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NOT doing the ring road with kids

We're a couple with two kids, 2 and 4, going in July for two weeks. I know we could do the ring road with them, but I'm not sure how well they're going to do sleeping in a new place every night. So, we are thinking of maybe three bases, 4 nights each. Just looking at the map, my guess would be 4 nights in West Fjords, 4 nights in Reykjavik, 4 nights in Southeast Iceland. Has anyone does something like this before? We would like to savor Iceland rather than rush through it. Thoughts? Or is it really worth it to go around? I'll admit the North looks stunning.

Posted by
2768 posts

We did 2 nights in Reykjavik and 4 in the south. In our case it was a small airbnb near Hvolsvöllur. We had our 2 elementary school age kids and I agree that moving all the time like for the ring road would be tougher with kids, especially toddlers.

So while I haven’t seen the north I can say that there’s so much to occupy you in the south that it’s definitely worth multiple days. We didn’t get out to the Vestmannaeyjar and that would be top of list for a return.

As for Reykjavik - it’s a nice city. But I don’t think you need 4 days unless there are specific things you want to see that would take that long. I’d add 1-2 of those days to either of your more nature focused stops. A lot of people base in Reykjavik and day trip to parks/sites/hiking from there which is doable, but I’d say a hassle unless you don’t have a car and need organized day tours. If you are driving and staying in the south and west separately then there’s really no point in day tripping from Reykjavik. It’s easier and closer to set out from a rural hotel than a city. So I’d suggest deciding how long you need to see the sights in the city and only stay there that long. For us 2 days was fine.

Posted by
96 posts

I think your family is doing similar to what we're planning for June. The furthest north/east we're going is the glacier lagoon, the furthest west we're going is the Snaefellsnes peninsula, and we're focusing on staying in each spot a little longer and doing day trips rather than one night stops. It's still lots of car hours, but more split up into shorter bursts that hopefully coincide with nap time.
We are doing a single 1 night stand because the glacier lagoon was just a little farther away than I wanted to do for a day trip, but I really didn't want to skip seeing that site.
I also thought the Myvatn area especially looked amazing, but I'll save it for a trip with bigger kids (or better yet, no kids at all!!)
I'm noticing that kids under 6 seem to be free for almost every excursion, and there are a lot of kid friendly excursions!

I guess this is my long winded way of saying that, although I haven't done it yet, I was thinking along the same lines for traveling with little kids. If you come across any really great kid activities feel free to send me a link in a PM and I'd be happy to do the same for you!