Iceland 5 Day Itinerary with Kids


We just got back from a trip to Scandinavia with the kids. Whoa nelly, Iceland is incredible. Out-of-this-world stunning natural beauty in it’s most primal forms: rock, ice, water, and fire.

Halfway through our 8-hr flight home, Chris was already plotting a return trip. Who knew that a barren chunk of ground could be so captivating.

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Our itinerary included a direct flight from Seattle to Reykjavik, Iceland, with a 1.5 year-old and a four year-old. Ugh. Let’s just say that Emma isn’t yet the most amazing airplane passenger. Four year-old Ben is great, no problems. But Em is a force of nature and nature doesn’t like being confined on a parent’s lap in a small seat for more than 20 minutes.

But we made it. In one piece and still on talking terms, so that’s a plus.  And I’m so glad we went. We had five nights in Iceland and we spent most of our time in the south of the country. Think massive glaciers, gorgeous waterfalls, bubbling hot springs, and black sand beaches.

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Thingvellir National Park

Trip Details
Date of Trip: August 14, 2015
Departure: Seattle, Washington, USA
Arrival: KEF International Airport (7.5 hours nonstop on Iceland Air). Note: the airport is 45 minutes outside of the capital city, Reykjavik.
Total driving distance: 1025 km. (637 miles)
Accommodations: Privately-owned cottages and guest apartments (see below)
Rental Car Agency: Geysir


Trip Itinerary
Day 1
4 hours drive time. 312 km.
Accommodation: (Giljaland Cottage rentals. We loved both the owner and the tiny apartment. Rentals in this area sell out quickly (because there are very few) so book early.)
-Arrive at KEF International Airport in Iceland at 7:30am from Seattle
-Pickup rental car.
-Search fruitlessly for an open grocery store (they open at 10am on Weekends)
-Drive 30 minutes to the Blue Lagoon (advance reservations required)
-Quick sightseeing drive through Reykjavik
-Continue driving south to lodgings outside of Vik (South Iceland)


Day 2
4.2 hours drive time. 300 km.
Accommodation: Giljaland (2 nights total)
-Drive south to Vatnajökull National Park
-Hike up to see the Black Waterfall
-Continue south to Jokulsarlon Lagoon
-Walk to the viewing point of the lagoon, then cross the road to see the ice bergs headed out to sea
-Hike along the rim of Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon
-Drive back to lodgings


Day 3
2.5 hours drive time. 200 km.
Accommodation: This family-friendly house near the Kerio Crater
-Drive Northeast, back to civilization
-Hike up to Skogafoss. You can walk along the upper river as well.
-Hike and swim at the nearby (and utterly captivating) Seljavallalaug outdoor pool
-Walk around Seljalansfoss (be sure to walk in back of the waterfall)
-Check into your Golden Circle area accommodations


Day 4
No driving.
Accommodation: Same house as above
[We had a day off to walk the countryside, bounce on the trampoline, and read books. But you could do some of the following activities. All were within 50km of our rental house near Kerio Crater]
-Hrunalaug Natural Hot Spring

Day 5
3 hours drive time. 213 km.
Accommodation: This apartment (which was part of a larger house. Very clean and friendly hosts)
-Visit Gullfoss Waterfall  [be prepared for hordes of people!]
-Visit Geysir and watch the eruptions. [keep a close eye on small kids; there are no barriers to the hot pools]
-Drive down to Thingvellir National Park. Bring a picnic lunch and stroll the grounds of Iceland’s first congress. Stick a toe in the Silfra Crack…or better yet, plunge in headfirst on a scuba diving outing.
-Drive to your airport area lodgings (the Reykjanesbær Area) and prepare for an early morning flight out of Iceland

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Seljavallalaug outdoor pool


Detailed Trip Reports:

Part 1: Southern Iceland: Glaciers and lonely valleys

Part 2: Waterfalls and outdoor pools. 

Part 3: The Golden Circle


Iceland with Kids

A five day stopover with small children in Iceland

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