When in Rome?
How about WHEN IN ICELAND?!
How about this: 8 Places To Visit In West Iceland?!
Hi! My name is Jenny Ingram (of Jenny On The Spot blog). I had the privilege of adventuring for Kids Activities Blog in Iceland recently. For many years I have wanted to take a road trip across the United States… I never would have imagined I would first get to take a road trip across Iceland… at least West and Northern Iceland!
Pretty awesome, right?! Talk about ADVENTURE!
But since there is SO much to cover, I am going to focus on the West Iceland portion of our adventure in this post. You’ll soon see why.
Not only is Iceland a photographer’s dream…
But it is robust with adventure and discovery and wildlife and… just a whole mix of amazing experiences! The whole time I was there I couldn’t help but think about how very much my kids would have loved to experience this trip as well. It is an ideal family destination.
Here’s a video about the experience in West Iceland, but read on for even more photos and details!
We arrived in Iceland early in the morning, thanks to WOW Air. The crew was dress quite sharp, if I might say…
8 Things To Do In West Iceland
1) Stay in Rekjavik! We stayed at Iceland Air Hotel in Reykjavik.
The decor was warm and inviting. The fireplace in the lobby made it feel more like a home than a lobby. My room had the most fun mural on the wall. The cafe was delightful.
Oh, and if you stop in Reykjavik, be sure to have a bite at Seafood Grill. Amazing food and ambience. Seafood Grill is close enough to the hotel to walk. I loved walking back to the hotel, listening to how the City of Rekjavik does life… My one regret is not joining in on the karaoke as we passed one bar! Someone was singing “Let It Go”. There’s nothing like a the notes of “Let It Go” pouring out of a bar in Rekjavik!
2) Visit the Whales of Iceland museum! We learned SO much about Icelandic whales and native sea life. The museum was created so visitors can walk around the whales and view from all angels… almost as if one was in the ocean with the whales.
3) Take a dip in one of the many geothermal pools!
Of course it wouldn’t be a visit to West Iceland without a visit to the Blue Lagoon, named one of National Geographic's 25 Wonders of the World”. The pools of geothermal seawater are vast and beautiful. The geothermal water, rich in silica, minerals, and algae, is a combination that has proved to be great for skin treatment.
I found it to be magical, expansive, and dream-like.
Photo credit Alison Prince/How Does She
After a a long day (or more) of traveling, I found time spent in the Blue Lagoon to be a MUST-DO. I am 5 foot 2. Most of the time I had to keep my knees bent to keep the water at shoulder level. At times I had to walk on my tippy-tippy toes… all that to say, it wasn’t super deep despite the size. It was a very comfortable level for, say, a mom with a kid who needs a little help in the water! I could have carried a kiddo on my back no problem. Thankfully, my kids are old enough to be more independent.
4) Head west! After a good night’s rest, we hopped on our Grayline shuttle and headed further West! Our driver’s name was Ingi and he was just the very best. He made sure we got to where we needed to be and kept a busy group of 11 women pretty darn ON TIME!
Our first stop was to drop off our luggage and have lunch at Hotel Husafell.
5) Ride an Icelandic horse! Once settled at the hotel, with bellies full of warm soup, we got on our hats and warm jackets and headed to Oddsstaoir for a little bit of horse riding!
The Icelandic horses are SO CUTE, and they have the sweetest temperaments. My horse’s name was GlÃ¼mÃ¼r. Icelandic horses are unique because Iceland allows NO horse importation. Therefore, Icelandic horses have a very low disease rate. And they are smaller than the horses we are most familiar with here in the states, therefore… they are MUCH easier to mount!
6) Visit the Icelandic Goat Center! We said our farewells to our new horse friends and headed to the Icelandic Goat Center to make NEW animal friends!
Goats are SO SILLY! My kids would have LOVED this trip!
The The Icelandic goat is an endangered species and the Icelandic Goat Centre. The owner of the center was able to raise $100,000 to help save the Icelandic Goat. At HÃ¡afell, the areworking towards protecting the goat stock in
Iceland. And these goats are just SO friendly… and the littlest bit mischievous! However, all good things must come to an end, and it was time to go.
7) Check out the waterfalls! The next to-do on our itinerary was to explore the inside of a glacier, but first we had to stop for a bit to experience Hraunfossar Barnafoss. An important point about adventure: don’t get so caught up in your itinerary that you miss something wonderful!
8) Last but DEFINITELY not least – Go Into the Glacier! Since we still had a lot of energy to burn off (maybe it was that mineral water at the Blue Lagoon), we piled into a HUGE TRUCK so we could take a ride ON A GLACIER.
Photo credit Alison Prince/How Does She
It was quite easy, actually. Tours leave from the parking lot of Hotel Husafell! INTO THE GLACIER, we did!
We got to experience an hour-long tour inside that glacier. It was an amazing experience. And chilly, but I suppose that is to be expected. There were lights all along the tunnels, which only added to the magic of the experience.
The next morning, we enjoyed a lovely breakfast… and some of us even threw back a shot of fish oil. You know the old adage – WHEN IN ICELAND! With that tasty adventure behind us, we put on our packs (courtesy Gregory) and readied ourselves for the journey north!
It has been so fun sharing my adventures in Iceland with my kids. It’s been fun to share stories and describe the things I was able to do. I love answering their questions and dreaming with them what WE would do if we all went. As a mom, I believe it is so important to inspire a spirit of adventure in our kids. I believe it is good for them to watch me do new things and model to them that adventure knows no age nor limit!
Why the hashtag? We visited Iceland as guests of Animal Jam and Visit Iceland. Why would an online game for kids want to drag a bunch of bloggers to one of the most remote parts of Iceland? Have you heard the phrase If I can see it, I can be it ? In short, if your kids see you take on new experiences and that YOU are constantly learning new things, they will do the same. Thus the #AdventureStartsWithMe hashtag.
What are your thoughts? What activities would you love the most? Which adventure do you think your kids would love the most? What do you think about these 8 places to visit in West Iceland?!
About Animal Jam
Animal Jam is a safe and exciting online playground for kids who love animals and the outdoors. Players create and customize their own animal characters and dens, chat with friends, adopt pets, team up for adventures, and feed their curiosity about animals and the natural world around them. Created in partnership with National Geographic, Animal Jam features classic playground role playing infused with the life sciences. Players can collect fun facts in their journey books, learn about Animal Conservation in Kimbara Outback, and talk to real scientists, like herpetologist Dr. Brady Barr and marine biologist Dr. Tierney Thys. Join the fun for free at animaljam.com!