Summer Iceland Family Adventure
This trip is a great one week family adventure, a refreshing summer holiday to explore Iceland's rugged natural beauty. From giant glaciers to steaming geysers, this truly is a land like no other - a Land of Fire and Ice. Visit the famed Eyjafjallajökull volcano, take to the water on a rafting adventure down the Hvita River, walk on the craggy south shore, laze in restorative thermal waters, hike around a live volcano and go caving to see magical underground rock formations. This island is a living Geography lesson which offers plenty of activity and adventure for your family to enjoy.
Trip note Information:
These trip notes are ‘Land Only’ which means they provide detail from the arrival/start point in your holiday destination and do not include your flying days. The dates and prices section displays the correct flight inclusive and land only start dates.
Hallo! Welcome to Iceland. The world's northernmost capital of Reykjavik lies just below the Arctic Circle. The city sees around four hours of sunlight a day in winter, and a sunglass-required 22 hours or more in summer! An arrival transfer is included in your cost for those who travel on our group flights. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at the welcome meeting which will take placec about 6 pm, so please have these on hand. If you arrive early then maybe explore Viking history over at the National Museum, or join locals who gossip and chatter in the Laugardalslaug Geothermal Pool.
Hotel Klettur - Breakfast included
Hvolsvollur and River Rafting
Following the route of the 'Golden Circle' we head out to Þingvellir National Park, home to the Parliament Plains. Þingvellir was the location of Iceland's first parliament, founded in 930, and is also the home to a fascinating geological formation. This is where the tectonic plates of North America and Eurasia have pulled apart and have filled with fresh water. From there, drive to the Geyser geothermal area to see the spectacular show of a hot spring that shoots water 20-30 metres in the air. Continue on to the amazing beauty and power of Gullfoss, the double Golden Waterfall, where on a sunny day you can see a rainbow in the spray above the waterfall. The geyser is so Icelandic that the ancient local word ‘geysa’ (meaning to gush) is now the name given to a high-pressure eruption of water from the land the world over. In the afternoon, head to the Hvita River for a rafting tour, which has a perfectly balanced mix of serene canyons, enjoyable waves, and rapids. You’ll then reach your accommodation in the Hvolsvollur area.
Notes: The minimum age for rafting is 10 years old. Total driving distance approximately 100 kilometres.
Hotel Fljotshlid - Breakfast included
Start the day with a visit to the Eyjafjallajokull Volcano Visitors Centre, where you’ll learn more about the volcano that famously erupted in 2010, stopping flights all over Europe with its ash cloud. Here you can see a personal and emotive film that follows one family and their struggle to live with the lava during and after the dramatic explosion. Next, drive through the lava of the 1972 Laki eruption and black sand beaches towards Skaftafell National Park, a rugged landscape of glaciers and mountains. There are no roads in the park, but a series of hiking trails allow exploration of the area. You are following in the footsteps of James Bond in ‘Die another Day’, Lara Croft in ‘Tomb Raider’, and Bruce Wayne in ‘Batman Begins’ – all movies that were filmed in this region. From there, drive to the Glacier Lagoon (Jokulsarlon) for a boat tour between the icebergs. Moving between the huge natural ice sculptures as they float past you on their way out to sea is pretty magical. Watch out for wildlife such as seals, eider ducks and maybe even a jumping salmon. From here, it’s not far to your guesthouse, which has volcanic cliffs on one side and the sea on the other.
Notes: Total driving distance approximately 270 kilometres.
Gerdi Guesthouse - Breakfast included
Vatnajokull - Glacier walk
Today, after breakfast drive back through the beautiful scenery of Iceland's South Shore towards the oasis at Skaftafell National Park, close to Vatnajökulll, Europe's biggest glacier. The national park is home to some of Iceland’s best scenery: breath-taking landscapes of towering mountains, beautiful glaciers, and a vast variety of plants and wild life. In the park lies half of the largest ice cap in Europe – Vatnajökull – and it is surrounded by glaciers on three sides. The views here are astonishing and vast, with the park making up 13% of Iceland. From far away it looks pristine and smooth, but up-close you’ll discover a world of deep crevasses up to 10 stories deep, along with glacial ice sculptures and wonderful shades of blue. On a 2-hour walk across the glacier’s ice-strewn expanse, you’ll get a true sense of its scale. This is a truly exciting and unique experience, and it’s sad to think that the glacier is shrinking due to rising world temperatures, and in some years it may be gone. Drink in the incredible views before today's journey ends in the seaside township of Vík, Iceland's most southerly village, located on a black sand beach, and where you'll spend the night.
Notes: Total driving distance approximately 200 kilometres.
Hotel Edda - Breakfast included
Head back towards Reykjavik, but before you get there you’ll first go on a ‘Hot Spring hunt’. Head towards the small town of Hveragerði, where you’ll begin a hike with a difference. Walk through the phenomenal Smokey Valley – or Reykjadalur – and find endless places to bathe in naturally heated water. In summer there’s an explosion of green in the area, and you’ll walk through grass and aromatic flowers for a total of around 2 hours, dipping into crystal clear water from the hot springs which, when mixed with that from the mountain springs, is the ideal temperature for bathing. The valley has an amazing abundance of geothermal phenomena, like mud pots, fumaroles and hot springs. You’ll then continue your exploration of Iceland’s amazing natural creations with a trip underground. There are cave systems throughout the country, underground tubes formed by magma making its way through the earth thousands of years ago. Exploring the caves, you’ll see an endless variety of colours and magical rock formations, and discover more about how Iceland was created. Return to Reykjavik for the night.
Notes: Total driving distance approximately 180 kilometres.
Hotel Klettur - Breakfast included
Today is free for you to explore by yourself, or to join one of the numerous optional activities on offer. Iceland's capital has an eclectic arts and music scene, loads of quirky cafes and a great laid-back vibe. Perhaps browse some of the city's great art galleries. If you feel like something more active, you can take a ride on an Icelandic horse, see killer whales just off-shore on a whale watching expedition, or pull on a dry suit to snorkel between two tectonic plates in the Silfra Fissure, a unique experience that you can't find anywhere else in the world. If you can’t get enough of the nearby waterfalls and geysers then maybe take another trip out to get your fix, walk along another glacier or head to an ice cave, jump in a special jeep to navigate the steepest and rockiest of terrains, or get up close and personal with a volcano. There are so many options to get as active, or be as relaxed, as you like.
Hotel Klettur - Breakfast included
Reykjavik and the Blue Lagoon
This morning you will visit one of the most famous and instantly recognisable thermal springs in the world – the Blue Lagoon. The world-renowned Blue Lagoon is filled with pleasantly warm mineral-rich geothermal water in the middle of a black lava field. The high natural levels of silica, algae and minerals give the Lagoon its rich blue colour. The silica and minerals are also given recognition for the healing powers of the Lagoon, which help cure skin diseases such as psoriasis. The modern facilities have been developed into a wellness complex including saunas, a warm flowing waterfall, and in-water treatments and massages using the all-natural Blue Lagoon skin care products. A visit here will easily soak away life’s daily stresses and you will most likely come out feeling renewed and invigorated. Temperatures in the swimming area can reach as high as 40 degrees, so if you do decide that you want to take a dip, make sure you are prepared for the heat! After the dip, you’ll head to the airport, where the trip finishes.
Blue Lagoon, Waterfalls & Volcanoes
You arrive into Iceland's capital Reykjavik, where you will admire its rugged surroudings. Visit the Blue Lagoon, where you can bask in the warm blue waters, a great way to unwind at the start of your holiday. South of Reykjavik, the landscape changes, volcanoes and steep cliffs dot the landscape, including the now famous Eyjafjallajökull. Discover spectacular waterfalls and explore rocky headlands.
Nature in Action
You take a boat trip on the Glacial Lagoon of Jokulsarlon and witness close up the huge icebergs that have broken off the glaciers drift by you as they float out to sea, it's a breathtaking sight. Iceland is famous for it's spurting geysers which burst out of the ground with great force in a display of natural theatrics, you will witness the spectacle for yourself and once you see it happen you won't be able to wait to watch for the next time! Going underground you see the effects of volcanic erruptions over the years in caves of magical rock formations.
The Hvítá river is a beautiful and fun river located a little more than an hour´s drive from Reykjavík. With a perfectly balanced mix of serene canyons and adrenaline pumping waves and rapids, rafting the Hvítá (pronounced: Kveetau) is guaranteed to leave you with fond memories
Our Summer Iceland Family trip is just one of our many Europe Family tours. To find out more visit our Europe holidays page.