Iceland Mag

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Iceland Mag

Travel

Campgrounds occupied by foreign travellers as locals postpone camping due to weather

By Staff

  • Landmannalaugar campsite Foreign travellers are in the majority at many campsites. Photo/Vilhelm Gunnarsson.

Locals seem to be postponing their summer camping trips, waiting for the weather to improve. In the meantime campgrounds are packed with foreign travellers, according to operators of campgrounds around Iceland.

People camping in the middle of winter
The pattern of camping and the use of campgrounds in Iceland has undergone a dramatic change in the past few years, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service RÚV reports. Only a few years ago campgrounds were only occupied during late spring and peak summer, but now campers are arriving early spring. Some campgrounds have even seen people pitching their tents in the middle of winter, which was unheard of.

The campground in the town of Egilsstaðir in East Iceland offers a great example of this change. 18 people camped at the site in January, and 282 people in April. Just three people camped at the site in April 2015. The change in the use of campgrounds is primarily due to growing tourism, campground operators argue.

Locals follow weather forecast, camp at sites far from urban areas
Very few locals have been seen at campsites this spring and summer, as Icelanders don't go camping unless the weather is particularly good, dry and sunny. The cold and rainy season has kept Icelanders away from campgrounds this year. Foreign travellers don't seem to be as bothered by the weather, campground operators note. "Icelanders let the weather forecast dictate their plans, while the foreign travellers are following a previously planned travel schedule," one campsite operator told RÚV.

Another difference between the camping habits of foreign travellers and Icelanders is that the locals tend to stay away from urban campsites. RÚV notes that the campsites in the towns of Borgarnes and Selfoss are almost exclusively used by foreign travellers, while locals seek out places far away from towns and urban areas.

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