Our family vacation in Iceland was truly an amazing experience that our kids will remember for the rest of their lives.Our family vacation in Iceland was truly an amazing experience that our kids will remember for the rest of their lives. Iceland is one of the most interesting family vacation destinations in Europe. Tourists flock to and fro, year after year because they can’t get enough of this magnificent and diverse island. Iceland is one of the best places to visit in winter. Your kids will love the snow capped mountains and you can truly get away from it all in this amazing country.
There are a lot of reasons to consider visiting Iceland in the near future. It boasts some of the world’s most beautiful scenery, awe-inspiring glaciers, and is also ranked one of the best countries in which to live. While many people have heard of these facts, they’re probably not aware that they’re all contained within one destination – Iceland! Vacation is a great way to get away from everyday life and enjoy some time off. To get the most out of a vacation you need to plan the trip carefully. A well-planned vacation can ensure that everyone has a great time, and will give you memories that last for years to come.
Family Vacation In Iceland
Family vacations to Iceland have become one of the most popular destinations for adventurous families. And as someone who has explored a huge part of Iceland with my children, I can totally understand why.
Iceland is the land of fire and ice. It’s a jaw-droppingly beautiful destination filled with towering waterfalls, a strong belief in fairytale creatures, wide-open landscapes to explore, and skies that dance with colorful lights. It’s a destination that appeals to adults and children alike.
Visiting Iceland with kids means exploring one of the safest countries in the world. And there are few other places where you can hike a glacier, bask in the spray of waterfalls, ride Icelandic horses down the coast, or take a super-jeep tour to the rim of an active volcano. It’s practically impossible for kids in Iceland not to find something that blows their little minds.
Iceland is also a place where the warmth of the locals is almost as powerful as the volcanoes that fuel the geothermal baths that dot the country. The Icelandic people are generally quiet and reserved, but many have a deep love for children. And exploring the picturesque fishing towns in Iceland with your kids will often open up a chance to connect that many adult travelers might miss. No matter what your Iceland itinerary looks like, you’re going to be planning a trip back very soon after you get home.
You’ll also find that many restaurants, cottages, and hotels cater to families. Many places have entertainment areas specifically for children. Hotels and motels often have cots and cribs, high chairs, and play areas. You’ll also find many restaurants that have children’s menus with kid-friendly versions of local foods, not just chicken nuggets and fries.
Is Iceland Child Friendly?
Iceland is one of the safest countries in the world. The crime rate is exceptionally low, the education rate is among the highest in the world, and Iceland is consistently rated in the top 5 on the World Happiness Report.
While you’re traveling Iceland with kids, you’ll also learn about Iceland’s tremendous Viking heritage. From the explorers to the Viking legends, the myth and history in Icelandic tales offer stories for kids to get lost in. They are filled with adventure, passion, and mythical creatures.
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Combine these things with the wide-open landscapes, great roads, amazing restaurants, and access to incredible wildlife experiences such as whales, puffins, and reindeer, and family travel to Iceland becomes positively brilliant.
Is It Easy To Travel Iceland With Kids?
Iceland has an absolutely rock-solid tourism industry. This north-Atlantic country sees a massive influx of visitors who are focused on Iceland summer vacations and winter northern lights tours.
Because family travel in Iceland is so safe, one of the best ways to explore the country is via a self-drive tour. Many families opt to tour the Ring Road or self-drive popular attractions such as the famous Golden Circle.
Rental companies in Iceland cater well to families. Whether you’re looking to book directly with a car rental company in Iceland such as Hertz or Budget, or, as I like to do, go through an aggregator such as Auto Europe, you’ll find rental companies that are able to source important things such as car seats, booster seats, and more.
The roads in Iceland are fantastic. And, unless you are looking to explore the Icelandic Highlands that are found on the rough F-Roads (which certain rentals will not be allowed to travel on), you’ll be just fine with a two-wheel drive vehicle. But, if you want to truly get off-the-beaten-path, you’ll want something with 4-wheel-drive.
Grocery stores in Iceland are well stocked with supplies such as formula, milk, diapers, pureed, food and more. You’ll find two types of milk on the shelves. One is shelf-safe and can be stored, refrigerated for a few days. Ask the helpful staff which is best for your travel itinerary.
Purchase your supplies from larger grocery stores such as Bonus, Kronan, and Netto, and in Reykjavik, you’ll find a Costco. You’ll find prices at these locations to be significantly cheaper than smaller stores and even the well-stocked gas stations.
How to Get to Iceland With Kids
Iceland is very conveniently located right between Europe and North America. In fact, it is literally the dividing point between the two countries. You can actually swim, snorkel or even SCUBA dive between the two tectonic plates in an area of Thingvellir National Park called the Silfra Fissure.
Because of this and a large tourism push in the country, flying into Iceland is relatively inexpensive from countries such as Canada, the United States, and most of Europe.
Our flight from Toronto to Keflavik on Iceland Air only took about five hours and was one of the easiest International family travel trips that we’ve taken. Flights from within Europe are even less expensive than those coming from North America with rates that can fall below $100 USD each way.
What To Do In Iceland With Kids
Iceland tourism has exploded in recent years. And more and more families are bringing their kids to Iceland. Each story that gets told just breeds more and more passion for this amazing country. And as more and more people decide to visit Iceland with toddlers, young kids, and teenagers, new and exciting opportunities are popping up for family travel within the country.
Learn About Viking History in Iceland
One of the most fascinating parts about visiting Iceland with kids is learning about the rich Viking history of the country. These epic explorers moved across the Ocean from Norway and eventually discovered the New World long before the rest of Europe jumped on the bandwagon. And it is their fascinating story that makes Iceland what it is today.
If you’re interested in learning about the Viking history in Canada, check out our tour of the Viking Trail in Newfoundland. Some of our favorite places for exploring Viking history within Iceland with kids are:
- The Sun Voyager sculpture in Reykjavik is the perfect place to start your journey through Iceland with kids. This is one of the most iconic pieces of artwork in the country. But it’s also the perfect launching point for piquing kids’ interest in Viking culture! Honestly, some of the most fun photos you can take on a family trip to Iceland are down by the Reykjavik marina.
- Meet a Giant Viking on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. When I was researching what to do in Iceland for families, I didn’t expect that this site near the bird cliffs of the Snaefellsnes peninsula, would become one of my favorites. Here sits a massive rock depiction of Bardur Snaefellsnes, a descendant of trolls who still exerts their magical influence on the region. The Bardur of Snaefellsenes is a great way to introduce your kids to the Icelandic sagas and the history of the country.
- Visit The Incredible Viking Museums. There are many great kid-friendly museums in Iceland. The Saga Museum is located within Reykjavik and is very popular. Just outside of town (about 40 mins) is Viking World, which has some amazing displays that will capture children’s imagination.
But if you really want to delve into the Viking Saga’s and history, we highly recommend The Settlement Centre in West Iceland. It’s worth the journey if you’re traveling the Ring Road.
Take In The Most Beautiful Waterfalls in Iceland
Iceland is all about waterfalls! There are more of them than you can count. In fact, it seems that everywhere you travel in Iceland, there is water cascading down in the most beautiful way.
Not all of the waterfalls in Iceland are kid-friendly, but many of them are. These are some of our favorite waterfalls in Iceland for children. If you’re a photographer, make sure to bring along a tripod to catch those beautiful long-exposures of the waterfalls.
You can also check out my guide to the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland here.
- The Majestic Gullfoss on Iceland’s Golden Circle is one of the most famous waterfalls in Iceland. This iconic destination is a great introduction to the waterfalls of Iceland for kids.
- Svartifoss Waterfall in Vatnajokull National Park is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland. It’s located at the mid-way point of an easy 1.5 km (1 mile) hike. The hike is an easy one through the low lying forest. And the stream at the bottom of Svartifoss is perfect for splashing.
- Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall in West Iceland is in one of the most scenic areas of the country. The waterfall itself is pretty basic by Icelandic standards, but the relaxing walk along the river and the scenery around it are breathtaking! Children of all ages will love running through the fields of summer flowers with Kirkjufell Mountain in the background.