Campground

Uthlid Campground

If a blend of family-friendly fun, horse riding, and breathtaking mountain views sounds like your ideal camping getaway, then Uthlid Campground is the place for you. Situated in the beautiful mountainous region of the Golden Circle, Uthlid provides a wonderful retreat for those wishing to experience Iceland's rugged charm.

With its scenic setting, numerous amenities, and focus on equestrian activities, Uthlid Campground has carved a niche for itself among family groups and horse lovers alike. Staying at Uthlid is an adventure in itself.

The campground offers a variety of recreational activities, including hiking, golf, and particularly horseback riding, which is a highlight given Iceland's unique breed of hardy, friendly horses. Families can enjoy the playground, the swimming pool, and the dedicated barbecue area.

At the same time, those seeking tranquility can unwind and soak in the stunning views of the nearby mountains and valleys. The evenings come with the possibility of a spectacular Northern Lights show, making the Uthlid Campground experience truly unforgettable.

Whether you're a family seeking a fun-filled camping trip or a horse enthusiast wanting to explore the Icelandic terrain on horseback, Uthlid Campground is an excellent choice.

Haukadalur Forest

Haukadalur Forest

For those seeking an authentic wild camping experience within the Golden Circle, Haukadalur Forest presents the perfect opportunity. Unlike the vast open landscapes and lava fields that typically characterize Iceland, Haukadalur offers a unique woodland setting, providing a chance to camp among the native birch trees and lush vegetation.

This remarkable green space makes for a refreshing change and offers a tranquil retreat for nature enthusiasts. At Haukadalur Forest, you are indeed at one with nature.

Set up camp under the shelter of the trees and immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the woodland. Venture out on the forest trails to enjoy the rich biodiversity, including various bird species that call this forest home.

A nearby geothermal area adds a touch of Iceland's geothermal charm to your wild camping experience. As the day ends, gather around a campfire under the starlit sky and possibly catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights dancing above the treetops.

Flúðir Camping Ground

Flúðir Camping Ground

For those searching for a unique blend of rural charm and geothermal wonders, the Flúðir Camping Ground in the Golden Circle is an unbeatable choice. Flúðir is a small village known for its mushroom farms, gently rolling hills and hot springs.

This campsite provides a rare chance to experience the simplicity of Icelandic village life while also having access to some of nature's most soothing geothermal baths. The Flúðir Camping Ground is a cozy retreat where you can relax in your tent or camper van surrounded by the tranquillity of the countryside.

It's a perfect starting point to explore the village's fascinating mushroom farms or to hike the verdant landscape. The most appealing feature of this camping ground is its proximity to the Secret Lagoon, one of Iceland's oldest geothermal pools.

Here, you can unwind in the warm waters, revel in the therapeutic benefits, and, if luck favors, witness the spectacle of the Northern Lights reflecting off the steamy surface of the pool. With its unique setting and the allure of the Secret Lagoon, Flúðir Camping Ground provides a genuinely immersive Icelandic village camping experience.



Landmannalaugar, often referred to as the Pearl of the Central Highlands, presents a camping experience that is as unique as it is captivating. Known for its dramatic rhyolite mountains, sprawling lava fields, and geothermal hot springs, Landmannalaugar takes the adventurous spirit of camping in the Golden Circle to an entirely new level.

The vibrant colors of the mountains, contrasting with the stark black lava and the verdant moss that grows around, create a mesmerizing and otherworldly landscape. Camping in Landmannalaugar is the epitome of an outdoor adventure.

You can embark on numerous hiking trails from your camping ground, including the renowned Laugavegur Trail, one of Iceland's most popular hiking routes. At the end of a day filled with exploration and awe-inspiring sights, you can return to the warmth of natural hot springs in the campsite.

A dip in these warm pools is the perfect way to relax and rejuvenate, ready for the next day's adventures.

How to Reach the Golden Circle Iceland

To reach the Golden Circle in Iceland, you can start from Reykjavik, the capital city, the most common starting point for this popular tourist route. Here's a brief guide on how to get there:

  1. By Car: Renting a car is the most flexible option. The drive from Reykjavik to the first stop of the Golden Circle, Þingvellir National Park, takes about 45 minutes. The roads are well-maintained and signposted, making it easy to navigate.
  2. Guided Tours: Various companies in Reykjavik offer guided tours to the Golden Circle. These tours often include transportation, a guide, and sometimes additional stops at other attractions.
  3. Public Transport: While more challenging, it is possible to use public buses. However, this requires careful planning as the schedules might be less frequent, and the journey will be longer than driving or guided tours.

Regardless of your transportation choice, the Golden Circle is easily accessible from Reykjavik and can be explored daily.

Best Time To Go Camping Along the Golden Circle

The best time of year to go camping in Iceland, specifically the Golden Circle, largely depends on what kind of experience you're seeking. Here are the key considerations for different seasons:

Summer (June to August):

  • Pros: Mild weather, long daylight hours (including midnight sun), more accessible campsite access, and better road conditions. Summer is the peak tourist season, offering the most comfortable camping experience.
  • Cons: More crowded and higher prices for rentals and services.

Shoulder Seasons (May and September):

  • Pros: Fewer tourists, milder weather than winter, and the beauty of transitioning seasons.
  • Cons: Daylight hours start to decrease, and some campsite facilities may begin to close after September.

Winter (November to March):

  • Pros: Opportunities to see the Northern Lights, less crowded, and a unique winter camping experience.
  • Cons: Harsh weather conditions, minimal daylight hours, some campsites might be closed, and driving can be challenging.

Autumn (Late September to October):

  • Pros: Beautiful autumn colors, fewer tourists, and still some accessible camping options.
  • Cons: Weather can be unpredictable, and daylight hours decrease.

Overall, for the most comfortable and accessible camping experience, the summer months are recommended. However, winter camping could be a unique choice for those seeking a more adventurous experience and hoping to see the Northern Lights, bearing in mind the need for appropriate gear and preparations.

Bottom Line

Embarking on a camping adventure around the Golden Circle invites many memorable encounters. With its unique allure, each camping spot offers more than a place to sleep - it's a gateway to experience the fascinating blend of natural wonders Iceland offers.

From geothermal hot springs and cascading waterfalls to serene woodlands and dramatic highlands, your camping journey weaves through the very best of this remarkable country. So, pack your camping gear and prepare for a lifetime experience.

As you traverse the routes of the Golden Circle and nestle in these incredible camping sites, you'll find the essence of Iceland captured in every moment. It's not just about the places you'll see but the memories you'll make and the awe-inspiring nature you'll become part of.

Your Golden Circle camping adventure is a story waiting to unfold. Let it begin!


Are all campgrounds in the Golden Circle equipped with basic facilities?

Ans: Yes, most of the campgrounds in the Golden Circle are equipped with basic facilities such as toilets, showers, and areas for cooking or barbecue. However, facilities can vary between campsites, and it is advisable to check the specific amenities of each campground before you visit.

Can I camp anywhere in the Golden Circle or stay in designated campgrounds?

Ans: While Iceland is known for its openness towards camping, regulations have tightened in recent years due to environmental concerns. Currently, camping is only allowed in designated campgrounds within the Golden Circle and most parts of the country.

Can the Northern Lights be seen while camping in the Golden Circle?

Ans: It is possible to see the Northern Lights while camping in the Golden Circle, although this mainly depends on the time of year and weather conditions. The best time to see the Northern Lights is typically between late September and early April on clear nights.

Are the campgrounds in the Golden Circle open year-round?

Ans: Some campgrounds in the Golden Circle are open year-round, while others are only open during the summer months. It's best to check the opening dates of each campground before planning your visit.

Do I need to book camp in the Golden Circle in advance?

Ans: Some campgrounds in the Golden Circle allow for walk-ins, but it can get crowded during the peak summer months. It's advisable to book your spot in advance, especially for larger groups or for those wanting to secure a place in the more popular campgrounds.