Holiday Ideas
  • Travel Style
  • Interests and Activities
  • Tour Ideas by Month
  • Continents and Regions

Iceland Winter Road Trip For Families

  • Highlights
Our fully customizable, private 8-day self-drive tour has been designed for families traveling with older children and teenagers. Your tour starts and ends in the capital, Reykjavik, taking you on a winter journey to see Iceland's Golden Circle, South, and West Coast highlights. Cozy lodges, glacier lagoons, ice caves, thermal springs, the Northern Lights; this tour is gua...

Our fully customizable, private 8-day self-drive tour has been designed for families traveling with older children and teenagers. Your tour starts and ends in the capital, Reykjavik, taking you on a winter journey to see Iceland's Golden Circle, South, and West Coast highlights. Cozy lodges, glacier lagoons, ice caves, thermal springs, the Northern Lights; this tour is guaranteed to please the whole family.

Kids will love...

• Walking between Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss Waterfalls

• Snowmobiling or ice caving on Vatnajokull Glacier

• Seeing the spectacular Northern Lights on a Superjeep tour

Parents will love...

• The perfect balance of family-friendly activities and downtime

• The freedom of having a rental car (with booster seats for little ones if required)

• The safety of 24:7 on-the-ground assistance

See more
Tour itinerary includes
  • Volcano
  • Winter sports
    Winter sports
  • Walking and trekking
    Walking and trekking
  • Local cuisine
    Local cuisine
  • Countryside

Customisable trip itinerary

This tour idea is fully customisable

The itinerary has been created by our local agency with one idea in mind: to inspire you. Every element can be adapted to your needs and interests, from duration to accommodation and activities.

Day 1: Reykjavík - Arrival & Welcome

Upon arrival, you'll pick up your rental car at Keflavík Airport (booster seats can be provided for little ones) and set off for the northernmost capital in the world: Reykjavík. On your way, we recommend driving along the south coast of the Reykjanes Peninsula to visit the picturesque fishing villages. Optional activities to add to the day's itinerary:
• Admission to the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa
• ATV touring through lava fields or riding buggies
into Mosfellsdalur valley (minimum age 6 years old)
•  Afternoon whale-watching excursion

Day 2: South Coast - Waterfalls & Black Sand Beach

Today, you'll head off along Road no. 1 towards the stunning South Coast. Along the way, you'll have plenty of opportunities to see the famous Icelandic horses who call this region their home. Why not stop off for lunch at the Lava Centre in the village of Hvolsvöllur, to learn about Iceland's geothermal history? Later, continue on to the breath-taking and iconic waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss. If you’re in the mood for a hike, we recommend a trail between the two waterfalls to Seljavallalaug swimming pool (1 hour there and back).

Next, head to the black sand beach of Reynisfjara, settled against the impressive cliffs of Dyrholaey. End the day by heading on to your accommodation in Kirkjubæjarklaustur.

Optional activities to add to the day's itinerary:

• Snowmobiling on Myrdalsjokull glacier (minimum age 5 years old)
• Horseback riding tour on black sand beaches (mininum age 10 years old)
• ATV adventure on black sand beaches to an abandoned plane wreck (minimum age 5 years)
• Katla ice caving tour (minimum age 12 years)

Day 3: Vatnajokull - National Park & Glacier Lagoon

After breakfast, make your way slowly across the massive sand plains of Skeidararsandur desert,  into the national park of Vatnajokull. At the information centre in Skaftafell you will find extensive information about the history and geology of this fascinating area. If weather and trail conditions allow, you can hike to the beautiful waterfall of Svartifoss, and do a family glacier walk on Svinafellsjokull glacier.

When you have satisfied your hiking thirst, head to the stunning Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon where you will see dozens of icebergs having broken off from Breiðamerkurjökull glacier tongue. If you're lucky, you'll be able to spot some seals chilling on icebergs. After exploring this stunning region you will head back west and to your accommodation in Kirkjubæjarklaustur.

Optional activities to add to the day's itinerary:

• Glacier walk from Skaftafell (minimum age 8 years old)
• Ice caving excursion in Vatnajokull glacier (minimum age 12 years old)
• Snowmobiling tour on Vatnajokull glacier (minimum age 2 years old)

Day 4: The Golden Circle - Natural Wonders & Icelandic Ice Cream

Today, you'll set off west for a quiet day on the road to revisit the South Coast. Shortly after passing the town of Hella, you'll turn off the main road and start exploring the legendary Golden Circle, containing Iceland's top three must-see sites. First, Þingvellir National Park, where mountains, volcanoes, lakes, rivers and a forest provide the perfect conditions for a  family hike. Then, head on to Strokkur, an extremely active geyser that erupts every 5 to 10 minutes, its column of hot water reaching 20 meters up to the sky like a fist of fury! 

A few minutes drive from the geyser, you'll find the third part of the Golden Circle: the magnificent 2-level waterfall, Gullfoss. We recommend a stop at Efstidalur Farm (between Þingvellir and the geyser), where you can stop for delicious local ice cream. At the end of the day, head back to your accommodation in the region of Laugarvatn og Mosfellsbær.

Optional activities to add to the day's itinerary:

• Snorkelling between the continents at Silfra Fissure (minimum age 12 years old)

ThingvellirGolden CircleStrokkur, GullfossHella

Day 5: Hvalfjordur - Lava Fields & Waterfalls

Today, you'll head north on Road 1 and take the exit into the beautiful fjord of Hvalfjordur. This used to be the centre of whaling in Iceland for a few hundred years, and during the Second World War over 20,000 British troops were stationed here, training and protecting the Atlantic shipping convoy. Today, you won't find any troops or whaling boats, instead it is an area of unspoiled beauty with high mountains, trickling brooks, and many hiking trails.  

Once out of Hvalfjordur, continue on to the next fjord, Borgarfjordur. With less dramatic landscapes than Hvalfjordur, but very energetic geology, this area is no less impressive. Make stops at Deildartunguhver, the most voluminous hot spring in Europe, and in the waterfalls of Hraunfossar. These falls are special in that they see an underground river, which has flowed several miles, come bursting out from the edge of an ancient lava field.   

Optional activities to add to the day's itinerary:

• Ice caving excursion on Langjokull glacier (Accessible for all ages)
• Admission to the Krauma nature baths at Deildartunguhver hot spring (accessible for all ages)
• Morning buggy adventure on the slopes of Mt. Esja and into Mosfellsdalur valley (minimum age 6 years)

Hvalfjörður, Hraunfossar, Borgarfjördur, Deildartunguhver

Day 6: Snaefellsnes Peninsula - Kirkjufell

Today, you'll discover the wilderness of the Snæfellsnes peninsula. One of the first things that you'll notice when you drive on the Snaefellsnes peninsula is the dormant volcanic crater of Eldborg, which can easily be hiked from a nearby car park. Enjoy the views from the road, especially when the glacier of Snæfellsjokull comes into view. This still-active volcanic station is the setting of Jules Verne´s classic novel 'Journey to the Centre of the Earth' and dominates the landscapes on the peninsula. Explore the villages of Arnarstapi and Hellnar, and stretch your legs in the lava fields around the impressive rock formations of Londrangar. 

Swing around the peninsula, passing through more small communities, and soon you will come to the most photographed mountain in Iceland, Kirkjufell. There's good reason this mountain features on more published postcards than any other in Iceland, so take your time to get that perfect photo and memory of it. Shortly after passing through the town of Grundarfjordur, you can visit the shark museum at Bjarnarhofn and try a piece of fermented shark - a local delicacy. Last but not least, you will visit the charming little town of Stykkisholmur, where you can hike to the top of the little mountain overlooking the harbour, and the small wooden house built in traditional Scandinavian style. Then head back to Borgarnes for your second night there.

Optional activities to add to the day's itinerary:

• Lava tubing tour at Arnarstapi (for kids aged 5 and up)

SnæfellsnesKirkjufell, Eldborg, Snæfellsjökull, ArnarstapiHellnarGrúndarfjörður, StykkisholmurBorgarnes

Day 7: Reykjavik - Final Day For Activities

Make the most out of your last day for activities by choosing from one of the many child-friendly excursions available, such as a swim in Laugardalslaug Pool, or a visit to the zoo/family park Húsdýra og fjölskyldugarðurinn (50% discount if you can pronounce it!) You can also admire the impressive architecture of Harpa Concert Hall, where you can check out a concert or show, take a selfie in front of the sculpture Sólfarið (Sun Voyager), or go to Tjörnin, the city pond, to feed the birds.

The 'Whales of Iceland' museum is recommended for kids who want to learn about the gentle giants of the sea, and the open air museum of Árbæjarsafn is also a great option for discovering the habits and traditions of Icelanders in the good old days.

Optional activities to add to the day's itinerary:

• Northern Lights excursion by mini-bus
• Whale-watching or puffing spotting from the harbour 
​• Guided walking tour through the city centre


Day 8: Reykjavík - Departure For Flight Home

Enjoy a last breakfast in your hotel before you drop your rental car back off at Keflavik International Airport ready for your flight home. We hope you've had an amazing time in Iceland and look forward to seeing you again soon!


Reykjavik Reykjanes Blue Lagoon Hvolsvöllur Skógafoss Seljalandsfoss Reynisfjara Vatnajökull Skaftafell Svartifoss Jökulsárlón Thingvellir Golden Circle Strokkur Gullfoss Hella Hvalfjörður Hraunfossar Borgarfjördur Deildartunguhver Snæfellsnes Kirkjufell Eldborg Snæfellsjökull Arnarstapi Hellnar Grúndarfjörður Stykkisholmur Borgarnes

Price details

This tour idea is fully customisable

The price reflects this specific tour itinerary and is designed to give you an idea of the budget required for this destination. Throughout the trip-planning process, our local agency will tailor your itinerary around your budget.

Approx. £910 / 8 days
Excluding international flights
Price per person (for 2 adults and 2 teenagers aged 12-16)
1st October 2018 to 31st October 2018£880
1st November 2018 to 31st March 2019£800
1st April 2019 to 30th April 2019£880

Included in price:

  • Accommodation: 7 nights accommodation in guesthouses and hotels in a family room/apartment (depending on availability), or double rooms with private bathrooms and breakfast included
  • Transport: car rental for 8 days in a Category E (Hyundai i30 station wagon manual car) including a road map, CDW insurance, and an extra driver, and airport supplement pick-up/drop-off fee
  • Meals: breakfast x 7 (in hotels)
  • 24:7 on-the-ground assistance

Not included in price:

  • International flights
  • Deposit for car rental
  • Lunches and dinners
  • Personal expenses
  • Optional or suggested activities mentioned in the tour

Itinerary not quite right for you?

Create your tailor-made trip Browse all tour ideas in Iceland (15)

Other tour ideas

Tour ideas by activity, interest, or seasonality