Iceland is awesome and, unexpectedly, baby friendly. Nature pleases the heart of any sci-fi fan, and even with a baby on our back we were able to see (and do) a lot. One week is just not enough, we leave excited to come back again.
Our week in Iceland:
To avoid constant unpacking and packing, we stay at 2 places and do day trips around:
- 3 days in the south, basing ourselves in a little motel near Olfuss. We see Blue Lagoon, Geysir and Strokkur geysers, Gullfoss waterfall, Thingvellir and diving in between tectonic plates in Silfra, crazy driving in the Kaldidalur valley and a glacier trip with Into the Glacier Tour.
- Cross over Highlands on route F35, the shortest and relatively safe way across the island. A little boring, I dare to say, easily done in one day.
- 3 days in the northern Myvatn region, staying on a farm in airbnb: hikes around volcanic areas in Myvatn and Vesturdalur national park, terrifying Dettifoss and Godafoss waterfalls, and to soak it all in – a day well spent in the geothermal natural spa in Myvatn.
Some of our tips:
- Leave the stroller at home. You will spend majority of the time in nature, baby carrier of any sort is just so much more comfortable. We took light and compact Manduca for easy days, and a hard core Deuter for longer hikes. If you prefer stroller anyways, you can get to most of the sights with it.
- Take warm and waterproof clothes. It gets cold even in the summer. Don’t forget a winter hat and gloves, not only for the baby. Hard to take pictures with frozen fingers, as we have learned painfully. And don’t leave the jacket in the car, you will get wet near every waterfall.
- Rent a 4×4 and do some highland driving. It is worth it. Some bigger SUV with 4WD/AWD is sufficient, but for more adventurous drives jeep is a must. Take it seriously, especially with kiddos on board. Expect river crossings, deep volcanic sand, snow, wind, rain, and all that in wilderness with no other car in sight. Check road conditions on official web. Renting a proper baby car seat was not an issue, just make sure to book it in advance.
- Buy baby food there. There is a great variety available in every corner store, including pouches of our favorite Ella’s Kitchen.
Our top sights and experiences:
(of course, there is so much more to Iceland):
- Bathing in Myvatn Nature Baths: Great views and water that doesn’t stink. Babies are welcome, according to locals they can stay in the warm water as long as they manage. Piko loved it, and so did we. Not so crowded as Blue Lagoon, where kids under 2 years old are not permitted anyhow.
- Lake Myvatn volcanic area and Dettifoss: breathtaking landscape like from another world, worth a drive north.
- Driving through the highlands: Kandidalur and Into the Glacier tour, some rough road driving and river crossings on F338.
- Hiking in Vesturdalur (Jokulsargljufur National Park): not an obvious tourist destination but very cool sights. Different difficulties of hike available.
- Lauga-ás restaurant in Reykjavik: traditional Icelandic restaurant, delicious lobster for a good (yet still Icelandic) price.
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