Kanínur á Erpsstöðum

5 Kid-Friendly Activities in West Iceland

Here's my selection of 5 ideal things to do with your kids while you are traveling in the western part of Iceland. The best part is that these activities won't bore the parents either!

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Nína Þorkelsdóttir

7. June 2017

We all know that kids don’t like to stay in the car for too long, unless they’re sleeping. If you are road-tripping in the western part of Iceland with your kids, I recommend that you take your time to stop along the way for these fun activities. I bet you’ll like them too!

1. Bjössaróló

Children playing at a colourful playground in Borgarnes. Photo/ferdalag.is

Bjössaróló, which translates into “Bjössi’s Playground”, is in my opinion one of Iceland’s coolest playgrounds, located in the town of Borgarnes. The playground was built by a local man named Björn Guðmundsson, nicknamed Bjössi. Bjössi was a carpenter, known for his idealist efforts on constructing things from recycled materials.  

The playground is entirely made from recycled wood that Bjössi picked up here and there. The playground was built in 1979 and it has been declared as a cultural heritage site.

There is a black beach is just a few steps away from the playground, that’s a perfect place for the kids to play too.

How to get there:
The drive to Borgarnes from Reykjavik takes just over an hour. Once you’re over the Borgarnes bridge, take a left turn on Borgarbraut and drive to the edge of the spit until you reach the playground.

2. Grábrók

Stairway up mount Grábrók, West Iceland.

Mossy lava fields at mount Grábrók and a view of Mt. Baula.

Grábrók is probably one of Iceland’s most easily accessible mountains. “A mountain” isn’t quite the right term for it though, it’s really just a hill surrounding a volcanic crater.

The hill is only 560 ft. tall and there are wooden stairs spiraling up to the crater. The view from the top is very nice – you’ll see Langjökull glacier in the east, Mt. Baula in the north and the lush green Borgarfjörður area surrounding Grábrók.

The walk up Grábrók takes around 10–15 minutes so I hardly doubt that your kids will get tired.

How to get there:
Grábrók is just by the Ring Road, towering over the Bifröst University. It’s about a one and a half hour’s drive from Reykjavik.

3. Glanni Waterfall

Glanni waterfall in West Iceland.

A pond in west Iceland.

There’s a fantastic waterfall at a mile’s distance from Grábrók. The waterfall is called “Glanni” which could translate into “a joker”. After you’ve seen this stunning waterfall, it’s ideal to walk a bit further until you reach a wooden descending staircase on your right hand side.

After you’ve walked down the stairs, you’ll see a beautiful little pond. This pond is called “Paradise Pond” because it’s so pretty. This is a great spot for picnicking and the kids can wade in the water (it’s perfectly clean) if the weather is good.

How to get there:
If you are driving the Ring Road northbound, take a left turn just before you reach the tiny town of Bifröst. It says “Glanni” on the sign. You’ll soon reach a parking lot and that’s where you’ll leave your car. You just have to walk for a couple of minutes until you reach the waterfall, which is on your left hand side.

4. Erpsstaðir

A crowd of rabbits.

A pig napping.

Coffee and some pink rhubarb ice cream.

Erpsstaðir is a dairy farm in western Iceland, located ten miles south of the town of Búðardalur. There’s a small shop inside the cowshed where you can buy delicious ice cream, cheese, skyr, beef and coffee.

The ice cream, which they actually call “Bullshit”, is extremely creamy and comes in several different flavours. I have tried the blueberry ice cream and the strawberry/rhubarb sorbet and they were both very good.

I also tried some skyr-infused white chocolate which was insanely good. Kudos to the farmers for this creative approach to skyr!

Apart from the delicious treats you can get at Erpsstaðir, there are all kinds of domestic animals for the kids to pet.

How to get there:
Erpsstaðir are located by Road 60, about 10 miles south of Búðardalur.

5. Langisandur Beach, Akranes

Langisandur beach in Akranes. Photo/akranes.is

I have very fond childhood memories from the Langisandur Beach in Akranes. Langisandur is a light-coloured 0.6 miles long beach, rich with birdlife and popular with sea swimmers. The ocean is freezing cold as you might have guessed, even in good weather.

If your kids don’t mind the cold, they’ll have a blast running around the beach and wading in the sea.

There are some outdoor showers on the beach so you don’t have to leave the beach with salty skin and sand between your toes.

How to get there:
If you are driving from Reykjavik, take the Ring Road northbound. Shortly after you exit the Hvalfjarðargöng Tunnel, turn to the left where it says “Akranes”.