Iceland with Kids – Your Guide to Ultimate Family Holiday

PUBLISHED ON Jan, 20 2023


Iceland, the strange island with the dramatic and wild landscapes many of which look like imaginary landscapes of other stars, has become an attractive destination for travelers in recent years thanks to its unique landscapes and special experiences – from whale watching and glacier climbing, through volcanoes and hot springs in black ice and basalt rocks, raging rivers and turquoise lakes. We have gathered for you important information and a variety of tips on planning a vacation in Iceland – and especially, everything you need to know when planning a family trip to Iceland with children.

Iceland ( Ísland in Icelandic, Iceland in English) is a mountainous island nation in the North Atlantic Ocean that lies between Europe and North America. Although it is an island and not part of the European continent, Iceland is considered a Nordic European country. Discounted flights to Iceland have recently started operating and as a result, many tourists have started planning family trips to Iceland with children. The name of the country – Iceland, in English Ice Land – does not necessarily describe it correctly: although 10% of Iceland is covered in glaciers, the weather is incredibly mild and there are quite a few periods of pleasant weather and hot springs.

A trip to Iceland – more recommended articles:

Every trip to Iceland starts in the capital of Iceland – Reykjavik. Therefore it is highly recommended to read also a special article we have prepared about attractions in Reykjavik

Planning a trip to Iceland and considering the option of renting a car? We have prepared a special article for you with important tips and price comparisons that will save you hundreds of shekels  –  Car Rental in Iceland – Price Comparison and Recommendations

See How Much You Can Save on Your Car Rental Insurance

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The recommended season for a trip to Iceland with children

Iceland is an amazing country in its beauty if you like unique and desolate landscapes. Because of its northern location, close to the Arctic Circle, the amount of daylight varies dramatically from season to season, a figure that is important to pay attention to especially before a trip to Iceland with children who may be even more affected by the adults.

The sun sets briefly every night in June, but there is no real darkness after sunset. In March and September, the days and nights are equal in length, as in the rest of the world. If you are traveling in Iceland in December, please note that there are close to 20 hours of darkness! This is definitely not a recommended season to come to Iceland with kids who might be scared of it.

Summer is definitely the best time for a family trip to Iceland with children, and even then the tourist load is not terrible relative to more familiar tourist destinations like Greece or Italy. The sun rising at midnight is definitely a stunning sight not to be missed. It is easy to lose track of time when the sun is still shining at 23:00, and if you are coming to Iceland with children you should take into account that children have difficulty falling asleep when the sun is still shining. However, late or early winter can also be a good time for a trip to Iceland with older children. At the end of January, daylight is between 10:00 and 17:00, prices are lower than in the peak season and the snowy landscape is a beautiful and different sight. (However, there are tourist sites in Iceland that are not accessible in winter). In the colder months, one can often get a good view of the “Northern Lights” (Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis) from anywhere that is not close to the city lights in Iceland.

Weather in Iceland

Despite its name (“Land of Ice”), winters in Iceland are surprisingly moderate for a country in its latitude, due to the influence of the Atlantic Gulf Stream that brings with it warmth. Iceland enjoys a temperate climate and the average temperature in winter is around zero degrees, although the cold wind gives the feeling that the weather is colder. The rapidly changing climate in Iceland spawned the local saying: “If you do not like the weather, wait five minutes!”

Iceland has strange and dynamic weather and it is not uncommon for it to rain and the sun to burn at the same time. Summers are cooler and more temperate than anywhere else in the world on the same latitude and temperatures hardly rise above 20 degrees Celsius. When planning a family trip to Iceland with children – depending on the season – be sure to plan very warm clothes and also suitable clothing for pleasant weather.

Iceland with children – pay attention to the curfew

Iceland is a “different” country and when planning a family trip to Iceland with children it is important to consider the issue of the “curfew” of Iceland – for the safety of children, Iceland has a curfew whose enforcement is tough throughout the country: children 12 and under are not allowed to walk outside alone after eight in the evening. Minors aged 13-16 are not allowed to walk outside without an adult after 10pm unless they are on their way home or from an event on behalf of the school, sports organization or youth club and carry a permit with them. From May 1 to September 1, all minors aged 16 and under are not allowed to roam alone for an additional two hours.

Iceland with children – important tips

Iceland is one of the most beautiful places you and your children will visit. Iceland is a geologically active island, its tectonic plates (soil layers) are still moving and the shape of the island is still changing (of course – very slowly). The island is also volcanically active – that is, it has volcanoes – and Iceland’s natural spaces include an abundance of geysers, waterfalls, lakes, glaciers and fjords, black volcanic lava fields, hot springs, impressive mountains and wadis, ducks and seabirds, and dramatic landscapes unforgettable photos.

The highlight of a family trip to Iceland are the many natural attractions of Iceland and its special landscapes. The most notable attraction is the Blue Lagoon of Iceland, a magical natural spa destination, with a view that looks like another star, and definitely a destination not to be missed on a family trip to Iceland with children. The magical blue lagoon is a kind of warm, whitish blue sulfur water that stands between basalt rocks and black volcanoes, with hot steam bubbling from it all the time.

It is possible and desirable of course to enter the hot water, this is a unique experience because you can feel how the body gradually warms up as the hot water vapor comes from deep bottom currents coming from the bottom of the lagoon. The most convenient and affordable way to get to the Blue Lagoon from Reykjavik is to book in advance – even before going on a trip to Iceland – tickets for an organized trip in the Blue Lagoon, at a special price that includes organized transportation from Reykjavik to the Blue Lagoon and back. With a natural mud mask – you can order tickets online at the link: To book tickets for an organized trip to the Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon Iceland

For years, the Icelandic government has decided on a policy to encourage tourism designed to make the island a popular destination for families traveling to Iceland with children, with the aim of strengthening the Icelandic economy. As a result of government policy during a family trip to Iceland you will come across a wide range of discounts that make getting to Iceland with children cheaper – for example, most tour companies and most tourist attractions in Iceland give 50% discount for children’s entry. Some hotels specialize in hosting families and offer discounted prices for children and some restaurants in Iceland even offer free children’s dishes for children under 12.

A family trip to Iceland can offer more than just scenic views for those who come to Iceland with the kids. Iceland has plenty of activities for children – from kayaking and whale watching, through horseback riding, visits to geysers and waterfalls, to Viking-era wax museums, swimming in swimming pools Natural with hot spring water, and more.

One of the unique experiences that should not be missed when planning a family holiday to Iceland with children are geothermal pools (i.e. natural pools with mineral hot spring water) heated with heated slides for children. There are many such pools in Iceland and most of the admission for children is free, and an entrance ticket for an adult will usually cost between 6 and 12 USD. Such pools are often open until midnight. This is mineral water with a strong smell of sulfur and it is recommended to bring a hair conditioner to use after the dip in the pool, so that your hair does not dry out from the sulfur.

These pools are not only for families with children and there are also many young people and retirees who visit them, but children will greatly enjoy such pools. The largest of these pools have both indoor swimming areas and outdoor swimming areas, steam baths and sometimes huge slides like in water parks. The many hot baths in Iceland are a recommended option for a relaxing family outing after a day of hiking in Iceland. Hot pools are plentiful all over Iceland, even in the smallest villages, and are a cheap and recommended option for family fun that will allow children to expend some energy after a day of driving and viewing the scenery.

When going on a family trip abroad and taking children from their routine to another country with a new culture, it is very worthwhile to take advantage of this to introduce them to different experiences. Of Iceland featuring glaciers, waterfalls, black volcanic lava rocks, stunning views of lakes and a wide variety of birds and plant species including many wildflowers. Turquoise near Mývatn in the north, and go on a glacier hike in Jokulsarlon in the southeast,.

If you are giving up an organized trip in Iceland or driving in Iceland in a rental car (which is not easy at all), the best way to travel in Iceland with children are the tour bus tours which include English instruction and are usually offered free for children under 12. From Reykjavik, highly recommended An excellent daily tour called the Golden Circle operated by the Icelandic travel agency Reykjavik Excursions.

The convenient bus tour among Iceland’s spectacular landscapes includes three main stops: Geysir, the famous geyser (a hole in the ground from which hot water like a whale jet bursts), Gulfoss, a huge waterfall prepared by many of Iceland’s Niagara Falls , and Thingvellir National Park, Meaning “Fields of Parliament”, a beautiful park with stunning views located right where the North American and European tectonic plates move away from each other, where Iceland’s first parliament was established in 930. Other than that there are food and rest stops and kids can get off the bus and run around.

In terms of food suitable for children, Icelandic restaurants usually serve excellent international dishes, and always have children’s menus and desserts such as Belgian waffles, marzipan, hot chocolate, etc. Icelanders are very aware of nutrition and health issues and most restaurants boast natural and fresh ingredients, with fruits and vegetables coming directly from Icelandic villages, fresh fish from the sea, and Icelandic dairy products that are considered among the best in the world.

Iceland – Division into regions

Southwest Iceland – home to the capital Reykjavik and home to most of Iceland’s population.

Southern Iceland – Where most of the tourist attractions are, including the Golden Circle.

Iceland Golden Circle

Southern Fjords – sparse population, rugged geography.

Western Iceland – Here you will find interesting tourist attractions such as the Snæfellsjökull Glacier and the Breiðafjörður Islands.

Northern Iceland – Large lava fields, stormy waterfalls.

Eastern Iceland – more fjords and the only international passenger ferry terminal.

Central Iceland – Glacier-covered mountains.

Cities and towns in Iceland

Reykjavik with children – recommended attractions

Reykjavik is the capital and largest city of Iceland. Its population is about 200,000 people, which means that it serves as home to most of Iceland’s inhabitants. Reykjavik is the center of tourism and life of the Icelandic people, and also serves as one of the main tourist destinations of Iceland. The city itself is relatively large and includes various suburbs, yet the center of Reykjavik is a very small area characterized by colorful and eclectic homes, with good shopping options, restaurants and drinks. The capital of Iceland is naturally the starting point of any trip in Iceland so many families come to Reykjavik with children and use it as a starting point and accommodation from which to go on day trips to various sites in Iceland.

Reykjavik Tourist Bus “Rose”

This tourist bus is an experience that helps you get to know the real Reykjavik – it travels in a circular route between 15 stations located near attractions in Reykjavik – the northernmost capital of the world. The ticket that can be ordered at the link allows you to get on and off the bus as many times as you want.

Bus enjoy free Wi-Fi and an audio guide in 8 languages, as the bus takes you to all the attractions in Reykjavik should not be missed, as hallgrímskirkja ( Hallgrímskirkju ), Museum Studies Ásmundur Sveinsson Sculpture Square Lækjartorg.

If you come to Reykjavik with children this is a very convenient service that allows you to see the importance of attractions in Reykjavik without going too far or spending a fortune on taxis – from the Reykjavik Maritime Museum in the west to the port of Skarfabakki in the east, and everything in between. Do not miss the Church of the Delegates – in fact, there is no chance that you will miss it. At an altitude of 72.5 m, it is the tallest building in Reykjavik!

Tickets for the Reykjavik Tourist Bus

Reykjavik Tourist Bus

Whale watching cruise from Reykjavik

An action-packed adventure that is one of the specialties between attractions in Iceland and an experience not to be missed if you come to Reykjavik with children – the sea of ​​Iceland is like the collection of “big hits” of whales on this cruise you will spot humpback whales or: Humpback whales (Minke Whales) and even wonderful orcs. In addition, you will usually also have the opportunity to watch dolphins, porphyries and a flock of seabirds. Do not forget the camera, and get ready for adventure!

This daily trip, back and forth, departs from the historic port of Reykjavik and sails towards the open waters of Faxaflói Bay – a place where you can find a rich and spectacular marine world. Whales are the real stars here, but look at all kinds of marine creatures, from the largest creatures to the smallest creatures.

Booking tickets for a whale watching trip in Iceland

Husavik Whale Watching Tour

Golden Circle Afternoon Tour from Reykjavik

Life in Iceland is known for its slow pace relative to the rest of the world, and a family vacation should not be tiring, so you too are allowed to join the slow pace and take your time as you travel between attractions in Iceland. Many of the organized day trips around Iceland depart from Iceland early in the morning and families who come to Reykjavik with children sometimes prefer to wake up at a slower pace – so for the more relaxed traveler, this tour leaves Reykjavik at one o’clock in the afternoon, but still includes all the natural attractions To the well-known “Golden Circle” which is without a doubt one of the most prominent attractions in Iceland.

Booking for an organized trip to Gulfus Falls in Iceland

Gulfus Falls in Iceland


The Blue Lagoon

Prepare yourself for an experience that is all a supreme indulgence in the warm and bluish-milky waters of Reykjavik’s natural thermal spa. And since this is a trip to Iceland, this wonderful hot spring is surrounded by breathtaking celestial scenery. The Blue Lagoon, more relaxing and inspiring than any other place you will ever be, was chosen by National Geographic as one of the 25 Wonders of the World, and for good reason! The lagoon’s mineral water supply, which has healing properties, reaches a depth of 2,000 m. ‘Below the ground from the Svartsengi geothermal spring. When the water reaches the surface, it naturally accumulates minerals and silica (silicon) and cools to a warm temperature of 37 to 50 degrees Celsius.

Tourists from all over the world come here to bathe in this famous water source, known for its rehabilitative healing abilities. The experience, which takes place in a rocky volcanic environment, gives the visitor a feeling as if he is in a completely different world. If you come to Reykjavik with small children, be aware that bathing in the hot springs can be dangerous for them – consult a doctor.

Booking tickets for a trip to the Blue Lagoon from Reykjavik

Iceland attractions - Trip to th blue lagoon

Lava Center

The hottest attraction in Iceland is now open to the public. The Lava Center is a new facility for the study of the extraordinary and unstable geology of Iceland (Eylenda). Through a stunning multimedia experience that invites you to a practical experience and discover the amazing forces of nature that created Iceland, and continue to affect the planet even today.

The Lava Center is set against the backdrop of Iceland’s three large volcanoes  KatlaHekla   and Eyjafjallajökull and takes you on a historic journey into the volcanic world and volcanic activity of the region. This is an attraction in Iceland that should not be missed if you come to Iceland with children big enough not to be afraid of the lava.

To order tickets to the lava center in Iceland

lava center in Iceland

360 ° landscape observation

Iceland is the wonderful land of glaciers, a beautiful country that is constantly changing according to the season. See the views surrounding the city, the architecture of the city, the sublime ridge of the Esja mountains of Reykjavik and more from the observation area of ​​the Perlan Museum! Touch geological wonders like rocks, lava and volcanic remains.

From the volcano Keilir Volcano in the southern part of the empty peninsula to the Snæfellsjökull glacier in the north (where the movie Batman begins was partly shot) you can see more landscapes of stunning Iceland from the museum’s panoramic observatory.

The Asian mountain range covers most of the horizon, but there are plenty of other impressive things here. You will see rock samples of geological wonders, touch the lava taken from a lava field south of Reykjavik (do not worry, the lava has cooled down) and wander inside a soft volcanic rock coming from the mountains to the east of the city, and more! This is a learning experience and a highly recommended attraction for families coming to Iceland with children for a family trip.

To order tickets for the 360-degree view of the landscape

Southern Iceland, the waterfalls and the Black Sands beach: an organized round trip from Reykjavik

Get a little out of the ordinary route of a trip to Iceland for an organized trip to southern Iceland accompanied by a local guide who will show you the wild Iceland at its best, including Skógafoss waterfall, Vík town, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach and more!

Join your experienced guide and ride a comfortable tourist bus through the lush countryside, rocky mountains and glaciers, and black sand beaches.

Along the way, you will notice the Eyjafjallajökull volcano that last erupted in 2010. You can approach the Seljalandsfoss and Skogfoss waterfalls and feel the immense power that lies within them.

Your bus will take you back to your hotel or guesthouse in Reykjavik. If you are coming to Iceland with children and want to see more than Iceland’s more well-known tourist attractions, a trip to southern Iceland is definitely a recommended experience.

To book tickets for an organized trip to southern Iceland 

Organized trip to southern Iceland

Sailing the Northern Lights from Reykjavik

The best time to see the full magic created by the Northern Lights in Reykjavik is between September and April. Join your team of experienced Aurora Boralis guides and prepare for the most dazzling lights show in the world, where you will watch from your comfortable seat on a warm and pleasant ship – if you are planning a trip to Iceland with small children, you have nothing to fear from the weather inside the closed ship.

Iceland is an out-of-this-world experience and is full of tourist attractions like the bustling geysers, moon-like landscape descriptions and the locals’ famous knits. But to really see the northern lights is a real dream that will be remembered forever.

The adventure begins with a short film that presents the Northern Lights at different points in time, with detailed explanations that make the astronomical phenomenon a tangible science.

From there, keep sailing further from Reykjavik into the blackening ocean in the dark, and experience such a magical celestial light show that there are tourists watching it who actually cry happily!

Thanks to your expert guide, you will be warm and cozy and dry on board. The ship is equipped with a heated lounge and an open terrace from which one can see the marvelous sights of the Icelandic sky. Most cruises have great views of the Northern Lights, but if the lights do not shine in your honor, there is no need to worry – you can repeat the cruise again for free! Sailing is one of the most sought after attractions in Iceland so it is advisable to reserve seats in advance when booking tickets at the link.

To order tickets for the Northern Lights observation cruise

Northern Lights observation cruise

Papin bird watching trip

If you are coming to Iceland with small children do not forget the warm clothes in the hotel, because you are about to embark on a journey on the rocky shores of Iceland in search of puffins (ducks), ducks, polar gulls, lizards and cormorants! Your captain on a cruise departing from Reykjavik will share with you interesting stories about this ancient land and its wildlife, while you search for interesting seabirds that can be spotted on the islands of Akurey or Lundey. You can even ask the captain for his binoculars.

In Iceland they are called ‘Landy’, but the best known and most revered bird in the northern country is the puffin bird also known as the ‘Sea Parrot’, the ‘Penguin of the North’ and even as the ‘Sea Clown’.

In addition to the amazing puffins, you can watch many other species of local birds, including the eider ducks and the polar gulls. Even if you are going on a trip to Iceland with children, do not be afraid of the beaches full of rocks – your captain knows the best places to get close to the birds and can even provide you with interesting details about them while you watch them for your enjoyment.

To order tickets for a puffin bird watching cruise in Iceland

Puffin bird watching cruise in Iceland

If you still have time, you can also visit The Volcano Museum and the National Museum of Iceland.

Akureyri – the capital of northern Iceland and the largest city outside the southwestern region.

Egilsstaðir Egilsstaðir – the main settlement in eastern Iceland, one of the best weather areas in Iceland.

Hafnarfjörður – a nice and small town on the edge of the capital district.

Hofn Höfn (Harpen) – the main town on the southeast coast

Keflavik – The location of Iceland International Airport, but also an interesting town in itself.

Ísafjörður Ísafjörður – the largest town in the western fjords of Iceland

Selfoss Selfoss – the largest town in southern Iceland, the focus of the main agricultural district.

Húsavík – one of the best whale watching sites in the world during the summer months – do not give up whale watching if you are coming to Iceland with children.

Stykkishólmur Stykkishólmur – The main town on the Snæfellsnes peninsula, the entrance gate to the islands of Breiðafjörður.

Seyðisfjörður – A fishing village in the eastern fjords of Iceland.

Vestmannaeyjar – a concentration of islands and a town and county in southern Iceland.

Tourist attractions in Iceland

Most tourists who come to Iceland do not stay away from the capital, sometimes due to poor planning of the trip – many tourists come to Iceland and assume it has a public transport system like any other country but Iceland is a big country with few people most have vehicles and the only buses are for tourists. Some of the most memorable sights in Iceland are far from Reykjavik. There are many travel agencies that offer day trips outside the major cities of Reykjavik and Akureyri that will fly you to the great glaciers and volcanoes at an affordable price. However, the cheapest and most flexible option – not to mention privacy and family time when coming to Iceland with children – is to travel in a rental car. Most of Iceland’s main tourist attractions have no entrance fee.

National parks in Iceland

T’ingoolir National Park (Þingvellir National Park),  a beautiful area full of lava fields bursting out of the water, was the whereabouts of the Icelandic parliament, which was founded in 930 AD. It is a national park and a world heritage site, 30-50 km east of Reykjavik. An interesting place for several reasons: it is not only the original site of the longest serving parliament in the world, it is also the place where the tectonic plates split between North America and Europe.

Vatnajökull National Park – The newest national park in Iceland, which opened on June 7, 2008 and includes the Skaftafell and Jokulsargljufur National Parks. Vatnajökull National Park is actually the largest national park in Europe, covering an area of ​​12,000 square kilometers, and covers about 12% of Iceland. The park is home to the highest mountain in Iceland, Hvannadalshnúkur, one of the largest glaciers in Iceland. Vatnajökull, and also of the waterfall with the largest water flow in Europe, Dettifoss.

Vatnajökull National Park

Snapelsiocol National Park – Located at the top of the Sniplesens Peninsula in western Iceland, this park is home to an ice-covered volcanic crater that was the scene of Jules Verne’s famous book, Journey to the Belly of the Earth.

Tourist sites in Iceland

The Blue Lagoon ( Bláa Lónið in Icelandic)  is a famous natural pool and wellness center, Iceland’s most famous tourist destination. The spa is located in the village of Grindavík on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwestern Iceland. The lagoon is located about 13 km from Keflavik Airport and 39 km from Reykjavik. The hot spring with healing properties is located in the center of the lava field, and together with its whitish blue water it is an out-of-this-world spectacle. Admission does not include a towel service, which costs 4 euros. It is recommended to book tickets in advance for an organized tour of the Blue Lagoon, which includes an organized transfer from Reykjavik to the Blue Lagoon, the cost of entering the Blue Lagoon and a package of treatments that includes a waterfall massage and a natural mud mask – tickets can be booked at the link:

To book tickets for an organized trip to the Blue Lagoon

Mývatn – A district full of lakes near Akureyri in northern Iceland. Watan has landscapes that look like they are from outer space due to the special types of volcanic craters scattered on the lake. There is a wide range of interesting tourist attractions in this area which is highly recommended for a family trip to Iceland with children – Smajfall (a desert where sulfur fumes rise from the ground) and Dimmuborgir (or by its other name: the Black City or the Gates of Hell).

Jökulsárlón – The largest glacial lake in Iceland, located close to Route 1 and part of the Vatnajökull Glacier. A wonderful glacier lagoon in southeast Iceland near the town of Hofen on Road No. 1. The Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier receded very quickly from 1920 to 1965, leaving behind this breathtaking lagoon that reaches a depth of 190 m. The ice that breaks from the glacier and falls into the water leaves the lagoon full of glaciers all year round. One of the James Bond films, “Die Another Day” was shot here in 2002.

Vatnajökull Glaciers –  In southeast Iceland you will find the largest glacier in Europe.

Gullfoss – The “golden waterfalls” are an outstanding sight – they are located about a hundred km east of Reykjavik, in a part of central Iceland that is considered less attractive for hikers usually but in the Gulf the Vita River Hvítá dives over a two-step waterfall and creates a spectacle that is considered Many to the most beautiful waterfall in Iceland.

Geysir – The most famous geyser in Iceland, a geothermal point where hot water bursts into the air from the ground like a jet, located 10 km west of the Gulfus. The nearby erupts every 5-10 minutes.

If you are coming to Iceland with children it is highly recommended to book – even before a flight to Iceland – tickets for the whole family for an excellent organized tour that departs daily from Reykjavik to Pinglevir National Park where many attractions are located in Iceland – the famous “Golden Circle” – Gulfos Falls Naturalness in this special area.

To order tickets online for the “Golden Circle” tour with Gulfus and Geyser Falls, click here

Iceland Golden Circle Map

Landmannalaugar Landmannalaugar – an area with beautiful natural landscapes. You can get here by bus (or jeep) from Reykjavik. This area is inland, and you can get a taste of the uninhabited highlands in the heart of Iceland.

Battle of Iceland 1238 Battle of Iceland

Experience the action-packed history of Iceland in 1238 at the “Battle of Iceland” attraction. This multimedia exhibition is a big step beyond a regular historical museum and it takes you back in time thanks to virtual reality technology.

Immerse yourself completely in the era of the Stormlongs (1220-1264), the bloodiest and most violent era in the history of Iceland. Experience the Battle of Örlygsstaðir first hand. Beware of erupting volcanoes! Or maybe not – in fact, it’s just a virtual reality.

To order tickets for the exhibition “The Battle of Iceland”

Spa Wake Baths

At the spa you will find the first floating pools and a hot spring that is allowed for drinking. Wok’s hot springs provide hot water to the entire surrounding area. Melt your worries in the sauna, pools and cold tunnels in a remote and charming area of ​​Iceland. At the link you can choose between a standard card that includes herbal tea with spring water, a convenience card including tea and a drink at the outdoor pool bar or premium cards that include these as well as local organic delicacies. If you come to Iceland with small children, be sure to consult a doctor before putting them in the hot water.

To order  tickets to the Spa Wok

Into the glacier adventure

To see the standard list of the most beautiful places in Iceland that are commonly visited, stay on the famous route, Route 1 of Iceland. But if you drive far towards the interior of the island, to the center of Iceland, you will find an exciting adventure. On this organized tour, accompanied by an expert guide, you will enter nature through strange man-made tunnels into the blue and frozen heart of the Langjokull Glacier. Cross the insulated ice dome in vehicles built specifically for the study of the glacial environment. Experienced instructors will guide you and teach you everything you need to know about the frozen world.

To book a guided tour of the glacier in Iceland

Recommended activities for a family trip to Iceland

Glacier tours are one of the most popular activities for tourists in Iceland, with the center of activity located in Skaptapel in southeast Iceland.

If you are coming to Iceland with children do not give up on whale watching. It is possible to go on whale watching tours all year round from Reykjavik, and during the summer also from Husavik Husavik, but the best time for this is in the summer months (both from Husavik and Reykjavik). You can also see a large selection of whales as well as dolphins and a variety of seabirds. The tour includes whale watching with an experienced guide (in English).

To order tickets online for organized whale watching from Reykjavik

Another option for a whale watching cruise departs from the town of Akureyri. Akureyri in northern Iceland is known as one of the best destinations in the world for whale watching and the chances of disappointment on a tour from Akureyri are very low – you are almost certain to see a surprising amount of whales and dolphins and waterfowl on a 3 hour guide – book tickets in advance

To book tickets for a whale watching cruise from Akureyri

Iceland is not known as a ski holiday destination, but the town of Akureyri in the north of Iceland has a great little ski area and the Troll Peninsula is known as an outstanding destination for ski touring, mountain mountaineering and ski mountaineering.

Rafting is also a popular activity for family outings in Iceland – in southern Iceland, you can go rafting on the Hyita River. In northern Iceland there are some excellent rivers for rafting – Vestari and Austari Jokulsa. Rafting companies are located in Varmahild. One of them is Bakkaflot which has very good facilities from which the rafting comes out which also include hot pools, accommodation, restaurant and drinks where families going out for rafting in Iceland with children can relax after the adventure is over.

Iceland offers lots of trekking options, but trekking in Iceland is not easy and not suitable for families coming to Iceland with children (unless you are coming to Iceland with older children of military or high school age). It is recommended to purchase strong walking shoes with ankle support, as the area often consists of hard lava rocks or spring moss that can cover hidden holes! You will also need to be prepared for heavy side volleys of rain and hail, especially in winter and mid-seasons, and especially in the mountains. Do not get lost in unfamiliar terrain without proper equipment, and keep yourself updated with a careful reading about trekking in Iceland – these are not beginner treks.

Ice climbing is a great experience in Iceland, with world-class frozen waterfalls and lots of glaciers – of course this is an extreme sports activity that is not suitable for a trip to Iceland with small children.

Riding snowmobiles is also a recommended adventure typical of a trip to Iceland, it is also an interesting way to get to places you will not usually be able to reach.

The Icelanders

The population in Iceland is very poor – the Icelanders number about 330,000 people in total, and most of them are concentrated in the capital Reykjavik. The first settlers to come to Iceland were the Norse and Celtic peoples in the ninth century AD. According to Icelandic tradition, the first permanent settler in Iceland was Ingólfur Arnarson, a Viking from Norway who established his home on the site where the capital Reykjavik is today . It is rumored that monks from Ireland had temporarily settled on the island several years earlier. Icelanders still basically speak the language of the Vikings. Icelanders also continue to use the surname method that takes the father’s name, as was customary in Norway, Denmark , Sweden and the Faroe Islands until the mid-19th century, when governments decided that people should adopt fixed surnames that do not change from generation to generation.

A large number of immigrants have come to Iceland in the last decade and over the past five years, the number of immigrants has doubled. Most immigrants (from Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia) come to find employment. Immigrants today make up more than 10% of Iceland’s population.

Money in Iceland

The local currency in Iceland is the Icelandic krona (ISK), whose value collapsed very dramatically in the economic crisis of 2008, today the representative exchange rate of the krona is about 1 cents of USD. As of 2020, the Icelandic economy has recovered which has reduced the prices of domestic products, although the prices of imported products are still quite high.

Money in Iceland - Iceland Krona

You can pay using international credit cards almost anywhere in Iceland, including taxis, gas stations, souvenir stalls, and even secluded guesthouses, so there is no need to carry large amounts of Icelandic krona in cash. However, due to the instability of the currency, some credit cards still charge relatively high conversion fees when transactions in Icelandic currency, so check with your bank before you go on a trip to Iceland and do not depend only on your credit card.

Following the 2008 economic crisis, there has been a restriction on foreign trade in wagons, so you can not convert to wagons outside Iceland. It is best to withdraw cash at an ATM on arrival, as you can easily use credit cards throughout your trip to Iceland.

Flights to Iceland

You can get to Iceland quite cheaply: the cheap Icelandic airline WOW Air is operating direct flights to Iceland – and offers cheap prices for flights from Iceland to major European cities – from $ 110 + the price of luggage. 

Icelandair is known for operating excellent flights and also offers attractive deals, especially on flights to Iceland from the US or Canada. It is possible to board a flight to Iceland from New York for only $ 200 by prior reservation. Icelandair also offers connection flights to Europe, But the discounted airline EasyJet offers cheaper prices on flights to Iceland from the UK (London, Manchester and Edinburgh) for only $ 40 + the cost of luggage.

Costs of a family trip to Iceland with children

Prices in Iceland tend to be much higher than in other parts of Europe due to the high import tariffs and 25.5% VAT, mainly on alcohol, foreign foods, clothing, etc. Of course, when arriving in Iceland with Children, the costs of a family trip when it comes to meals, accommodation and the like tend to be higher.

When you buy food or other basic groceries, look for the Bónus or Krónan stores, which offer much cheaper prices, although that means you will have to compromise on the selection, of course. In the center of Reykjavik there are many second-hand shops like Red Cross and the Salvation Army, where you can buy cheap warm clothes.

Expect to pay around 650-900 Icelandic kronor for a glass of beer or wine, 1500-2000 kronor for a pizza for one person, and 350-500 kronor for coffee or espresso.

Cigarettes cost about 950 kronor per pack of 20. Note that Icelandic law does not allow display cigarettes to be displayed in stores, but they are sold at most gas stations, writers and stalls selling newspapers. 

In principle because of the high prices it is usually not recommended to shop in Iceland, but if you pay 6,000 kroner or more for products you take out of Iceland within three months of purchase, you can request a VAT refund on your departure from Keflavik Airport – of course, purchase invoices must be presented.

Shopping in Iceland

Typical products that can be good as souvenirs from a trip to Iceland are:

Icelandic wool products – Icelandic sheep are a rare breed and they produce soft and durable wool, and Icelandic wool products, such as hats, gloves, etc. are soft and warm. If you are planning to visit the center of Iceland with children you should bring this woolen hats and gloves for the whole family, they are especially warm.

Shopping in Iceland

Handicrafts and handicrafts – Iceland has a large number of small and excellent shops selling handicrafts and handicrafts, porcelain sculptures for works of art, glass works and jewelry. National galleries usually sell the works of artists they display in their souvenir shops.

Local music – there is a lot of great Icelandic music (beyond Bjork and Sigur Ross) that is worth checking out. These include: Ólafur Arnalds, Eberg, Hera, Retro Stefson, FM Belfast, Worm is Green, Múm, Singapore Sling and Bellatri.

Food in Iceland

Icelandic cuisine has changed greatly in recent decades, from a small number of dishes in which the main ingredient is lamb or fish, to many other types of varied dishes. It is more difficult to maintain a vegetarian diet in Iceland, but there are a large number of vegetarian restaurants in Reykjavik and vegetarian dishes are also available in other restaurants. There are also a number of vegan restaurants in Reykjavik that include Garðurinn, Glo, AALTO Bistro, Pylsa / Pulsa and Vinyl.

Food in Iceland

Distinctive Icelandic dishes:

  • Fish
  • Harðfiskur , – dried fish pieces eaten easy dish with butter (served with coleslaw)
  • skyr – a yogurt-like milk product that comes in different or tasteless flavors. Low fat and high in protein.
  • Hangikjöt – Smoked lamb
  • range , – scorched lamb head
  • Slaughter contains liver pylsa – a sausage made from lamb leftovers, and blood butter similar to it, but also mixed with lamb blood.

Iceland is famous for its whale meat, and it is one of the only places in the world where you can taste mink whale meat.

The average Icelander’s fast food is according to most pylsa (vegetarian sausage) or hot dog sausage. These are usually served with fried onions, fresh onions, ketchup, mustard and remold of your choice. The sausages are relatively cheap compared to other fast food, around 250 kronor, and are sold in every grocery / eatery / bakery in the Icelandic towns. Except for sausages, food prices are particularly high in Iceland.

Iceland with children – personal security and dangers in Iceland

Iceland is one of the safest countries in the world, so there is almost no chance of encountering robbery or harassment other than Reykjavik which has recently begun to be exposed to cases of theft and night violence. Use common sense in your nightlife in Reykjavik. The telephone number of the emergency center in Iceland is 112.

Natural disasters in Iceland

The biggest dangers lurking for tourists in Iceland are in nature. Always obey the signs. If there is no signage, use discretion. Every year, a fairly high number of tourists are injured, and even killed in the mountains or at sea, despite the warnings. For example, do not approach glaciers, stormy waves on the beach or a large waterfall unless you know what you are doing, and do not climb glaciers without proper equipment or preparation. Iceland is a volcanically active country and there is a slim, though very slight, chance of being caught in a volcanic eruption.

During trekking or skiing in Iceland, be prepared for a sudden change in the weather, as these can happen very quickly in Iceland. If you are unsure about the conditions of the place, ask the locals or join a guided tour. Icelanders have a very deep connection to nature and from a young age they learn how to get along in the outside world, so you will not always find fences or warning signs even in the most dangerous places.

Transportation within Iceland

Domestic flights in Iceland

Domestic flights in Iceland are like buses and trains everywhere else – this is the main means of transport for travel within Iceland, apart from driving on the roads. When planning a family trip to Iceland with children it is worth noting that flights can be shaky at the entrance to fjords like Aquiiri (because of the winds). Domestic flights in Iceland should be booked in advance.

Air Iceland and Atlantic Airways also operate scheduled flights to nearby destinations, including Greenland and the Faroe Islands.

Buses in Iceland

BSI is the intercity bus station in Reykjavik, from where you can get on buses of various companies, including Discover Iceland, Gray Line Iceland, Trex, Sterna, SBK. Note that long-distance bus travel in Iceland is quite expensive, sometimes more expensive than flying. Other than that, there are very few lines that have more than one trip a day, which means it is almost never possible to travel that day on two buses, except for a few days in the summer when there is an afternoon service from Akureyri to Reykjavik.

There are special tickets that include a week to 4 weeks of free travel on buses on the Ring Road of Iceland (with the option of traveling to the western fjords). Some tours to central Iceland by special 4X4 buses are a much cheaper and calmer driver alternative, and they reach most of the main destinations (like Landmannalaugar, Thorsmork, Askja, etc.). Tours to central Iceland are only available during the summer months.

The largest travel companies in Iceland are Gray Lane Iceland and Icelandic Travel Market. These companies run tours for tourists all year round and bus routes along the coasts of West, South and East Iceland. SBA-Nordurleid operates bus routes throughout the northern and eastern part of Iceland.

A tour of the Golden Circle departing from Reykjavik will take you to the vicinity of Gullfoss, the geysers, the crater and the location of Iceland’s first parliament (the area of ​​the tectonic plate junction). Although the route is long and the stops are short – meaning you will not be able to spend much time at each stop – the guide will tell you on the bus about the history and interesting details about the scenery and stops.

The bus system of the Reykjavik area of ​​the Strætó bs company is an urban public transport system that also extends to nearby villages but it is an expensive public transport system that requires a lot of patience and early arrival times. Currently, one travel ticket on a city line costs $ 400 (just over $ 3), and a free daily ticket for one or three days is available at a price of $ 700 ($ 5) and $ 1,700 (just over $ 15). Contrary to what is customary in any reformed country, in Iceland bus drivers do not return a surplus, so if you have repaired a 400 krona ticket with a 500 krona bill, do not expect to get a surplus back. You can also purchase 11 tickets for 3,000 kronor at main bus stops (sometimes also at the driver). From the moment you pay the driver, you will not receive a ticket unless you ask for it. If you receive a ticket, it will also be valid on any other bus for 75 minutes from the time of purchase.

All bus lines stop operating at 23:00, with many lines stopping earlier, sometimes at 18:00. Buses start operating only around 12:00 on Sundays. Reykjavik and the nearby villages outside Arðabær, Hafnarfjörður, Mosfellsbær, Álftanes Seltjarnarnes are considered as one area, where the fare for one ticket is 400 kronor even if the bus leaves from Reykjavik to a nearby village.

Bicycle tours in Iceland

Cycling is a good way to travel and discover Iceland, if you are an experienced cyclist, coming to Iceland with children big enough and you are all prepared for both cold riding and mountain riding. This is a different and special way to experience Iceland differently. It is worth examining the possibility of bringing an off-road bicycle with you, since the purchase of a bicycle is very expensive in Iceland and there are no developed bicycle rental services. The traffic to and from Reykjavik is very busy, in the rest of Iceland it is not crowded. You can ride a bike safely on Iceland’s ring road, or get on the bikes for buses (equipped with a bike-friendly facility) that serve the ring road and some side tours. However, if you are riding alone, given the weather and conditions, it is highly recommended that you come with extensive experience in off-road cycling because of the weather conditions and mountainous landscapes of Iceland.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you’ve found everything you need to know about your coming family holiday in Icaeland with kids right here! We wish you a safe trip, and if you are renting a car, don’t forget to purchase car hire excess insurance.

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