June 08, 2022

How to plan an adventurous family trip in Iceland

by Jenna Gottlieb
Natural attractions
Travel tips
Originally from New York City, Jenna has lived in Iceland since 2012, working as a content writer and freelance journalist. She loves sharing her adopted home with the world, and writing about Icelandic nature, culture and business. Jenna’s favorite place is the Westfjords, and she lives in the West Iceland town of Akranes. She is also the author of the Moon Iceland guidebook, published by Avalon Travel.
How to plan an adventurous family trip in Iceland

Travel is a wonderful way to reconnect or strengthen family bonds while making new memories. And Iceland is the ideal location for a family trip. There are fun activities, family-friendly accommodation, and exciting excursions that the entire family will love, from grandparents to toddlers.

Gljufrabui waterfall

Why take a family trip to Iceland?

Well, family trips in Iceland have a lot going for it. First, there is easy flight access from the United States and many European countries, making Iceland an ideal mid-Atlantic hub, especially important for family reunions. Airlines that fly to and from Iceland include Icelandair, Play, British Airways, and Easy Jet. It’s never been easier to have a family trip to Iceland.

Next, Iceland is a safe destination for families to explore. In fact, the country is regularly voted the safest country in the world. According to the 2022 Global Peace Index, Iceland is the safest country for the 13th year. This is due to its low crime rate and strong laws guaranteeing equality.

Furthermore, Iceland has many family-friendly accommodation options such as cottages, apartment hotels or family rooms in hotels. There’s family travel accommodation for road trips or guided tours in Iceland. After all, it’s crucial to have a comfortable place to sleep after long days of adventure in Iceland!

Thingvellir National Park family

Now here’s the fun part

There’s so much to do and see for a family trip in Iceland, whether during the summer or winter. For a self-drive, the Young Explorers tour includes stops at many popular sites. The Golden Circle is where the whole family can marvel at the power of the Gullfoss waterfall and Geysir geothermal area. The rich history and unique geology of Thingvellir National Park is another family travel favorite.

Family car rental road trip selfdrive golden circle Geysir photo

Ice-cream anyone?

Family trip activities during the tour include relaxing at the Laugarvatn Fontana geothermal baths. Also, tasting lovely homemade ice cream at the Efsti Dalur family farm. The fresh ice cream and the cows on the farm will delight the kids.

Ice Cream Iceland

Pretty waterfalls

Meanwhile, the south coast is home to some of the most scenic sites on the island. Families can drive to two of the most famous waterfalls in Iceland, Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss. It’s possible to walk behind Seljalandsfoss for a truly unique family travel photo!

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

Black sand beaches…

The hauntingly beautiful black sand beach of Reynisfjara is another favorite among families. These picturesque locales are ideal for enjoying nature while spending time with the whole family.

… and ice-bergs!

There are Iceland family trip options that include a visit to the towering icebergs and chilly waters of Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon. This is one of the most striking slices of Iceland. Here, travelers can get close to some actual ice any time of year. The glacier lagoon is an ideal area to linger for photographs and enjoy the spectacular atmosphere.

Family travel People Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon

Interested in a “Frozen” family trip?

If a family with small children is obsessed with the Disney blockbuster Frozen, Into the Unknown-“Frozen 2” Self-Drive is a great family tour option. Travelers could visit some of the same locations the Disney film crew visited to get inspiration for Frozen 2. It can be a magical experience for the little ones! And, families traveling in winter may get a glimpse of the northern lights.

Looking for an active family travel adventure?

Meanwhile, adventurous families that want to spend time together should look no further than Iceland for the Active Family. This family trip in Iceland offers breath-taking views of fjords, mountains and the rugged highlands. There are thrilling family experiences in the form of many optional activities. Groups may enjoy white-water rafting, horseback riding and whale-watching.

Meanwhile, don’t count out Reykjavik. It may be a small capital city, but there is so much to do as a family, including visits to the Reykjavik Family Park & Zoo, Perlan, Hallgrimskirkja Church, and Tjornin Pond.

It can seem overwhelming to cater to a wide age gap and find something that everyone will enjoy and participate in. That’s where Iceland Travel tours come in.

Whale watching

How do Iceland Travel tours for families work?

For self-drives, the families often have breakfast together and then start their day in 2-3 separate cars. That way the family can do different activities during the day and then reunite for dinner and an overnight stay in the evening. The rental cars have plenty of luggage space, and there is a lot of flexibility in separate vehicles. Or, they can go for a larger car if they want to stay together (we offer big cars for up to 15 persons).

Another option is to create a tour with a driver guide. This is a person who is the designated driver and the family guide at the same time. These can be multi-day tours around the country, or private day tours out of Reykjavik. The latter one is an excellent option for those staying for a short break only. All our driver guides are skilled and licensed, and often make a trip very personal and flexible. There’s more time to relax and enjoy family moments!

Keep in mind that we can easily customize family trips, from road trips to guided group tours of Iceland. Iceland Travel’s tailor-made team books excursions, family-friendly accommodation, and transportation for groups with nine or fewer travelers. Our group experts offer special group tours for families with ten or more travelers, either a self-drive or a privately-guided tour.

Pro tip: Check out this family travel blog for more tips on family activities that can be booked in Iceland.

Family travel People Arbaejarsafn museum

Why book Iceland Travel family road trips?

Our road trips offer families flexible, stress-free traveling with pre-booked hotel nights and rental cars. Plus, they receive a comprehensive electronic road book. Furthermore, travelers can enjoy our newly formatted Iceland Travel Companion App. The app has more than 1,000 exciting points of interest to help plan the days.

Family car rental road trip selfdrive golden circle haukadalur

Need help in arranging a family trip to Iceland? Please contact us, or register for our travel agent login to access more material and get in touch with our local experts. Iceland Travel can pre-book activities which is a great way to personalize a family’s travel, saving time and money.

Iceland is an ideal travel location for the whole family. Whether the family includes toddlers, teenagers, grown-up kids or grandparents, visiting Iceland as a multi-generational family is an incredible experience.

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