Iceland with kids

What to do in Iceland with kids? Iceland is a beautiful country and you can take a wonderful tour here with your family. You can make a very nice round trip in just one week, where you can already see a lot of the country. In this blog we list all the information you need for a great trip to Iceland with kids.

Best travel time Iceland with kids

In Iceland you can experience 4 seasons in 1 day and yes we certainly noticed this during our trip through Iceland. We saw sun, hail, fog, rain and even snow during our trip through Iceland. Iceland has 2 climates, in the south there is a maritime climate and inland towards the north this changes to a tundra climate (lots of plains, little precipitation, though lots of snow and cold)!

The best travel time to go to Iceland is from May through September. The temperature then is around 15 degrees (if the sun shines, it soon feels much warmer) and the days during this period are nice and long because Iceland is very northern. Unfortunately, you do have the least chance of seeing the northern lights during these months. We thought maybe we might still be lucky so at the “beginning” of the season in September, but alas no northern lights for us.

Iceland with kids

Transportation in Iceland

It’s best to rent your own car in Iceland. This is the easiest way to get to the places you want to see. Apart from that, I think having my own car with kids is much more relaxing anyway! You have 1 main road in Iceland, also called the ring road. It runs all the way around Iceland and this road is fully paved.

If you’re only going to drive on this road, you’ll be fine renting a regular car. Want to go more inland or off the ring road? Then go for a 4×4 rental car. Most tourists rent a car in the capital city of Reykjavik at the airport. You can rent a car here through Sunny Cars. With this company, most of the insurance and the deductible are included in the price.

That way, you can travel in Iceland with kids with peace of mind. For more information on renting a car in Iceland with Sunny Cars, take a look here.

Children’s Activities Iceland

#1 Golden Circle

Most tourists in Iceland visit the Golden Circle. This is Iceland’s most famous and tourist route. You will pass Iceland’s most famous highlights here. You do need a few days if you want to see the various sights on this Golden Circle at your leisure. Here we briefly name the main attractions of the Golden Circle.

Gulfoss Waterfall: this is one of the largest waterfalls you can visit in Iceland with kids. When we arrived here, it just started raining pretty hard, but fortunately we were able to park fairly close by and the hike to the falls was fine. If you get close to the waterfall, you have a good chance of getting wet. Therefore, it’s fine for kids to bring a raincoat.

Geysir of Strokkur: This is currently the most active geyser in Iceland. Located in a geothermal area, this geyser “squirts” up to 20 meters of water into the air every 5 to 10 minutes. This seemed to me to be the most special highlight of Iceland, so we decided to visit it right away on day 1.

We initially thought when we arrived at the spot that there was nothing to see and that we were wrong, but just at that moment the geyser started to spout!!! Wow, super cool!!! Quickly out of the car. We walked around this area for about 1.5 hours and it was beautiful. Because we visited Iceland at Corona time, there were hardly any tourists and we had the area almost all to ourselves. Super cool!

Kerid crater: this crater is also 1 of the highlights of the Golden Circle, and again, you can park super close here. That’s a big advantage of most of the sights on this list, that you often don’t have to walk far at all. Especially with a kid who can’t walk yet, this is very nice. Therefore, Iceland is also great to visit with young kids. Entrance €3 – When we were there it was actually closed, at least there was no one there so we could walk right through.

Iceland with kids

Thingvellir NP: this is a fault line between 2 tectonic plates (the North American and Eurasian). You can snorkel or dive at this place in this fault line (Silfra gorge). This is a cool experience but not doable with young kids alone.

Thingvellir NP is a super beautiful National Park to drive through anyway! We also took another walk here with our son of about 5 km total. During this hike we passed a nice little church and again a gigantic waterfall.

Faxifoss Waterfall: we caught this waterfall on the way back from Thingvellir NP. Parking is also close by at this waterfall. This is a not so well known waterfall in Iceland, but well worth a short stop!!!

Viking house Selfoss: From Selfoss you drive about 1.5 hours inland and then suddenly out of nowhere you see all these Viking houses. We walked around here and admired the beautiful little houses (unfortunately only a few). You can drive a whole route here and you’ll come across all these kinds of cottages. This seemed super cool to us, but there was a sign at this route saying that this route is only accessible with a 4×4 car.

Want detailed information about the Golden Circle with kids? Then read the blog Golden Circle Iceland with kids.

Golden Circle Iceland with kids

#2 Reykjavik

We spent 1 day walking around Reykjavik and we actually had a whale watching tour scheduled (but it was cancelled at the last minute). Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland, but it is by no means a big city. Unfortunately, when we were there much was closed in Reykjavik because of corona. However, you do have a nice hopscotch path through the main street of the mall and you also have beautiful street art in the area that you can check out.

Bloggers Joep, Sanne and Sophie visited Reykjavik when the city did open. And if you want to know more about what you can do in Iceland’s capital, read the blog Reykjavik with kids. In fact, there is quite a bit to do in the city of Reykjavik with kids, and you can certainly have a day or 2 here with the various children’s activities.

Reykjavik with kids

#3 Blue Lagoon

This will undoubtedly be a top activity with kids, but unfortunately this was closed due to corona, we did drive by to still get a glimpse of this attraction.

Bloggers Joep, Sanne and Sophie do see here and thought it was a very cool experience. This is also one of the highlights of Iceland, but it is an activity, which may be less suitable for young kids. Joep and Sanne did take their daughter Sophie to the Blue Lagoon and want to know more about their experience at the Blue Lagoon? Then read the blog Blue Lagoon with kids.

Blue Lagoon with kids

#4 Bridge between two continents

This area is about an hour’s drive from Reykjavik, and here you have two tectonic plates of Europe and North America drifting further and further apart each year (about 2 cm per year). Meanwhile, the hole is about 18 meters wide, so they built a bridge here to connect the two slabs to each other.

So by walking across this bridge, you can cross between Europe and North America on foot (and without a passport). Iceland is the only country where this is so. For us, this was an extra fun outing because this is where Lev took his first steps loose outside. Admission to the Bridge between two continents is free!

Iceland with kids

#5 Krysuvik

Krysuvik is one of the most active hot springs area in Iceland. It is about a 45-minute drive from Reykjavik. This is a geothermal area through which there is a beautiful hiking trail. It’s bubbling and steaming on all sides here and it really stinks huge!!! The path you walk on is constructed entirely of wood, a kind of decking path, with lots of bridges!

This is a great way to walk, especially for kids, of course. On top of the hill you have a beautiful view of the entire geothermal area. Admission to Krysuvik is completely free. As you can see, Iceland does not always have to be very expensive, as there are quite a few sights to visit for free.

#5 VIK

The town of Vik is definitely fun to visit in Iceland with kids. In the vicinity of VIK, you have several cool sights to see. For example, Vik really has the most beautiful waterfall in Iceland (we think). This is the Seljalandsfoss waterfall and at this waterfall you can walk all the way around and under it which makes it really super cool! Next to this waterfall you also have the Skógafoss Waterfall lying next to it.

In addition, in the vicinity of VIK you can go to Dyrhólaey and Black Beach, which we’ll tell you more about below. You can also visit an old plane wreck at Sólheimasandur. In short, there is plenty to do around VIK and therefore definitely a destination not to be missed on your tour of Iceland with the family. We were so excited about this place that we later named one of our sons VIK.

If you want detailed information about what you can do around the place VIK, read our blog Vik with kids.

Vik with kids

#6 Dyrhólaey beach & Black beach

Black beach is a beach just before Vik (or after, but just which side you come from of course) and this beach is all black because of the lava. We found it very special to see such a black beach! The cliffs of this beach are very special. From Black beach you overlook the Dyrhólaey rock and this is a beautiful view! In the months

In the months of June, July and August, this mountain seems to be completely full of Puffins. We just missed them unfortunately during our tour of Iceland.

Children's Activities Iceland

#7 Eldhraun Lava field:

Driving along the ring road from Vik to Jokursarlon, you pass right through the dozens of kilometers of Eldhraun Lava field. This lava field is completely covered with a thick layer of moss and it looks like a fairy tale! You can take an exit somewhere halfway ( you will go off the ring road , off road) to go hiking here too.

You can then drive to the Eldhraun parking lot for the best part and viewpoint. I should add that this is a turnoff totaling about 20 kilometers and there are mega thick rocks and bumps on the road. So it is not the easiest road and you are not actually allowed to drive a “normal” car here.

So we were glad that we rode this stretch without a flat tire. If you have a 4×4 rental car with you, we definitely recommend hiking here with kids.

Iceland with the family

#8 Jokursalon and Diamond Beach

Jokursarlon I think was the most beautiful part of Iceland, but to each his own taste of course. This is Iceland’s most famous and largest glacial lake and well worth a visit!!! When we arrived here we were once again alone, and the beautiful lake is completely full of ice rocks/ice blocks.

These drift toward the sea at a considerable speed and they then get stranded on Diamond beach. This is a nice beach to take a walk on! Diamond beach is a black beach with all ice blocks on the beach. These blocks of ice look a bit like diamonds and, of course, hence the name of this beach.

We also saw quite a few seals swimming in the lake and my day couldn’t get any better!!! We visited this glacial lake from Vik, but this is quite a trip (150 km and about 3 hours drive and thus also 3 hours back). If you want to spend the night near this lake, you can stay in the town of Höfn.

Iceland with kids

Family-friendly hotel Iceland

You have plenty of family-friendly hotels in Iceland. We put below a selection of accommodations where we slept with our son.

Gljufur Cottages. : This accommodation is near Selfoss (Golden Cirkle). Here we stayed with our son for 5 nights You have super nice wooden cottage here in the middle of nowhere and a very big plus: there is a hot tub outside! The owner of this cottage is really a topper. He did a lot for our family for 5 days and nothing was too much! Highly recommended! This is also a good accommodation to explore the Golden Circle. For more information about Gljufur Cottages, take a look here.

Asólfsskáli Cottage : This accommodation is located near Vik. Again, a beautiful wooden cottage with yet another hot tub. These cottages are on a farm (though secluded at the back of the land), but super fun with kids because there are super many cows and we could regularly watch as the farmer’s wife was milking! This is a good accommodation to visit for all the sights in and around Vik. For more information about Asólfsskáli Cottage, take a look here.

For a list of all family-friendly accommodations in Vik just here.

Keflavik hotel : At this hotel we slept the last night before we left for the Netherlands again. We had to check in at the airport at 5:00 in the morning so this was an ideal overnight spot for us close to the airport. For more information about this hotel, take a look here.

If you are looking for a nice hotel near the center of Reykjavik then Hotel Muli is a nice option. You can park your car in front of the hotel for free and the rooms were fine. You have good value for money here. You have a big supermarket near the hotel. For more information about this hotel check here.

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

Golden Circle Iceland with kids

Cost of traveling Iceland with kids

We visited Iceland in the summer, but we will definitely go back again in the winter! The total price of our trip through Iceland with our little son was €4000 for 13 days. Lev was 1 year old so he could still fly for free.

Ubud with kids

About the author: We are a family of now 4 people! Elise (33), Gert (44), Lev (4) and Vik (3). Our motto is: it’s better to regret things you do, than things you didn’t do! We love traveling immensely and especially to faraway destinations!

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