We are BIG on experiences, and creating memories on any holidays that we have together as a family. Our recent holiday to Antigua proved a hugely positive experience, but we wanted to explore a country nearer home, but just as rich in natural phenomenon. We hadn’t considered visiting Iceland before, but we are always keen to search out new locations that are going to:
a) Give us something unique, and,
b) Take us off the standard routes for family excursions.
This has led us to cast our eyes beyond those usual European destinations, so why not look a little futher afield to Iceland?
Iceland is the least populated country in Europe, and remains one shrouded in mystery to many. Most have heard of its capital, Rekjavik. However, would you know where else you should be going to make sure you enjoy everything the country has to offer if you took your kids there?
We are making sure we research it properly before we set foot on in its chillier, tundra shores. We have found five ways for us to get the kids experiencing all the natural world has to offer there. From the stunning photographs below; the country rarely disappoints.
Take a Mud Bath in the Blue Lagoon
Kids LOVE to get messy. Check.
Kids LOVE a warm bath. Check.
There is nothing like doing both of them then, is there? 40 miles from the centre of Reykjavik is a rather wonderful geothermal spar that is housed over the top of a huge pool. Here kids can smear white mud over themselves, each other, and anyone else that dares to get within smearing distance. Obviously the mud has health benefits, not least with the amount of fun the kids will actually have doing it!
Get spray back from the waterfalls
Iceland has some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world.
This is NOT an exaggeration, and just a quick image search on Google for Iceland Waterfalls can literally blow your mind. There is the stunning Seljalandsfoss in the South, to the more famous Gullfoss in the South West, which is one of the most visited areas of Iceland.
It is very easy to see why, don’t you think?
Kids cannot fail to be impressed by the power of these waterfalls, and the majesty of their locations. Despite the crowds, which you may encounter in some of the more popular locations, the photographs that will be captured by young and old alike will continue to help preserve your memories long after you step away from the spray.
Find your bounce on the lava fields outside Reykjavik
One of my son’s favourite toys is his Plum trampoline – bought for a steal for his birthday a few years ago. I can honestly say, it was THE best present we ever got him.
He likes nothing better than to bounce on it, so when we discovered there are WHOLE FIELDS where the kids can do this outside Iceland’s capital city then we were instantly taken with the idea. Look at this place – simply breath-taking.
You can either hire a car, or if you are doing one of the many driving tours in Iceland, just do a little exploration around the city with the car you have and take pot luck. You’ll find one that will give your kids just that right amount of “bounce.”
Lava fields are an amazing phenomenon; they are large expanses of flat lava flows, and can go on for almost as far as the eye can see. Whatever the time of day, they are a very impressive sight, particularly for small people. They are big enough for us – but when you are only 3 foot tall, their “hugeness” becomes even more awe-inspiring.
Get cold feet on a glacial walk
In the South of Iceland lies Skaftafell National Park, which is very close to Vatnajökulll. This just so happens to be Europe’s largest glacier. We have walked the galcier in Chamonix; and been buffeted by the wind and snow on the peaks of the Alps on a ski-ing holiday, but have never set foot on a glacier in the summer with the children. Seeing these bleak landscapes, when everywhere else is green and burgeoning with life, can be a sombre moment for little minds. This is particularly true if used as an opportunity to remind them how much these amazing landscapes are changing thanks to human disregard.
Unbelievably, this park is over 13% of the total size of the whole of Iceland; just vast and imposing for anyone to walk through and take in.
It is a must to walk these ice giants in a country that has taken its name from these iconic flows. We can only hope that we change the way we treat our planet so that in years to come, they haven’t melted away, and our children’s children can experience that same wonder as they stand with chilly toes, and look out and see nothing but white for miles around them.
See the magic of the Northern Lights
A trip to Iceland to connect your children with nature wouldn’t be complete without a visit to see the Northern Lights. The Aurora Borealis is one of the most famous, and free, light shows anywhere in the world. Iceland is renowned for the views that it provides of the spectacle on clear, dark nights.
A trip to see the Northern Lights in Iceland would, quite simply, be unrivalled. Some of the best views can be afforded in September to mid-April when the night are blackest. Do bare in mind the temperature and weather when you visit though – it can get pretty brusk between November to February, even though the nights can be at their best at this time.
Iceland is a beautiful, charming country, and provides so many ways for children is really enjoy the adventure and bounty that this beautiful planet offers. Why wouldn’t you be excited to take your family there?
Why not pin visiting Iceland for later – to your travel wish list?