There is no better place to begin your motorhome vacation in Iceland than the Elliðaárdalur Valley. You will fall in love with all that is Elliðaárdalur: stunning scenery that includes small waterfalls, wildlife and wild berries, fishing, as well as opportunities for active play.
And how far into the countryside must you drive to the Elliðaárdalur Valley? You may be surprised to learn that this valley of enchantment is in the center of Reykjavík, Iceland’s capital.
Park your motorhome at the Reykjavík Eco Campsite, three kilometers away from the city’s center. It’s the only motorhome site available in all of Reykjavík. You’ll have access to a variety of free amenities, including a geothermal pool and a gym. There’s no need to book in advance at this eco-sustainable five-star campsite in the Laugardalur Valley, unless you have a large caravan of motorhomes vacationing together.
From the Reykjavík Eco Campsite, you can drive to the Elliðaárdalur Valley—it will take you eight minutes if there is no traffic. Although Elliðaárdalur Valley is about three and a half miles long and one mile wide, you’ll discover there’s plenty to do in this reforested park.
Many people go to the Elliðaárdalur Valley to enjoy nature. This valley, the base of which is a lava field, is a great spot to watch birds such as geese, Mallards, the Goldcrest, the Eurasion Siskin and sometimes, a rare falcon. You will also enjoy the antics of the wild rabbits as they scamper around. If you’d like to be more active, you can rent bicycles or horses as a way to get in some exercise while seeing the valley.
After some short hikes and perhaps a wade through the river, the Elliðaárdalur Valley is a great place to enjoy the picnic lunch you brought with you. The valley is next to the Árbær Museum, a historical museum perfect for children and adults.
In what other capital city in the world can you fish for salmon? Each year, the Reykjavík mayor opens the fishing season on June 1, and it lasts until August 31st. You’ll also find Arctic char and brown trout in the Elliðaár River. You will need to purchase a fishing permit before you pull your dinner out of the river and cook it in your motorhome.
The scenery of the Elliðaárdalur Valley is strikingly different that than of the rest of Iceland. The Icelandic joke of, “What do you do if you get lost in an Icelandic forest?” (stand up) does not apply here.
The city reforested the valley, and a variety of plants grow in the glacial remains of 10,000 years ago. In addition to trees, an array of wildflowers dot the landscape. Crowberries and Bilberries (not blueberries) grow wild here, and you can eat them, as long as you can tell the difference between them and the poisonous berries.
The enchanting beauty of the Elliðaárdalur Valley is something most tourists never experience. Where else should you begin your motorhome adventure in Iceland than with a day trip to the Elliðaárdalur Valley?