I spent 4 days exploring the incredible SE and E of Iceland in my motorhome. Here’s my day-to-day vanlife in Iceland diary so you can follow along.
*We work hard to make this the best motorhome travel blog and road trip website possible, full of helpful content for you. The website is supported by our readers, so if you buy through links on this site we may earn a commission- at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain our own.
If you find this post useful, you can also treat us to a coffee – we promise to enjoy it while creating more useful content like this- we might even indulge in a biscuit (or two!)
JUMP AHEAD TO...
Day 1 of Vanlife Iceland
The ferry arrived in Seydisfjordur at around 09.30 and I was pleasantly surprised to see lots of blue skies and sunshine. I started as I mean to continue- by stopping at the Netto to buy fresh food (you’re not allowed to bring fresh food into Iceland), plus a caramel doughnut.
This was swiftly followed by the accidental discovery of Iceland’s worm (cousin to the Loch Ness Monster apparently) and an even bigger accidental introduction to the infamous Icelandic gravel roads…
In answer to the question I had before I arrived: yes, a 2WD motorhome can get down a gravel road, but I don’t recommend it for your heart health. Not just because gravel roads are not fun to drive, but because the Icelanders drive crazy fast down them!
I spent the night at a Viking Cafe, which was around £12pppn and had both fantastic views and waffles!
Days 2 & 3 of motorhoming in Iceland
Day 2 started early. The talk I attended about Iceland on the ferry over said the best way to deal with constant daylight is to get into a rhythm and stick to it. They also suggested getting up early to do the most touristy things, so you can see everything before the tour buses arrive.
Therefore, I booked myself onto the very first rib boat tour of the day on the Glacier Lagoon. Excitedly, I awoke at 6am… and found myself in thick fog. It was, as we would say in Jersey, a proper peasouper. However, as I drove towards the Lagoon parking, the fog seemed to hug the coast, but not go too far inland, meaning when I rounded a corner I had the jaw-dropping experience of seeing the glacier right in front of me.
It’s hard to put it into words if you’ve never seen a glacier before. The sheer scale of it is enormous, and the beauty of this particular one set against the mountains and sea is especially breathtaking.
And then I rounded another corner and saw the Glacier Lagoon with all its icebergs. I’ll be honest, I almost came to a complete stop in the road. It is STUNNING. The sun was low and made the ice sparkle and the water was so still- it was incredible.
I managed to get the drone up before the tour, which was fantastic. My recommendation is definitely to do the rib boats rather than the big yellow ducks- you’ll get much further into the lagoon and closer to the glacier. We even saw a seal sunbathing on an iceberg. 🙂
Afterwards, I treated myself to possibly the world’s most expensive crepe (£12.50 for ham and cheese!)- but it was delicious and warming after the chilly wind on the rib.
I headed back anti-clockwise, stopping at another lovely campsite with views over the sea and mountains- just £12 for the night. In fact, I liked this one so much that I decided to stay here another day to relax and have a day of not driving- very important when you’re doing long trips.
Day 4 of vanlife in Iceland
Today’s mission- find a sea geysir and two waterfalls.
Although the day started in mist and low cloud, it cleared up quickly. The NE corner is called ‘Majorca’ by the Icelanders because it’s often sunny here – that’s certainly been my experience. The sea geysir was a bust.
After walking down to the spot and waiting for 20 minutes, I concluded the sea was either too calm to make it go off, or it only goes off very infrequently. Either way, I moved on to find a waterfall you could walk behind.
This was very nearly a bust too. It’s called Gilsarfoss and there are no signs other than a tiny handmade one… which I missed. The problem with missing this sign is I found myself on a very narrow gravel coastal road.
Turning the motorhome around was impossible for several miles- and even when I managed it, it was very dodgy (and the drop was steep as I reversed towards it!) I almost didn’t bother to go back.
But I’m so glad I made the effort. This waterfall was wonderful. About a 10-minute hike to a crystal clear pool, and you could walk behind the falls. I wish I’d bought a picnic and my swim gear to enjoy the place longer- there wasn’t anyone else around the whole time I was there.
On my way to the next stop, I passed another awesome spot. Right on the main road, it’s next to a waterfall whose name remains unknown, but was a lovely view for lunch.
Eventually made it to Hengifoss, one of Iceland’s tallest waterfalls- and it didn’t disappoint. The hike is not particularly long, but STEEP. You could choose the left or right side of the canyon- I went right and was glad I did because it had better views.
Finally, I drove another 90 minutes to Borgarfjörður- a wonderful campsite right on the East coast which is only £8pppn!
From here, I’m heading anti-clockwise, so working my way west along the northern part of Iceland.
Want to plan your own European adventure?
Grab this FREE checklist- it contains 25 essential things you need to bring and do before you leave:
See all our Iceland posts here:
- WestFjords Iceland with a motorhome
- Northern Iceland with a Camper
- VanLife Iceland- SE & E Diary & Highlights
Kat never planned to buy a motorhome. She also never planned to quit her job as an air traffic controller, go touring around Europe in said motorhome, start one of the UK’s largest motorhome travel websites… or get a cocker spaniel.
If you’d like to connect with Kat, send her an email or follow her adventures on social media.