Put simply, Iceland is a geological playground for both children and adults. And, from Vikings and waterfalls to geysers and geothermal pools, this curated itinerary is the perfect introduction. It all centres on a luxury apartment stay, where views of the country’s wild remotes are taken in from your private hot tub and barbecue terrace. From here, you’ll venture out in your 4WD, with short drives bringing you between Reykjavik’s heritage, the Golden Circle’s famous sights and the south coast’s hidden gems. While there’s the option of having a driver, there’s also plenty of room for adventure, whether you fancy snowmobiling or glacier walks.
Day 1: UK/southwest Iceland
Flying out to Reykjavik’s Keflavík Airport, you’ll pick up your hire car on arrival. You’ll be driving a Dacia Duster 4WD or similar – perfectly sized for your family and, with 4WD, ideal for anything Iceland throws at you. Depending on your flight timing, you might want to pause at the Blue Lagoon for a splash in its eerily blue waters. Geothermally heated, they’re surrounded by volcanic rock and enveloping mists. Then, continue on to your handpicked accommodation’s prime riverside setting, just a short distance from southwest Iceland’s storied highlights. You’ll be staying in a two-bedroom apartment, perhaps settling in on the terrace with your barbecue and private hot tub.
Day 2: The Golden Circle
After your first superb buffet breakfast of cheeses and freshly baked pastries, we recommend getting acquainted with the Golden Circle’s geological wonders. Your hotel is right in the centre of this famous route. Children can’t fail to be wowed by the geyser eruptions of Strokkur, the mighty waterfall torrents of Gullfoss or the rift-valley beauty of Thingvellir National Park – the thousand-year-old home of the world’s first parliament. We’ll also be able to point you towards some of the region’s lesser-known gems, including a pair of great alternatives to the ever-popular Blue Lagoon, offering quieter hot-spring soaks. Lastly, there are the pristine waters of 3,000-year-old Kerid Crater Lake, just minutes from your hotel.
Day 3: Reykjavik
Today, we recommend heading out to explore the Icelandic capital. After a short drive, you’ll quickly find yourself among its pretty old town – a delight of multicoloured houses. Then, after a visit to the dramatically modernist Hallgrímskirkja church and its city-wide views, you might want to treat your little ones to some Icelandic ice cream or fish and chips by the harbour. It’s the perfect preamble for a cruise, with a spread of options bringing out to spot mighty whales or cutesy puffins. Back on dry land, you’ll also have an excellent choice of museums, with exhibitions on everything from Viking saga to the local wildlife.
Day 4: The south coast
Head off the beaten track today with a drive out to Iceland’s south coast. A visit to Seljalandsfoss is a special highlight, where you can walk right behind its crashing waterfall before climbing up to its summit. Then, after some education at the Lava Volcano & Earthquake Centre, you might want to pause at the rebuilt turf farmhouses and Viking artefacts at Skógar. Otherwise, get active with a walk to the summertime puffins at Dyrholaey Lighthouse, the dramatic lava stacks at Reynisdrangar or the plane-crash site on Solheimasandur’s black-sand beach. Lastly, for something more adventurous, there’s everything from ice-cave and glacier walks to snowmobiling expeditions, helicopter trips, horse rides and Superjeep off-road adventures.
Day 5: Depart for UK
With so much on offer, you might want to consider extending your stay. Otherwise, after a final chance for a dip in the Blue Lagoon, drop your car back off at the airport for your flight home.
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
** If you see this next to a price, a specific price in your currency has not been provided, this is an estimated-only price based on a currency conversion, the price you pay may be different to that shown
Sign up to our weekly Trip Finder email and get a selection of the best trips to feed your Wanderlust