When an Icelander tells you the weather changes every five minutes, take her seriously. In just one day, we went from wearing plain cotton t-shirts to pullovers to down jackets.
Most tourists start their day with the Golden Circle and end at the Kerid Crater Lake. So we did (and recommend) just the opposite - start with the Kerid Crater Lake in the a.m. There were only a few cars besides ours (and no buses) when we went.
Recommended time of the year
If you or your kids aren't used to harsh winters, I would recommend going in the summer months to make the experience enjoyable for everybody.
Iceland is expensive and deals and promotions are hard to come by. I'd recommend getting an international no-fee travel card that gives you miles for using it. Most places in Iceland accept cards.
About This Day
When taking in the sites along the Iceland Golden Circle, Kerid Crater Lake is a must-see. It is a beautiful sapphire lake that was formed when the Kerid volcano exploded. Surrounded by red volcanic rocks and green moss, this place looks very otherworldly. After viewing and exploring the crater lake and its surroundings, head over to Fridheimar. It is a family-run farm that grows tomatoes and cucumbers year-round in a greenhouse and also breeds Icelandic horses. The kids (and adults) will enjoy the fresh food and beautiful horses. These two stops are just a short distance from each other and from the main Golden Circle route.
Kerid Crater Lake is a gorgeous lake formed by a crater and makes for a very peaceful 45-60 min stop. Parking is free, but there is a $5 fee to go near the lake. There is an easy path to the bottom of the crater where you can touch the water. The slightly more adventurous grown-ups can walk the path around the lake, but be wary of slippery rocks. Our nugget enjoyed the pretty yellow wildflowers on the way down and throwing pebbles into the water.
DIRECTIONS You will need a car to drive to this location. I would recommend renting your own car as opposed to signing up for an organized tour. This way you will be able to stop wherever you want to take pictures or to stretch your legs. There are plenty of drool-worthy stops near the crater lake.
TIP The path down, though short and easy for grown-ups, may be too much for toddlers. Be prepared to carry them down.
Fridheimar's on-site restaurant is a chic restaurant inside a greenhouse with a wonderfully fresh vegetarian menu (this was the only time I didn't eat a peanut butter and jam sandwich in Iceland!). The restaurant serves food made from homegrown cucumbers and tomatoes. The service was excellent and the coffee was the best I had in Iceland. Our little nugget enjoyed the tomato soup and the cheesecake, which was served in a pretty planter. She also loved interacting with the Icelandic horses and the large sunflowers.
DIRECTIONS Fridheimar is a short drive from the Kerid Volcanic Crater
TIP Call ahead and reserve a table if you do not want to wait. You can also book a tour of the horse stables if you call in advance.