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Elves to Icebergs - Family Circle Tour

(14 days / 13 nights)

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Folklore and fun all over Iceland!

This is the summer vacation your kids will be talking about for years! This classic road trip around Iceland’s Ring Road offers such memories as gushing geysers, volcanic craters, icebergs, stories of mythical beings and wildlife like puffins and whales. With the flexible itinerary, private airport transfers and kid-friendly activities included, your family can simply relax and take in the sights at an easy pace.

Type

Self-Drive

Interest

Family, Slow Paced, Soft Activities

Season

1 May - 30 Sep

Departure

Daily

Driving distance

2031/1259 km/mi

Price p. p. from

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Itinerary

A day-by-day plan to guide your journey.

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  • Day 1: Start of the Icelandic Adventure

    On arrival to Keflavik Airport, you will be greeted by a driver who will take you  and your family to your accommodation in the capital city. After settling in, use the rest of the day to explore Reykjavik at your leisure. In the colourful, compact downtown you‘ll find a variety of little shops, cafes and museums to entertain visitors of all ages, most of which are within easy walking distance of each other.

    The city centre also has plenty of restaurants with menus to suit all tastes, from pizza, pasta and burgers to seafood, steaks and international dishes.

    Spend the night in Reykjavik.

    Highlights Optional Activity
  • Day 2: The Golden Circle & Farm Animals

    Collect your rental car in the morning and start your journey on the Golden Circle, a popular tourist route that is home to many of the area’s top attractions. The first stop is Þingvellir National Park, where you can walk in the rift valley between the North American and Eurasion tectonic plates! Here you can also learn about the establishment of the world’s first parliament over 1,000 years ago.

    Other attractions along the route are the Gullfoss waterfall, the Kerið volcanic implosion crater and the Geysir hot springs area in the Haukadalur valley. At Geysir, we recommend a visit to the multimedia show for an amazing virtual experience of an ice cave and the northern lights. Further along, you can also visit the Slakki family petting zoo at Laugarás, where the kids can make friends with some friendly Icelandic farm animals (open during summer).

    Spend the next two nights in the Selfoss area.

    Driving distance approx 250 km / 150 mi. 

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  • Day 3:  Elves, Trolls & Seaside Villages

    Take it easy today and just enjoy the natural tranquillity that South Iceland has to offer. Why not explore one of the interesting hiking trails nearby or do as the early Viking settlers and go on a horse ride?

    Or, if your family is up for a drive today, we suggest a trip to the charming seaside villages of Eyrarbakki and Stokkseyri. There you can see well-preserved houses from the early 1900s and visit the Ghost Centre to learn more about Icelandic trolls, elves and the northern lights. And don‘t miss out on the delicious lobster soup, fresh lobster tails and lovely ocean views from the local seafood restaurant (non-seafood menu items also available).

    Return to your accommodation in the Selfoss area for the evening.

    Driving distance approx. 118 km / 74 mi. 

    Highlights
  • Day 4:  Waterfalls & Wildlife

    Your drive along the south coast today includes many magical sights, starting with the enchanting Seljalandsfoss waterfall. Here we recommend following the short path behind the cascade—you might wonder if you’ll find a pot of gold! Next up is the equally impressive Skógarfoss waterfall and the nearby Skógar Folk Museum, where you can explore the old turf farm outside or go inside to see relics from the bygone farming and fishing days.

    Further down the road, take a break at the black sand beach south of Vík, where the Dyrhólaey and Reynisdrangar sea stacks make a gorgeous backdrop for a family photo. The last stop today is at the deep, twisting Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon. For extra adventure, you also have a chance to join an exciting guided excursion by foot or snowmobile on a glacier! (Optional, minimum age requirements apply).

    Spend the night in the Kirkjubæjarklaustur/Skaftafell area.

    Driving distance approx. 220 km / 137 mi.  

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  • Day 5:  Vatnajökull National Park & Puffins

    Use the morning to enjoy Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park—a place of great beauty with many interesting hiking trails, including an easy 4 km round-trip path to the beautiful Svartifoss (“black falls”) waterfall. This area is also bursting with more adventurous pursuits, such as guided glacier-walking or ice-climbing excursions (Optional, minimum age requirements apply).

    At noon, you and the kids will have a unique Icelandic countryside experience—a tractor-drawn hay cart tour from the farm at Hofsnes to a puffin colony at Cape Ingólfshöfði (when in season).

    Spend the next two nights in the Vatnajökull area.

    Driving distance approx. 173 km / 108 mi. 

    Highlights Highlights Highlights
  • Day 6:  Floating Icebergs & Lobsters

    Today you’ll see what puts the ice in Iceland at the famous Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, where you will take a guided boat ride among the maze of floating icebergs. From there, head to Höfn for a taste of the lobster that this small village is known for. If you want to continue with the ‘ice’ theme, we suggest a visit to the village’s Glacier Exhibition, where you can brush up on your glaciology facts and get a great view of the Vatnajökull glacier and its surroundings from the rooftop platform.

    Return to your accommodation in the Vatnajökull area for the evening.

    Driving distance approx. 135 km / 84 mi. 

    Highlights Highlights
  • Day 7: The Enchanting East Fjords

    Make your way along the scenic twisting roads of the eastern fjords towards Egilsstaðir. Each fjord has its own unique character, and on your way you will come across many small fishing villages with friendly people and interesting sights like Mt. Búlandstindur, Petra's Mineral Collection and the Lagarfljót River—said to be inhabited by a monster worm. Near Egilsstaðir, you can also see Iceland’s largest forest at Hallormsstaðaskógur and end the day by relaxing at the local swimming pool.

    Spend the night in the Egilsstaðir/Seyðisfjörður area.

    Driving distance approx. 186 km / 116 mi.

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  • Day 8:  Moon-like Mývatn & the Nature Baths

    Your destination today is Lake Mývatn, an area well known for its lunar landscapes and unique eco-system, including a thriving birdlife. Here you’ll find an easy walking path in the lava labyrinth of Dimmuborgir, which according to legend is the home of trolls, elves and other mystical beings. Other recommended highlights in the area include the Krafla volcano, the curiously-coloured Námskarð pass, the massive crater of Hverfell and the moon-like pseudo craters at Skútustaðir.

    End the day at the Mývatn Nature Baths with a refreshing soak in the warm geothermal waters.

    Spend the next two nights in the Lake Mývatn/Húsavík area.

    Driving distance approx. 175 km / 109 mi.   

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  • Day 9:  Whale Watching & Geological Wonders

    Start the day with a whale watching cruise from the village of Húsavík, nicknamed the “Whale Watching Capital of Europe”. Sailing in the beautiful Skjálfandi Bay, you have a chance of spotting species like Humpback and Minke as well as dolphins and (in season) nesting puffins.

    Then continue to Jökulsárgljúfur in Vatnajökull National Park, where you can see incredible landscapes shaped by the power of water, fire and ice, like the horseshoe-shaped Ásbyrgi canyon, the Hljóðaklettar “echo rocks” and the most powerful waterfall in Europe, Dettifoss.

    Return to your accommodation in the Lake Mývatn/Húsavík area for the evening.

    Driving distance approx. 222 km / 138 mi.  

     

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  • Day 10:  Akureyri & Christmas House

    Your journey today brings you to Iceland’s second largest town, Akureyri, considered the “Capital of North Iceland“. Here you can enjoy the little shops and cafes in the downtown, as well as the well-preserved old houses, museums and the beautiful botanical garden. You can also go for a swim in the town geothermal pool, one of the best in Iceland, or check out the small Kjarnaskógur forest nearby.

    For more rural exploration, we suggest an optional drive to Eyjafjörður, where you can visit Jólahúsið (Christmas House) and learn about Icelandic Yuletide traditions, like the 13 mischievous “Yule Lads”. Of course, there is Santa Claus too! Nearby you can indulge in some tasty homemade ice cream from the Holtsel farm and visit the Kaffi Kú Café where the kids can watch farmers milk the cows.

    Spend the night in the Akureyri area.

    Driving distance approx. 90 km / 56 mi.   

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  • Day 11:  Troll Peninsula & Hrísey Island

    Today you will explore Tröllaskagi (“Peninsula of the Trolls”), where you can enjoy the fantastic scenery of mountains, cliffs and fjords. On the way, we highly recommend taking your family on a short ferry ride to Hrísey, a small island with a population of only about 180 people but with many species of birds like ptarmigan, arctic tern and eider duck. Hay cart tours (optional) are also available here, and there are a number of easy hiking trails you may explore on your own.

    Spend the night in the Tröllaskagi area.

    Driving distance approx. 79 km / 49 mi.  

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  • Day 12:  Village Life & Valley of Horses

    Spend the first half of the day exploring the charming village of Siglufjörður, tucked away in a steep fjord. This used to be the historic centre of Iceland’s herring fishing fleet, but today it is better known for its summer festivals, museums, colourful houses, fish market and artist community. Here we suggest a short hike in the hills and relaxing at one of the cosy cafes by the harbour.

    Then head to the valley of Skagafjörður, where horses are said to outnumber people. Why not experience riding a friendly, sure-footed Icelandic horse here? Other highlights in the area include the Glaumbær turf farm museum and the small Grettislaug pool, where you can soak in the naturally warmed water with beautiful views over the islands in the bay.

    Spend the night in the Skagafjörður area.

    Driving distance approx. 95 km / 59 mi.   

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  • Day 13:  Seals, Hot Springs & Craters

    Complete the circle by returning to Reykjavik today. On the way are interesting highlights like the Borgarvirki natural fortress, the Hvítserkur sea stack and the rocky beach at Illugastaðir, where you can find seals at play. Or take an optional detour to see Europe’s most voluminous hot spring, Deildartunguhver and the beautiful Hraunfoss and Barnafoss waterfalls near Borgarnes.

    Another option for younger kids is the Troll Garden at Fossatún, featuring easy walking paths lined with trolls and games for children. Other notable sights along today’s route include the Grábrók crater—formed in a volcanic eruption 3,400 years ago, the small pond of Paradísarlaut and the Glanni waterfall.

    Spend the night in Reykjavik

    Driving distance approx. 288 km / 179 mi.  

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  • Day 14: Warm Farewell at the Blue Lagoon

    For your family’s last Icelandic adventure, a driver will take you to the Blue Lagoon on your way to Keflavik Airport. This bright blue geothermal pool surrounded by alien-like lava formations is sure to leave a lasting impression! Here you can enjoy the complementary silica mud face masks—a fun photo opportunity—as well as the steam baths, saunas and indoor café. After a relaxing soak, your driver will then take you the short distance to the airport in time for your check-in.

    Please note that if your flight is in the morning, we can adjust your itinerary accordingly.

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Map

Here’s a map of Iceland, to help put things in perspective.

Reviews

We don’t like to brag, so we’ll let our happy customers do it for us.

Carol, United States

, July 2015

Iceland - best family vacation ever!

After many years of cruising the globe, my husband and I and our two teenage boys, decided we needed to explore a new country in greater depth. My husband found Nordic Visitor and worked with Sigfus over a few months to plan the perfect summer family vacation. Everyone was happy - I saw museums in Reykjavik, we all hiked waterfalls and glaciers, and to top it off, there was a bird-watching adventure that led to puffin sighting. Every night we anticipated with excitement the fabulous hotel that Sigfus had selected and were never disappointed. We will be recommending Nordic Visitor to all our friends and look forward to working with them again in the future.

JoAnn, United States

, August 2014

Tour of Iceland - self-drive option

We booked our tour around the entire perimeter of Iceland with 2 additional days in Reykjavik. The planning was done thru one of the staff & this person remained our contact throughout. She was excellent. We referred to Erla as our guardian angel. 
Nordic Visitor staff met us at the airport, waited for us to exchange money & then took us to our hotel. The hotel accommodations throughout the trip were excellent. We were provided with a SUPERB map with highlighted areas in Different colors for: location of accommodation, main route & highlights. The map was essential as the GPS did not work reliably outside the Capitol. Having a cell phone was also valuable.
The scenery was absolutely dramatic & we loved the idea that our accommodations for each night were secure so we could enjoy the day without any deadlines,
About halfway thru our trip, we had to return home for an unexpected emergency. Once again, we were in contact with the Nordic Visitor staff who abbreviated our trip & kept in touch with us via phone & e-mail. They were extremely helpful. I was very glad that we had wifi service at all of our accommodations.

Accommodation

Sleep soundly, in the accommodation type of your choice, and wake up ready to enjoy another day of exploration.

Budget

Rooms with shared WC and shower (or bath) in farmhouses, guesthouses or well-appointed hostels. All provide breakfast (i..

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Comfort

Rooms with private WC and shower (or bath) in a three-star hotel or well-appointed guesthouse. All provide breakfast (in..

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Quality

Rooms with private WC and shower (or bath) in a three- or four-star hotel or the best accommodation available in the are..

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Rental car

Enjoy the journey, with authorization for two drivers and free GPS in the rental car of your choice.

Ford Fiesta
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x2
  • M

Ford Fiesta
or similar

  • Type: A
  • Description: Economy sub-compact hatchback
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 2
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Manual*
  • *upgrade to automatic available upon request

Ford Focus
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x3
  • M

Ford Focus
or similar

  • Type: B
  • Description: Compact hatchback
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 3
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Manual*
  • *upgrade to automatic available upon request

Ford Focus Wagon
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x4
  • M

Ford Focus Wagon
or similar

  • Type: C
  • Description: Compact wagon
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 4
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Manual*
  • *upgrade to automatic available upon request

Ford Mondeo
or similar

  • x5
  • x4
  • x4
  • A

Ford Mondeo
or similar

  • Type: D
  • Description: Mid-size sedan
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 4
  • Doors: 4
  • Transmission: Automatic

Ford Kuga 4x4
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x4
  • A

Ford Kuga 4x4
or similar

  • Type: E
  • Description: Compact SUV, four-wheel drive
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 4
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Automatic

Ford Edge 4x4
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x4
  • A

Ford Edge 4x4
or similar

  • Type: F
  • Description: Mid-size SUV, four-wheel drive
  • Passengers: 5
  • Suitcases: 5
  • Doors: 5
  • Operation: Automatic

Toyota Land Cruiser 4x4
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x5
  • A

Toyota Land Cruiser 4x4
or similar

  • Type: G
  • Description: Full-size SUV, four-wheel drive
  • Passengers: 5
  • Suitcases: 5
  • Doors: 5
  • Operation: Automatic

Volvo XC90 4x4
limited availability

  • x6
  • x5
  • x6
  • A

Volvo XC90 4x4
limited availability

  • Type: H
  • Description: Full-size Premium SUV, four-wheel drive
  • Passengers: 5/6
  • Suitcases: 6/3
  • Doors: 5
  • Operation: Automatic

Ford Tourneo
or similar

  • x9
  • x4
  • x12
  • M

Ford Tourneo
or similar

  • Type: I
  • Description: Passenger van
  • Passengers: 9
  • Luggage: 5
  • Doors: 4
  • Transmission: Manual

Land Rover Defender 4x4
limited availability

  • x6
  • x5
  • x2
  • M

Land Rover Defender 4x4
limited availability

  • Type: J
  • Description: Highland SUV, four-wheel drive
  • Passengers: 5/6
  • Luggage: 4/2
  • Doors: 2/4 to 6
  • Transmission: Manual

Citroen C4 Grand Picasso
or similar

  • x6
  • x5
  • x2
  • A

Citroen C4 Grand Picasso
or similar

  • Type: K
  • Description: Compact MPV Family Vehicle
  • Passengers: 6
  • Luggage: 1/2
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Manual

Optional activities

This is your trip, what are you interested in doing?

Everything about this tour

  • The family rooms and apartments in our Comfort and Quality accommodation categories tend to fill up quickly in the summer high season, so we recommend booking well in advance.
  • Please note that if the family rooms or apartments are fully booked, we will book you in standard rooms instead.
  • We recommend booking at least four weeks prior to departure.
  • This package can be customized to meet your needs, including extra nights or activities on request; contact us for details.
For the Blue Lagoon:
The minimum age requirement for children at the Blue Lagoon is 2-years-old. It is mandatory for children ages 2- to 8-years-old to wear inflatable armbands in the lagoon. These are provided free of charge. Please note that only two (2) children under the age of 10 can be admitted into the lagoon per guardian. 
 
Currency rate
All bookings are charged in Icelandic Króna (ISK), the official currency of Iceland. Prices displayed in other currencies are indicative only and based on the daily exchange rate as issued by the Central bank of Iceland. Therefore, conversions from ISK to other currencies will fluctuate from day to day.
 
After booking with Nordic Visitor
After booking your package with Nordic Visitor, you will be contacted within two working days by one of our travel consultants, who will serve as your dedicated contact person for all of your travel needs before, during and even after your holiday. Your travel consultant will provide you with details about your booking and your remaining payment (if not paid in full). You will also receive more information about what to expect during your holiday.

We are here to help

Whether you have a single question or a special request, we're here for you.