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Are you a busy professional or an exhausted parent looking for an exciting, enjoyable, unique getaway with your family? Look no further than Iceland! With its stunning scenery, vibrant culture and fun-filled activities, it’s easy to see why a one-week family holiday to this beautiful Nordic land is the perfect escape for all. This blog post will discuss fantastic options for experiencing Iceland, from exploring glaciers and lava caves to kayaking and snorkeling. So read on and let us inspire you with our ultimate guide to discovering the joys of vacationing in Iceland with your family!
Begin your journey in Reykjavik – 3 Nights
Reykjavik is the perfect place to start any family adventure to Iceland! Kids will love Reykjavik, wandering around this colorful capital city and taking in the sights and attractions. Reykjavik offers many activities that all ages can enjoy, like visiting parks and museums, venturing out on whale-watching tours, and swimming in local pools. Reykjavík also has plenty of family-friendly eateries and shops for those looking for a unique shopping experience.
There are also lots of fun activities outside the capital area: visitors can explore the natural wonders of Iceland with day trips to popular sites such as The Golden Circle or Reykjanes Peninsula. Reykjavik makes an ideal base for any family group to embark on other adventures into Iceland’s wilderness and experience its spectacular beauty.
To make the most of your one-week family adventure to Iceland itinerary, plan to spend 2-3 nights in Reykjavik. Give yourself enough time to explore the city’s renowned museums and galleries, wander through picturesque parks, and enjoy classic Icelandic cuisine. After exploring the city sights, take a short road trip to the countryside and immerse yourself in nature. Visit Þingvellir National Park and hike along trails surrounded by ancient lava rocks. Take a boat tour around Lake Mývatn or spot puffins.
Make sure to book an experience at the famous Blue Lagoon on your arrival day and stop there from the airport to the city. This geothermal spa with mineral-rich water said to have healing properties is world-renowned with good reason. It’s a popular relaxing place after a day of exploring Iceland’s amazing landscape. We highly recommend splurging on a reservation at the Retreat, where you have your private area and changing rooms—just keeping mind that the minimum age for the spa areas and the Retreat Lagoon is 12 years. Teenagers 12-18 years old need to be accompanied by an adult. Children 2-8 must wear inflatable armbands (floaties). This is to increase their visibility in the lagoons.
Where To Stay:
- The Reykjavik EDITION – Steps away from the main shopping district, the long-awaited Reykjavik EDITION is the city’s newest see-and-be-seen hotel. The 253 stylish rooms and suites (as well as the chic rooftop bar) look out onto impressive, only-in-Iceland views, including Mt. Esja and Snæfellsjökull Glacier, while the specialty restaurant dishes up local and international favorites. The hotel also features a spa, state-of-the-art gym facilities, and nearly 6,000 square feet of event space.
- Virtuoso Amenities for your stay:
- Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
- Daily a la carte breakfast for up to two guests per bedroom
- $100 USD equivalent in local currency Food & Beverage credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
- Early check-in / Late check-out, subject to availability
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- Virtuoso Amenities for your stay:
Day Trips From Reykjavik
Iceland is a stunning natural beauty with plenty of attractions and activities. We recommend taking at least two-day trips while based in Reykjavik.
One of the most popular tourist routes is the Golden Circle, which takes in some of the most spectacular sights in the country. The highlights include Thingvellir National Park, where the world’s first parliament was founded, Geysir, with its spouting hot springs, and Gullfoss, a thundering waterfall. Plan to spend an entire day exploring this area and if you are feeling especially brave or adventurous, inquire about a snorkeling tour in Silfra. Just keep in mind the water temperature in Silfra remains between 2-4°Celsius all year around or 35-39°Fahrenheit, and the minimum age to snorkel in Silfra is 12 years old. It is important you learn how to properly snorkel Silfra in order to avoid hypothermia. This is an excellent option to keep the kids entertained on your family adventure to Iceland! Check out one of our previous blogs for more information on the hidden gems of the Golden Circle.
The Snaefellsnes Peninsula is another beautiful region with dramatic cliffs, black sand beaches and impressive lava formations. It offers the perfect day trip for families looking to explore Iceland’s picturesque and unique landscape. Snaefellsnes, located just west of Reykjavik in western Iceland, is surrounded by glaciers and provides a range of activities for all ages. Take a refreshing dip in one of Snaefellsnes’s many hot springs or climb up a rocky path through the National Park’s volcanic ash-covered mountains. If you’re lucky, catch a glimpse of Snaefellsjökull Glacier, whose summit is also home to the gateway to Jules Verne’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth.” With its breathtaking cliffs and cascading waterfalls, Snaefellsnes Peninsula will create magical memories with your children that will last forever!
South Coast, Iceland – 3 Nights
After spending the first several days of your family adventure to Iceland exploring Reykjavik and the surrounding areas, pack up the kids and luggage and head out along the Ring Road to the South Coast. This area is home to some of the most picturesque landscapes in Iceland, with glaciers, waterfalls and icebergs all making an appearance. Route 1, also known as the Ring Road, is the main highway in Iceland, connecting all of the island nation’s major towns.
Along the South Coast of Iceland are many beautiful natural spots. A few must-see destinations include:
- Seljalandsfoss waterfall – Seljalandsfoss waterfall is a jaw-droppingly beautiful sight in Iceland’s southern region. Seljalandsfoss is one of Iceland’s most visited waterfalls. With a drop of 60m and a wide cascade area, it is one of the most famous sights along the South Coast. Not only can Seljalandsfoss be admired from the outside, but it is also possible to walk behind the curtain of water thanks to a pathway that runs along the gorge’s rock walls – Seljalandsfoss’s hidden secret! Seljalandsfoss is usually at its fullest during winter when rock walls stiffen with a mesmerizing layer of ice.
- Skógafoss waterfall – Skógafoss waterfall is a stunning natural wonder in Iceland, boasting a single drop of 200 feet and a width of 82 feet. This waterfall is the fourth largest in the country, but it should be considered first on any traveler’s list of places to visit. Skógafoss is situated near Skógar, an old Viking-age turf house and the Skóga River. It’s easy to spend hours marveling at Skógafoss, its thunderous charisma capturing your attention from the first moment until you leave it behind. The setting features jagged cliffs, wildflowers and other breathtaking views that explain why Skógafoss waterfalls will, for many years, remain one of nature’s greatest masterpieces. If your kids are up to the challenge, plan to spend a few hours hiking along the Skogafoss Waterfall Trail that continues from the stairs to see 25 other breathtaking waterfalls. This is one of the most underrated and beautiful trails in the country.
- Diamond Beach & Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon – Diamond Beach and Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon are two must-see attractions in Iceland. Diamond Beach is a beautiful stretch of black sand where chunks of ice that have broken off the retreating nearby glacier wash up on the shoreline, juxtaposed against the ocean’s turquoise waters. Visitors can marvel at these large chunks of glacial ice or explore further down the beach, admiring Diamond Beach’s imposing natural beauty. Meanwhile, Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon provides another stunning landscape that won’t soon be forgotten – it’s an emerald lagoon filled with vast icebergs from Breiðamerkurjökul Glacier. For those feeling adventurous, kayaking tours through this majestic setting provide both breathtaking views and unforgettable experiences.
- Skaftafell Nature Reserve – Skaftafell Nature Reserve is one of Iceland’s most beautiful and scenic areas. It offers stunning views and incredible wildlife, making it an ideal family destination. This astonishing reserve boasts spectacular valleys, massive glaciers, majestic waterfalls and awe-inspiring mountains. Skaftafell Nature Reserve is also home to numerous bird and mammal species, allowing your family to view some of nature’s best wonders up close. Skaftafell provides ample activities for all ages, making it the perfect destination for family vacations with something for everyone to enjoy—from hiking and horseback riding along the glacier-lined trails to kayaking in the glacial lagoons or rafting down Skaftafell River. With its breathtaking natural beauty and seemingly endless activities, Skaftafell Nature Reserve is sure to create unforgettable experiences that your entire family will cherish for years to come.
- Gljúfrabúi the “Secret” Waterfall – Gljúfrabúi the “Secret” Waterfall is a stunningly beautiful natural phenomenon that may be difficult to find but is well worth the effort. Gljúfrabúi is tucked away in an isolated canyon on Iceland’s South Coast and should not be missed when visiting this remote and breathtaking region. The emerald green pool of water located at the base of Gljufrabuí cascades over 120 feet of the rock face in a picturesque waterfall that must be seen to be believed. Explorers can hike through the glacier-carved valley to access Gljufrabuí, following winding pathways and lush foliage to bring you to a secluded paradise brimming with natural beauty. Gljúfrabúi lives up to its reputation as an awe-inspiring secret waterfall, sure to take your breath away!
- Black Sand Beach Reynisfjara – Black Sand Beach Reynisfjara has been declared one of the most beautiful beaches in Iceland, and is a must on any family adventure to Iceland. The beach is well known for its magnificent black basalt columns, and hexagonal formations believed to have been created by ancient volcanic activity. Other unique features of Black Sand Beach Reynisfjara include immense bird cliffs, thundering waves, and peculiar rock formations. These sights captivate visitors from around the world who are seeking an awe-inspiring breath of fresh air. If you want to experience nature in all its glory, Black Sand Beach Reynisfjara is the best place to visit!
- The charming town of Vik – The charming town of Vik is the perfect place for anyone looking for a weekend getaway. The streets are lined with welcoming cafes and quaint shops, each selling unique items that make you feel like a local. Just outside the city limits lies beautiful countryside covered in lush forests and tranquil lakes – prime spots to take photographs of natural wonders or take hikes along scenic trails. The locals are friendly people who welcome visitors with open arms, always eager to share stories about the town’s history while enjoying some of the best food.
For families looking for adventure, horseback riding tours along South Coast offer breathtaking views and exciting experiences. From glacier walks (crampons and poles included) to riding ATVs and snowmobiles to strolling black sand beaches and mountains, South Coast has something for everyone to enjoy. If you’re there during the fall and winter months, try taking in the Northern Lights.
Return To Reyjkavik – 1 Night
After exploring the many beautiful sights of the South Coast, make your way back to Reykjavik for your last night. Enjoy a cozy family dinner and get some last-minute souvenirs as you family adventure to Iceland comes to an end.
How to make the most of your holiday
There are many ways to make the most of your holiday, whether you’re traveling or staying home. Here are a few tips to help you out:
If you’re traveling, be sure to research your destination thoroughly. Make a list of things you want to do and see, and be sure to pack accordingly. Budgeting your money wisely is also essential so you don’t spend all your savings on one trip. Iceland can be a costly destination, so check out our money-saving tips article. Consider splurging on key experiences such as a high-quality guide and adventure activities. Renting your own car will also decrease costs but requires significant advanced planning.
If you are set on a luxury vacation to Iceland, small family-friendly group tours may offer an excellent opportunity to create economies of scale and form new friendships. A luxury travel agent can help you find the most adventurous tours!
There are countless reasons why Iceland is the perfect destination for a family vacation, but here are just a few of the most important ones:
First and foremost, Iceland is an incredibly safe place to travel with your kids. There is virtually no crime in Iceland, so you can rest assured that your children will be safe and sound while you’re on vacation. Additionally, Iceland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, with jaw-dropping landscapes that will take your breath away. Whether exploring the glaciers, hiking through the forests, or relaxing in one of the country’s many geothermal pools, there’s always something new and exciting to see in Iceland. And finally, Iceland is home to some of the friendliest people on earth. When you arrive in Iceland, you’ll be greeted with warm smiles and a genuine desire to help make your vacation as enjoyable as possible.
There’s no better way to experience Iceland than with the entire family. Spend a week uncovering Iceland’s breathtaking beauty while creating lasting memories with your loved ones. If you want to learn more, check out some of our recommended tours here.
Boutique Travel Advisors is a full-service, luxury travel agency. We specialize in creating bespoke itineraries for discerning clients around the world. Please visit our website or call 480-787-1477 to speak with a dedicated travel expert.
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