Iceland Adventure for my Parents

  Family of 4 visited Iceland in June 2017

“My husband and I plan to take my parents to Iceland. My mother-in-law and brother-in-law may also join us but this is still unconfirmed. We love nature and enjoy hiking. We are excited to see waterfalls, the ocean, and geyser(s). We also like bird watching and whale watching and are open to some tours as such. I also want to visit the Blue Lagoon but am also open to other natural hot springs.

My husband, brother-in-law, and I are in our early 40s and our parents are in their early/mid seventies. We are generally active people and my parents still hike.

We are interested in the Golden Circle area, the south coast, and have heard good things about the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. We have about 7 - 8 days on the ground and prefer not to move every night of the trip.

We are open to different types of accommodations (as long as clean and in good order). I heard that hostels are good in Iceland and families do stay in them. We would not be open to dorms but okay with considering family type shared accommodations. We will need a rental car. My mother-in-law's and brother-in-law's ability to join will affect the type of car. We will opt for an automatic vehicle.

We were referred by a friend also using your services.”

Chris McCarty, a local specialist from Iceland, helped this traveler put together a customized itinerary based on 2-Week Ring Road Self-Drive Itinerary: Highlights of Iceland and the Remote Westfjords.

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Trip planning highlights

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Iceland Grand Tour: Ring Road, Westfjords, and Snaefellsnes Peninsula (CCW)

Day 1: Arrival and Downtown Reykjavik
Day 2: Golden Circle: Thingvellir, Geysir, Gullfoss
Day 3: The South Coast: Waterfalls, Black Sand Beaches, Glaciers
Day 4: Skaftafell and Fjadrargljufur
Day 5: Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, Diamond Beach, Scenic Eastern Fjords
Day 6: Geological Wonders of Lake Myvatn
Day 7: The North: Godafoss, Whale Watching, Akureyri
Day 8: Southern Westfjords
Day 9: Látrabjarg Cliffs, Ferry to Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Day 10: Volcanic Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Day 11: South towards Reykjavik
Day 12: Departure
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Traveler Review

I do have some feedback, really for North Sailing, but wanted to share here too since they are a partner of KimKim. We went on a whale watching tour which departed from Husavik. The seas were rough on the day of our reservations. When we checked in, the person assisting noted this to us - I was not sure exactly what this meant. They had already canceled some of the other trips that day.

We were provided with the jumpers, raincoats, and gloves. The waves were about 10 feet high and a number of them broke partially over the bow of the boat. There was no rain. The boat seemed to rock side to side at roughly a 20-degree angle. My mom (70 yrs-old), who was for a short time next to the side about mid-way down, noted that the sea level was about 2 1/2 to 3 feet from the top of the boat railing. Our backpacks were placed on a bench in front of the captain's control room (bridge on larger ships) and with one of the tips went sliding off and hit the side of the boat where my mom was standing. My husband followed shortly thereafter. He was also seated on the same bench. He slammed into my mom and she sustained a knee injury - it still needs to be diagnosed but it is either a sprain or possibly a minor tear.

After that, one of the guides was very helpful in helping my mom (I was too sick to assist). She made sure she had a raincoat and gloves and brought her to a better location on the boat (top deck). I was sick nearly the whole time. I am susceptible to motion sickness so I knew this would be a possibility; however, over the course of the trip about 2/3 of the approximately 24 guests had thrown up at least once.

That all being said, we did see whales. My perspective is that the decision to go out was not a good call. The conditions I would say were unsafe - considering that it is not unfathomable that someone could have gone overboard which would be pretty terminal (the life ring would not do much in those kinds of seas) - and the majority of the guests were sick. In the cafe afterward, some of the guests appeared pretty stunned - starring into space. Please pass along to North Sailing.

Overall, we were very happy with Chris' work on the Iceland trip. He provided valuable input that really shaped the trip itinerary. We ended up going around the ring road which we would not have thought of if Chris had not suggested it. We are so glad we did! Having information on the sites was very helpful and of course having someone knowledgeable about lodging and booking the accommodations, car rental, and activities was super!