Once I made the decision to visit Iceland, I knew the only way to truly get out and explore the country was to rent a campervan -- to be intertwined with nature and immerse myself in the culture.
While I could have easily rented a car and booked a few hotel stays along Ring Road, I much preferred the flexibility afforded to those in campervans. To pull over at any time, prep a cup of coffee or enjoy a warm meal in the shadows of vast landscapes, was an experience unparalleled.
The only trick was picking the right campervan...
After quite an extensive search, I settled with the company Cozy Campers. Cozy Campers is a family run business and their passion for their product was evident right from their website.
At the time of my booking, Cozy Campers was not as heavily reviewed as companies like Happy Campers or CampEasy -- two strong contenders in my campervan selection. Still, there was something about the Cozy Campers product and presentation that led me to choose their company.
I have no regrets about my decision.
Traveling as just two adults on an 8-day April trip along Ring Road, my boyfriend and I hoped for a comfortable, smooth ride. We were after basic amenities and a trustworthy transmission. With that, we selected the Cozy 3 XL model. This vehicle promised an automatic transmission, 4-wheel drive capabilities and a bit more space than the norm to spread out.
To our surprise, we would be the very first people to drive this new Cozy Camper model.
Cozy Campers began our trip with door-to-door service. They picked us up from our Reykjavik hotel -- in a snowstorm, nonetheless -- and brought us right to their facilities a short distance away. We were greeted by the owner himself, Birkir, who was eager to show us the company's new product and gave us a tour of the camper's amenities.
And, boy does this campervan have amenities!
From the outside, the sleek black design and stylish logo ensured we would not stick out (too terribly) like sore thumbs on our expedition.
The inside promised trendy adjustable lighting, black-out curtains, an enormous sunroof, a fridge, a sink and a stovetop. The design allowed the couch to fold out into a bed with incredible ease and a tabletop to flip open for additional counter space. There were two small compartments for basic storage, which included dishes, silverware and general cooking supplies.
For an additional fee, we added a WiFi router, a BBQ, camping chairs and table, a coffee press and extra gas canisters.
Practically speaking, the design of the campervan was highly efficient. There were two batteries in the vehicle, one of which was charged every time the vehicle was driven. This battery would power the heat and electricity overnight without having to leave the engine running.
Storage-wise, we were grateful to have selected the extra-long model, as there was really no space designated for luggage in the campervan. The additional footage at the end of our couch was where we kept our bags and they were shifted to the front seats every night when we were setting up for bed. It worked out, but I secretly wish there would have been a larger trunk or a rooftop compartment for the storage of bigger items. That is perhaps my only slightly-less-than-optimistic review of this campervan.
Our campervan was a beast on Ring Road. We trekked through snow and got dirty on some of Iceland's more infamous F-roads. The vehicle handled the terrain like a champ and it was also a surprising celebrity along the way. We were approached by tourists all over the country who were curious to take a peak inside -- many regretting the campervan companies they had chosen and intrigued by the Cozy Campers product.
We were pleasantly surprised to be greeted again by Birkir at the end of our trip. He was excited to hear our reviews and we couldn't have been happier to tell him about our great experience.
The detail and passion they put into their design and their customers is a breath of fresh air and reason enough for me to recommend them over and over again.
Even though renting a campervan affords guests tremendous flexibility in their travels, it is important to remember that it is now illegal to camp anywhere other than designated campsites in Iceland. This means that you can not just pull over anywhere on the side of the road and sleep for the night -- despite every urge to do this!
With hundreds of options (during the summer time), it is incredibly easy to follow the law. Just do your research to know where the campgrounds are located and you'll be set!