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A bit of Scandinavia out in the mid-Atlantic Ocean, Iceland may not be the first destination that springs to mind when it comes to a family holiday. But both you and your kids will discover that this country, its compact capital Reykjavik, its appealing towns, and about all its singular natural landscape will captivate every member of the family and make for an unforgettable holiday. Much of the country can be accessed by road, and especially if you're a family of four or more, you should consider renting a van rather than a car, which will give your gang much more legroom and personal space in general, as well as space for luggage and other necessities.
You can bring the kids to go on whale watching tours. to see species including orcas and humpbacks; you'll also likely see white-beaked dolphins. Make sure that the waters are clear and going on these journeys will be suitable for even the youngest of children. You can find tours from the capital city of Reykjavik, as well as the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in the west and Akureyri and Husavik in the north. If you go during the summer, many whale watching tours include spotting adorable, colorful puffins. These tours are generally done onboard an RIB (rigid inflatable boat), for which the minimum age is 10. If you have children younger than this, you can still take them on a self-drive tour to see adorable puffins, found in the Westfjords or on the south coast between April and August.
Located in the town of Laugarás, in south Iceland a bit over an hour's drive from Reykjavik, you'll find many cute animals to found in this charming and popular, including parrots, rabbits, piglets, calves, kittens, puppies, and mice. There is also a playground, an arcade, and a mini-gold course here, as well as an ice cream shop and a café. It's open every weekend in April, then every day from May through August.
Distinct and diminutive - rarely growing beyond pony size - the only breed of horse allowed in Iceland has friendly, sweet-tempered disposition, ideal for young children (though the age of seven) as well as inexperienced riders. There are a number of horse farms, including several just outside Reykjavik, which offer riding sessions on premises and even riding tours.
In the capital's central Laugardalur district (near the national botanical garden, by the way, also a nice family destination), this is a small but nice mix of about 150 animals of 19 species - some from the farm but also wild creatures such as reindeer, harbor seals, Arctic foxes, and minx (there's also a small collection of more exotic animals, and an aquarium showcasing sea life from the North Atlantic). Highlights include animal petting and feeding, and the zoo is open year round, with a fun fair in summer.