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North Iceland Family Adventure

from £666 excluding flights

  • 3 nights
  • Year round
Home Destinations Nordic Europe Iceland North Iceland Family Adventure


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Spot whales and dolphins on a boat trip (included)

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Marvel at the geological wonders around Lake Myvatn

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Explore the Arctic Coast Way – Iceland’s newest touring route

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Relax in the geothermal waters of the Nature Baths

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Discover Iceland’s interior on an optional superjeep safari

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Witness the roar of Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall

Why this trip...

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Fly direct to North Iceland

From Oct 2023, choose to fly direct to Akureyri from London Gatwick with Easyjet

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Explore at leisure

With the route, transport and accommodation sorted, each day offers the freedom to explore

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Tailor made

This itinerary can be tailor made to suit you and is intended to give you a guideline of what is possible in a given timeframe


Fly to Akureyri, Iceland’s second city, located right at the heart of the spectacular north. This new, self drive family adventure offers outdoor adventures, wildlife encounters, geography brought to life… There’s a vast range range of activities available. We’ve included a whale watching tour from Husavik (the best place in Europe to spot humpbacks and other cetaceans), but you can also include optional activities like horse riding and superjeep safaris.

North Iceland is also superb touring country – with your hire car explore the natural wonders of Lake Myvatn, Dettifoss and the breathtaking Arctic Coast Way.

Stay in Akureyri

You will be based at Hotel Kjarnalundur, tucked into woodland above the small, compact city of Akureyri. As well as hiking and mountain bike trails right on your doorstep, all the facilities and attractions of Akureyri and Eyjafjordur (one of Iceland’s longest fjords) are just a short drive away, whether you want a meal out, a dip in the local swimming pool or a stroll around one of the world’s most northerly botanic gardens – just 50km shy of the Arctic Circle.

Set sail on Europe’s ultimate whale watching tour

Back in 1993 we were the first company to operate a whale watching tour in Iceland. Husavik, a colourful harbour town on the north coast is Europe’s whale watching capital. Included in your holiday (March – November), you’ll set out into the glittering expanse of Skjalfandi Bay. With the average success rate of sightings at over 97%, you and your children shouldn’t have to wait long for your first marine mammal encounter… perhaps it will be a minke whale surfacing near the boat, a pod of white-beaked dolphins cavorting thought the waves, or a humpback whale breaching. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a blue whale or a pod of orcas. Gannets, puffins, fulmars and other seabirds are just as riveting – and as if things couldn’t get any better, you’ll be offered hot chocolate and cinnamon buns on the way back to port!

Tour the natural wonders of the north

Akureyri lies on the Arctic Coast Way, a 900km touring route that follows the deep fjords, broad bays and wild peninsulas of North Iceland. Set off in your hire car and you can easily sample a section… perhaps driving north along the shores of Eyjafjordur. Just 30 minutes’ drive from your hotel, you’ll find Godafoss, one of Iceland’s most beautiful waterfalls. Another 30 minutes and you’ll arrive at Lake Myvatn, encircled by a road that links eye-popping volcanic features, from craters and lava flows to boiling mud pits. You won’t want to miss the Nature Baths – an amazing outdoor geothermal lagoon with water temperatures of 36-40°C. At the height of summer, with 24hr daylight, it’s well worth continuing on to Dettifoss to stare in awe at Europe’s mightiest waterfall – 44m high and flowing at up to 200 cubic metres a second.

Take your pick from numerous optional activities

We can pre-book optional excursions for you to suit. Choose from horse riding to a guided Superjeep tour for truly off the beaten track fun into Iceland’s uninhabited interior. Children will also love visiting the medieval trading site of Gásir where, each July, Icelandic craftsmen and women recreate life from the 13th and 14th centuries.

Extend your stay

All of our holidays can be tailor made – let our Travel Specialists know what you want to do and they’ll happily plan a bespoke itinerary for you, whether it’s a case of adding a day or two, or extending it into a two-week holiday. We can also arrange for you to fly into Akureyri and out of Keflavik if you’d like to travel overland between North and South Iceland.


After arriving in Akureyri, collect your rental car and drive to your hotel. Depending on your arrival time, you may want to visit Akureyri Botanical Garden or relax in the new Forest Lagoon (opening June 2022) on the town’s outskirts. If you fancy a longer drive, head over the pass 30-40 minutes to Godafoss, a stunning horseshoe-shaped waterfall divided into two sections 9-17m tall. Back in Akureyri, dinner options range from fish and chips to fine Nordic cuisine. Down by the harbour, Bryggjan is a good family option offering everything from local seafood and lamb to various pizzas. Spend 3 nights at Hotel Kjarnalundur.

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Today, venture further afield, perhaps driving to the Lake Myvatn area where you’ll need at least 3-4hrs to experience all that the area has to offer. A ring road around the lake takes you to volcanic highlights such as Dimmuborgir lava field where twisted basalt formations are riddled with legends of trolls and elves and Hverfjall explosion crater, which you can scale on a rough but well-trodden path. There’s also Grjotagja lava cave and the Skutustadagigar pseudocraters. You should also visit the Namaskard Pass where a mountainside is pockmarked with boiling mud pits and hissing fumaroles, and take a dip in the Nature Baths. An hour’s drive to the east of Lake Mývatn, Dettifoss is well worth a visit.

You could also squeeze in an optional activity, such as horse riding, or even join a superjeep safari. These can be pre-booked with our Travel Specialists who can advise you of the various options.

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After breakfast at your hotel, drive north for about an hour to reach the port of Husavik for a 3-hour whale watching trip. Sailing into Skjalfandi Bay, keep your eyes peeled for tell-tale blows of minke and humpback whales. An unforgettable voyage, you may well be treated to close encounters with the gentle giants. Bow-riding dolphins are also a possibility, while in late spring/early summer, you should also see puffins. Returning to Husavik, visit the fascinating Whale Museum to learn more about the whale-rich waters of Iceland’s north coast. The Exploration Museum in Husavik is also a great option for families. Dedicated to the history of human exploration, it features Viking settlers, Arctic explorers and even artefacts from the Apollo astronaut training program that took place in North Iceland in the mid-1960s prior to the moon landing.

The rest of the day is at your leisure… if you fancy relaxing, head to the nearby GeoSea baths perched on the edge of the ocean. Or why not explore a little of the Arctic Coast Way, enjoying spectacular views from North Iceland’s wild headlands and peninsulas…? Return to Akureyri.

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After breakfast at your hotel, enjoy free time in and around Akureyri enjoying more of its family-friendly attractions. After dropping off your hire car at the airport, catch your flight home.

Optional Activities

What are the minimum ages?

Ask our Travel Specialists for advice on what would be most suitable for your children. As a general guide, below are the minimum ages for the activities and excursions referenced in this holiday.

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  • Whale watching Children of all ages are welcome.
  • Superjeep safari A few of our superjeep tours have a minimum age of seven.
  • Horse riding Children under seven can enjoy a short, rein-led paddock ride. For a gentle, half-day ride, children aged seven and over must be accompanied by an adult. More challenging excursions require riding experience and usually have a minimum age of around 12.
  • Myvatn Nature Baths No minimum age. Children 12 and below are admitted free when accompanied by an adult.

Prices and Departures

Price from £666 excluding flights

Airfares vary widely and are quoted separately to the holiday price, starting from around £250pp return with Icelandair and British Airways, though may be lower with Play or EasyJet. We'll provide the best fare available at the time of enquiry, which tend to be cheaper the earlier you book.

UK Airports with flights direct to Iceland are Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton, Bristol, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh. We can also arrange flights from non-UK destinations. Discover more »

What's Included

  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom
  • Car rental throughout with unlimited mileage
  • No charge for additional driver
  • Whale watching boat trip from Husavik (March to November)
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee
  • Full financial protection

From prices per adult

Based on 2 adults. Up to 2 children aged 11 years or under travel free if sharing a room with their parents. Prices for other combinations of passengers and rooms available on request. Prices may vary depending on departure date. Please contact us for a detailed quote based on your preferred travel dates, and style of accommodation, or to tailor this itinerary.

Departure Duration Hotel Price
Jan - May 3 nights Hotel Kjarnalundur - Quadruple room £666
Jun - Sep 3 nights Hotel Kjarnalundur - Quadruple room £817
Oct - Dec 3 nights Hotel Kjarnalundur - Quadruple room £638

Tailor made trips

As independent destination specialists, we are able to tailor make holidays to suit you, be that customising the itineraries shown on this website or creating something bespoke.


Travelling sustainably

We believe travel is about finding the right balance between minimising our impact on the environment and broadening minds through new experiences and cultural interaction.