Explore Like a Viking: Summer Campervan Adventures Across Iceland

The Viking Spirit in Modern Iceland

Did you know before the arrival of the Vikings, the country we now call Iceland was briefly inhabited by Irish monks? The poor souls couldn’t handle the extreme conditions and eventually abandoned our isolated and harsh terrain, leaving it unnamed. 

Our name, Iceland, owes its origin to the daring Viking explorer Hrafna-Flóki, who ventured here in the mid-9th century. Legend has it that after enduring a brutal winter, he climbed a mountain near Flókalundur and was mesmerized by the sight of fjords brimming with ice. It was at that moment that the name ‘Iceland’ was born.

This pivotal moment solidified Iceland’s identity on the map. It reflected the challenging environment the early Viking settlers had to adapt to and the straightforward descriptive approach they took in naming their new home.

Today, you can tap into that spirit of adventure as you explore like a modern Viking in the comfort of your Geysir Campervan. Channel the Viking spirit as you explore fiercely, embrace the unknown, and create unforgettable memories while discovering Iceland’s spectacular and captivating landscapes.

viking boat

Viking History, Folklore and Sagas

Before kicking off your camping adventure, you should explore some Viking history. Iceland has several Viking-inspired attractions in and around the capital city of Reykjavík. To learn more about the unique history of this captivating island, here are some notable ones to check out:

The Settlement Exhibition

This settlement museum, discovered during construction work, is built around the remains of a Viking longhouse from around 871 AD. It offers a fascinating glimpse into the life of the early settlers in Iceland with interactive displays and artifacts.

Saga Museum

The Saga Museum is not just a museum; it’s a time machine that recreates key moments in Icelandic history, particularly those involving the original Viking settlers. Through detailed silicone figures, it brings to life the sagas, the establishment of Althingi (one of the oldest parliamentary institutions in the world), ancient folklore, and more. A visit here is sure to deepen your connection to Viking history.

Beautiful view of the Saga monument in Arnarstapi, Iceland

The Viking Village in Hafnarfjörður

Just outside Reykjavík, you’ll find The Viking Village in Hafnarfjörður. This unique themed restaurant and a tourist attraction is a portal to the Viking age. Offering an authentic taste of the Viking era, visitors can indulge in traditional Viking feasts, witness thrilling reenactments, and experience traditional Viking hospitality. 

Viking World Museum “Víkingaheimar”

Located near Keflavík Airport, this museum houses the Viking ship The Icelander “Íslendingur”, a replica of the famous Gokstad ship, which sailed to North America in 2000 to commemorate Leif Erikson’s journey a thousand years earlier. The museum explores Viking shipbuilding, Norse mythology, and the discovery of America.

Top 5 Summer Campervan Attractions in Iceland

Now that you’ve learned more about the land of Fire and Ice and channeled your inner Viking, it’s time to get out there and explore!

The Golden Circle

No adventure is complete without touring Iceland’s most famous route. The Golden Circle, a 190-mile (305 km) loop, features some of the country’s major sights, including:

  • Þingvellir National Park; a UNESCO World Heritage site full of cultural and historical significance where the European and North American tectonic plates meet. It’s the only place in the world to see the edges of the continents above sea level!
  • Geysir Geothermal Area; where the Strokkur geyser shoots scalding steam and water up to 50 feet (30 meters) in the air every 10 minutes.
  • The majestic Gullfoss Waterfall; a stunning two-tiered waterfall that plunges into a deep gorge. In recent history, Sigridur Tomasdóttir, a local farmer, threatened to jump off the falls to protest the plans to harness it for hydroelectric power. She not only won the case to protect this landmark, but her defense lawyer later became Iceland’s first president. Now that’s a waterfall you don’t want to miss!

Vatnajökull National Park

Europe’s largest and uninhabited national park (5,460 square miles/14,000 sq. kilometers) also features Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull. This area in southeast Iceland offers awe-inspiring views of ice caps, waterfalls, deep valleys, and dynamic landscapes. Hike around or take guided tours to explore ice caves, glacial lakes, and volcanic remnants.

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

Jokulsarlon Glacial lagoon is formed naturally by melting glacial water. Iceberg visible all year

Are you ready to witness icebergs calving from glaciers and drifting into the Atlantic Ocean? A boat tour in the lagoon provides up-close encounters with the Jökulsárlón Glacier. Nearby, Diamond Beach sparkles with ice chunks resembling diamonds on its black sandy shores. 

Lake Myvatn Area

Located in the north, the volcanic Lake Myvatn and its surroundings feature an incredible variety of geological formations, from volcanic craters and lava formations to hot springs. Don’t miss the nearby Mývatn Nature Baths for a relaxing soak in the mineral-rich, geothermal waters.


One of Iceland’s most pristine areas and far less traveled than other parts of the country, the Westfjords offer dramatic landscapes with steep mountains, deep fjords, and quaint fishing villages like the village of Ice Ford or “Isafjordur.” Highlights include Dynjandi waterfall and the Latrabjarg bird cliffs, home to puffins and other seabirds. You could spend days hiking and exploring here.

Iceland Camping Tips and Best Campsites

The campsite well filled up in town of Hofn

Camping Tips:

  • Prepare for All Weather: Icelandic weather can be unpredictable. Pack layers and waterproof gear.
  • Respect the Environment: Stick to marked roads and campsites. Iceland’s landscapes are beautiful but extremely fragile.
  • Map out Gas Stations: If you’re driving to more remote areas, always make sure you fill up when you see a pump.
  • Plan Ahead: Reserve campsites in advance during peak summer months to secure a spot, especially in popular areas like the Golden Circle or near Jökulsárlón.

Best Summer Campsites:

Tents in the campsite in Skaftafell National Park Iceland
  • Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park: Perfect for nature lovers looking to explore glaciers and hiking trails.
  • Tjaldsvæðið Hamrar near Akureyri: Nestled in a forested area, it’s a serene spot for northern Iceland explorers.
  • Þakgil Campground: Located between Vik and the Mýrdalsjökull glacier, Þakgil offers sheltered camping spots surrounded by stunning mountain scenery.

Iceland Do’s and Don’ts


  • Do Take Your Trash: Always clean up after yourself to preserve the natural beauty.
  • Do Follow Local Guidelines: Whether it’s driving etiquette or how to behave at hot springs, always respect the local customs.


  • Don’t Venture Off-Road: Driving off-road is illegal in Iceland and can damage the delicate environment.
  • Don’t Underestimate Nature: Always check the weather and road conditions before heading out, and respect safety barriers at attractions.

Your Campervan Viking Journey with Geysir Car Rental

At Geysir Car Rental, we equip you with everything needed for your Viking-inspired journey across Iceland. Choose from our wide range of campervans and motorhomes to find the perfect vehicle for your adventure. With a commitment to customer satisfaction that’s been honored time and again, we bring a level of excellence to your Icelandic exploration. Ready to explore like a Viking? Start your journey with us, where every rental kicks off an adventure.

Embrace the freedom. Discover the wild.

Live out your Viking fantasy this summer with Geysir.