Traveling in Iceland with kids

What does Responsible Travel recommend?

Iceland doesn't offer many activities especially aimed at youngsters – but its magical appeal is so evident it doesn't have to. The landscape is like a fantasy game rendered real in rock, fire and ice – so just put your kids in the middle of it on hikes, horseback or super-Jeep jaunts, learning how the planet makes and breaks itself along the way. Water-lovers can soak in natural geothermal pools, while adrenaline-junkies can learn to surf the world's coolest (literally) breaks. Young 'uns will love riding gentle Icelandic horses as small as the landscape is big. Then give their imaginations a workout with epic – and often bloodthirsty – sagas lived out here when Vikings held sway.

Activities for families in Iceland

What to do with little ones

Pint sized horses
Imported by Vikings over 1,000 years ago, Iceland's unique pure-bred horses are small, calm and have a unique smooth gait (called tolt) – perfect for kids. Top riding areas include the wild Snaefellsnes, Hella flatlands and Skagafjordur, with options ranging from one-hour trots to multi-day treks.
Living science
Iceland is a living lab. Continental drift becomes clear when you can watch America and Europe pull apart. Geothermal pools provide lessons in energy creation and use, as well as blissful baths. Calving icebergs and melting glaciers teach global warming better than any book, while volcanoes reveal how a planet's very stones evolve.
Ancient soap opera
Iceland's historic sagas have been called the world's first novels – with thrills and emotion to entrance any adventure/soap-loving kids. Written down in the 12th and 13th centuries, these timeless yarns deal in bitter disputes, doomed romance and big characters – while offering hard-earned tips for coping with woes! Museums offer fantastic mementoes, from longships to beautiful ancient manuscripts.

Traveling in Iceland with kids asks the experts

Emmanuelle Bluman from our Iceland-based supplier Alkemia reveals why Iceland for kids works so well:

“Iceland is a really good destination for families with children from seven up. It's a good place to enjoy nature, safe, and full of beautiful landscape. They can also see so many nice animals! Whales, reindeers, puffins.”

Laura Greenman from our supplier Magnetic North reveals a few reasons why she is a fan of Iceland family vacations:
“Iceland offers families with older kids and teenagers a great deal. Accessible outdoor adventures provide life-long memories. Horse-riding, hiking, boat tours, bird-watching and whale-watching are excursions for families. They also enjoy the hot springs, whatever the weather and time of year.”
David Philips of our supplier Astronomy Tours shares some suggestions for families heading north:
“Iceland is a very family friendly nation. Children love activities such as riding the diminutive Icelandic horses, super jeep rides, cross-country skiing and whale watching. And like adults, they can be enthralled by the landscape which is an open-air geography lesson.”
Photo credits: [Family silhouette: Vincent] [Pint sized horses: messicanbeer] [Living science: clement127] [Ancient soap opera: sunchild123] [David Phillips - Horse riding: Jaro Larnos] [Emanuelle Bluman: Tristan Ferne]
Written by Norman Miller
Iceland family vacation

Iceland family vacation

Refreshing summer vacation to explore Iceland's rugged beauty

From US $2565 7 Days ex flights
Photo credits: [Page banner: Moyan Brenn]
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