15 June 2016

Southern Iceland (with kids)

We teamed up with our trusty travel friends, Kate, Zach and Ben (remember them from Amsterdam?), and headed overseas for the second annual vacation - this time traveling by VW van! Iceland was a relatively easy destination to reach from both Boise, Idaho, and Duluth, Minnesota, and was an intriguing destination for all of us.

There are direct flights on Delta from Minneapolis now (we flew the inaugural flight KEF to MSP home) and Iceland Air also has direct flights out of MSP. Did you know that it is only a 6 hour flight from Minnesota?

Assuredly, you have seen Iceland pop up on some travel list as of late. The place is booming with tourists and the country markets it's landscape well. Iceland Air offers a "stop over" program on your way to or from Europe and it's black sand beaches, Blue Lagoon and glacier hikes entice adventure seekers. We knew we wouldn't see all the country had to offer, but wanted to see the country before it became so popular that it had lost some of it's charm.

The time we spent in Iceland was great. We were with dear friends of whom we see too little and spent a week road tripping across part of this tiny country. We took day trips from a beautiful home on a small lake in our sweet van. We crammed as much into our days as was possible with a 2- and 3-year-old. It was an adventure we will always remember.

We swam in the Blue Lagoon immediately upon arrival. Yes, it is touristy, but still great.

We called a lake-side cabin our home. We rowed a boat on it's waters, dug in the sand, danced in the driveway and ate most of our meals here:

We spent hours in the car to reach waterfalls you could walk behind and black sand beaches that allowed little bodies to throw rocks and stretch their legs:

We boarded a ferry to set foot upon the Westman Islands and learned about the volcanic eruptions of the 60's that has influenced these islands, the southernmost spot in Iceland. It's also home to the tiny puffin bird:

An easy day trip from our house was the Golden Circle (a national park, a waterfall and a geyser):

And of course we spent a day in Reykjavik:

But, my one disclaimer for you travelers out there is this: some of the amazing parts of Iceland (glacier hikes, day-long hikes, remote hot springs, winter camping, kayaking) may not be do-able with tiny kids. If you enjoy backpacking short distances, throwing rocks into waterfalls, floating in other-worldly waters of the Blue Lagoon, discovering caves at black sand beaches and just adventuring it in a van, then go! There is something for everyone who enjoys the great outdoors in Iceland...but if you go with kids, you may wish to return when they can put on cramp-ons and carry their own packs!

Iceland, you helped us administer another dose of the travel bug to our children.

You may also like: Stockholm, Sweden, Amsterdam

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