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Comments Please re Iceland's Golden Circle Tour and Accessibility for Seniors

Comments Please re Iceland's Golden Circle Tour and Accessibility for Seniors

Apr 27th, 2003, 03:37 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Comments Please re Iceland's Golden Circle Tour and Accessibility for Seniors

Our family trip to Iceland is fast approaching (11 Canadians of Icelandic descent; 3 generations ranging in age from 21 to 91!) and I'm horribly behind in my research. I've divided the trip into chunks and am researching each in turn so will post a few times over the next couple of weeks.

We stay in Hveragerdi (Hotel Ork) for the first 3 nights and from there will visit Thingvellir, Geysir, Gullfoss, possibly the Blue Lagoon (but most likely later in the trip) and I'm seriously looking at flying to Heimaey (Westmann Islands) for a day.

We have 3 seniors on the trip - 87, 89 and 91 (long lived, these Icelanders!) While they're all in amazing shape there are some limitations and I'm trying to get a handle on the conditions at the above locations. If you've been to any of the above could you please take a moment and comment about the visit from the perspective of a senior citizen? We will be traveling in our own cars. So, for example, what's it like when you arrive at Thingvellir? Is there a lot of walking from the parking lot? Is the terrain uneven? Are there rest stops along the way? How would you rank it on a scale of 1-10 (1 "not senior friendly" and 10 "very senior friendly").

Of all of the sites listed above Thingvellir is the most important visit (You know how the father in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" comments about the fact that all word origins are Greek? My father cannot *hear* the word Parliament without pointing out that the VERY FIRST Parliament EVER was in Iceland at Thingvellir!)

Yes....I'm a control freak, but I did a lot of similar preplanning for my trip to Paris with my 86 year old mother in law last November and it really paid off. We'll have to plan/pace our excursions in Iceland and every bit of advance knowledge will help - thanks for any help you can provide!

(Oh -- any and all restaurant recommendations are always appreciated!)

Regards

Elizabeth
Elizabeth_S is offline  
Apr 27th, 2003, 07:24 PM
  #2  
Amy
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,621
Hi, Elizabeth!
What a lovely trip you have planned...

The "senior-friendliness" really varies depending on how much you want to do at each site; for example, at Thingvellir, it is possible to drive to the many different sites and see terrific views, but climbing around the fissures may be more appealing to the third generation than the first.
Geysir has wooden sidewalks now, so it's a little easier than previously, but they can be a little slippery when wet; good footgear and raingear is always important in Iceland, as I'm sure you know.
The path up to Gullfoss is an incline, but not drastic; again, there are more spots to view it that require some more stamina, but you can get a fine view from the path.
For some other locations, Thorsmark (Thor's Woods) is more of a real hike, but if your seniors want a day off it's a wonderful place for the more active in the bunch.
Rest stops are one thing that there don't seem to be too many of...although again, I think the tourist infrastructure is better now than it used to be. There are little kiosks and restrooms in Thingvellir that again have their own little parking lots to drive into.
The Blue Lagoon is a nice place to relax, but the water temps in certain spots can be quite high, so this may be a problem for seniors with certain health difficulties, I'm not sure. It can be pretty rough underfoot, too, but again, it's a great experience, especially after an active day.
All this, of course, is from a "hindsight" perspective, as of courseI wasn't really considering too much from a senior perspective (I only feel like I've reached that after a really hard day at work....) so I'm hoping that more people will be able to help you with more specifics, although I'll be happy to try to answer any other questions that I can.
Happy trails!
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Apr 28th, 2003, 08:17 AM
  #3  
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Thanks Amy - that information is perfect! Any other comments would be appreciated.
Elizabeth_S is offline  
Apr 28th, 2003, 08:52 AM
  #4  
 
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Agree with Amy about the weather. It's extremely windy around the waterfalls, so make sure you take the appropriate outerwear. The roads in Iceland are long and vast and I don't remember a lot of rest stops. I took the bus and they stopped often enough for restroom breaks. You will love Iceland.
Deborah is offline  
May 22nd, 2003, 03:28 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 278
Hi,
Amy has given very good advice.
If you get to the big falls around 8 a.m
you'll probably have the place to yourselves. After that the tour buses start to show up.
The blue lagoon is a great way to end the day.
cheers,
Pete
Pete1222 is offline  

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