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One of the great side effects of being a seasoned traveler, and travel blogger, is that friends and family often ask me to help them plan their trips. (I really need to become an agent, its something I am thinking of doing – any advice on this definitely welcome). So when a friend recently asked for help planning a trip to Iceland, of course I was happy to get to work! Since I had already done the legwork, and put together a great list of must-do activities, I figured I would turn my research into an article to share with you.
Planning a Trip to Iceland
I have not actually been to Iceland. It is somewhere I have always been intrigued by, and I would like to visit. Hubby and I have thrown it around as a possible adult-only adventure, or as a destination we would do as a family when our kids are slightly older. It’s right there on my radar screen, so I knew Iceland would be a fun spot to put together a must-do list for.
When planning a trip (for me, or for others) I always hit up Pinterest first. That way I can search and pin articles to a dedicated board. I might pin first and sort through the articles later, or read them as I go. I then take notes into the notebook that I always travel with. The beauty of using Pinterest to research is I can easily go back to find the article if need be, even when on the ground in a new destination. I definitely recommend this method of preparing for a trip!
Since I had already pinned a ton of Iceland articles to my “Family Travel Europe” board, I just had to read through them and take notes. Of course once you start reading one article, it usually will link to several other good ones and you might find yourself falling down the rabbit hole of travel research! Just a warning!
So for my friend’s upcoming trip – a late summer adventure with two college age children, here is what I came up with for her. Note they are planning to stay in Reykjavik but rent a car, van or one of these awesome mini-campers in Iceland.
CHECK OUT THIS ARTICLE IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR THE BEST PLACES TO STAY IN ICELAND
Viking Museum – What could be more Icelandic than Vikings? This museum comes highly recommended by Tamara from We3Travel. I also like starting off my visits to a new place with a museum that will teach a bit about the culture and what you are going to see. At this museum you can visit a replica of a real Viking Ship! There is also a playground and petting zoo if you are traveling with younger kids.
Special Tours Reykjavik – This tour comes highly recommended by another blogging friend, Kate from Have Diapers Will Travel. This is a sightseeing tour where you can see whales and dolphins! They also offer a puffin watching expedition, which I am definitely doing whenever I get to Iceland! I love puffins! Also worth noting that children age 6 and under are FREE.
Geysir Blow – The Geysir Blow is one of the most popular tourist spots in Iceland, for good reason. This highly active hot spring has boiling mud pits and a geyser, which spouts water into the air every few minutes. 100 FEET into the air! Coming from the east coast, we don’t have geothermal activity, so I know this would be a unique experience for native New Yorkers!
Black Sand Beach in Vik – You all know I love a good beach, but this is not the sandy, sit out and tan yourself kind. No, this beach in South Iceland is made up of cooled lava rocks! Like pebble sized rocks. What a unique and beautiful thing to see. Plus I am always up for a non-tropical beach!
Northern Lights Bus Tour – I’ve never seen the Northern Lights, we live too far south, and I’ve never been far enough north to even have a chance. So I know an Iceland must-do list MUST include a chance to see the Aurora Borealis. There are several bus tours that will take you from Reykjavik to give your best chance at seeing the Northern Lights. I love these tips from Wyld Family Travel about taking a Northern Lights bus tour!
Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon Tour – So in my research this seemed to be the must-do activity if you are interested in visiting a glacier. Actually a glacier that is breaking off into a beautiful lagoon! How crazy is that? Here you can take guided boat tours and get up close with the glacier!
Blue Lagoon – DUH! I know its expected and touristy – but what visit to Iceland would be complete without a trip to the blue lagoon. Part eco-destination, part spa like experience, I know I would love this! I do love the Blue Lagoon tips by a Blonde Abroad. I especially love her hair tips (the Blue Lagoon minerals can really destroy your mane) and packing tips for the visit.
Click here for more about taking a guided tour of Iceland – perfect for those on a short itinerary or an Iceland layover!
Hopefully I will get to Iceland soon. But for now, I’ll have to live vicariously through my travel friends and Pinterest boards! Have you been to Iceland? What are your best tips for planning a trip to Iceland? What was your must do activity in this unique European country?
PLANNING A TRIP? CHECK OUT: