Golden Circle Iceland with kids

Golden Circle Iceland with kids: 8x things to do with the family!

What to do at the Golden Circle Iceland with kids? That was a question we also asked ourselves. Meanwhile, during our tour of Iceland, we took a nice tour of this area and enjoyed all the beautiful sights that the Golden Circle has to offer. In total, we divided visiting the highlights of the Golden Circle into two days so that we would not spend a full day in the car. And that turned out to be a good choice as well, since otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to see everything. Here we list all the highlights of the Golden Circle Iceland with kids for you!

Golden Circle Iceland with kids
Golden Circle Iceland with kids

Golden Circle Iceland with kids #1: Thingvellir

One of the first sights you will encounter on the Golden Circle Iceland with kids is Thingvellir. Thingvellir is one of Iceland’s national parks and it takes you about forty minutes from Reykjavik to get there by car. The park lies on the fault line between the European and American continents, and this has created a valley about six kilometers long.

There are a number of attractions in this national park that you can visit. For example, you have the waterfall Öxarárfoss that you can visit. From parking lot two, it is a short walk to this waterfall. In addition, it is possible to take a nice walk through the valley. The trail is great to do with kids and you can make the hike as big as you want. We also loved visiting the valley and the views of the area are also very nice.

In total, we spent an hour and a half there. First we took a walk through the valley and then we continued by car toward the waterfall. It is also possible to combine both with a hike, but you will be on the road for a while. Unfortunately, it is not possible to go diving or snorkeling with kids (under the age of 14) at Silfra. Because the water here is so clear, you can swim in the gorge and have visibility of several hundred meters.

Golden Circle Iceland with kids
Golden Circle Iceland with kids

Golden Circle Iceland with kids

Golden Circle Iceland with kids #2: Laugarvatn Fontana Spa

After visiting Thingvellir National Park, we continue on the Golden Circle and after half an hour we come across the Laugarvatn Fontana Spa on the route. Especially if you’re visiting the Golden Circle with kids, it’s also nice to relax a bit in between and not drive from sight to sight.

At the Laugarvatn Fontana Spa, they have wonderful hot springs with a beautiful view of a lake. They also have steam baths and a sauna where you can relax for a while. It is also possible to swim in the lake here. That lake is not universally warm, as thermal activities abound around the lake.

In all, we spent about three hours at this spa, and we got back into the car feeling wonderfully relaxed to see the rest of the sights on the Golden Circle. We wrote about this spa the extensive blog Laugarvatn Fontana Spa with kids, in which we provide more information.

Laugarvatn Fontana Spa with kids:
Laugarvatn Fontana Spa with kids:

Golden Circle Iceland with kids

Golden Circle Iceland with kids #3: Geysir

We drive from the spa again for about half an hour and enter an area brimming with geothermal activity, with the geyser Geysir being the area’s biggest attraction. Actually, that is not correct, since this geyser has not been active for several years, so you will not see much of it. Fortunately, they have a good replacement in Strokkur.

The geyser Strokkur sprays hot water every few minutes and the water does reach a height of thirty meters. The nice thing about this geyser is that so it doesn’t matter so much what time you are there, since the geyser spouts every few minutes. Because of this, you can always experience a few eruptions here.

Keep in mind that if you visit the geysers during the high season (summer months) during the day that it can be quite crowded. During the summer months in Iceland it is light late into the night, so you can also choose to visit the geysers in the evening, for example, so that it is a little less crowded. Of course, this is a bit more difficult if you are still with young kids who cannot stay up very late.

Golden Circle Iceland with kids
Golden Circle Iceland with kids

Golden Circle Iceland with kids

Golden Circle Iceland with kids #4: Gulfoss

Close to Geysir is also the Gulfoss waterfall. From Geysir, it is about a ten-minute drive to these waterfalls. Many people consider this the most impressive waterfall in Iceland to visit. This waterfall falls in two stories more than thirty meters down into a gorge and you can get close to this waterfall.

From the parking lot, it is a short walk to the waterfall. On that note, most of the sights on this list are easily accessible on foot, making it perfectly doable for families with smaller kids as well. From the parking lot, it is a 15-minute walk to the waterfall.

If you want to get very close to the waterfall, you may well get wet. Of course, that also depends a bit on how the wind is blowing. Therefore, it is recommended that you do bring something of a (rain) jacket, so that your kids are not completely soaked after visiting the waterfall. Near the parking lot is also a restaurant and souvenir shop, and you’ll see that at most of the sights on this route. That’s why it’s not a big deal to eat somewhere along the way.

Golden Circle Iceland with kids
Golden Circle Iceland with kids

Golden Circle Iceland with kids

Golden Circle Iceland with kids #5: Faxafoss

Before going to the last stop of the day, we stopped at another waterfall that is on the route. Faxafoss is an impressive waterfall that is a lot less visited than Gulfoss and this waterfall is also not visited by the large group tours.

When we visited this waterfall, we had the waterfall all to ourselves, which was a big difference from Gulfoss waterfall, where it was quite crowded. You pay some entrance fee for this waterfall, but it was not super much. From the parking lot, you can walk to the waterfall in two minutes.

We thought it was pretty cool here, since we had the waterfall all to ourselves. Surely that is just a little nicer than having hundreds of tourists walking around. In the end, of course, you have seen the waterfall in no time and we spent about 15 minutes here. This makes it great to add a visit to this waterfall when doing the Golden Circle Iceland itinerary with kids. By the way, these are only two of more than dozens of waterfalls you can see in the country. In fact, there are even more waterfalls in Iceland.

Golden Circle Iceland with kids
Golden Circle Iceland with kids

Golden Circle Iceland with kids

Golden Circle Iceland with kids #6: Secret Lagoon

We end the first day of our visit to the Golden Circle with another spa. The Secret Lagoon is about a 15-minute drive from the Faxafoss waterfall and is a nice end to the day we found. This spa is also one of the cheapest spas in Iceland and also great for families with kids.

For example, here you have a large warm water pool, where you will find in the water various attributes for kids, with which they can float in the water. There is also a small playground at this spa, but it is not much. At this spa, therefore, we encountered many families with kids.

It is possible to order a drink inside the bistro and drink it in the water. In total, we spent a little over two hours here, after which we drove back to our hotel in Reykjavik. If you want to learn more about Secret Lagoon, check out our blog Secret Lagoon with kids for more information.

Secret Lagoon with kids
Secret Lagoon with kids

Golden Circle Iceland with kids

Golden Circle Iceland with kids #7: Reykjadalur

On day two, we drive about three quarters of an hour by car toward Reykjadalur. You should set aside about half a day for this sight. We had read online in advance that it was a small tough climb to get to the hot springs in the mountains, but this is quite a hike, taking at least an hour to an hour and a half (one way).

The hike from the parking lot to these hot springs is three kilometers, which doesn’t seem very far, yet it’s quite a hike, with frequent ascents and descents up the mountain. By the way, the route is beautiful and really worth walking. Our seven-year-old daughter is not a huge runner, but she did walk the entire route by herself.

You will have beautiful views of the area during this hike and you will encounter several streams. The reward is at the end of these three kilometers in the form of several hot springs in the river. The more you walk up the river, the warmer the water becomes.

You can also change clothes here, but the changing facilities are very primitive. Here you can relax in the water and enjoy the surroundings. Because you can’t get there super easily, it’s also not that crowded with tourists. Of course, you still have to walk the three kilometers back to the parking lot afterwards.

Golden Circle Iceland with kids
Golden Circle Iceland with kids

Golden Circle Iceland with kids

Golden Circle Iceland with kids #8: Kerid

The last attraction in our blog Golden Circle Iceland with kids is the Kerid Crater. This 55-meter-deep crater is partially filled with water, and the water is a beautiful color. You can park your car near the crater for free and you do pay a few euros entrance fee at a booth for access to the crater.

The walk to the crater is short and you can choose to also walk down the path the toward the water in the crater. Here it is also possible to walk around the water of the crater, but we did not do so. In total, we spent about three quarters of an hour here.

We did the last two sights on the second day, and you can also choose to end the day on the second day by relaxing at the Secret Lagoon. We ourselves continued to the south of Iceland after visiting Kerid Crater, where we visited the waterfalls and glacial lakes the following days.

Golden Circle Iceland with kids
Golden Circle Iceland with kids

Golden Circle Iceland with kids

Where to stay in Iceland with kids?

Sleeping in Iceland is not cheap! We spent quite a long time looking for suitable accommodations for our family of three.

In the capital city of Reykjavik, we slept for three nights. From here we also visited the Golden Circle and we slept here at hotel Muli. This was a fine hotel just a little outside the city center, where we could park the car in front for free. We had a fine room and downstairs at the hotel there was a place to eat and warm up food. There is a large supermarket a few minutes’ walk from the hotel and we found it a pleasant place to sleep. For more information about this hotel check here.

For a list of all accommodations in Reykjavik, take a look here.

We spent the other days in Iceland in various accommodations that were not super nice to us. If we had to do it again now, we would definitely stay overnight in the town of Vik on the way, as there are some more facilities there and that’s convenient with kids anyway. Now we were often in accommodation, where it was still a half-hour drive to, say, a restaurant or a supermarket.

For a list of all accommodations in Vik, take a look here.

Golden Circle Iceland with kids
Golden Circle Iceland with kids
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