For this latest in our series of blogposts on great accessible European destinations, we head to Reykjavik. This small but perfectly formed capital city is a fascinating place, full of rich experiences and an endlessly fascinating history. The scale of the city makes it an easily accessible place to explore too: nothing is ever too far away. Of course, the one slight issue is the weather, but in common with most northern European countries (excepting maybe the UK!) the authorities are generally good at clearing the pavements of snow. Here are just a few of our favourite highlights from the wonderful city of Reykjavik.
Take in the splendour of Hallgrímskirkja
Reykjavik’s main church, Hallgrímskirkja is quite rightly world famous: for us, it is up there with Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia in terms of breathtaking architecture. But there really isn’t another church in the world like it, and whatever your religious beliefs, it is a must visit. The building itself has been designed to evoke the dramatic volcanic landscape of the country, with beautiful flowing lines like lava. It is generally accessible and we also highly recommend that you take the lift up the tower in order to enjoy stunning views of the Icelandic capital. Unmissable.
Roam along the Reykjavik waterfront
The Icelandic capital sits on a bay, with stunning views (particularly around sunset). It is a dramatic and peaceful place to spend time, and the great news is that there are accessible trails all the way along. One of the highlights of this area is the world famous Sun Voyager sculpture. It is a beautiful piece of art that many people think is supposed to be a Viking ship. This isn’t actually what was originally intended: rather it is a ‘dream ship’ that represents peace and hope for all those that see it. It is a stunning installation in an even more remarkable location, and highly recommended.
Experience Icelandic history
One of the things that makes Reykjavik so fascinating is the way that it mixes modernity with history and tradition. Nowhere is this more evident than in the National Museum of Iceland. Here, you can see and hear the stories of the formation of this tiny nation and see exhibits from right throughout its history. It is absolutely stuffed full with treasures, as you would expect, but one of the highlights for us was the stunning Valþjófsstaður medieval carved church door, as well as many Viking artefacts. Like the very best Icelandic sagas, this place tells a magnificent story of Icelandic history.
Soak away the stress in a volcanic spring
if there is one thing that Iceland is famous for (other than Vikings!) then it is its volcanic hot pools. Reykjavik is actually a great place to go for a dip and there is plenty of choice, even in the city centre, but the one we recommend is actually out of town. The Blue Lagoon is a huge geothermal spa in the south west of the country and is just a wonderful place to relax and unwind. It is under an hour away from the Icelandic capital and there are regular accessible excursions available to this stunning location. An incredible experience.
Did you know?
Ice cream is remarkably popular in Reykjavik, despite the average summer temperature being just 13ºC!
Getting to Reykjavik
Getting to Reykjavik is easy, with regular, direct flights from many of the UK’s major airports. And, as you’d probably expect, Keflavik airport in Reykjavik is also very well set up for visitors with special mobility requirements. They offer an extensive assistance service at the airport itself, and they ask that you get in touch with them before you arrive to arrange the service you need. There are also regular accessible public bus services into the city as well as an affordable and excellent taxi service too.
The city itself is small, and easy to get around on wheels, with level pavements and specially designed curbs. A great place to find out more general information about getting around the Icelandic capital can be found on the Reykjavik Tourist Board’s site, here.
Travelling with scooters
The great news for those of you travelling abroad is that Quingo Scooters are all approved for air travel by IATA so you won’t have any problems taking them on the plane. That said, it is always well worth getting in touch directly with any train, bus and airlines you want to use just to double check their rules on scooters before you go. For more handy tips on travelling with your scooter by air, take a look at our page here.
Share your accessible getaways abroad with us
Do you have any accessible getaways abroad recommendations? In Europe or perhaps further afield? If you do, we’d love to hear from you, so drop us a line and we’ll feature them.
About Quingo Scooters
The Quingo Scooter range features six models to suit your needs and budget. New models are now available from just £22/week on our new contract hire scheme which includes all servicing and maintenance, Insurance, Roadside Recovery, Call Outs and Consumables including Batteries and Tyres. For more information on this or the latest Quingo Scooter range, please visit our website. Alternatively, if you have any Service questions you can always contact us or call customer services on 01582 430 900.
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