When travelling to Iceland the most important thing to bring with you is enough time and a 4 × 4 drive, even more so when travelling with kids. Núria Gomà and her family took on the adventure.

As the four of them travelled to the little island for a month in their 4 × 4 camper van exploring the most stunning locations and searching for the most extraordinary spots to kite.  It took blood sweat and tears, to say the least, but will remain one of the greatest adventures of their lives.

The initial plan was to go to south and North America. We wanted to drive from Patagonia all the way to Alaska. We had been planning this trip for over a year, deciding the route, doing research about each country and their political situation to make sure it was safe to travel with the kids, checking for visas and everything else involved, but then the pandemic hit. Borders closed all over the world and our hard work was in vain as the world and international travel became paralyzed. After a few months of lockdowns and closed borders, travel around Europe seemed to be a possibility again, so we decided to change up our plans. We started work on a new route: Europe, Iceland and Morocco.

We’ve visited Iceland before, although back then, it was without  a 4 × 4. It occurred to us that we’d be missing out on the most special places just because we weren’t able to reach them. In Iceland you have to trust the 4 × 4 only signs, they mean it! You don’t want to find out what happens if you still go without it.

This time we were well prepared with our 4 × 4 camper van. We also brought along our two little kids. Iceland was the perfect place to start, an adventure and a paradise for nature lovers. Still, not everything was always easy, those who have kids will know well that travelling becomes a whole different story when you have a 1- and a 3-year old along for the ride!

The motto of the trip was “family first”. We didn’t want to rush it, we wanted to go with the flow of the kids. At the same time, we were keen on spending as much time as possible on the water kiting, especially as Iceland has a lot to offer in that regard. Departing the rather touristy south part of the island and heading towards the Northwest brings you to untouched beaches and landscapes with the most beautiful scenery with no one else around. To make it as convenient as possible we picked spots where we could park the van just right by the waterfront. We did the same when in Denmark a couple of weeks later and it worked out to be a great set-up.

Unfortunately, summer was already coming to an end and what they say about Iceland and the weather was becoming more of a reality every day: you can see all four seasons in one day. We had snow, rain and sun all within a few hours.

On one occasion the weather put us in quite a difficult situation. We were going on the infamous road 622. It’s located on the coast of the fjord Dýrafjörður in the mountainous peninsula Westfjords of northwestern Iceland. Typical 4 × 4 territory, the road (if you could even call it that; was more of a beaten track in my eyes) was becoming narrower with every meter and  to the left-hand side was a steep drop off. According to some travel guides, it is the most terrifying road on the whole of Iceland and to add to the challenge it was torrential rain. Why did we pick this route? 

I don’t know, but here we were,  almost through the tricky part when all of a sudden a piece of the road was missing in front of us. It must have slid due to the heavy rains. We were stuck! It was one of the most dramatic moments of my life, especially with two kids in the van. After hours of trying to find a signal on our phone, doing our best to calm ourselves and evaluating the situation over and over again  it was clear, we had to turn the van around. It seemed like an impossible task given the narrow road and was such a great relief once we had made it! I’m still thankful today that the situation turned out so well for us. In the end the adventure and trip were all well worth it, the views, the incredible landscapes, the memories, everything.

"you can see all four seasons in one day.
We had snow, rain and sun all within a few hours

The Westfjords
Not without reason, the Westfjords are called “Iceland’s best-kept secret”. The region is less travelled than other corners of the country, due to its vastness and distance from ‘must-see’ destinations.

Still, one thing should be noted: the Westfjords are really only accessible in the summer months, from May to October. Snowfall and rain are heavy in the region and due to the small population, the roads are not as regularly maintained as in the rest of the country. Too bad we learned about this the hard way, but still, what an adventure!

One of my most favourite places in Iceland is the Highlands in the middle of the Island. This place is magic, like being on the moon, with green and red volcanos spiking out of the rough grey landscape. It’s so silent, no birds, no rustling leaves, nothing. I remember the feeling when waking up in the van, listening to the sound of silence, it was mystical and almost scary with the fog creeping up, but so incredibly beautiful.