Thinking to visit Iceland with children? This country is a fantastic place to visit in family, as many of the attractions are related to nature – which kids love! – And plans are flexible for all ages. As I explained in a previous post, temperatures in Iceland are not as extreme as people usually think. And if you are coming in summer with children they will love the never-ending days!
Don’t forget to tell your kids about the most popular inhabitants of the island: trolls! Three of them can be found petrified as they get out of their cave at Vik beach. You might think this is a fairytale but many adults in Iceland believe in trolls and elves. They believed to live under the rocks or inside the trees, kids will enjoy while exploring the country looking for them!
Where to stay?
Probably one of the most affordable options when traveling with children is to rent a flat and a car. This is probably the most flexible choice, as you don’t depend on timetables from buses and can change your plans on the go if you need to.
Some other families in Iceland with children chose to rent a motorhome and bring all they need with them anywhere they go. Both car and motorhome are good ways to explore the country, as can go all round the island using the main highway: Road 1. We recommend you renting a camper / motorhome since the combination hotel / rental car could be even more expensive and there are many companies so prices are competitive.
In case you prefer the traditional option of hotels, you will find many kid’s friendly accommodation, for example the Hotel Ódinsve with triple and family rooms and one of the best restaurants in Reykjavik or the Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Marina, with cozy rooms for a full family of 6. You will enjoy the free wifi and kids will love the cinema room.
What to do?
What do you think about visiting the natural geothermal baths that we have in Iceland with children? Both young and grownups will enjoy the huge swimming pools at, for example, Blue Lagoon –the best-known- or Laugardalslaug, right in Reykjavik. You need to be careful with toddlers and children, as water is warm you might need to take them off the pool from time to time to cool them down so they don’t overheat.
They will also love the powerful waterfalls like Gullfoss or Dettifoss where you can practice hiking to get to see the best views, always depending on your possibilities.
Day tours, yes!
You can organize one-day excursions to the black sand beaches at Vik, the National Parks of VatnaJokull or Thingvellir, Landmannalaugar or Thorsmork. As exploring Iceland (or any other country) with children can be exhausting, you can check the companies that offer guided tours, in some of them kids go free! As for example Landmannalaugar and you will not have to think in anything else than enjoy.
Organizing a day-trip to Jökulsárlón, a stunning glacial in Vatnajökull National Park, can also be a great idea. I guess your kids will be thinking they are in the icy wonderland –maybe you can delight them with stories about the famous princess: Frozen! Boat tours are available to get closer to floating icebergs.
In case you have enough time in Iceland, don’t miss the opportunity to watch puffins at Vestmannaeyjar. Go to the Natural History museum where your children will have the chance to petting puffins and they can feed baby birds as well.
Another incredible experience is whale watching. The best places are at the North, near Akureyri. There are also many companies that organize tours on boats. This is maybe another experience you will only get to do here in Iceland!