What does come to your mind, thinking about Iceland?
Probably, cold weather, Björk and Sigur Rós if you love music, or its capital city, Reykjavík, that, in the past, hosted important events, from the world chess championship’ final between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spasski in ’72 to the meeting between Ronald Reagan and Michail Gorbačëv in ’86, a fundamental phase of the “thawing” process between the two global superpowers at that time.
If you, just like me, love reading crime novels, you probably have dreamt about visiting this fascinating country reading the novels by Arnaldur Indriðason. Instead, if you’re watching the football European championship, you probably have enjoyed the achievements of its national team, that even booted England out.
But would you ever tell Iceland, with its breath-taking landscape and its extreme climate (after all, the Arctic is just a few kilometres far from the island), is a destination suitable for people with mobility issues? I would have been the first to answer “No”, but then, accidentally, surfing on the Internet, I bumped into a website advertising a tour of Iceland designed for disabled people, showing that this land has a lot to offer to has to deal with daily limitations and obstacles as well.
Once you land at Keflavik international airport, during your first approach to the Icelandic capital city, you can’t miss a visit at Hallgímskirkja church, the sixth highest building in the country, where you can enjoy a breath-taking view of the city. If you love arts, you can’t miss the National Museum, which, in addition to various exhibitions, hosts a permanent exhibition allowing to retrace the history of Iceland, from the times of Vikings to nowadays. If music is your passion, don’t miss Harpa concert hall, inaugurated in 2011 in the same place where once there was the ancient city harbour. Even though it can seem to be “out of this world”, even Reykjavík has a “shopping district”, Laugavegur, so prepare your credit card!
But Iceland is especially known for its unique landscapes, such as Þingvellir national park, UNESCO’s world heritage, in the South-Western part of the island, near the Hengill volcanic area, where you can find itineraries which are accessible to wheelchairs as well.
Do you feel cold or, simply, need relax? Don’t miss the Seltún geothermal area and the suggestive Blue Lagoon, which is totally accessible, from the locker rooms to the pool, ‘til the lagoon.
Are you ready to leave? Prepare your passport and your European Healthcare Insurance Card (EHIC), which could be useful, should you need healthcare assistance, and Bon Voyage (“enjoy your trip” in Icelandic)!