We debated for quite some time over whether we should rent a car and stay in hostels during our time in Iceland, or rent a camper van (a more expensive endeavor than a normal car) and act as a pair of snails: with our homes/beds on our backs, so to speak. After much deliberation, an overwhelming preference for the camper van option from forums I read, and careful budget research, we decided on the snail method with Kuku Campers.
And we are so glad we did.
Not only is Kuku Campers highly rated in almost ever review I read, they are the most affordable (and we scored an even lower promotion because it was off-season) – and their staff is fun, friendly, and well, kuku. Their celebrity-inspired painted fleet (seriously, you can get a van with Chuck Norris on it) is all about getting back to the basics in camping. Our basic, sadly not yet painted two-person camper had a double bed mattress, little kitchen table, and pullout “counter” in the back of the van that allowed cooking space, plus convenient storage units and buckets for the cooking utensils, camp stove, and cooler (which was hardly needed in April/early May.)
We agree a camper is absolutely the way to go in Iceland. We loved zipping around in our little vehicle, which was easy to drive and cozy during the freezing nights. We loved being able to pull over on the side of the road and sleep whenever and wherever we wanted: our first night, we camped practically beneath the eye of the formidable Eyjafjallajokull ice cap and volcano – a bit of a daunting move, I must admit.
Our second night was spent in a convenient little pullout by a river in the area of Geyser and Gullfoss, and our third was in a free campsite near the hot springs of Hveragerdi.
Thanks to Kuku Campers, we saw waterfalls and ice caps…
Steaming earth and hot springs…
Black sand beaches and basalt columns in the sea…
And gorgeous sunsets…
In fact, we only had one grievance with our experience — which was quickly, and overwhelmingly, remedied.
On our very first night, we discovered the 12 volt receptacle was broken: a major inconvenience since we couldn’t charge our phones or the GPS we had rented at a separate cost. Luckily, Trevor is great with maps and we ended up buzzing around the southern coast without a problem. I figured it was a good thing, since we’d get our 50 Euro rental fee back (which we were indeed offered.)
When we returned our car at noon on the final day, we asked for advice on public transportation and things to do until our 8pm flight that evening. The staff member helping us had hardly begun to explain the difficulties of the public bus routes when he stopped, looked at us, and said, “You know what, I’m just going to give you another camper for the rest of the day. You can drop it off at the airport, I’ll waive the fee.” We were astounded. As we glibbered about how great that was, he went further to say he’d just keep the 50 euros for the GPS and call it our rental extension (a major discount, by the way). And he gave us a brand new vehicle that hadn’t even been slept in yet.
And as we climbed into it and prepared to head out, he ran over to the van we had just returned, grabbed the GPS we hadn’t been able to use, and handed it to Trevor: “Here, maybe it will work now.”
We were pretty much all smiles as we headed out for a bonus day of adventures on the Reykjanes peninsula – and we know exactly who we’ll be returning to when we come back to Iceland for more. Stay sexy, Kuku!
*Major thanks and props to the Kuku Campers team – especially Alexia (“The King”) and Lars, whose name we are probably misspelling, but to whom we are grateful for an extra day of fun!
*All opinions expressed are my own. There was no monetary compensation or incentive for this review.