Best time to visit:
The weather is variable in every season. Between May and July the midnight sun dominates life on the island but it is precisely in July and August that Iceland gives its best: not infrequently the thermometer reaches 15°C or even more in the southern part of the island.
In a word:
Góðan daginn (good morning)
– Hot springs sometimes reach very high temperatures. Only let children go near those where bathing is permitted.
– Beware of off-road routes away from the Ring Road.
At the table:
Those who appreciate dairy products will be able to choose from about eighty different cheeses and will also like skyr, a sort of yogurt prepared with skimmed and pasteurized milk, rich in protein and low in fat.
Immerse yourself in a pool of natural hot water at 40°C or explore the bay in search of whales in Husavik; Having fun with puffins in Borgarfjordur Eystri; Admire icebergs floating in Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon.
A road trip following the entire Ring Road with numerous detours on dirt roads required to admire, explore and learn more about this wonderful volcanic island where Mother Nature shows all her beauties with extreme power! We start from Grindavik and follow the entire Icelandic coastline in an anti-clockwise direction letting ourselves be surprised by majestic waterfalls, high volcanoes, imposing geysers, strong streams and rivers, large lakes, picturesque glaciers as well as a unique fauna thanks to the funny puffins, the stupendous whales and dolphins to vain long-maned horses. In short, a succession of daily emotions without stopping amplified even more because it is shared with our 2 and a half and 7 year old children!
Our suggested itinerary (16 days)
Keflavik, Grindavik, Golden Circle (Thingvellir, Geysir and Gullfoss), Laugarvatn, Selfoss (visit Skyr museum), Skalatjorn, visit Seljalandfoss, Skogarfoss and Kvernufoss waterfalls, Reynisfjara black beach, Hjorleifshofdi cave, Vik
Visit Jokulsarlon glacial bay, Hofn, Fossardalur, Egilsstadir, Seydisfjordur, Fljotsdalsherad, visit puffins in Borgarfjordur Eystri, thermal pools in Husavik, Laugar
Lake Myvatn tour (Grjotagja caves, Hverfjall volcano, Dimmuborgir plain and Godafoss waterfall), whale watching in Husavik, Akureyri
Hvitserkur, Hvammstangi (seal colony visit), Reykjavik, Keflavik
We land at two in the morning when it is broad daylight outside, the sun can be glimpsed in the distance, orange, struggling to disappear on the horizon and in fact, during the two wonderful weeks wandering around this island it will always be present, giving us light 24 hours a day!
This is a real gem! Spacious and spotlessly clean rooms, a super-stocked kitchen with a fridge full of food available for guests, a large common living room with a large window overlooking the yard where a small house of elves stands out! You immediately feel at home! Well done Dagmar for the warm welcome you reserve for your guests!
It's four o'clock in the night, outside the light covers everything but we are cooked and pull down the curtains we immediately sink into the arms of Morpheus!
We need four hours to recharge and after an excellent breakfast we are on our way along the famous Golden Circle but only after filling our small galley at what will become our faithful Supermarket: Bonus, the cheapest on the island!
The Golden Circle is a paranamic circuit much loved by travelers that encompasses three of the major attractions of the island, in fact in a few hours (and departing from the capital) it is possible to visit one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the country, the fascinating of Geysers and the enchanting Thingvellir National Park, the geological heart of the country.
We decide to divide this exploration into two days to allow our children a calmer approach and we start right from the Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site, spectacular not only from a landscape point of view but also from an historical point of view, yes, here in the 930 the Alpingi was founded, perhaps the oldest Parliament in the world, and remained active until 1700.
Here it is possible to appreciate the phenomenon of continental drift, in fact the area is split in two and half lies on the Euro-Asian tectonic plate and half on the North American one…
We will spend this night at the Bjork Guesthouse an old house from 1930 in Laugarvatn, excellent location, large spaces, top cleanliness and a very warm welcome here too! Good choice!
We return to the Golden Circle. First stop: "Valley of the Geysers", the geothermal valley of Haukadalur, here you have the opportunity to admire a gesyer in action: incredible especially for children!
As soon as you cross the main gate (free entrance and parking) you come across Strokkur, this majestic geyser emits jets of boiling water every 5-6 minutes, spectacular! Stroll around the park among the many fumaroles, solfataras, streams of boiling water and bubbling mud pools!
Less than 10' by road you will arrive at Gullfoss (from the Icelandic "golden waterfall").
“Ever since it risked being destroyed in the 1920s to make way for a hydroelectric dam and was saved by the protests of a local farmer, Gullfoss has become a symbol of the protection of the country's natural heritage.”
Short pit stop in Selfoss to visit the cute skyr museum (the typical Icelandic yogurt rich in protein and low in fat) and this small village with very picturesque pastel-colored houses!
We will sleep at tonight Skalatjorn Guesthouse, a beautiful house in a wonderful bucolic background where the owner Helen pursues the dream of preserving and protecting the nice Icelandic goats! With her effort, in a few years, she has managed to double the number of these specimens and every afternoon, at 6 pm, she organizes a goat tour for her guests in which she strolls among the affectionate goats and he cuddles!
Seljalandfoss, a magnificent waterfall that forms from a jump of 60 meters directly from the escarpment of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano. Bring a k-way because it is possible to take a short path that will take you right behind it and there you will touch the power of Mother Nature!
Not far away is Skogar with its majestic waterfall (Skogafoss of 62 meters). Here you can climb the steep staircase that flanks the waterfall for a dizzying panoramic view from above surrounded by rainbows!
In the village there is the Museum of traditions that explores every aspect of Icelandic life, there are even some restored buildings (a church, a farm and a school) as well as many artifacts, tools and objects of daily life but this is also the point departure for a delightful path inside a canyon to discover the little-known waterfall: Kvernufoss which we highly recommend!
We leave towards Vik where we will sleep but only after having set foot on the infamous Reynisfjara beach, the one considered to be one of the most dangerous in the world due to the many accidents caused by the tidal waves that have sucked in many distracted tourists. The surrounding cliffs and caves formed from the twisted basalt are stunning!
Here we are at Kosy Vik, a welcoming Icelandic house 200 meters from the picturesque Vikurkirkja, a 1930s church symbol of the town. We are greeted by Hrund who shows us our large room with a wonderful view of the bay from above!
Today was a long journey, several hundreds of kilometers await us!
Nearby Vik is the volcanic cave of Hjorleifshofdi, which has the shape of Yoda and a very fun background for your photos!
After a few hours here we are at Jokulsarlon, a group of spectacular icebergs of an intense blue that float in the glacial lagoon located along the Hringvegur between Hofn and Vik.
It's wonderful to admire these natural ice sculptures (some streaked by the ashes of volcanic eruptions) where the gray head of a seal occasionally pops out! These icebergs that detach from Breidamerkurjokull, once they fall into the water, can take up to 5 years to flow into the Atlantic Ocean!
You can take a trip to Diamond Beach, a black beach that takes its name from the pieces of ice on the sand.
An hour later we are in Hofn for dinner! Although it is no bigger than a classic European village, it will seem like a big city after several days spent in the deserted lands that surround it. Its marina is very picturesque and we take advantage of it for a tasty shrimp wrap in one of the two pubs in the city!
Shopping on the fly, refueling and off we go for the last two hours of today's journey up to ours Fossardalur Camping!
Luckily the light always accompanies us!
This campsite is in an excellent position for many treks immersed in wild nature between waterfalls and vigorous streams, it also has a large kitchen and common room where the various guests meet! Very nice!
We continue this dirt road away from the Ring Road, a couple of hours of driving immersed in a fog so thick that we cannot admire the surrounding landscape but after a while the sky opens up: waterfalls, mighty streams, volcanoes, ice, lakes… every curve is a discovery! We are in the Eastfjords finally in Seydisfjordur!
Colorful wooden houses surrounded by snow-capped mountains from which cascading azure waterfalls! As soon as you arrive you will immediately notice Rainbow Street, a rainbow painted on the ground which leads you to the delightful Blaa Kirkjan, a very welcoming turn of the century church!
Along the road to Fljotsdalserad we pass by the infamous Lagarfljot lake, these greyish waters are reputed to hide a terrible monster: Lagarfljotsormur, a lake monster dating back to the time of the Vikings whose last sighting dates back to 2012 where a local farmer managed to film this creature serpent… legend or reality?
Here we are at the delicious Litla Bjarg Guesthouse with the wonderful Elisa who warmly welcomes us with all her positive energy… we will finally spend two nights here, will we have some time to rest?
The guesthouse is well equipped and every detail is meticulously cared for and sweet Elisa even allows our children to take a ride on her beloved horses! Top experience for the little ones!
An hour of dirt road with our faithful red Subaru Icereantal 4×4, a mountain climbed over and here we are in a wonderful bay surrounded by rugged peaks! The village of Borgarfjodur eystri has a particular charm for the legends about elves and the Alfaborg (rock of the elves), a small hill where, it is said, lives the queen of the Icelandic elves… the children are elated by all this magic but our destination is Hafnarholmi, a picturesque little port populated by the wonderful puffins! Here you can get up close to these funny creatures and admire them up close! Super recommended!
Under a pouring rain we reach a point of the fjord even further north: Husavik!
This is a very pretty town with its colorful houses, its shops and snow-covered peaks overlooking a bay where the largest community of whales lives!
It's pouring rain, it's cold, it will be 5 degrees... what better occasion than to take refuge in one of the most elegant Icelandic natural SPAs? Here we are at Geosea, a seawater SPA located near the Husavik lighthouse, the inviting salt water pools heated to 37-40° with geothermal energy overlook the suggestive bay where, the luckiest ones, will even be able to see the large cetaceans swimming free!
The beautiful SPA café is also an excellent opportunity for a romantic dinner overlooking the bay!
The cold-hot impact is tough (the pools are all outdoors), you only go out of the indoor facility in your bathing suit, with 5°C, but then once you immerse yourself in those boiling waters, you would never want to go out again!
We take the opportunity to visit the Husavik Whale Museum, here you will learn a lot about this marine giant; set up in the old port slaughterhouse, it illustrates the life and habits of this cetacean, making the public aware of the protection of whales.
We will stay for two nights at the wonderful Breidamyri Farm Apartments, a small apartment in a beautiful bucolic setting and equipped with all comforts, with a large living room, a super-equipped kitchen, a stylish bathroom and a beautiful bedroom!
Day dedicated entirely to the discovery of the surroundings of Lake Myvatn with a light drizzle that will accompany us but that will not annoy us too much!
Grjotaja. A 45°C cave (made famous by the TV series 'Game of Thrones') accessed via a crack in the rocky ground. Up until the 1970s, Icelanders came here for the thermal pools, after the eruptions of the early 1980s in which the water temperature slid up to 50°C, bathing was prohibited!
Hverfjall. This immense crater was formed 2700 years ago during an apocalyptic volcanic eruption. With its 450 meters of height and a diameter of more than one km, it is a point of reference in the area. There is a very easy path that allows you to walk on the edge of the crater, offering you a very suggestive and feasible view even for children!
Dimmuborgir. A vast lava field (literally: "castles of darkness"), a real labyrinth between large volcanic stones and curious lava pinnacles. This is the area where Santa's 13 elf friends are said to live!
Finally Godafoss (Waterfall of the gods). This waterfall has a very particular value for the Icelanders because when the Alpingi (Parliament) met in the year 1000, the Dorgeir, the speaker of the laws, was forced to decide what the country's religion would be. After reflecting for 24 hours Dorgeir declared that Iceland should be a Christian nation. Returning home and passing by the waterfall near his farm, he threw the pagan statues of the Nordic deities into its waters: hence the name of this wonderful waterfall!
Husavik is Iceland's premier destination for whale watching. In summer, 11 species of cetaceans arrive here to feed. We rely on Gentle Giants for this excursion!
Very professional and nice, before embarking they provide you with thermal overalls as well as life jackets (for the little ones), ready to get on the "Faldur" for a three-hour ride out of the bay in search of whales. NB they do not use any tool to trace them but only the sight! After about twenty minutes our captain slows down and, at 12 o'clock, a powerful upward spray of water and then a dive with the legendary tail vertically into the abyss! It was super exciting and for sure a travel memory forever, both for us and for the kids! We have seen half a dozen in total and every time the emotion was the same: irrepressible!
In the early afternoon we get back on the Ring Road heading towards the second largest city in Iceland: Akureyri. A city that in any other part of the world would be called a "village", here it stands out thanks to its trendy cafes, its small restaurants and even its lively nightlife!
We stay in a huge apartment in the center: Acco Luxury Apartments. Gigantic, equipped with all comforts, with a super kitchen, two bedrooms, a small terrace, a large living room and a very fine bathroom.
How strange to walk in such a center after so much pure nature. We pass by the Akureyrarkirkja, the symbolic church of the city and built on a hill, all in basalt and we arrive up to the beautiful Lystigardurinn, the northernmost botanical garden in the world with flowers and plants that make you forget that we are a stone's throw from the Club Arctic Polar.
Before leaving Akureyri, the magic continues for the little ones at the Christmas Garden, a small Christmas village open all year round that will take you directly into Santa Claus' arms from the first step inside. All the details are meticulously cared for and it is magical to get lost among the colors and characters of Christmas!
We take the Ring Road up to Hvitserkur where we will spend the night at theHotel Hvitserkur, a very nice place built in the early 70s as the school of the area and after 30 years it was transformed into a small hotel run by a young German couple who moved here in love with the area and its horses!
We leave early in the morning heading to Hvammstangi and its seals!
here the landscape is less rugged than that of the Westfjords and the low hills offer many birds the right nesting environment.
Hvammstangi is the first village you come across when driving along the coastal road of the Vatnsnes Peninsula. It is delightful with its colorful houses, rainbow-colored stairways, the small port ... We drive to the northern tip of the fjord (Illugastadir) along a dirt road where our 4×4 shows all its power!
any excuse is good to stop along the way for photos and view points… in one of the many an Israeli couple calls us in the distance… they have just spotted a whale… we remain silent for a few minutes and after a while there is a puff on the horizon !
Finally we reach Illugastadir where a group of seals rest lazily on a rock! It is a succession of encounters, of different emotions where our children are constantly intrigued!
Time to go, direction: Reykjavik!
We change cars at the faithful Icerental 4×4 and this time we try a wonderful hybrid to roam silently through the streets of the capital!
We stay for two nights at the Dalur Hostel, a super-organized hostel, two km from the centre, lively and full of travelers of all ages as well as a very efficient reception, a fully equipped kitchen available to guests, a nice bar and even an all-glass play area for children!
Reykjavik has a very nice old town. Let's start the visit from Hallgrimskirkja, the imposing Lutheran church, symbol of the city, from whose tower you can enjoy a wonderful view over the city.
We walk along the lively Skolavordustigur among a thousand colorful shops, crowded cafes enjoying a hot dog from the famous red van: Baejarins Betzu or an excellent snudar (cinnamon cake) from Braud & co up to Grandi Matholl, an example of the redevelopment of an old factory transformed into a covered area full of street food from all over the world!
Visit its very special museums (from the penis museum to the Icelandic punk one up to the whale one) or get lost in the huge flea market or in the various second-hand clothes shops… the street of the artists will not disappoint you as you will slowly start bring you closer to the daily reality of the city!
Error: No feed found.
Please go to the Instagram Feed settings page to create a feed.