Complete Guide to Taking a Family Iceland Road Trip

Complete Guide to Taking a Family Iceland Road Trip

Iceland is among the most photogenic international locations on the planet. It’s very simple to navigate by way of with a Ring Road that covers all the nation in a loop and alongside all the shoreline. Driving this highway will get you to so many highlights that it’s exhausting to not cease each 5 minutes.

Ring Road makes Iceland an incredible vacation spot for highway journeys, particularly household highway journeys.

Popular household journey vacation spot

Iceland is a highly regarded journey vacation spot for households. And that’s not a marvel. The landscapes are beautiful and treats you to many pure phenomena that can blow your minds. Where else on the planet can you discover glaciers, lively volcanos, geysers, waterfalls and northern lights in a rustic of this dimension?

The nice infrastructure and dimension of Iceland makes it very simple for households to discover in two to 4 weeks. The following household Iceland highway journey itinerary covers all the nation. With this information gives the whole lot you want for the perfect Iceland highway journey with youngsters!

See additionally: Not to Miss Experiences in Iceland

Best time to journey to Iceland as a household

Iceland in the summertime months

July and August are ideally suited if you wish to entry extra distant areas with a 4WD automobile or campervan. It will nonetheless be windy, however not too chilly. And you’ll additionally get some rays of daylight every day.

Because of Iceland’s fickle local weather it’s not unusual that you just’ll expertise all 4 seasons in a single day a number of instances throughout your journey. Be ready for about 20 hours of daylight throughout these summer time months.

Iceland within the winter months

You’ll get the possibility to see the nation’s beautiful landscapes in a magical mild. And participate in winter actions like ice caving and snowmobiling. Partly or utterly frozen waterfalls and extra spectacular glacier lagoons are additionally must-sees in winter. And final however not least, you could have a greater likelihood of seeing the Aurora Borealis, aka Northern Lights.

View of the Snæfellsnes peninsula in Iceland
View of the Snæfellsnes peninsula in Iceland

Road tripping by way of Iceland with younger kids

Iceland is among the most secure international locations on the planet. Icelandic persons are extra reserved and quiet, however they’re very heat in direction of youngsters. My toddler acquired many winks and smiles whereas we had been there.

Speaking of toddlers, I wouldn’t highway journey in a campervan or caravan outdoors of July or August. Even this time of 12 months you need to rent heat bedding or sleeping luggage. And deliver tights, heat garments and thick coats to maintain everybody heat and comfortable. Every different month of the 12 months it simply merely will get too chilly to maintain the youngest ones heat sufficient in a campervan. If you’re climbing with youngsters in a again provider, be sure that it has a raincover you possibly can connect to it. It will maintain the wind out and it retains them dry.

Kids of all ages could have a blast in Iceland, with all that nature has to supply. Iceland is a superb alternative for a highway journey with youngsters!

How to get round Iceland

Being a high journey vacation spot, Iceland is extraordinarily effectively related by air.

Iceland has some nice roads. If you keep on the Ring Road you are able to do this with a 2WD, F-roads are solely (partially) potential with a 4WD. In winter a few of these F-roads are closed, as a result of they’re not protected to drive.

There aren’t any trains in Iceland, however you possibly can discover the nation by bus. Buses are typically on time, clear and comfortable. Just remember that it’s fairly costly to journey by bus, and in winter, service is likely to be restricted as a result of climate.

Epic household highway journey round Iceland

This full household highway journey information of Iceland is predicated round Route 1, aka the Ring Road or Hringvegurinn in Icelandic. Ring Road encircles the island and is roughly 1.333 kilometers lengthy. This itinerary takes you alongside all the Ring Road, but in addition takes you off highway by way of all that Iceland.

The begin of your loved ones highway journey by way of Iceland

The alternative of heading north or south as soon as on the Ring Road is dependent upon the stuff you need to see and do. Things like being on time to identify orca’s or puffins are examples that probably affect your choice with regard to your start line. We went north first and the next itinerary follows that instance.

See additionally: Iceland for Kids: Tips and Activities

3 week household highway journey itinerary Iceland

If you need to see and do all of the highlights Iceland have to supply, you want about three weeks. That offers you time to take a look at this whole itinerary.

See additionally: Iceland 3 Day Itinerary


After you’ve arrived at Keflavik airport decide up your car and head to Reykjavik. The metropolis centre is comparatively small. Everything is inside strolling distance and the issues you need to see and do are:

  • A go to to Hallgrimskirkja
  • Check out architectural gem, Harpa
  • Eat an Icelandic sizzling canine at Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur 
  • Check out memento store Thor, your youngsters will love the massive picket Thor within the store
  • Visit Whales of Iceland
  • Go on a whale watching or puffin tour
  • Get misplaced within the metropolis and take a look at all the lovable coloured homes

To get an incredible sense of the town keep for two to three days earlier than shifting to the subsequent spot.

See additionally: Staying in Downtown Reykjavik, Iceland

Rainbow road up to Hallgrimskirkja in Reykjavik Iceland - the start of an Iceland road trip
Rainbow highway as much as Hallgrimskirkja in Reykjavik Iceland


In the Reykjanes Peninsula make a fast cease at Graenavatn. A small lake with an acceptable identify. Graenavatn interprets to Green Lake. The lake is seafoam inexperienced as a result of quantity of sulphur in it. It’s about 45 meters deep within the centre and that’s the explanation why the colour is greener within the centre of the lake.

Kerid Crater

Shortly after you’ve left route 1 for route 35 you’ve entered the Grímsnes space of South Iceland. Here you’ll discover a formidable crater lake, known as Kerid. Vivid reds and greens (the latter relying on the season in fact) define the crater. Picture excellent azure coloured water fills up a part of the crater. Minerals from the rocks seep into the water, therefore the colour.

Volcanic crater lake Kerid Crater in Iceland
Volcanic crater lake Kerid Crater in Iceland


The first waterfall of many is among the most iconic. If you’ve been researching in your Iceland highway journey you most undoubtedly have seen a number of photos of this spectacular waterfall. There are two cascades that make up Gullfoss. The first drop is about 11 meters and the second is longer, about 21 meters. Gullfoss means Golden Falls, which is the place the Golden Circle acquired its identify from.

Geysir & Strokkur

The subsequent Golden Circle website is among the most well-known of the world. It’s a website that doesn’t disappoint. Geysir doesn’t spout anymore, however its sibling Strokkur does. Every couple of minutes it spouts water about 30 meters into the air. An superior sight to see and listen to!

After trying out Strokkur discover the remainder of this sizzling spring space with boiling mud pits and some smaller geysirs. You can even stroll as much as an incredible viewing level.

Eruption of geysir Strokkur to witness on an Iceland road trip
Eruption of geysir Strokkur in Iceland

Thingvellir NP

Þingvellir National Park is a part of the Golden Circle and one of many three nationwide parks of Iceland. Most individuals decide one factor to see on this park, as a part of their Golden Circle tour. But it deserves an extended go to. This stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site affords a wealth of issues to see and do. Iceland’s largest pure lake may be discovered right here, you possibly can take a dive within the Silfra fissure, spot waterfall Öxarárfoss and comply with a number of the many climbing trails.

But the good factor is that visiting this park offers you the possibility to face on two continents on the identical time. Can you think about standing with one foot in Europe and the opposite in North America? Two tectonic plates, one being the North American plate and the opposite the Eurasian plate, collide on this park.

Gerduberg Cliff

Worthy of a brief go to is the Gerduberg Cliff. The Gerduberg basalt columns that reside on the cliff are completely symmetrical and it’s nearly as in the event that they had been minimize by hand. You can view them from under and stroll as much as them and be granted with a improbable view throughout you. The cliff is over a kilometer lengthy and can absolutely impress you.

Seals of Ytri Tunga

About a 30 minute drive from the cliff, you’ll discover a personal seaside known as Ytri Tunga. The proprietor permits everybody to enter his land to take a look at the wonderful wildlife there: seals.

You can discover them chilling on the rocks subsequent to the water they usually’re unimpressed by people. Some individuals got here manner too shut, so please maintain a good distance from these wild animals and don’t disturb them.

Spotting seals in Ytri Tunga in the Snæfellsnes peninsula in Iceland
Spotting seals in Ytri Tunga within the Snæfellsnes peninsula in Iceland

Budir Black Church

As we’re making our manner as much as the Westfjords we nonetheless have some sights to see within the beautiful Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Like Búðakirkja, aka Budir Black Church. One of three black church buildings in Iceland. It’s not simply the image excellent black church, but in addition the environment that makes this website a must-see.

Black church at Budir in the Snæfellsnes peninsula in Iceland
Black church at Budir within the Snæfellsnes peninsula in Iceland

Lóndrangar Beach

Lóndrangar are a group of basalt volcanic dykes protruding from the ocean. They are the remainders of a crater, which has been eroded to its present kind by the ocean. Many consult with Lóndrangar as a fort constructed on a cliff reaching out at sea.

Walk as much as a viewpoint the place you get rewarded with wonderful views throughout, numerous seagulls resting on the perimeters of the cliffs and if you happen to’re fortunate with a couple of puffins.

Viewpoint at Lóndrangar Beach in Iceland
Viewpoint at Lóndrangar Beach in Iceland

You can get just a little nearer to Lóndrangar. Just comply with the path on the best facet of the parking zone and this climbing path will lead you nearly unto the seaside. They appear to open and shut the seaside now and again. When you go to this seaside make sure to examine if it’s open or not.

By the way in which, because the saga goes, this land belongs to elves. They prefer it quiet, so be sure you don’t disturb them when you’re right here. This story will certainly be a success with the youngsters. They’ll search for them in each nook and cranny.

Saxhóll Crater

A 15 minute drive from Lóndrangar you’ll discover Saxhóll Crater. Although this crater isn’t full of azure blue water like Kerid, it’s nonetheless cool to face on high of it. Just take into consideration the truth that it as soon as shot boiling sizzling magma from the earth, sculpting the panorama throughout you.

From the highest of the crater you get nice views over the Atlantic Ocean and the dried lava fields of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.


The cute fishing city of Ólafsvik solely has 1000 inhabitants. It is a superb village to remain in if you wish to discover the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Enjoy your time birdwatching, climbing and exploring the seashores.

Ólafsvik can be an incredible city to e book a whale watching tour. And from February to early July you possibly can even spot orca’s whereas out at sea. This is the perfect space in Iceland for an encounter with killer whales.


Kirkjufell is among the highlights of Iceland. You can discover Kirkjufell on the north shore of Iceland’s Snæfellsnes Peninsula, close to the city of Grundarfjörður

With its pointy peak this spectacular mountain is available in sight a couple of minutes earlier than you park your automobile on the small parking zone proper subsequent to route 54. You can hike round it and climb it in 1,5 hours, however it’s fairly a steep climb, not advisable with younger youngsters who aren’t regular or considerably skilled walkers but.

Across the highway from Church Mountain (that means of the phrase Kirkjufell) you’ll discover a small but beautiful waterfall, named Kirkjufellsfoss. Don’t simply take a look at the waterfall, however stroll round it and proper there you possibly can shoot the proper image of Kirkjufell Mountain with Kirkjufellsfoss proper in entrance of it.

If you or your teenagers are followers of Game Of Thrones then Kirkjufell Mountain might be in your bucket record. This mountain is the backdrop of many scenes within the present.

Kirkjufell mountain in Iceland
Kirkjufell mountain in Iceland


Like Olafsvik, Hólmavik is a cute little fishing city. And it’s a excellent spot to start out a whale watching tour from. It’s extra quiet than Reykjavik, Akureyri and Olafsvik. This isn’t as a result of you could have decrease probabilities of recognizing whales. There merely isn’t a lot else to do on this fishing city in addition to consuming scrumptious seafood and whale watching. And that’s purpose sufficient to cease right here for a day.


In Húnaflói Bay a 15 meter tall basalt rock stack protrudes from the water. A wondrous factor. Icelandic individuals name it the troll of Northwest Iceland, however my household and I consider it appears extra like a dragon consuming from the water. Others consider it appears like an elephant or a rhino.

Don’t simply go proper by it on the seaside, however be sure that to stroll the 400 meter viewpoint path and also you get to see it like in our pic under.

The drinking dragon in Hvitserkur in Iceland
The consuming dragon in Hvitserkur in Iceland


Time for an additional metropolis journey. The capital of the north: Akureyri. Located about 100 kilometers from the Arctic Circle, it’s an essential fishing centre and port and has heaps to supply to vacationers. Don’t be stunned to search out cruiseships in its harbor. Akureyri is certainly value visiting, and increasingly more persons are conscious of that.

You don’t want greater than a day right here, be sure that to go to Akureyri’s Botanical Garden, for a pleasant stroll with the youngsters. You will spot numerous arctic crops right here, due to its close to neighborhood to the Arctic Circle. And after that stroll it’s time for some ice cream. Get it from Brynjuís, recognized in Iceland because the place that sells the perfect mushy serve ice cream within the nation.

See additionally: Not to Miss Cities of Iceland

Strolling through Akureyri in Iceland
Strolling by way of Akureyri in Iceland


Lake Mývatn and its environment is an space so stunning, that it’s best to keep right here for a couple of days. This space is a part of the northeastern reply to western Golden Circle: the Diamond Circle. Mývatn means mosquito lake and that looks like an acceptable identify. Iceland doesn’t have mosquitos, nevertheless it has midges, which is fairly related. And you’ll find loads of them round right here. But don’t let the midges cease you from visiting the lake. Its geology is insanely stunning as a result of it sits about an extremely lively geothermal space. On the lake you’ll spot a number of tiny islands, which might be known as pseudocraters, however are in reality basalt columns.

Besides climbing across the lake, you are able to do numerous different child pleasant hikes right here or journey to the Víti volcano. But absolutely the high factor to do in Mývatn is a go to to its nature baths! A household exercise that everybody will most undoubtedly take pleasure in. Forget concerning the extraordinarily busy Blue Lagoon (e book your tickets on-line first). Here you will see true serenity and rest as a household. Enjoy a drink within the water and the gorgeous environment.

Swimming at Myvatn nature baths in Iceland
Swimming at Myvatn nature baths in Iceland

Dettifoss & Selfoss

Dettifoss is named one among Europe’s strongest waterfalls. A real spotlight of the Diamond Circle route. When you get shut sufficient, you’ll really feel the bottom shaking underneath your ft. And it’s loud! Impressive on all accounts.

Upriver you’ll discover smaller, however wider and no much less stunning, Selfoss.

To get to each viewpoints takes just a little hike, however a lovely one.

Standing next to Selfoss waterfall in Iceland on a road trip
Standing subsequent to Selfoss waterfall in Iceland

Arctic Henge

The Arctic Henge may be present in Raufarhöfn. It’s positioned on the Melrakkaslétta Peninsula, the northernmost village on the Icelandic mainland. Only the island of Grímsey, lies additional north.

Like Stonehenge, the Arctic Henge is sort of a large sundial. The stone arches on website are organized to seize the sunshine of the Midnight Sun because it strikes throughout the sky in summer time. To identify an instance, on June twenty first it aligns completely with the south arch.

Studlagil Canyon

Stuðlagil Canyon was created when river Jökla pressured its manner from the highlands to the North of the island. You can discover it in Eastern Iceland in a glacier valley known as Jökuldalur. Standing in and across the valley you possibly can spot excessive and really spectacular basalt columns. You can take a number of hikes across the canyon and thru it.

Our teen mentioned that strolling by way of it made him half count on to see magical creatures like dragons or unicorns. We agreed, it’s sort of otherworldly and definitely a magical place that takes your breath away!

Studlagil Canyon in Jökla in Iceland
Studlagil Canyon in Jökla in Iceland


Egilsstaðir is a superb place to remain to find the realm round this village. There’s not a lot to do within the city itself, in addition to buying, having a meal at one of many eating places and going to the guests centre.

Egilsstaðir is the perfect city in Eastern Iceland to function a base to go to the Vök Natural Baths, climbing in Hallormsstaðaskógur forest and looking for Lagarfljót Wyrm at Lagarfjlót lake.

Who’s Lagarfljót Wyrm? The extra vicious sibling of the Loch Ness monster, a venom spouting worm!

See additionally: Traditional Foods in Iceland


Near Lagarfjlót you will see a really particular waterfall, that deserves a separate spot on this final highway journey information of Iceland. And that’s Hengifoss. Park the automobile and hike your manner as much as Hengifoss in about an hour. It’s a lovely scenic hike up and also you shouldn’t neglect to look again behind you, as a result of strolling up means you get an incredible view of your environment, as an example of Lagarfjlót lake.

On your manner up you’ll first see a mini model of Hengifoss, fittingly named Litlanesfoss.

Hengifoss is surrounded by layers of basaltic strata with skinny layers of purple clay in between. It appears like a chocolate cake full of jelly and it’s a lovely sight. We walked round and sat down for a bit. Surrounded by sheep simply navigating their manner by way of rocks and pebbles and unphased by our presence.

The water coming down from each Hengifoss and Litlanesfoss results in lake Lagarfjlót.

Hengifoss waterfall in Vatnajokull NP in Iceland
Hengifoss waterfall in Vatnajokull NP in Iceland


Seyðisfjörður is your final cease in East Iceland and is a small and cute village. It’s recognized for its rainbow highway main as much as a church. Loads of the 700 residents of this city and a lot of the native companies pitched in to paint the bricks and present their help to the LGBTQ group. On either side of this road you’ll discover native retailers and eating places. Very photogenic and cute!

Rainbow street in Seyðisfjörður in Iceland
Rainbow road in Seyðisfjörður in Iceland

Diamond Beach

The subsequent two locations on this full household highway journey information of Iceland are positioned proper subsequent to one another. First is Diamond Beach, a strip of volcanic black sand full of giant chunks of ice from the icebergs. A magical factor to see for the entire household.

I like to recommend visiting Diamond Beach early within the morning. If you need to take photos with out giant crowds of individuals taking selfies with it and also you need your youngsters to have room to mess around a bit, you need to be there round 8am or 9am. It will probably be value it!

Diamond Beach located by Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon in Iceland
Diamond Beach positioned by Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon in Iceland

Jokulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

On the opposite facet of the bridge you’ll discover Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. Both Jökulsárlón and Diamond seaside are a part of the Breiðamerkursandur glacial plain. Where else in Europe do you get the possibility to hang around at and on a glacier lake full of completely different sizes of icebergs?

I extremely suggest reserving a visit on an amphibian boat tour and discover the lagoon. They provide life vests for all their company and there’s no age restrict, so it’s also possible to deliver your child or toddler alongside, they’ve life vests on provide in all sizes.

Don’t neglect to seek for seals. You’ll see them chilling on the ice and attempting to find fish within the water.

Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon in Iceland
Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon in Iceland


Skaftafell is the place to be for hikers. Short and simple trails lead you to websites like waterfall Svartifoss or Skaftafellsjökull. There’s additionally a big campsite right here the place I counsel you to remain (pre-booking suggested through the excessive season). They provide all of the facilities you want, there’s a restaurant on website and there’s additionally a customer centre the place you’ll find climbing maps, purchase souvenirs or e book a tour to go on a glacier hike.

See additionally: Tips For Camping In Iceland


The basalt rock columns you can see at Reynisfjara seaside are the identical kind as at Stuðlagil Canyon. But in a a lot completely different setting. Located at a seaside with stunning black sand, you’ll discover these basalt columns perched towards the rock wall. But that’s not all. When you look out at sea, you’ll see basalt pillars in numerous styles and sizes popping out the water wanting like a bunch of spectacular giants.

Black sand beach and basalt columns in Reynisfjara in Iceland
Black sand seaside and basalt columns in Reynisfjara in Iceland

Sólheimasandur Plane Wreck

In the start of the 70s, an American airplane crashed at a black seaside in Sólheimasandur. They by no means eliminated it and what’s left of the airplane grew to become an actual vacationer attraction. It takes two hours to hike up there, in order that is likely to be a problem for smaller kids. But it’s a straightforward hike and a lovely scenic one.

There’s no signal to point out you the way in which. Just seek for Sólheimasandur parking zone in Google Maps, park your automobile there and begin your hike.

A hike as much as the airplane wreck in Sólheimasandur is just not potential throughout winter time. You received’t have the ability to drive as much as the parking zone. Which is your start line of the hike.


You’re nearly on the finish of your loved ones highway journey by way of Iceland. Luckily you continue to get to admire some final gems, whereas slowly heading again to the airport. Starting with two of probably the most well-known waterfalls of Iceland. The first being Skogafoss.

As quickly as you park the automobile, you get a primary glimpse of Skogafoss. A small strip of black sand seaside leads as much as this excessive waterfall. Truly spectacular. On the best of the waterfall there’s a steep picket staircase that offers you the chance to stroll all the way in which as much as the highest of the waterfall. Offering nice views in fact!

Skogafoss waterfall in South Iceland
Skogafoss waterfall in South Iceland


Last waterfall, however actually not the least is Seljalandsfoss, one of the crucial well-known waterfalls. And not with out purpose. You can stroll behind it! A cavern behind it offers you the possibility to stroll across the complete waterfall.

Top tip: go to early within the morning, in any other case you’ll be strolling there with lots of of different vacationers on a day tour from Reykjavik.

The path behind the autumn is muddy and the rocks slippery. I wouldn’t advise to let an unsteady toddler stroll by itself. At the tip you need to climb just a little bit over slippery rocks. Which brings me to my second tip: put on a raincoat or a poncho, you’ll get soaking moist!

Walking behind Seljalandsfoss in South Iceland
Walking behind Seljalandsfoss in South Iceland


This one’s for the youngsters. End your highway journey at Valhalla Restaurant and Saga Center. Kids can study concerning the historical past of vikings, and sagas just like the tales about valhalla. End your go to with lunch or dinner within the restaurant. You’ll be consuming nice burgers and fries in viking fashion!

That’s it! After visiting Hvolsvöllur you both finish your journey in Reykjavik (a 1,5 hour drive) or drop off your car in Keflavik (a 2 hour drive) and fly again house.

I hope this whole household highway journey information of Iceland helps you along with your itinerary.

Iceland affords heaps to see and do for adults and children. You’ve seen towering waterfalls, swam in geothermal baths, visited black sand seashores and your youngsters looked for fairytale creatures. The land of ice and fireplace is a superb and simple vacation spot for a household highway journey!

Are you in want of extra household journey guides of Iceland? Like guides to the Diamond and Golden Circle or a metropolis information of Reykjavik. Then go to Sas Crossing Countries and take a look at all her Iceland household journey articles.

  • Sas Crossing Countries

    Sas Crossing Countries

    Blogger Saskia principally travels along with her household. They desire to go on highway journeys that can take them to each nook of a rustic. Saskia’s love for journey, images, journey planning and writing led to the start of household journey weblog Sas Crossing Countries.


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