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Top 10 Things to Do in Iceland with Family

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Young siblings at Svartifoss waterfall in Iceland

Svartifoss in Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland

Whether exploring the Land of the Midnight Sun or uncovering the breathtaking Northern Lights, the top ten things to do in Iceland with kids will create endless memories for your family during your Iceland trip.

Uncover the true history of the Vikings on the island in museum galleries and along the coastline, search for thundering waterfalls, or witness the glow of light as it pierces the icy walls of a remote glacier. Iceland is the perfect combination of safety and excitement for families with children of all ages.

The right things to do with your kids in Iceland will depend on your family’s preferences and goals during your trip, but our suggestions can help any kind of traveler uncover the thrilling, exciting, and educational activities.

Overview

  1. 1. Embrace Unique Viking History
  2. 2. Discover Fascinating Waterfalls
  3. 3. Search for Passing Whales
  4. 4. Uncover the Diverse Range of Wildlife
  5. 5. Trek the Stunning Landscape at Your Pace
  6. 6. Follow the Dancing Colors of the Northern Lights
  7. 7. Indulge in the Famous Folklore and Culture
  8. 8. Bask in the Mixture of Remarkable and Dramatic Scenery
  9. 9. Explore the Landscape on Horseback
  10. 10. Revel in a True Glacier Adventure
  11. Interested in Planning Your Perfect Iceland Family Trip?

1. Embrace Unique Viking History

Sun Voyager Sculpture in Reykjavik, Iceland

Sun Voyager by Jón Gunnar Árnason, in Reykjavík, Iceland

Legends of Vikings permeate the Icelandic culture, heritage, and landscape, inspiring wonder in children of all ages. From exploration and discovery to myths and tangible history, your family can create an adventure steeped in passion and mythical creations as you travel through Iceland. Find tales of epic explorers demonstrated in Reykjavik’s Sun Voyager Sculpture or meet a giant at Snaefellsnes Peninsula, wander through the collected Viking museums or travel around the Ring Road to delve into the depths of Viking Saga to bring their past to life.

Best Places for Viking History: Thingvellir National Park | Saga Museum | Viking World | The Settlement Centre

2. Discover Fascinating Waterfalls

Kirkjufellsfoss and kirkjufell mountain in Iceland

Mt. Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss in Grundarfjörðu, Iceland

Waterfalls are not just an accent in Iceland, but the centerpiece of the landscape, where cascades of thunder and mist create enticing depth or carries impressive legends. Your kids will find astonishing power and remarkable natural beauty as you discover the breadth of waterfalls found around the country, from the rising steam of Svartifoss to the streaming waters of Kirkjufellsfoss that lead from the Kirkjufell Mountain. Whether trekking to a secluded lookout or visiting an iconic corner, the waterfalls of Iceland are sure to capture the imagination of your entire family.

Best Waterfalls to View: Gulfoss | Svartifoss | Kirkjufellsfoss | Purofoss

3. Search for Passing Whales

Whale tale breaching water surface in Husavik, Iceland

Husavik, Iceland

Witnessing whales pass by the friendly shores of Iceland is a majestic experience that can create a lifetime’s worth of memories for your entire family. With humpback, orca, and blue whale sightings possible, as well as opportunities to find porpoises and puffins, an excursion onto the water can turn into a lesson in the local ecosystem, encouraged by the exciting vision of a whale leaping out of the water or raising its fin as if to say hello. No matter what kind of travel your children prefer, a whale-watching excursion can be the perfect adventure.

Best Places for Whale Watching: Reykjavik | Akureyri | Husavik

4. Uncover the Diverse Range of Wildlife

A group of puffins on the coast of Iceland

While the wildlife in Iceland is often overlooked for other excursions, taking the time to seek out the distinctive animals in their natural habitat can create a magnificent experience for the entire family. Visit with herds of reindeer, seek out crowds of puffins as they dance in the air, or climb atop a horse to venture along winding trails in the remote highlands, or along black sand beaches, each new possibility providing you with another thrilling activity that combines fun with education for the ultimate adventure.

Best Places for Wildlife: Vatnsnes Peninsula | Snaefellsnes Peninsula | Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon | Latrabjarg Peninsula | Hornstrandir

5. Trek the Stunning Landscape at Your Pace

Hvitserkur rock on the north western coast of Iceland

Hvitserkur, Iceland

Iceland’s stunning landscape inspires fairy tales and legends to become a gem of the entire family-friendly travel experience. As you explore the scenery at your own pace, you can uncover the marvelous and unique characteristics that bring stories to life. Whether overlooking coastal cliffs or discovering sea caves, finding volcano hills or narrow canyons, the well-maintained trails and open panoramas can create the perfect ambiance for adventure or relaxation, accentuated by the surrounding natural grandeur.

Best Places for Hiking: Arnarstapi Bird Cliffs | Latrabjarg Bird Cliffs | Hvitserkur | Lake Myvatn

6. Follow the Dancing Colors of the Northern Lights

Northern lights over Jokulsarlon

Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon in Iceland

The Northern Lights are one of the most famous and captivating natural phenomena in the world and witnessing the colors dancing across the sky can mesmerize children of all ages. Often appearing with stretches of green, they can also imbue the night sky with stripes of purple, red, pink, orange, and blue to bring vibrant life to the darkness. You can simply stand in awe of the natural wonder or listen to Old Norse stories of Valkyries and their shimmering armor.

Best Places to See the Northern Lights: Seltjarnarnes Peninsula | Thingvellir National Park | Eyjafjordur Fjord | Jokulsarlon | Kirkjufell | Siglufjordur

7. Indulge in the Famous Folklore and Culture

Viking ship at Viking World

Viking World. Photo © Icelandic Explorer / Visit Iceland

The richness of Icelandic history and culture comes to life in the museums, the various galleries telling stories, each with its own unique perspective. From ghosts to elves, the Northern Lights to seafaring adventures, museums can immerse your family in local heritage and bring old legends to life. You can feel as though you are living through history as your children uncover ancient artifacts, retell popular legends, and find passion in a newfound connection with the past.

Best Museums to Visit: The Settlement Exhibition | National Museum of Iceland | Reykjavik Maritime Museum | The Saga Museum | Viking World

8. Bask in the Mixture of Remarkable and Dramatic Scenery

Colorful rhyolite mountains in Landmannalaugar

Landmannalaugar in the Fjallabak Nature Reserve, Iceland

Instead of simply watching the scenery in Iceland, your family can experience it by witnessing the impressive and incredible natural wonders that can take you from basalt columns on the coastline to geysers erupting with water that reaches over 50 feet high. You can travel at your own pace around the dramatic landscape to find mountains streaked with pastel colors and thermal pools bubbling with naturally heated water. From caves to cooling lava fields, the landscape of Iceland is active and compelling for you and your family.

Best Scenery to Visit: Landmannalaugar | Jökuldalur Valley | Strokkur | Eldhraun Lava Field

9. Explore the Landscape on Horseback

Tourist horseback riding in Iceland

Horseback riding in Iceland is a new way to experience the astonishing landscapes. As you wander through the scenic wonders, you can embrace the characteristics of the scenery, intertwined with Norse mythology and Viking sagas. From the basalt beaches to the charm of the countryside, retracing the footsteps of Viking settlers to embracing the dramatic beauty of traditional Icelandic horses, your excursion can take you on a genuine adventure at your pace to make children of all ages feel comfortable, safe, and thrilled for a unique expedition.

Best Places for Horseback Riding: Vatnajökull National Park | Reykjavik | Golden Circle | Landmannalaugar | Skagafjordur | Eyjafjordur

10. Revel in a True Glacier Adventure

Ice cave in Vatnajokull Natitonal Park

Ice cave in Vatnajokull Natitonal Park, Iceland

Glaciers in Iceland are not just frozen rivers, but among the best natural wonders on the island and in the world. The incredible landscapes are visible from space and can mesmerize your kids as you find a new way to explore the icy expanses. Whether on a zodiac boat cruising around icebergs on a glacial lagoon or wandering through the shimmering halls of a glacial cave, trekking the undulating surface of the ice sheet or gliding down the translucent turquoise waters of a glacier river, you can experience endless allure on an unforgettable experience perfect for how your family prefers to explore and discover the landscape.

Best Glaciers to Visit: Jokulsarlon | Skaftafellsjokull | Langjokull | Vatnjakull

Interested in Planning Your Perfect Iceland Family Trip?

Father and son, walking on black sand at Stokksnes beach, enjoying scenery of Vestrahorn mountains in Iceland

Stokksnes, Iceland

The heart of Iceland reveals a spectacular blend of culture and natural wonder that you can discover at your family’s pace during your family-friendly tour. With dramatic waterfalls and captivating glaciers, quiet seaside villages and meandering trails, you can enjoy the diversity of the land, sea, wildlife, and sky. You can discover more inspiration for planning your personalized family trip with Zicasso’s sample Iceland Tours & Vacations. Fill out a Trip Request to speak with an Iceland travel specialist or call our team at 1-888-265-9707 to craft the perfect trip for you.

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