When we first started planning our trip to Iceland, almost every single person we told about our trip asked “Why Iceland?” The connotation was clear; why on earth would someone want to go somewhere even colder than Rochester in April and drag their poor baby along. And it’s not like they didn’t have a point. The few days before we left I was going crazy with nerves. There were so many things that could go wrong-snow storms making the mountain roads impassable, Julian being miserable the whole time we were in the car, one of our Airbnb rooms being a disaster, wind storms damaging our rental car, rain keeping us inside the car the whole trip. So yeah, I could see where people were coming from when they sounded skeptical.
But Iceland is an amazing country and that makes all the risks and inconvenience worth it. There is a reason that three months later we’re still talking about the trip and dying to go back. If you, like me back in January, are desperately scouring the internet for validation that you can survive a trip to Iceland with your toddler-the answer is you should absolutely go for it. And you don’t just need to stay in Reykjavik the whole time either.
On that note, here is our
10 DAY ICELAND ITINERARY (click links for day by day recaps)
some of the most popular sights in Iceland, stay at Fossatun Guesthouse
Lots of trolls, geothermal activity, settlement museum, and a beautiful drive, stay at Paradise North of Akureyri
second biggest city in Iceland, Lake Myvatn and surrounding areas, stay at Nice Night at a Farm
Geothermal soak, snowy hike, and our longest driving day, stay at Cottage With a View
Glacier Lagoon, mossy landscape,, stay at Icelandair Hotel Klauster
Skaftafell park and black sand beaches, stay at Grand Guesthouse Gardakot
Waterfalls, more black sand beaches, stay at Grand Guesthouse Gardakot again
Backtracking to a canyon we missed, waterfalls, Blue Lagoon, then staying close to Reykjavik at Luxury Rooms with spa Access
Iceland is an expensive country, as most islands are, so we saved where we could. We found most of our accommodations through Airbnb where we could rent a room in someone’s house. This ended up being one of the coolest parts because we got to spend time with Icelandic people who were all so friendly and kind. For food, we survived on peanut butter and jelly, cheese and crackers, and the occasional orange. We went out to eat twice along the drive, and they were both chain sandwich shops (and both times it was surprisingly delicious.) Spring turned out to be an awesome time for us to be in Iceland because weather was fine, prices were lower than during the high season, and we got to see the northern lights. But if we go back again (and I’m already planning it out in my mind) I want to go sometime when we can backpack through the highlands and see the Westfjords (one of the families we stayed with told us they were by far the most beautiful part of the island) and when everything is all green. We didn’t get to explore the Snaefellsnes peninsula and would love to do that someday. I can also see spending a week just around the black sand beach area in the south being amazing. It’s a small country, but clearly it contains multitudes.