Our first day of traveling through Iceland was also our first exposure to living in a campervan (ever!). We have never really camped, so the entire experience of finding a campground, making dinner outdoors, and so on was a new experience for the both of us. Needless to say, after spending 10 days on the Ring Road, Golden Circle, Snaefellsnes Peninsula, and Westfjord regions of Iceland – we have found camping to be something truly enjoyable.
Our first day of traveling through Iceland saw us visiting some neat locations on the Golden Circle route. We ended the day with a nice hike through Thingvellir National Park, after which we made our way to our first campsite. After some research, we had originally planned to visit Camping Thingvellir, however upon arriving it was closed early for the season.
To some extent, closing times for campgrounds was an area where we found much misinformation while researching our Iceland vacation. While during the summer this will not be a problem, as you enter the off season (starting in September when we took our trip), campgrounds around the country begin to close.
Fortunately, we found another camp site about 10 minutes away – the Nyrðri Leirar Campground (still in Thingvellir National Park).
We arrived later in the evening around 8PM or so. The campground had fairly basic, but good amenities. Heated restrooms and shower access is nice, though somewhat competitive as we found the campground to be fairly congested with fellow campers. An outdoor common area with sinks for rinsing dishes and picnic tables make a nice addition.
The only downside is that there was nowhere (as far as we could see) to check in and pay to stay the night. This results in having someone come around later in the evening (around 9 – 9:30PM during our stay) to request payment. This is a fairly common practice from what we have learned traveling around Iceland, but somewhat annoying, especially when you are hoping to get a good night sleep early. The actual cost for this campground was 2700 ISK for the two of us – which is about $25 USD.
Overall, the Nyrðri Leirar Campground in Thingvellir National Park is a pretty good campsite if you are in the area.