A Great Five-Day Itinerary in Iceland with Kids

Iceland is an up-and-coming family travel destination, especially for those families who enjoy adventure and the outdoors. Known as the land of ice and fire, Iceland is a country of contrasts. As you drive through the countryside, you pass geothermal springs spraying steam into the air, lush green mountains, plunging waterfalls, desolate flows of lava and ash, fields covered in purple lupin flowers, moss creeping over volcanic rocks, immense glaciers and blue icebergs.

There is so much to see that families can easily spend two weeks or more exploring the country, but to get a good flavor of Iceland, plan on spending at least five days touring.

Vik Iceland
The green cliffs of Vik

A Great Five-Day Itinerary in Iceland with Kids

If you have five days in Iceland, focus on exploring Southern Iceland, the area near the Keflavik International Airport and capital city of Reykjavik. I’d recommend using Reykjavik as your home base for the first three days of exploration.

Viking Museum
Trying out swords at the Viking Museum

Blue Lagoon

On your way into Reykjavik, stop off at the famous Blue Lagoon to have lunch at the fabulous Lava restaurant and a dip in the milky blue warm waters of the geothermally heated pool. If you prefer something a little less touristy, check out one of the many public pools in the city. Take the afternoon and evening to stroll the neighborhood where you are staying and familiarize yourself with the layout of the city.

New on Ciao Bambino: Packaged Iceland Family Trips!

We've bundled our favorite kid-friendly accommodations and activities into one easy, book-and-go package. Get details and send us a request >


Spend your second day exploring Reykjavik. Start off with a walk along the water to the Old Harbour. Along the way, stop for a photo op at the Sun Voyager sculpture and pop into the stunning Harpa concert hall for a look around. Arrive at the Harbour in time for a whale watching or puffin cruise. After a lunch at the tasty Icelandic Fish and Chips, walk up to the Hallgrímskirkja church and take the elevator to the top for gorgeous views of the city below.

Gulfoss waterfall in the Golden Circle
Gulfoss waterfall in the Golden Circle

The Golden Circle

There are many bus tours that offer day tours of the Golden Circle, a trio of sites including Thingvellir National Park, Geysir, and the Gulfoss waterfall, but renting a car and doing a self-driving tour will give your family much more flexibility. In Thingvellir, you can see where the tectonic plates connect the two continents and learn about the site’s history as the home of national parliament, or Althing.

In Geysir, you can see the many steaming hot springs, but the real attraction is Strokkur, the geyser that erupts regularly every four to eight minutes. Just a few more minutes up the road you will find Gulfoss, a large, two-step waterfall that is comparable to Niagara Falls. You can view the falls from two different platforms, or get a better view by hiking up close on the slippery rocks.

Skogafoss waterfall
Skogafoss waterfall

Waterfalls and Glaciers

On the fourth day, it is time to depart the capital region for Southeast Iceland. Be sure to bring rain gear for viewing waterfalls. At Seljalandfoss, visitors can walk behind the falls and then hike along the path a few hundred meters and into a hidden canyon to find the “secret” waterfall of Gljufurarbai. Just 30 minutes farther along the Ring Road you will find Skogafoss waterfall; you can walk right up or climb the stairs to view it from above.

After a picnic lunch and a quick stop at the Eyjafjallajökull Visitor Center to learn about the volcano’s recent eruption, take a guided glacier hike at the Myrdalsjökull glacier. End your day with a stay near Vík and stops at the Dyrholaey natural arch (hopefully you’ll spy some puffins up close), Reynisfjara’s pipe organ-like basalt columns, and the black sand beach and sea stacks at Vík.

Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon
Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon

Iceberg Lagoon and Skaftafell National Park

On your last full day in Iceland, head out to the Jökursálón glacier lagoon. Since forming in the 1930s, the lagoon has grown fourfold in the last four decades as the glacier makes a rapid retreat. Right from the beach, you can spy blue, clear, and zebra-striped icebergs sitting in the lagoon. You can get a little closer with a duck boat tour, or super-close on a small zodiac boat.

If you have the time and the energy, finish off your visit to Iceland with a hike in Skaftafell National Park, where you can trek out to the Svartifoss falls or Skaftafellsjökull glacier face.

TIP: If you visit Iceland in the late autumn through early spring, you might catch a glimpse of the dancing Northern Lights, but you will also have to contend with shorter days and colder temperatures. To get the most out of your stay, try visiting in the summer — the temperatures range from 55-75 degrees Fahrenheit in July. You can also take advantage of nearly constant daylight in the summer to maximize your time exploring.

Children of all ages can enjoy the beautiful scenery around Iceland, but kids 10 and up will be able to participate in adventurous activities like glacier hikes, zodiac boat tours, ATV tours and more. Even so, the nice thing about bringing younger children is that kids under 12 are often free or half price.

Relevant Links:

A summer vacation in Iceland with kids

An epic 7-day tour of Iceland with kids

20 things to love about Iceland with kids

Our 10 essential trips for Iceland travel with kids

Editor’s Note: Tamara was provided with a media package for some of the activities mentioned above to facilitate our review. As always, all opinions are our own. Photos by Tamara Gruber.

Start a Discussion

  • Would love to get an itinerary for 7-8 days. My family and a toddler will be almost 4 at time of travel in July. Any recommendations welcome. We can rent a car too.

    • Hi Brooke, thanks for using our site! We’d love to help with your Iceland plans. I’ll have a Family Travel Advisor get in touch by email to talk about next steps. Happy travels!

  • We are traveling with 6 adults and 6 kids under 7. I was hoping to stay a few days near Vik, but I am having a hard time finding any condo like accomodations where we can stay all together. Do you have any suggestions? Is there another place I should look at near by where there could be more lodging? Any advice is appreciated! Thank you! Simona

    • Hi Simona – Thanks for using Ciao Bambino! We’re happy to help with your plans. One of our Family Travel Advisors specializing in Iceland will reach out in email. Best of luck!

  • In your 5-day tour you recommended going from the Airport directly to the Viking museum and then on to the Blue Lagoon before heading into Reykjavik. How do you do this with luggage before checking in your hotel? Did you rent a car or use public transportation. Thank you!

    • Hi Curtis, we’d advise contacting the museum ahead of time to ask about storing your luggage. When it’s time to head to the hotel you can either rent a car or use a taxi, depending on the rest of your itinerary. Please let us know if we can help with your trip plans!

  • Please mail me a publication on your Iceland 5-Day Explorer Tour. $5,780 average for family of 4. We are a family of 6. 2 Parents, 2 Children ages 7 & 11 and grandmother. Can you accommodate 6?
    Frances Beeman
    519 Camelback Road
    Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Let Ciao Bambino! Plan Your Dream Trip with Kids

Get the latest family travel news, exclusive deals & more!

Sign up for our newsletter and you’ll be the first to know about special promotions, perks, tips and hot destinations.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Sign In

Want to save all the great intel and tips you are finding on Ciao Bambino? My Trip Planner allows you to bookmark articles, family-friendly hotel reviews, and family vacation packages. Simply click the heart icon on anything you want to save. Site registration is required to get started. Happy planning!

Create an Account

Please fillout the form below to create your free My Trip Planner account.