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Family Journey to the North

(11 days / 10 nights)

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Take a family road trip like no other!

Iceland is an adventure for the whole family! Enjoy easily accessible natural wonders, kid-friendly activities, helpful English-speaking locals and geothermal pools all around the country. This self-drive tour focuses on the amazing sights of West and North Iceland, like the moon-like volcanic surfaces of the Lake Mývatn area, the “Troll Peninsula”, the Blue Lagoon, the cities of Reykjavik and Akureyri and more.

Type

Self-Drive

Interest

Family, Slow Paced

Season

1 May - 30 Sep

Departure

Daily

Driving distance

1493/929 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: Welcome to Iceland

    On arrival to Keflavik Airport a driver will transfer you and your family to your accommodation in the capital city. If you arrive early enough, take the opportunity to explore the city centre at your leisure. We recommend walking to the old harbour and watching the fishermen at work, enjoying the amazing view over Reykjavik from the huge tower at Hallgrímskirkja church and ending the evening with a relaxing dinner at one of the family-friendly restaurants downtown.

    Spend the night in Reykjavik.

    Highlights Optional Activity
  • Day 2: Vikings, Hot Springs & Waterfalls

    Collect your rental car in the morning and start your journey towards the town of Borgarnes, where we suggest a visit to the Settlement Centre to learn about the Icelandic Sagas and the country’s Viking heritage. Your younger passengers may also appreciate a break at the colourful Bjössaróló playground.

    A short drive from Borgarnes brings you to Europe’s most voluminous hot spring, Deildartunguhver, as well as the beautiful Hraunfoss and Barnafoss waterfalls. Another good option in this area is a stop at the Troll Garden at Fossatún, featuring easy walking paths lined with trolls and games for children.

    Spend the night in the Borgarnes area.

    Driving distance approx. 210 km / 131 mi. 

    Highlights Highlights Highlights
  • Day 3:  Wonders of the Troll Peninsula

    More trolls! Your journey today takes you towards Tröllaskagi, the “Peninsula of the Trolls”. Notable sights along the way include the Grábrók volcanic crater, which was formed in an eruption over 3,400 years ago, the beautiful pond of Paradísarlaut and the Glanni waterfall, where you can take a short hike alongside the flowing water.

    You can also stop to see the countless earthen mounds of Vatnsdalshólar and the quaint Þingeyrarkirkja country church. We suggest ending this day in the village of Hofsós, with a dip in the town pool or a visit to the Icelandic Emigration Centre.

    Spend the next two nights in the Tröllaskagi area. 

    Driving distance approx. 313 km / 195 mi.  

    Highlights Highlights Highlights Highlights Highlights Highlights
  • Day 4: Village Life & Whale Watching

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

    Other optional activities available today in this area include whale watching and the swimming pool in Ólafsfjörður, which also has three nice hot tubs, large water slides and a steam bath.

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

    Driving distance approx. 17 km / 10 mi. 

    Highlights Highlights Highlights Optional Activity Optional Activity Optional Activity
  • Day 5: Hrísey Island & Akureyri

    To start the day, we recommend taking your family on a short ferry ride to Hrísey, a small island with a population of only about 180 people. Not surprisingly, it is well known for its tranquil surroundings and great bird-watching opportunities for species like ptarmigan, arctic tern and eider duck. Hay cart tours (optional) are also available, and there are a number of easy hiking trails you may explore on your own.

    Your ultimate destination today is Iceland’s second largest town, Akureyri, nicknamed the “Capital of North Iceland“. Here you can enjoy the little shops and cafes in the downtown, along with the well-preserved old houses, interesting museums and the beautiful botanical garden. You can also go for a swim in the town pool, one of the best in Iceland, or check out the small Kjarnaskógur forest nearby.

    Spend the next three nights in the Akureyri area. 

    Driving distance approx. 79 km / 49 mi.  

    Highlights Highlights Optional Activity
  • Day 6: Lunar Landscapes & Nature Baths

    Today you’ll explore 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 in the soothing geothermal waters of the Mývatn Nature Baths. On your way back to your accommodation in the Akureyri area, we also recommend a stop for a great family photo at Goðafoss, the “waterfall of the gods“.

    Driving distance approx. 204 km / 127 mi.  

    Highlights Highlights Highlights Highlights Highlights
  • Day 7: Leisure Day in Eyjafjörður

    Use this day to relax with your family and enjoy the peaceful countryside. You may wish to take an optional drive to Eyjafjörður, the beautiful fjord where Akureyri is located. There 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.  

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

    Highlights Highlights Highlights
  • Day 8: Icelandic Horses & Turf Farmhouses

    Drive to the valley of Skagafjörður, where horses are said to outnumber people. Why not do as the early Viking settlers and take a ride on a purebred Icelandic horse in this area? Other notable highlights in the vicinity include Glaumbær, a museum with restored 18th and 19th century turf farmhouses and the Grettislaug pool, a historical site where you can soak in the naturally heated water with beautiful views over the islands in the bay.

    Spend the night in the Skagafjörður area.

    Driving distance approx. 120 km / 75 mi.   

    Highlights Highlights Highlights Highlights Highlights Optional Activity Optional Activity
  • Day 9: Journey Back to Reykjavik

    Begin the scenic drive back to Reykjavik. There is no hurry today, so you can take your time and enjoy the many interesting sights on the way, including the Borgarvirki natural fortress, the Hvítserkur sea stack—said to be a troll frozen in time by the rising sun—and Illugastaðir, where you have a good chance to seeing seals at play on the rocky beach.

    Spend the next two nights in Reykjavik.

    Driving distance approx. 383 km / 238 mi.   

    Highlights Highlights Highlights
  • Day 10: Blue Lagoon & Bird Cliffs

    Start the day by heading to the Reykjanes Peninsula for a soak at the famous Blue Lagoon. This bright blue geothermal pool surrounded by alien-like lava formations is sure to leave a lasting impression on your family! Here you can enjoy the complementary silica mud face masks—a fun photo opportunity—as well as the steam baths, saunas and indoor café. 

    If you’re up for an optional detour afterwards, we recommend a drive around the peninsula to check out the various lighthouses and bird cliffs, the hot springs at Seltún, the “giantess in the cave” at Keflavik and—for those interested in science—the interactive Power Plant Earth Exhibition.                               

    Return to your accommodation in Reykjavik for the evening.

    Driving distance approx. 167 km / 104 mi.   

    Highlights Highlights
  • Day 11: Departure from Iceland

    All good journeys must come to an end. Today your driver will pick your family up at your accommodation and take you to Keflavík Airport for your flight back home.

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.

Stephani, United States

, May 2014

Nordic Visitor will help you plan a trip of a lifetime

Nordic Visitor put together the exact trip I hoped to take. I explained what I was looking for, what I wanted to see and do, and the general area I wanted to explore, and they came up with an itinerary that exceeded my expectations. They made everything seamless too. Once we were in Iceland, we didn't have to worry about a thing - it was all taken care of by Nordic Visitor. We stayed in excellent hotels and visited attractions we may have otherwise missed had they not suggested them. All of my correspondence with them was timely, professional and friendly. We made a few last minute changes (we upgraded our rental car, etc.), and they handled it without issue. I would definitely use them again - for Iceland or any other of the destinations they cover. 
 
I had been to Iceland before and used a different company, and everything with that other company was much more difficult.

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

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.