The increase in tourists in Höfn, South Iceland, during the “off-season” has led to the decision to keep the town’s campsite open this coming winter, Vísir reports.
Most Icelanders would consider the camping season to stretch from mid-June to mid-August. However, many international campers are not bothered by storms or cold weather, choosing to camp in Iceland year-round.
Sigrún Kapitola Guðrúnardóttir has operated the campsite in Höfn for 18 years. She told Vísir that although the campsite used to be open for three months out of the year, now it is as busy in September as it was in June just a few years ago. In September 2007 the total number of guests at the campsite was 167. This September the site has occasionally hosted 300 in a single night. “This is just changing so drastically,” stated Sigrún.
Sigrún has noticed a large increase in camper vans and trailers, both large and small. Even middle-aged travellers and those with means are opting for vehicles that can provide both transportation and housing, thus lowering their travel costs. These vehicles provide relative comfort even over the winter months. However, not all guests are sleeping in camper vans or trailers: some are simply well-prepared outdoor enthusiasts not deterred by the threat of rain, snow, or cold weather.
Though the campsite will remain open this winter, Sigrún does not expect it to be crowded during the coldest winter months. “Maybe there will be not much to do having the site open during the darkest winter months. But facilities must be open. There has to be service,” states Sigrún.