Iceland Family Vacations: Exploring The Land Of Fire And Ice With Your Loved Ones

by | Sep 30, 2023 | Destinations

I think an Iceland family vacation would be an experience my family would love. Iceland is a unique destination that offers an unforgettable experience for families. With its stunning landscapes, natural wonders, and exciting activities, Iceland is the perfect place to create lasting memories with your loved ones. From exploring glaciers and waterfalls to soaking in hot springs, there is something for everyone in Iceland.

One of the best ways to experience Iceland as a family is through guided tours and vacation packages. These tours offer a hassle-free way to explore the country and ensure that you don't miss out on any of the must-see attractions. Many tour operators offer family-friendly tours that are tailored to the needs and interests of both parents and children. These tours often include activities like horseback riding, whale watching, and visiting geothermal pools.

When planning a family vacation to Iceland, it's important to consider the time of year and the weather conditions. While Iceland is beautiful year-round, certain activities and attractions may be more accessible during specific seasons. For example, summer is a great time to visit if you want to experience the Midnight Sun and enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and camping. On the other hand, winter offers the chance to see the Northern Lights and go ice caving. With careful planning, you can create the perfect Iceland family vacation that everyone will love.

Why Choose Iceland for Family Vacation

Iceland is a unique destination that offers a wide range of activities for families. From stunning landscapes to exciting outdoor adventures, Iceland has something for everyone. Here are some reasons why Iceland is an excellent choice for a family vacation:

Natural Beauty

Iceland is known for its breathtaking natural beauty. From the Northern Lights to the glaciers, waterfalls, and geysers, Iceland has it all. There are numerous national parks and nature reserves that offer a chance to explore the country's unique landscapes. Families can take hikes, go horseback riding, and even go whale watching.

Family-Friendly Activities

Iceland offers a range of activities that are suitable for families with children of all ages. The country is home to numerous water parks, amusement parks, and museums that offer interactive exhibits and activities for children. Families can also go on a whale watching tour, visit a puffin colony, or take a dip in one of the country's many geothermal pools.

Safe and Welcoming Environment

Iceland is known for being a safe and welcoming country, making it an ideal destination for families. The country has a low crime rate, and the locals are friendly and welcoming to tourists. The infrastructure is also excellent, with well-maintained roads and public transportation, making it easy to get around.

Educational Opportunities

Iceland is a unique destination that offers numerous educational opportunities for children. The country's geology, history, and culture are fascinating and can provide a valuable learning experience for children. Families can visit museums, take guided tours, and even attend cultural events to learn more about the country's heritage.


Despite its reputation for being an expensive destination, Iceland can be an affordable option for families. There are numerous budget-friendly accommodations, and many of the country's natural attractions are free to visit. Families can also save money by cooking their meals or taking advantage of happy hour deals at restaurants.

Overall, Iceland is an excellent destination for families looking for a unique and exciting vacation. With its natural beauty, family-friendly activities, safe environment, educational opportunities, and affordability, Iceland has something for everyone.

Best Time to Visit

When planning a family vacation to Iceland, it's important to consider the best time to visit. The weather in Iceland can be unpredictable, so choosing the right season can make a big difference in your overall experience.

Summer (June - August)

Summer is the peak tourist season in Iceland, and for good reason. The weather is mild, with average temperatures ranging from 50-60°F (10-15°C), and the days are long, with up to 24 hours of daylight in some parts of the country. This makes it the perfect time to explore Iceland's stunning landscapes, go hiking, and take part in outdoor activities like whale watching and horseback riding.

However, it's important to note that summer is also the busiest and most expensive time to visit Iceland. Accommodations and tours can book up quickly, so it's important to plan ahead and make reservations in advance.

Winter (December - February)

Winter in Iceland is a magical time, with snow-covered landscapes and the chance to see the Northern Lights. Temperatures can drop below freezing, with average temperatures ranging from 20-30°F (-6 to -1°C), but with the right clothing and gear, you can still enjoy outdoor activities like skiing and snowmobiling.

One thing to keep in mind is that the days are very short during the winter months, with only a few hours of daylight each day. This can make it challenging to fit in all the activities you want to do, but it also means more opportunities to see the Northern Lights.

Shoulder Season (May, September - October)

For those looking for a more budget-friendly and less crowded experience, the shoulder season may be the best time to visit Iceland. May and September to October offer a good balance of mild weather and fewer tourists. The days are shorter than in the summer, but still long enough to enjoy outdoor activities and sightseeing.

Overall, the best time to visit Iceland depends on your personal preferences and what you want to experience. Whether you're looking for outdoor adventures or a chance to see the Northern Lights, Iceland has something to offer year-round.

Top Destinations

When it comes to family vacations in Iceland, there are plenty of destinations to choose from. Here are some of the top destinations that we recommend:


Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland, is a great place to start your family vacation. It is a vibrant city with plenty of things to see and do. You can take a walk around the city center, visit the Hallgrimskirkja church, or explore the museums and galleries. There are also plenty of restaurants and cafes where you can try some delicious Icelandic cuisine.


Vik is a small village located on the southern coast of Iceland. It is known for its black sand beach and dramatic cliffs. You can take a walk along the beach and enjoy the stunning views, or go on a boat tour to see the puffins and other wildlife.

Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa located in the Reykjanes Peninsula. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland, and for good reason. The milky blue waters are rich in minerals and are said to have healing properties. It is a great place to relax and unwind with your family.

Golden Circle

The Golden Circle is a popular tourist route that includes three of Iceland's most famous attractions: Thingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area, and Gullfoss waterfall. It is a great way to see some of Iceland's natural wonders in a short amount of time.

South Iceland

South Iceland is home to some of Iceland's most beautiful landscapes. You can see glaciers, waterfalls, and black sand beaches. There are also plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, such as hiking, horseback riding, and glacier walks.

Ring Road

The Ring Road is a 1,332 km road that goes around the entire country. It is a great way to see all of Iceland's diverse landscapes, from the glaciers in the east to the fjords in the west. You can rent a car or join a tour to explore this scenic route.

Snaefellsnes Peninsula

The Snaefellsnes Peninsula is located in western Iceland and is known for its dramatic coastline and volcanic landscapes. You can see the iconic Kirkjufell mountain, visit the Vatnshellir lava cave, or go on a whale watching tour.


Akureyri is the second-largest city in Iceland and is located in the north. It is known for its charming architecture, botanical gardens, and winter sports. You can go skiing, snowboarding, or snowmobiling with your family.


The Westfjords is a remote and rugged region located in the northwest of Iceland. It is known for its dramatic fjords, hot springs, and birdwatching. You can go on a boat tour to see the puffins or take a dip in one of the natural hot springs.

Overall, Iceland is a great destination for family vacations. With so many diverse landscapes and activities to choose from, there is something for everyone.

Family-Friendly Activities

When planning a family vacation in Iceland, there are plenty of activities that cater to families with children of all ages. From thrilling outdoor adventures to cultural experiences, Iceland has something for everyone. In this section, we will highlight some of the best family-friendly activities to enjoy in Iceland.

Adventure Activities

For families seeking adventure, Iceland has plenty of options. Snowmobiling on a glacier is a thrilling experience that will create lasting memories for everyone. Another popular activity is snorkeling in the Silfra fissure, where you can swim between two tectonic plates. For those who prefer to stay on land, there are plenty of hiking trails to explore, including the famous Laugavegur trail.

Nature Experiences

Iceland is known for its stunning natural beauty, and there are many ways to experience it as a family. Whale watching tours are a popular choice, where you can spot humpback whales, orcas, and dolphins. Visiting geysers and waterfalls is also a must-do, with popular spots like Geysir and Gullfoss waterfall. For a unique experience, families can go glacier hiking, where you can explore ice caves and crevasses.

Historical and Cultural Experiences

Iceland has a rich history and culture, and there are plenty of opportunities for families to learn and explore. Visiting Viking settlements and museums is a great way to learn about Iceland's history and culture. The Settlement Exhibition in Reykjavik is a popular choice, where you can learn about the first settlers in Iceland. For a more immersive experience, families can visit a traditional Icelandic farm and learn about the country's agricultural heritage.

Overall, Iceland is a fantastic destination for families looking for outdoor adventures and cultural experiences. With so many family-friendly activities available, there is something for everyone to enjoy.


When it comes to accommodations for a family vacation in Iceland, there are plenty of options available. Whether you prefer a hotel, a guesthouse, or an RV, there's something for everyone.

Hotels are a popular choice for families, and there are many family-friendly hotels in Iceland. These hotels offer amenities like swimming pools, hot tubs, and playgrounds, as well as activities for kids like horseback riding and whale watching. Some of the best family-friendly hotels in Iceland include the Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Natura, the Hotel Ranga, and the Hotel Husafell.

If you're looking for a more affordable option, guesthouses are a great choice. Guesthouses are similar to bed and breakfasts, and they offer a more intimate and homey experience. Many guesthouses in Iceland offer shared kitchens, where you can prepare your own meals, which can save you money on eating out. Some of the best guesthouses for families in Iceland include the Guesthouse Borgartun, the Guesthouse Sunna, and the Guesthouse Aurora.

For families who want to explore Iceland on their own terms, renting an RV is a great option. RVs allow you to travel at your own pace and see the sights that interest you. Iceland has many RV rental companies, and most of them offer RVs that are equipped with all the amenities you need for a comfortable trip. Some of the best RV rental companies in Iceland include Happy Campers, Campervan Iceland, and Go Campers.

No matter what type of accommodation you choose, it's important to book early, especially if you're traveling during peak season. Iceland is a popular destination, and accommodations can fill up quickly. By booking early, you can ensure that you have a place to stay that meets your needs and your budget.

Traveling with Kids

Traveling with kids can be a challenge, but Iceland is one of the safest countries in the world and is a great destination for families. There are plenty of activities to keep kids of all ages entertained, from hiking to swimming to exploring geysers.

If you're traveling with toddlers, be sure to bring a sturdy stroller as some of the terrain can be rough. Many attractions, such as the Blue Lagoon, have changing rooms and facilities for families with young children.

When it comes to car seats, Iceland requires that all children under the age of 135 cm (4'5'') be secured in a child restraint system appropriate for their size. If you're renting a car, you can usually rent a car seat as well. If you're bringing your own car seat, make sure it meets Icelandic safety standards.

Overall, Iceland is a great destination for families with kids of all ages. Just be sure to pack appropriately for the weather and bring plenty of snacks and water for the road.

Planning Your Itinerary

When planning your family vacation in Iceland, creating an itinerary is crucial to ensure that you make the most of your time on the island. Whether you opt for a self-drive tour or a guided tour, there are plenty of options to suit your preferences and budget.

If you choose to create a self-drive itinerary, you will have the freedom to explore Iceland at your own pace. A self-drive tour allows you to customize your trip and visit the sights that interest you the most. You can choose to rent a car or a campervan, depending on your family's needs and preferences.

On the other hand, if you prefer a more structured itinerary, a guided tour might be the way to go. A guided tour provides a knowledgeable guide who can offer insight into Iceland's culture, history, and geography. Guided tours also take care of transportation, accommodations, and meals, so you don't have to worry about any logistics.

When creating your itinerary, consider the length of your stay in Iceland. Iceland offers a range of itineraries, from one-day trips to two-week adventures. If you have limited time, focus on the highlights, such as the Golden Circle or the Blue Lagoon. If you have more time, consider exploring the Ring Road, which circles the entire island and offers stunning landscapes and natural wonders.

No matter what itinerary you choose, make sure to include a mix of activities that will appeal to all members of your family. From hiking and horseback riding to whale watching and glacier tours, Iceland offers something for everyone. Make sure to also include some downtime to relax and soak in the natural beauty of the island.

Overall, creating an itinerary for your family vacation in Iceland can seem overwhelming, but with a little planning and research, you can create a trip that will be both memorable and enjoyable for everyone.

Packing Essentials

When it comes to packing for an Iceland family vacation, there are a few essentials that you won't want to forget. Whether you're visiting in the summer or winter, the weather can be unpredictable, so it's important to pack for all conditions. Here are some items that should be on your packing list:


  • Warm, waterproof jacket: This is a must-have item for any trip to Iceland. Look for a jacket that is both warm and waterproof, as you'll likely encounter rain and wind during your stay.
  • Layers: Iceland's weather can be unpredictable, so it's a good idea to pack lots of layers. Bring a mix of warm sweaters, long-sleeved shirts, and t-shirts that you can layer as needed.
  • Waterproof pants: In addition to a waterproof jacket, you'll also want to pack waterproof pants. This is especially important if you plan on doing any hiking or outdoor activities.
  • Warm socks: Make sure to pack warm socks, as your feet can easily get cold in Iceland's chilly weather.
  • Gloves and hat: Don't forget to pack gloves and a hat to keep your hands and head warm.
  • Sunglasses: Even though Iceland is known for its chilly weather, the sun can still be strong. Make sure to pack a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes.


  • Sturdy walking shoes: Iceland's terrain can be rocky and uneven, so it's important to pack sturdy walking shoes with good traction.
  • Waterproof boots: If you plan on doing any hiking or outdoor activities, consider packing a pair of waterproof boots.

Other Essentials

  • Camera: Iceland is known for its stunning landscapes and natural beauty, so you'll definitely want to capture some photos to remember your trip.
  • Power adapter: Iceland uses the same type of power outlet as most of Europe, so make sure to pack a power adapter if you're coming from outside the region.
  • Swimsuit: Iceland is home to many natural hot springs and geothermal pools, so don't forget to pack a swimsuit if you plan on taking a dip.
  • First aid kit: It's always a good idea to pack a small first aid kit with essentials like band-aids, pain relievers, and antiseptic wipes.

Overall, packing for an Iceland family vacation requires a bit of planning and preparation. However, with the right gear and essentials, you'll be able to enjoy all that this beautiful country has to offer.


When planning a family vacation in Iceland, transportation is a crucial factor to consider. Iceland is a small country, but it has a lot to offer, and getting around can be challenging if you don't plan ahead. Here are some transportation options to consider:

Car Rental

Renting a car is one of the best ways to explore Iceland with your family. It gives you the freedom to visit remote areas and explore at your own pace. Most car rental companies have a wide range of vehicles suitable for families, including 4x4s and minivans. However, it's essential to book in advance, especially during peak season, as the demand for rental cars can be high.

When renting a car, be sure to check the insurance coverage and any additional fees, such as for GPS or child seats. Also, keep in mind that driving in Iceland can be challenging, especially in winter, so make sure you have experience driving in snowy and icy conditions.

Public Transportation

Public transportation in Iceland is limited, but it's still an option if you're on a budget. Reykjavik has a bus system that covers most of the city, and there are also buses that connect Reykjavik with other towns and cities. However, the schedules can be infrequent, and the buses can be crowded, especially during peak season.

If you're planning to use public transportation, be sure to check the schedules and plan ahead. Also, keep in mind that public transportation may not be the most convenient option if you're traveling with young children or have a lot of luggage.

Private Transportation

Private transportation is another option to consider, especially if you're traveling with a large group or have specific transportation needs. There are companies that offer private tours and transportation services, including airport transfers, sightseeing tours, and more. Private transportation can be more expensive than other options, but it can also be more convenient and comfortable.

When choosing a private transportation service, be sure to check the company's reputation and reviews. Also, make sure to book in advance, especially during peak season, as availability can be limited.

Overall, transportation is an essential factor to consider when planning a family vacation in Iceland. Whether you choose to rent a car, use public transportation, or opt for private transportation, planning ahead and choosing the right option for your family can make your trip more enjoyable and stress-free.

Family Vacation Packages

If you're planning a family vacation to Iceland, you'll find a wide range of vacation packages to choose from. These packages are designed to cater to the needs of families, with activities and accommodations that are family-friendly. Here are some things to consider when choosing a family vacation package in Iceland:

What to Look for in a Family Vacation Package

When choosing a family vacation package, look for packages that offer:

  • Activities that are suitable for all ages, such as whale watching, glacier hiking, and horseback riding.
  • Accommodations that are family-friendly, such as hotels with family rooms or apartments with kitchenettes.
  • Transportation that is comfortable and safe for families, such as private tours or shuttle services.
  • Itineraries that are flexible and allow for downtime and relaxation.

Iceland Family Vacation Packages

There are several tour operators that offer Iceland family vacation packages. These packages typically include accommodations, transportation, and activities. Some popular tour operators include:

  • Guide to Iceland: This tour operator offers a wide range of family-friendly activities, such as whale watching, horseback riding, and glacier hiking. They also offer customized itineraries that are tailored to the needs of your family.
  • TourRadar: This tour operator offers a variety of Iceland family vacation packages, ranging from one-day tours to multi-day trips. Their packages include accommodations, transportation, and activities.
  • Nordic Visitor: This tour operator specializes in customized family vacation packages. They offer a range of activities, such as hiking, whale watching, and horseback riding. They also provide accommodations and transportation.

Family-Friendly Vacation

Iceland is a great destination for families, with plenty of family-friendly activities and accommodations. Whether you're looking for adventure or relaxation, there's something for everyone in Iceland. Some popular family-friendly activities include:

  • Whale watching: Iceland is one of the best places in the world to see whales. There are several tour operators that offer whale watching tours, which are suitable for all ages.
  • Glacier hiking: Glacier hiking is a unique and exciting activity that is suitable for families. There are several tour operators that offer glacier hiking tours, which provide an opportunity to explore Iceland's stunning glaciers.
  • Hot springs: Iceland is famous for its hot springs, which are a great way to relax and unwind. Some popular hot springs include the Blue Lagoon and the Secret Lagoon.

Overall, there are plenty of family vacation packages available in Iceland, which cater to the needs of families. With a wide range of family-friendly activities and accommodations, Iceland is the perfect destination for a family vacation.

I think next year, my family and I will take a family vacation in Iceland.