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Iceland in winter with toddler and 6year old

Iceland in winter with toddler and 6year old

Old Sep 4th, 2018, 11:05 AM
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Iceland in winter with toddler and 6year old

We are going to Iceland during Christmas to celebrate my son's 6th birthday and our 10th marriage anniversary. His birthday falls close to Christmas and he wanted to visit Iceland as a birthday/Xmas present when asked and Santa has decided to grant his wish

I need advice on how to plan my six nights / seven days trip keeping in mind that we have a toddler and a 6 year old.

I have made Reykjavik our homebase and want to do day trips from there. Should we rent a car and do day trips? Is it safe to drive or Should we do guided day tours. What day tours should we take from Reykjavik?

Suggestions on possible iternaries will atleast get me started.

Thanks for all your help!
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Old Sep 4th, 2018, 11:20 AM
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With two young children you have done absolutely the right thing by basing yourselves in Reykjavic.

Dont plan anything until you are sure of a forecast or be sure of any tour operator’s policy on refunds in the case of severe weather.

The only thing you can sure of is that you will not suffer from heat stroke. You may experience anything else : calm days, biblical wind, rain, snow it could be anything. The danger of booking hotels in different towns as part of a tour is that you may commit to travel on days when it isn’t safe.

There’s enough to see in town for at least 3 days. If it does snow or threaten to snow then you can simply camp out and not move.

Your 6 year old should love the Blue Lagoon in the dark and the main sites on the Golden Circle route are a half day drive from Reykjavic but can get very busy with tourists.
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Old Sep 4th, 2018, 11:24 AM
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We rented a car in February and saw very little snow during the week last year. We made it down to Vikmamd the black sand beaches.

However, the week after we returned, Iceland experienced huge snow falls which made travel very difficult.
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Old Sep 5th, 2018, 08:57 AM
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Thank you BritishCaicos for the prompt reply. Can you advise on how far before is the best time to plan to take tours or self drive. I was planning to rent 2WD car with snow tires and take trip to Golden Circle and south coast as day trip depending on weather, do you think it can work?
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Old Sep 5th, 2018, 01:17 PM
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We hired a car well in advance. I’d agree that a 2wd with snow tyres is fine. I could be wrong but I think all cars are required to have snow tyres.

Tourism has become a huge driver for the Icelandic economy. Following a heavy snow fall the roads are cleared quickly to keep the economy moving. The main danger for travel is during high winds, snow or a combination of the two.

Any tours again could be booked well in advance just check their cancellations policy.

We we did the Golden Circle in one day and then the south coast on a second day. If you are comfortable with longish distances then the roads are usually fairly quiet and good quality. The inland F (ford) roads are are closed in winter. They are demanding driving and involve fording glacial streams.

I’d simply book a car hire for the duration, a use it when it is comfortable to do so.

Are you booking an apartment or hotel?

Are you aware of the comparative costs of nearly everything in Iceland?

Car hire was reasonable, fuel again not noticeably shocking most other costs were jaw dropping. Particularly meals in restaurants.
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Old Sep 5th, 2018, 03:19 PM
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I have no personal experience with driving Icelandic roads in winter, but having done so in early May, straying from the cities is not something I'd personally consider that time of year, unless the conditions were ideal (and this from someone who lives in Colorado - I'm used to driving in snow).

As mentioned by BritishCaicos, the wind (plus poor visibility and possibly ice) would concern me. If you slide (or are blown) off a road in Iceland, you're in a world of hurt, as the roads outside of the cities are narrow and often surrounded by volcanic rock.

It's anyone's guess what the weather gods will do, but just have an alternative plan.

And FWIW - we had a very good experience with Lagoon car rental.

I have a detailed trip report here, which may (or may not) help.

https://www.fodors.com/community/eur...-trip-1453922/
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