We just took a quick trip to Iceland as a family of 3 before the new baby comes this fall. I was a little apprehensive about taking a one-year-old since an Iceland vacation doesn’t offer a plethora of toddler activities, but I’m so glad we did! There was plenty for him to do in nature, things to gaze and wonder about, and the family photos I got are just priceless! Here’s a recap of our trip. It reads like a travel blog so if you’re bored, just look at the pictures. I’m not offended 😉
We got into Iceland super early (around 5am). After a much needed nap in our Air bnb (because our toddler, Nash decided not to sleep a wink on the night flight), we ventured out to our first stop, Strokkur Geyser. We learned that this is one of the top 5 tallest geysers in the world.
We poked our heads into this restaurant to see how expensive the food was. $30 for a cheeseburger. It’s no joke that iceland is easy to get to but hard on your wallet once you’re there. So we bought groceries ;The “cheaper” grocery store called Bonus is only open from 11am – 630pm. So plan accordingly. (Hagkup, more like a Super target is open 24 hours but it’s more expensive). P.s. to Grant’s dismay, bacon was $19/package!
Next we drove to Gullfoss. this huge waterfall. There is a secret parking lot at the bottom of a ton of stairs we had to walk down…just so you know 🙂 And plenty of tourists to exchange taking pictures.
(Go Big Red!)
This is Thingvellir National Park, where the Eurasian and the North American tectonic plates come together. And the gap isn’t that big! You can even snorkel and dive here (if you dare these freezing water temps)! But just look at this terrain. It’s beautiful in it’s own way. There’s a mossy coverage over much of this land.
The next morning we all slept in, had breakfast in our jammies, and enjoyed the area around our air bnb. We rented this cabin in the middle of nowhere, Iceland (a 45 minute drive from the capitol). I’m glad we didn’t stay in the city, this was the perfect view to wake up to (that’s lake Pingvallavatn in the distance).
We left home by noon and found a surprise waterfall on our way around the island. Luckily it was about 55 degrees (F) because if you don’t mind getting wet, you can walk behind it. This is on your way to the Skogafoss Waterfall from Reykjavik. There’s a rest area with a food truck of sorts here.
Maybe 20-30 minutes from there is Skogafoss or Thor’s home of Asgard if you’re into superhero movies like us. There’s a huge staircase you can walk up to get a different view, highly recommended!
Another surprise stop was Solheimajokull, a huge glacier that you can walk to. And touch. And walk ON if you’re up for it (guided tours are offered if you have the desire and the money). We were happy just walking up to it and look at it’s amazing features. It’s about a 30 minute hike each way, easy enough a pregnant lady with a baby strapped to her back can do it!
After this we ventured about 2 hours to Vik, my favorite stop of the whole trip. Vik is a small town famous for it’s black sand beaches. It is so beautiful! Nash got scared of the loud ocean sounds but he loved playing in the sand and with the rocks.
Grant shot this photo of us. For some reason, I love it. Even though it’s out of focus and my hand is super awkward…something about it is beautiful. Good job, honey!
And then we nailed the family selfie.I mentioned we bought groceries instead of eating out. For 3 days, we lived on eggs, peanut butter/jelly sandwiches, fruit and chips mainly. We had things to see! Not to mention taking a toddler to a restaurant is not my cup of tea! And speaking of, a cup of tea or coffee costs about $7. A cheap beer costs about $10.
We did seek out Baejarins Beztu Pylsur, a famous hotdog stand in downtown Reykjavik. The best hotdog $5 can buy!
Our last day, we wanted to explore the capitol city, Reykjavik. We went to Hallgrimskirkja, the tallest church in Iceland. The view alone is worth the $9 to get to the top. Grant and Nash stayed in the sanctuary and listened to the pipe organ concert.
We were just on time for our flight when we decided to see one more thing. The Blue Lagoon is about 20 minutes from the airport. If you know Grant, you know we couldn’t NOT stop 😉 But it’s a must see! This hot pool/spa is made possible by a geo-thermal plant next door. The water and steam are naturally occurring but the spa is man-made. This picture doesn’t do it justice. The water looked like cotton candy blue and the terrain was like you were on the moon.
After all was said and done, we could have used one more day here but 3 days was just fine for us. There are plenty of camper van rentals for the toddler-less or more adventurous. If we did it again, I wouldn’t change much, maybe just add a few sites. Iceland is a such beautiful country! It’s definitely a must see if you’re a bucket-like person. And just bring your toddler…they’ll have more fun than you know!