Bathe in Hot Springs and Geothermal Pools
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Basking in the heated geothermal pools that Iceland is famous for has been a popular family activity ever since the Age of Settlement, where the heat from the volcanic activity beneath the island’s surface has offered welcome warmth to the dwellers of this icy nation.
Today, public swimming pools and geothermal springs are found in nearly every town and village across the country. Most of these include facilities for children, such as wading pools and small water slides.
- See also: Best Swimming Pools in Iceland
Travelers of all ages love visiting the myriad of Iceland’s natural hot pools. These can easily be located yourself when renting a car or embarking on a self-drive tour. If, for instance, you are traversing the Golden Circle route, you can stop at the geothermal valley Reykjadalur by Hveragerði and hike up to the natural hot springs that dot the area. You can also take a tour to this site.
Photo from Hot Spring Hike from Reykjadalur
For the ultimate luxury hot spring experience, establishments across the country offer geothermally heated nature baths, often built right into their natural surroundings. The most popular of these would be the world-famous Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa located in between Reykjavík City and Keflavík Airport, where children as young as two-years-old can enter.
The lagoon is an immensely popular option, but is far from the only one boasting the acclaimed benefits of tranquility and relaxation. The Fontana Geothermal Baths in Laugarvatn have no age limit, as well as offering free entry for children under thirteen—the same goes for the Mývatn Nature Baths in North Iceland. The stunning Secret Lagoon at Flúðir Village also provides free admission for kids under the age of fourteen.
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Photo from Golden Circle Tour with the Secret Lagoon
Iceland might not be the first place that comes to mind when seeking a beach holiday, but if the weather is nice you can pack up the sunscreen and volleyball and head to Nauthólsvík, a man-made resort where geothermal heating is used to warm the Atlantic Ocean within a barricaded bay. You’ll find outdoor hot tubs and changing-rooms amongst sunbathing locals on a fair-coloured strip of sand situated by the Reykjavík University.
- See also: The 13 Most Enchanting Beaches in Iceland
With such a wide selection of options, wherever you are basing your travels, your whole family can enjoy doing what Icelanders love best—which is to soak, swim, play, relax and renew—outdoors together in warm and restorative waters.
Get to Know the Animals of Iceland
Nothing gives children joy like animals do! Luckily, Iceland doesn’t have any particularly dangerous wildlife so kids can safely view these magnificent creatures in the wild (from a distance of course; never pet or feed wild animals!).
In Iceland, the animal life ranges from whales to seals, horses to puffins, and everything in between! Children can enjoy educational and exciting excursions to see or interact with these animals and make memories that last a lifetime. Read on for our top recommendations for adventures to satisfy animal lovers of all ages.
- See also: Wildlife and Animals in Iceland
Whale and Puffin Watching
Photo from Guided 3 Hour Whale Watching Boat Tour in Skjalfandi Bay with Transfer from Husavik
On a whale watching adventure, spectators of all ages can witness majestic sea mammals roaming wild and free in their natural habitat. The different species of whale that inhabit Iceland’s shores are most commonly alluring minke whales, followed by acrobatic humpbacks, playful white-beaked dolphins, timid harbour porpoises and majestic orcas. After a successful tour, your child will surely have picked out their favorite of the bunch.
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Whale watching tours on traditional vessels don’t have a particular age limit and are available throughout the year from the Old Harbour of the capital city of Reykjavík, as well as Akureyri and Húsavík in the North, and the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in the West. As long as the waters are calm, you are free to bring even the very youngest onboard.
- See also: Whale Watching in Iceland and Where to Find Puffins in Iceland
As if whale watching wasn’t already exciting enough, during the summer whale watching tours often include puffin watching. These are usually conducted onboard a RIB boat, where the age-limit is ten-years-old. If your child hasn’t reached that age, don’t worry—puffins can still be found on self-drive tours of the South Coast or Westfjords, from April through August.
Having the chance to see these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat is an experience children will remember for life, placing whale and puffin watching tours amongst the most ideal family-friendly adventures available in Iceland.