The idea of a family getaway in Iceland with kids, the land of ice and fire, is always exciting and interesting. It always stands out as one of the most family-friendly places to take the kids to experience a different taste of European hospitality. With its low crime rate, there is no doubt that many parents would endure long-haul flights just to let the kids enjoy the otherworldly landscapes and wallpaper-worthy views of the country.
Regardless of when you plan to visit the land of black lava, moss, snow, and, of course, ice, it will always have something to offer for the entire family. So, let us start the list of places and things do to on your Icelandic excursion.
Reykjavik – Explore the city!
As soon as you land in Reykjavik, you’ll agree with me if I say that you’ll be in an entirely different world. The trip to Iceland with kids may be long depending where you are coming from, but every bit of time you spend on the plane and effort you will pour into planning will all be worth it! With the jaw-dropping natural backdrop and unspoiled natural wonders, Iceland is one of the most remarkable places that will give your kids an experience they will never forget.
Kickstart your adventure in the capital – Reykjavik! Getting around the city and the entire country is easy. Though there are several transportation options you can select from, the popular family choice of navigating the city is through car rentals. You can complete your family trip by following some self-guided tours. But if you have limited time and want to opt for some organized tours, then, the bus tours are just perfect for you.
Whether you rent a car or take the bus, you can explore the city to experience the fun and exciting city life in this part of the world. There are restaurants, café, and shops that the kids will love. Some of the unique attractions that you can visit in the capital are Hallgrímskirkja Church Tower, Reykjavik HarpaHall, and the Viking Museums. The more traditional tourist attractions that you can take the kids to are the zoo and parks.
The Golden Circle – Drive around to see and visit the Golden Trio!
Your Icelandic excursion will not be complete without visiting the sites of the Golden Circle! I must say, it will be your ultimate Icelandic excursion. The attractions to see include Geyser, Thingvellir National Park, and the Gulfoss waterfall! There are bus tours that will take you and your kids to the sites. If you’re thinking that driving up to the sites will bore your kids, think again. Driving to the sites by car is actually ideal, since these attractions are relatively conveniently located close to the capital and the trip doesn’t take long.
Geyser or the famous erupting geysers of Haukadalur Geothermal Valley is a tourist attraction of geothermal spring of water and vapor. These geysers, especially the Strokkur, put up an eruption show every eight minutes.
Gulfoss is a massive waterfall with mighty cascade that leaves everyone who visits breathless. There are two main platforms to view the waterfall, but hiking up close will give you and your family a better look of this mighty giant. Just be careful, since the road to the falls can get slippery.
Completing the trio is the stunning continental rift of Thingvellir National Park that separates the continents of North America and Europe. This UNESCO World Heritage site will give you a remarkable view of the tectonic plates that connect the continents. Kids will love it!
Hot Spring and more – Experience the uniquely Icelandic geothermal pools!
Volcanoes appear to breath in sulfur and sweat through geothermal pools! Due to the active volcanic activities in the region, natural and established geothermal baths or pools have been made open to the public. Kids as young as two years old are allowed to reap the benefits of taking a dip at the geothermal heated nature pools.
The most popular option to many locals, which is also by far the top choice among tourists, is the world-renowned Blue Lagoon. This geothermal spa is conveniently located in between Reykjavík City and Keflavík Airport, so driving to and from should not take long.
Other top choices are the Fontana Geothermal Baths in Laugarvatn and the Mývatn Nature Baths in North Iceland, which both have no age limit and offer free entrance to children below thirteen. Amazing, isn’t it?
Lava Caving – Explore the underworld!
Experiencing the geothermal activities in Iceland with kids is not limited only to bathing at geothermal nature baths. You can also take your family inside one of the lava caves for a different experience that certainly will appeal to your daredevil kids. Through the lava caves adventure, kids will witness the natural beauty of colorful tunnels that will add value to the amazing underworld experience. If the idea is not sold to you yet, then consider visiting the Snæfellsjökull National Park in West Iceland to experience the fun and exciting adventure that the Vatnshellir lava cave offers.
Glacier – Walk on glacier ice caps!
Geothermal parks and pools represent the fiery nature of Iceland. Now, it’s time for the icy part. A classic adventure in this country is to complete a glacier experience in Skálafellsjökull Glacier, where kids age five and above can hike up the icy caps or go inside the naturally formed ice tunnels. If you do not have time to visit the glaciers, the next available option is a man-made ice tunnel that is available all year-round.
Animals of the land of ice and fire – Whale watching is a must-do!
Aboard a traditional whale watching vessel, tourists can witness the gentle marine giants roaming freely in their natural habitat. If you get lucky, these mammals, which are mostly minke whales, are also seen playing with the energetic humpbacks and the playful dolphins. So, get to the Old Harbor in Reykjavik early to start your whale watching experience on time.
Aurora Borealis – Dance with the Northern Lights.
If you are traveling to Iceland with kids between September to mid-April, then you are just in time for a magical and colorful sky display of lights. Surely you will be amazed by the natural and fascinating Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights. Watching the Northern Lights dance and light up the midnight sky will definitely be one for the books. This will be a remarkable experience to cap off your Icelandic adventure!
This article is part of our popular series, Place To Go With Kids!