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Young Explorers in Icelandiceland

Monday December 11
INSIDE SCOOP VANESSA SAYS The glacial snorkelling at Silfra is out of this world; older kids will marvel at the bizarre underwater lava landscapes. scoop image

About The Hotel

We’re excited to present a carefully crafted collection of adventure tours and tailor made itineraries for families with older children. Recommended for children aged five upwards, this self-drive tour takes in Iceland’s most family-friendly summer highlights including the Blue Lagoon, the Golden Circle of natural wonders, and Arctic whale watching as well as Tots Too special activities family river rafting and horse riding.  Accommodation is in four star family friendly hotels, in family rooms or suites.

All of our Iceland arrangements can be tailored to you and we will be happy to discuss your exact requirements and make recommendations in order to ensure you enjoy the best possible family holiday. In addition to touring itineraries we can offer relaxing stay-put or twin-centre options in Reykjavik and beyond. The following is an example itinerary, especially designed with families in mind.

Day 1

Arrive in Reykjavik

Upon arrival at Keflavik International Airport, collect your hire car and, depending on your flight arrival time, we recommend a visit to the world renowned Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa, close to the airport. The Blue Lagoon has a mystical appearance but its unique restorative powers are quite real and ideal for regaining some energy after a long flight. With a warm flowing waterfall, a hidden cave, and silica mud buckets to apply to your skin, there is plenty of relaxation for the whole family to soak up.

If you’re heading to the capital of Reykjavik you may want to visit the newly opened Grandi Whale Museum which is the largest of its kind in Europe. If you’re looking for a fun place to spend the day look no further than the Reykjavik Family Park and Petting Zoo in Laugardalur Valley. This family-friendly complex that is part zoo, aquarium, theme park, and adjacent geothermal swimming pool is so elaborate that it could take several days to explore. Overnight at the Hotel Borg in the Reykjavik Marina.

Day 2

Golden Circle of Adventure

The Golden Circle of natural wonders begins with a visit to the dramatic volcanic scenery of Thingvellir National Park (UNESCO).  To fully appreciate the park’s wealth of geological formations you may want to try one of the world‘s most unique adventures, snorkeling in Silfra Gorge. Silfra is a deep fissure between two tectonic plates filled with glacial meltwater where you are literally swimming between continents. The crystal clear water provides a feeling of weightlessness made even more surreal by the bizarre underwater lava landscapes.

After an hour of snorkeling or exploring the ancient geology your Golden Circle journey continues to the Gullfoss and Geysir area where you are introduced to the Queen of Icelandic waterfalls herself, Gullfoss. This majestic waterfall of sparkling mist and golden charm is situated on Hvita (White River) which is fed by Iceland´s second largest glacier, Langjokull.  King of all geysers, the great Geysir resides nearby in a steamy geothermal field of bubbling mud and hot springs including the highly active Strokkur geyser which shoots steaming hot water high into the air every ten minutes. After the Golden Circle, drive through South Iceland’s fertile farmlands for an overnight stay at ION hotel.

Day 3

Kjolur Mountain Track

It’s time to discover the undiscovered! The Kjolur 4WD mountain route is open during the summer (from mid-June) and is a straight track through Iceland‘s uninhabited interior highlands.This unique trek through vibrant thermal areas between Langjokull and Hofsjokull glaciers reveals Iceland‘s true remoteness and nature at its rawest. This area sets a stunning stage for the numerous hiking paths along the way dotted with hidden geothermal treasures and strange oases of vegetation. Don‘t miss Hveravellir, one of the most beautiful geothermal areas in the world with a natural pool under open sky perfect for relaxing after an invigorating hike.

Upon arriving on the other side of the Kjolur highland route you will find yourself in North Iceland‘s Skagafjordur Horse Valley, famous for its horse breeding. This area is equally known for a wide variety of river rafting and kayaking adventures. There is a gentle rafting tour option that offers fun for the whole family as even a novice can pick up a paddle and thrill in Iceland’s stunning river wilderness. Overnight at Icelandair Hotel Akureyri.

Day 4

The Troll Peninsula

Enjoy the peaceful mountain views and crisp Arctic air around Trollaskagi Peninsula, exploring the colorful fjord villages of Siglufjordur and Olafsfjordur on your way towards Dalvik. The dramatic landscapes here were carved by glaciers during the last Ice Age and provide a special sense of discovery as you dance along the edge of the inhabitable world. Arriving in Dalvik you may opt to board an oak whale watching vessel for a 3-hour sail into the pristine Arctic waters which are ideal for encounters with the majestic blue whale, whose heart is the size of a car. Marine-life frequently spotted in these waters are humpback whales, white-beaked dolphins, minke whales, and small harbor porpoises.

After a busy day, soak up the local ambiance of Iceland’s hip and happening ‘Capital of the North,’ Akureyri with its 18,000 inhabitants, heart-shaped street-lights, free transit buses and arguably the warmest temperatures in the country. Strolling along the quaint pedestrian areas filled with outdoor cafes and visiting local favorite Brynjuis for some delicious ice cream is the perfect ending to this day in a surprisingly green community located only 60 miles from the Arctic Circle. Overnight at Icelandair Hotel Akureyri.

Day 5

Lake Myvatn and Dettifoss

The day begins with the picturesque ‘Waterfall of the Gods’, Godafoss. Your journey continues onwards to explore the Lake Myvatn Nature Reserve, a geological wonderland of wildly contrasting nature with a number of easy walking paths the whole family can enjoy. Summertime during peak birding season is a good reason to have the binoculars ready for the diverse species and rare sightings like the barrow’s goldeneye. You can take a light hike in the “dark castles” of Dimmuborgir with its rugged crags and towering rocks.  Afterwards, you can relax those muscles in soothing geothermal waters at the Myvatn Nature Spa with views over the lake and its tranquil surroundings. The grand finale of this eventful day is a visit to Europe’s mightiest waterfall, Dettifoss, a thundering cascade of glacial water and mist among shattered cliffs in Jokulsargljufur National Park. Overnight at Icelandair Hotel Akureyri.

Day 6

Botanical Gardens – Viking Horses – Seal Centre

Before departing for Reykjavik (approximately 4.5 hours) along the Ring Road, take in some of the northern charms Akureyri has to offer. This small city is ideally explored on foot and a stroll through the oldest part of town, Innbaerinn, reveals colorful timber houses along the pond restored to their original glory. Other interesting sights are the northernmost botanical gardens in the world, an adorable Christmas Shop open all year round, and the Kjarnaskogur Woods with backcountry trails, playgrounds and picnic areas. Approximately halfway back to Reykjavik you may want to take a break at the lovey Gauksmyri Lodge located on a former farmstead. Owned by horse enthusiasts, they offer demonstrations of the Icelandic Viking Horse and short riding tours in the incredible surrounding nature. Nearby is the Icelandic Seal Center which provides a fun and interactive learning experience on the six seal species found in Iceland.  Overnight at the Hotel Borg in the Reykjavik Marina.

Day 7

Departure

Depart with plenty of memories and an adventure that will certainly impress and entertain your friends and family for years to come! Optional: If you are departing on an afternoon flight, a wonderful way to say goodbye to Iceland is with a relaxing dip in the soothing waters of the Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa, located just 15 minutes from Keflavík International Airport. Facilities also include a gift shop, cafeteria, and an excellent restaurant with lagoon views. Car rental return is located at Keflavik International Airport.

Note that the best time of year for this itinerary is May – September. We can offer alternative options for the winter months.

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