Day 1: Arrival in Keflavik:
Highlights: Keflavik The Blue Lagoon Viking World The Giantess in the Mountain Lighthouses Gunnuhver Bridge Between Continents
Pick up your rental car at Keflavik airport. If your flight arrives early in the day we recommend you begin your Iceland experience by exploring the Reykjanes peninsula, where you’ll find the GeoPark (Gardur, Grindavik, Reykjanesbaer, Sandgerdi, and Vogar), Reykjanes bridge between continents, Lake Kleifarvatn (home of a sea monster) and hot spring Gunnuhver.
Another option is to go bird watching at the tip of Reykjanes, take a walk on the beach at Selartangar, go visit the Viking museum Vikingaheimar, or the child-friendly troll in Skessuhellir cave in Reykjanesbaer. We also recommend taking a dip in the kid-friendly swimming pool in Reykjanesbaer and tasting the delicious ice-cream at Biting.
Overnight stay in the Reykjanes peninsula.
The approximate distance you’ll be traveling today: ca. 40 km / 38 miles
Day 2: Hveragerdi - Selfoss:
Highlights: Hveragerdi Hveragerdi Hot Spring Area Eyrarbakki Stokkseyri
South Trail – Eyrarbakki
Breakfast at your hotel. Drive the south shore route along the Reykjanes Peninsula towards the lowlands of South Iceland. Make a stop at Strandakirkja church, the beautiful beach in Eyrarbakki, or visit Iceland’s famous ghosts, elves, and trolls in The Ghost Center in Stokkseyri town. For those who love playing in the water, the geothermal swimming pools in the towns of Thorlakshofn and Hveragerdi are both excellent choices.
If you are traveling with children 6 years or older and looking for adventure, going on an easy ATV tour on the black beach in Thorlakshofn (Note: children 5 years and younger not allowed on ATVs, a driver‘s license is required to drive an ATV), or going on a 1-hour easy caving tour in Raufarholshellir are also great options.
Overnight stay in Hveragerdi area
Day 3: Golden Circle and Fontana:
Highlights: Gullfoss Geysir Geysir Center Laugarvatn Fontana Nature Baths Thingvellir National Park Kerid
Gullfoss waterfall – Geysir hot springs- Geothermal baths – Petting Zoo
Breakfast at your hotel. Visit the stars of the Golden Circle; Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss Waterfall, and Geysir Geothermal Area. Other family-friendly highlights that we recommend visiting include Laugarvatn Fontana geothermal baths and Efsti Dalur farm, where you can enjoy homemade ice cream while you watch the cows through the cafe windows.
Slakki Petting Zoo, the best-known petting zoo in Iceland can also be found in this area in the tiny village of Laugarás. The grounds are beautifully decorated in Icelandic country style giving the extra charm to the place. At Slakki you can meet and pet many cute animals, play mini-golf or get some refreshments at the café. Slakki also has an outdoor play area suitable for toddlers and preschoolers.
Overnight stay in the Hveragerði area
The approximate distance you’ll be traveling today: ca. 200 km / 125 miles
Day 4: Seljalandsfoss - Skogarfoss - Vik:
Highlights: Seljalandsfoss Skogafoss Dyrholaey Vík Reynisdrangar Cliffs
Waterfalls – Glaciers – Birdlife – Rock formations
Breakfast at your hotel. It’s time for more natural wonders!
Today you’ll visit the famous waterfalls of the south shore, where you can walk behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall, and climb the stairs to get an even greater view of Skogafoss Waterfall. Fans of waterfalls can also stop at the lesser-known Gljufrabui waterfall, located a short distance from Seljalandsfoss.
A stop at the LAVA Centre in Hvolsvollur offers a visual hands-on experience on volcanoes and earthquakes. LAVA Centre is a very modern high-tech educational exhibition where you even get to smell volcanoes and experience a real earthquake!
At Reynisfjara black beach you’ll see Reynisdrangar, pillars of rock rising majestically out of the ocean. According to a folk legend, there were two trolls pulling a three-mast ship to the shore when they got caught by the sunlight at dawn and turned into stone, creating the extraordinary pillars.
Fans of Puffins should go explore Dyrholaey promontory, a bird sanctuary that is the home of thousands of birds including the lovely puffin. The area is popular among bird lovers as it is possible to view the puffins as well as other birds in their natural habitat. Dyrholaey also offers amazing views over the black sand beaches in the area, offering excellent photo opportunities. Make sure to watch out for the Arctic Terns who also nest in this area as they can get quite aggressive if you get too close to them. Please note that Dyrholaey is closed between the nesting season of mid-May to mid-June. The best time of the year to see the puffins is between late June to mid-August.
Overnight stay in the Vik area.
Day 5: Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon – Skaftafell:
Highlights: Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon Vatnajokull Hofn
Glacial lagoon – National park – Svartifoss waterfall
Breakfast at your hotel. Drive to the shimmering icebergs and still milky waters of Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon. This is a fantastic area to linger for photographs and enjoying the surreal atmosphere. Between May and September, you can also go on an amphibian boat tour between the drifting icebergs in the lagoon. On the other side of the parking lot at Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon, you may also find the extremely photogenic Diamond Beach.
An interesting stop in the area is the Thorbergssetur Center, dedicated to a beloved Icelandic author. The building resembles a bookshelf with works by the author. The center has a nice cafe with excellent food prepared with local ingredients.
Continue eastward, following the magnificent lines of Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Europe. Your family of explorers might enjoy stopping at Glacier World near Hoffell Glacier. Here your family can take an exciting ATV ride amid glacial scenery and relax afterward in geothermal hot tubs (Note: children 5 years and younger not allowed on ATVs, a driver‘s license is required to drive an ATV). Families can also enjoy horseback riding at Arnanes Family Farm (offered between May and September).
Overnight stay in the Höfn area.
Day 6: Skaftafell:
Highlights: Svartifoss Waterfall Skaftafell National Park Vatnajokull National Park
Glacial lagoon – National park – Svartifoss waterfall- Icelandic Farm Animals
Breakfast at your hotel. Drive along the south coast back to Vik. Make a stop on the way at Skaftafell, a beautiful glacier ringed green oasis within Vatnajokull National Park. There are many great hiking trails here, including a hike to Svartifoss waterfall surrounded by beautiful columnar basalt. If you have children 10 years and older, you can try hiking on a glacier. This is an amazing experience, and your family will also learn lots of interesting facts about glaciers.
You might also visit Hólmur, a farm that has a collection of farm animals kids can meet. In the farm’s zoo, you can see sheep, horses, calves, goats, a pig, cats, many different rabbit breeds, Icelandic Viking hens, dwarf hens, silkie hens, pheasants, quail, doves and pigeons, goose and ducks. Many of these animals are rare breeds that have not changed since the days of the Vikings.
Overnight stay in the Vík area.
The approximate distance you’ll be traveling today: ca. 272 km / 169 miles
Day 7: Reykjavik:
Highlights: Reykjavik Family Park & Zoo Reykjavik City Hall Hallgrimskirkja Tjornin
Capital of Iceland – Explore Museums – Relax
Enjoy the beautiful Icelandic countryside with its glaciers and volcanoes as you head back to Reykjavik. Explore Reykjavik with its many outdoor swimming pools, visit the newly opened Whales of Iceland museum, go into the man-made ice cave in Perlan Museum, or perhaps spend the day relaxing at Nautholsvik Geothermal beach.
For those traveling with younger kids, Husdyragardurinn Zoo and Family Park is a fun place to visit. There you can interact with animals like the sheep, horses, cattle, pigs, and goats, and watch the feeding of the seals a couple of times a day. During summer, the Family Park area with many rides and attractions is also open.
The approximate distance you’ll be traveling today: ca. 180 km / 112 miles
Day 8: Departure:
Highlights: Keflavik The Blue Lagoon
Depart with plenty of memories and an adventure that will certainly impress, and entertain your friends and family for years to come! We recommend you depart your hotel no later than three hours before your flight. The car rental return is located at Keflavík International Airport.