We spent the summer of 2016 touring Iceland. Now we're writing a guidebook to tell you exactly what you want to know:

How to take the whole family abroad and survive the process unscathed.


Golden Circle

Live From Iceland!

Friday, July 1 update: Heiðmerkur and Engi greenhouses, Iceland Riverjet, Faxi, Hotel Geysir, and Geysir

One last day in the Golden Circle area! I’d been seeing this sign around Laugarás, but I didn’t know what it was:

self service greenhouse

You can almost make out the Icelandic … kind of. The middle line is “fresh vegetables” (grænt means green). The last line is the part I didn’t get … But sjálf is self. So it’s a self service greenhouse. Read more

Live From Iceland!

Wednesday, June 29 update: Slakki, Friðheimar, and Skálholt

Even though I knew that Slakki (Facebook link if the web site doesn’t work) bills itself as a petting zoo, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It’s not too far from the Golden Circle attractions (about 25 minutes from Geysir) and yet there isn’t a whole lot of information about it on the Internet. I’ll reveal the punchline now: The kids ranked this as one of the best things we have done in Iceland!

slakki overview Read more

Preparation, Things to Do

Reykjavik? Ring Road? Planning your Iceland trip

So you’re going to Iceland, and trying to figure out how to plan your trip. The internet is full of millions of pictures of thousands of things you can see and do. How do you plan your itinerary? What should do you do, and what will you need to skip?

Here are my brief recommendations for how you should structure your trip, based on the number of days you have. Note that the categories overlap:

1-5 days: Stay in Reykjavik, and do day tours
3-8 days: Cover one or two areas, but not the whole country
7+ days: Cover the whole country. Well, more of it at least.

I think that some people will find these surprisingly conservative. Why just stay in Reykjavik for 4 days? Why not try the whole country in 6 days? Read more

Things to Do

Which spa / pool / lagoon to go to in Iceland (with or without kids)?

Blue Lagoon” by Moyan Brenn is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Blue Lagoon and other geothermal spas

When describing the Blue Lagoon, someone once said: “We actually charge now every tourist 40 Euros to bathe themselves in a spill of water from a power plant.”

Except that someone happened to be the President of Iceland. Oh, and he just said it last week. He isn’t the first person to state (or at least strongly imply) that the Blue Lagoon is an overpriced tourist attraction. On the other hand, you’re a tourist, and Iceland isn’t exactly the world’s cheapest country. So should you go anyway?

I think it’s worth going to at least one of the geothermally heated pools or spas. So which one is best? To compare, let’s take a look at each one, along with the cost for a hypothetical family of 4 (2 adults and 2 children, ages 5 and 8) visiting in July 2016.

Here’s a map of the options we’re looking at: Read more

Things to Do

Golden Circle: Tour Options

Geysir Strokkur” by Klaus is licensed under CC BY 2.0

[Update: Be sure to check out our Golden Circle Tour with Kids post!]

In another post we discussed several “add-ons” you can see  during your day touring the Golden Circle. Now the question is how best to see all of this. Options include:

  1. Drive your car. If you have a rental car, I think you’re done with this post. Plan your trip, make sure you have a GPS, or a GPS program on your phone, or have a quality map and the knowledge to use it. See our post about using a GPS in Iceland.
  2. Rent a car for the day. Here is an option from Reykjavik Excursions.  Many other car rental options have a 2 day minimum, but this is a 24 hour rental. And it comes with a “pre-planned GPS route”.
  3. A private guided tour. We won’t cover those here, but a family of 4 can expect to pay approximately the price for 6 adults on one of the bus tours. That’s about twice the price of one of the minibus tours, or about 3 times the cost of a big bus tour.
  4. A small bus tour. You will be on a minibus with other groups, but the maximum number of people on a bus will be about 20. There several options, but here are two, which both cost the same:

Read more