I’ve written before about our travel bucket list, and although it didn’t make our top 3, Iceland is definitely in our top ten places we’d love to visit. Here are five reasons why we think Iceland sounds like a brilliant place to travel to with kids.
The geothermic lagoons
Iceland has many geothermal pools – actually the earth’s energy heats the country’s homes, baths and pools. The Blue Lagoon is a spa built over and around what could be described as the world’s biggest Jacuzzi. It is a large pool with white mud that kids can smear all over their bodies. Although the mud has health benefits can you imagine the joy of making such a mess?! Much of the lagoon is shallow enough for children to stand on the bottom, heads above water.
They have wild reindeer
Apparently reindeer were imported from Norway, intended to provide stock for farming, and yet the idea didn’t really take off. Now the wild reindeer live mainly in the East of the country. I have this idea that if you go to Iceland with kids they might enjoy to see the reindeer relaxing while getting ready for Santa to collect them for Christmas duties.
They totally believe in fairies
Okay, that’s a generalisation – not all Icelandic people believe in fairies and elves. However, it’s true that a road construction was halted while they found a solution to the problem that the new road would disturb elves living in its path. There’s something very enchanting for children about fairies, and I remember James’ excitement when we found some fairy houses while we were in Germany. I’m sure children would love to visit Iceland to discover this fantasy world populated by ice trolls, guardian spirits in the shape of birds and bulls, mermaids in offshore waters, and other creatures. To Icelanders these are more than simple stories.
You can go whale watching
Meanwhile, in reality, Iceland’s wildlife is astonishing, and certain to delight children and adults. There are little puffins, Artic foxes (did you know they were the only land mammal on Iceland before it was inhabited by humans?), and if you hop on one of the many organised boat tours, you can see whales. The wildlife in the island’s waters is very tasty for such a variety of whales and dolphins, you apparently have a really, really good chance of seeing whales in their natural habitat. The most common cetacean are Minke whales, white-beaked dolphin and harbour porpoises, but occasionally Orca swing by, and what kid wouldn’t be over joyed at seeing a killer whale in real life?!
The chance to see the Northern Lights
We’re lucky to live here in the north of England, where occasionally we can see the aurora on a clear night in the winter, but in Iceland the Northern Lights are visible 8 months of the year. The Met office actually forecasts them, so you have a guide each night as to where to find them. I’m pretty sure that if you go to Iceland with kids, everyone would appreciate them, on different levels as they get older.
With all these amazing sights and activities all around in Iceland for the whole family to enjoy – is it any wonder the Icelandic people are the happiest on earth?