- Enjoy a soak in solitude at the geothermal Vök Baths
- Spend a magical few hours tracking a herd of wild reindeer
- Explore the crystal blue ice caves of the Vatnajökull ice cap
- Experience a thrilling ride across the Mýrdalsjökull glacier
- Spot for humpbacks in the dark seas of Faxaflói
|Day 1||Arrive in Keflavík, Fly to Egilsstaðir via Reykjavík, Geothermal Vök Baths||Egilsstaðir|
|Day 2||Eastfjords Villages, Hallormdsstaður Forest ATV Tour||Egilsstaðir|
|Day 3||The Eastfjords, Reindeer Safari, Drive to Höfn||Höfn|
|Day 4||Skaftafell Nature Reserve, Crystal Blue Ice Cave Tour, Drive to Vík||Vík|
|Day 5||South Coast, Mýrdalsjökull Glacier Snowmobiling, Ferry to Westman Islands||Westman Islands|
|Day 6||Westman Islands, RIB Boat Adventure, Travel to Golden Circle||Golden Circle|
|Day 7||Golden Circle Highlights, Horse Riding Tour||Golden Circle|
|Day 8||Drive to Reykjavík, Whale Watching Tour||Reykjavík|
|Day 9||Explore Reykjavík, Sea Angling Trip, Faxaflói Bay||Reykjavík|
|Day 10||Reykjanes Peninsula, Blue Lagoon, Depart from Keflavík|
Day 1: Arrive in Keflavík, Fly to Egilsstaðir via Reykjavík, Geothermal Vök Baths
Velkominn til íslands (welcome to Iceland)! Arrive in Keflavík and catch a transfer to Reykjavík for your flight to Egilsstaðir in the mountainous eastern corner, where you will pick up your rental car. There are few places in Iceland as untouched and off the beaten track as the remote Eastfjords. Come here to discover seldom-traveled trails, charming fishing villages nestled within narrow fjords, and a myriad of natural wonders, from graceful waterfalls to wintry glaciers.
Lying on the banks of Lake Lagarfljót, Egilsstaðir is East Iceland's largest town and perfectly placed to explore the area's remote beauty. After checking in at your hotel, start your family adventure in true Icelandic style with a visit to the serene geothermal Vök Baths— a five-minute drive northwest of the town. Bathe in the clear warm waters that lead directly onto Lake Urriðavatn. Soothe any post-flight aches as you relax with the family in the mountainous surroundings. You can access the lake directly from the pools in the summertime (or winter, if you're brave enough).
Afterward, drive to your Egilsstaðir accommodation and continue the restful vibe, or explore the tranquil shores of Lake Lagarfjlót. Task the children with spotting the mythical giant serpent that, according to local folklore, has inhabited the lake's mysterious depths since 1345.
Day 2: Eastfjords Villages, Hallormdsstaður Forest ATV Tour
Wake refreshed and revived after yesterday's geothermal spa and prepare for a day exploring the heart of the Eastfjords region. A 34-mile (55 km) drive (or scheduled boat from Norðfjörður if the weather makes the road impassable) southeast of Egilsstaðir reveals the beautiful and utterly remote Mjóifjörður. Visit the tiny village of Brekkuþorp and its backdrop of breathtaking scenery before journeying toward Iceland's most easterly point, the Dalatangi Lighthouse, to admire the coastal views.
Continue to Seyðisfjörður, one of the best-preserved coastal towns in Iceland. Stop here for lunch and discover the art shops, pretty blue church, and colorful timber houses that contrast against the snow-capped peaks. Afterward, drive north via Egilsstaðir to the tiny town of Borgarfjörður Eystri, where you'll likely find more puffins than people. Enthrall the kids with a visit to Álfaborg, a small rocky hill said to be the City of Elves—one of the area's other main dwellers, according to folklore. Don't worry if you don't spot the "hidden people"; the views from the top offer some consolation.
Day 3: The Eastfjords, Reindeer Safari, Drive to Höfn
After breakfast, spend the morning getting acquainted with the towering landscape of the Eastfjords and navigate your way through one of the most scenic stretches of the country's Ring Road. Start on the eastern side of Lake Lagarfljót and pass a panoramic view of Mount Snæfell and the Hallormsstaður Forest. A quick twenty-minute drive along Route 931 takes you to the parking lot, and from here, it's a 1.5-mile (2.5 km) gentle hike to Hengifoss Waterfall. Gaze across the valley and spectacular basalt columns as the cascades tumble into the gorge of Hengifossárgljúfur below.
Next on your itinerary is the unmissable Stuðlagil Canyon, created by a mighty river that forced its way from the highlands to the north of the island. Travel back along the lake's western side toward Egilsstaðir and continue northwest on Route 1 toward Grundartún for 30 miles (49 km). A 90-minute journey will reward you with one of the country's most spectacular hidden gems. Discover Iceland's most extensive collection of vast basalt columns that plunge into the aquamarine 90-mile (150 km) sweep of glacial waters below.
After stretching your legs with a gentle hike around the canyon, head back to Egilsstaðir for an experience unique to the Eastfjords and one the whole family will treasure. Spend an enchanting four hours in the company of the country's only herd of wild reindeer in their natural habitat. Led by a local specialist, track these magnificent creatures into the wilderness and enjoy views of snow-streaked mountains and deep fjords along the way. Afterward, drive 115 miles (186 km) south along the Ring Road to the tiny harbor town of Höfn, where you'll overnight.
Day 4: Skaftafell Nature Reserve, Crystal Blue Ice Cave Tour, Drive to Vík
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Today is jam-packed with adventure and unmissable sights, so you'll want to rise early to make the most of an epic day exploring Iceland's stunning southeast coast. Your ultimate destination for today is the seaside town of Vík on the South Coast. Take your time as you drive through scenery dominated by giant glaciers and towering mountain peaks. Your first stop, a 50-mile (80 km) drive from Höfn, is the famous glacier lagoon of Jökulsárlón and your starting point for today's ice cave excursion.
Travel with a group by "Super Jeep" across the wintry landscape and learn all about the Vatnajökull ice cap before taking a short walk to the area's ice caves. Experience the magical stillness as you and the kids step into the ancient glacier and marvel at the natural blue ice cave inside. Iceland has many pinch-yourself moments, and this is firmly one of them. Your guide will decide on the day which caves to visit based on safety and weather conditions.
Before hopping back in the car for the next leg, explore the black sands of Diamond Beach, where the kids can spot glittering iceberg chunks that have broken away and washed ashore. From here, it's around a 45-minute drive to Skaftafall National Park. Break for lunch and discover surroundings reminiscent of fairy tales as you make the 3-mile (5 km) hike to the dramatic Svartifoss waterfall. Next is the magnificent Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon with its ancient two million-year-old steep jagged walls. Continue south for 42 miles (69 km) until you reach your accommodation in Vík.
Day 5: South Coast, Mýrdalsjökull Glacier Snowmobiling, Ferry to Westman Islands
Enjoy a hearty breakfast this morning ahead of today's adventures. Later this afternoon, you'll catch a ferry to the Westman Islands but not before taking time to explore the South Coast's star attractions and an unforgettable glacier excursion. First up is a quick 10-minute drive to the striking black sands of Reynisfjara Beach. Play trolls in homage to local folklore and the origins of the 216-foot (65 m) Reynisdrangar rock pillars jutting out from the ocean's depths. Another 20 minutes in the car, and you'll hit the Dyrhólaey Peninsula, a perfect stop to take in the spectacular views.
If it's icy glaciers and magical winter wonderland vistas you're after, then today's excursion ticks all the boxes. Drive to the nearby Mýrdalsjökull glacier basecamp, where you'll meet your group and expert guide for today's snowmobiling adventure. Travel up the mountain in a glacier truck before boarding your snowmobiles and riding up the ice cap. Enjoy a family bonding experience to remember as you and the kids (age eight and over) whizz safely along the spectacular glacial terrain. Afterward, take a 10-minute drive to Skógar for a well-deserved lunch and re-live the highlights.
Day 6: Westman Islands, RIB Boat Adventure, Travel to Golden Circle
This morning, take some time to explore Heimaey, the largest and only inhabited island in the Westman archipelago. After breakfast, visit the Eldheimar Museum and learn all about the 1973 Eldfell eruption before hiking to the top of the 720-foot (219 m) high Eldfell Crater that was formed and forever changed the island's landscape. There are numerous trails to cliffs and lava fields, or you can take the kids to Stórhöfði to see firsthand why the island is famous for having the world's largest puffin colony. The incredible Norwegian stave church at Stafkirkjan is worth a visit too.
After a break for lunch, it's time to make the most of the island's unique position and take an exhilarating RIB boat (rigid-hulled inflatable boat) adventure. Explore the island's coast and sail along the new lava from the 1973 eruption that enlarged Heimaey by 1.2 miles (2 km). The younger ones will be fascinated to hear tales of Viking sagas and battles as they learn about the archipelago's history. Visit the sea caves of Fjósið and Klettshellir and keep your eyes peeled for the island's famous puffins as well as orcas, porpoises, and dolphins in the summer months.Board the ferry, make the quick 30-minute journey back to the mainland and prepare to drive to your accommodation in the Golden Circle.
Day 7: Golden Circle Highlights, Horse Riding Tour
Today is your opportunity to explore the world-famous Golden Circle at your own pace. Discover landscapes woven with dramatic cliffs, mysterious legends, and ancient folklore as you drive to the first stop on the circle. The majestic Gullfoss, Iceland's "Golden Falls," cascades 105 feet (32 m) over two dramatic tiers into the glacial waters of the Hvítá River below. Continue on for another 10 minutes, and you'll reach the Geysir geothermal area, where the Strokkur geyser regularly blasts warm water to heights of up to 130 feet (40 m).
Explore the surrounding hot springs and steam vents between eruptions before heading back in the car toward the Þingvellir National Park. Kids will be amazed to be able to walk the path between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates and discover the geological wonders created along the spectacular Mid-Atlantic Rift. If time allows, take a short hike along the ridge toward the stunning waterfall of Öxarárfoss before lunching at one of the area's nearby eateries.
This afternoon, spend a leisurely couple of hours exploring the Golden Circle's beautiful surroundings on horseback. You will be matched with Icelandic horses suited to your abilities as you ride through breathtaking scenery and hear history, tales, and anecdotes about the surrounding villages and areas from your expert local guide. Afterward, head back to your accommodation before finding a cozy spot for dinner and enjoy a well-deserved rest.
Day 8: Drive to Reykjavík, Whale Watching Tour
Set off early this morning to spend your last couple of days in the capital of Reykjavík, one of the cleanest, greenest, and safest cities in the world. Check into your hotel, then head out for a bite to eat before strolling the charming downtown area to explore the boutiques, cafés, and galleries. If the younger ones are weary, placate them with hot chocolate and cookies down at the waterfront, where you'll also discover the elegant Sun Voyager Sculpture and the glimmering glass facade of the Harpa Concert Hall.
Day 9: Explore Reykjavík, Sea Angling Trip, Faxaflói Bay
It's your penultimate day in Iceland, and the morning is yours to explore the country's stunning capital at your own pace. Indulge in a second breakfast of waffles and hot chocolate in the old town before discovering some of Reykjavík's top museums and galleries. After yesterday's adventures at sea, take the kids to the Whales of Iceland Exhibition to further their newfound marine life passion and the magical Northern Lights Center and Saga Museum.
Don't miss a stroll to the towering Lutheran Hallgrímskirkja Church, an iconic sight that sits on a hill with magnificent views of Reykjavík. After a stop for lunch and a recharge at your hotel, it's time to set sail once more to the waters of Faxaflói. Spend an unforgettable few hours sea angling in the company of some of Iceland's most experienced fishermen, who will take you to the bay's best fishing spots.
Your expert captain and guide will show you the ropes as, rod in hand, you fish for cod, haddock, mackerel, and pollock. Then sit back and relax as the crew cooks your freshly caught fish on the boat's barbecue, and you enjoy a delicious feast among stunning ocean views. Return to the harbor and spend the evening recounting your favorite holiday memories as you dine at one of the city's many family-friendly restaurants.
Day 10: Reykjanes Peninsula, Blue Lagoon, Depart from Keflavík
It's your last day in Iceland, but there's still time to make more Icelandic memories before catching your flight home. The Reykjanes Peninsula is home to lava fields, hot springs, and the UNESCO-listed Reykjanes Geopark. Visit the geothermal area of Krýsuvík, where the kids will marvel at the hot springs and steam vents, and if time allows, discover the bubbling mud cauldrons at Gunnuhver. Older kids may enjoy the folktale of a four-hundred-year-old vengeful ghost called Gunna, after whom the hot springs are named.
A more relaxing finale to your Iceland adventure is to finish your trip the way it started, at geothermal hot springs and possibly Iceland's most famous attraction—the Blue Lagoon Spa. Soak in the mineral-rich geothermal seawater and drift away as the turquoise silica and algae-rich waters work their rejuvenating magic. Take a dip with the kids under the lagoon's waterfall and enjoy the in-water bar before seeking refreshments at the on-site café and restaurant.
With hearts full of adventure, it's time to say bless (goodbye). Make your way to Keflavík airport, drop off your rental car and board your flight home. See you soon!