People visiting Iceland, whether as tourists or on business, usually agree that visiting the adventure island is an amazing experience; even if there isn’t a volcanic eruption going on! There are many things to see and experience, both within the capital area and in the countryside.
Office hours are generally 09:00–17:00. Shopping hours are Mon–Fri 09:00–18:00, Sat from 10:00 to 16:00. Some supermarkets are open to 23:00 or even 24/7. Banking hours are Mon–Fri 09:15–16:00.
Climate and Clothing
Iceland enjoys a cool temperate ocean climate: cool in summer and fairly mild in winter. The average Celsius temperature in June is around 10 degrees. However, the weather is very unreliable and pepole should be prepared for the unexpected. When travelling in Iceland you should bring along lightweight woollens, a sweater or cardigan, a rainproof (weatherproof) coat and sturdy walking shoes.
Credit Cards are widely accepted in Iceland. The major cards in Iceland are EUROPAY/MASTERCARD and VISA. Diners and American Express are also accepted in most places. Cash can be obtained at every bank branch as well as in all ATMs throughout the country. Please note that there might be a difference between the official currency exchange rate in Iceland and the exchange rate that the credit card companies charge.
The Icelandic monetary unit is the “króna” or ISK for short. Coins are in denominations of 100 kr, 50 kr, 10kr, 5 kr and 1 kr. Bank notes are in denominations of 10.000 kr, 5.000 kr, 2.000 kr, 1.000 kr, and 500 kr. All Icelandic banks provide foreign exchange. 1€ is equivalent to about 140 Icelandic Krona based on the exchange rate of the Central Bank of Iceland on 9 May 2016. ( http://www.cb.is/exchange-rate/)
The electric current in Iceland is 220volts, 50 HZ AC. Euro plug/Schuko-Plug (CEE types).
Health, Pharmacies, Emergency and Medical help
Icelanders enjoy a healthy life, thanks to clean air and water and quality fish. Water is safe to drink from taps throughout Iceland. Pharmacies are called “Apótek” and are open during normal business hours, some are open at night.
There is a medical centre or a hospital in all major cities and towns in Iceland.
The emergency phone number (24 hours) in Iceland is 112.
Shopping and Tax free
The shops in Iceland are of international standard, and carry a wide variety of merchandise. Local specialities include woollen knitwear (eg. sweaters and cardigans), handmade ceramics, glassware and silver jewellery. Also available is a great variety of high-quality seafood.
A refund of local Value-Added Tax (VAT) is available to all visitors in Iceland. The refund will result in a reduction of up to 15% of the retail price.
Telephones and Mobile phones
The code into Iceland from overseas is +354 + seven-digit number. Direct long-distance calls can be made to Europe and the USA by dialling 00 plus the country code, and the number you wish to reach.
GSM: There are four GSM operators in Iceland: Siminn, Nova, Tal and Vodafone. These companies sell both pre-paid GSM phone cards and offer GSM/GPRS services. Pre-paid cards are available at petrol stations around the country.
The Midnight Sun
During summer the nights are bright in all of Iceland. In the month of June the sun never fully sets in the north. Keep in mind, however, that the sun at midnight is not as warm as at midday, so bring along a sweater. Some people find it hard to sleep during these nights so you may want to bring something to cover your eyes during nights.
Service and VAT are invariably included in prices in Iceland.
Iceland is an island and the easiest and fastest way to travel to Iceland is by airplane. Iceland is 5–6 hours away from USA and 2–4 hours from Europe. There are 3 Icelandic Airlines operating all year round and many others which fly to Iceland during the summer time. The international airport is about 50 km from Reykjavik and it takes approx. 35–40 minutes to drive from there into the city. Note; there are no trains in Iceland. The easiest way to go to and from the airport is using the shuttle Flybus
For information on passport and visa requirements as well as the Schengen area regulations, please view the website of the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration (www.utl.is)
Iceland is closer than you think and probably also far different from what you might have imagined. Where else can you witness such marvels of Mother Nature as glaciers, steaming geysers and volcanoes, raging rivers and magnificent waterfalls, a multitude of birds, cavorting whales just offshore and many other surprises.
The country was settled by Nordic people in the 9th century – tradition has it that the first permanent settler was a Norwegian Viking, named Ingolfur Arnarson, who made his home where Reykjavik is situated today. The Icelanders still speak a language close to that of the Vikings, although modern Icelanders also speak many foreign languages.
The island is conveniently located right between Europe and east coast of USA. Distance is about 5-6 hours by flight from USA and 2-4 hours from Europe. The size is 103.000 km2 (39,756 sq. miles), about one-third larger than Scotland or Ireland. It has a population of just over 300.000, almost two-thirds living in the capital Reykjavik and its neighbouring towns in the southwest.
Regardless of when you visit, be assured that the warmth shown by the Icelanders, their desire to share their culture and their efforts to make your stay as pleasant as possible will, like the spectacular landscape, not easily be forgotten.
Blue with a red cross outlined in white. The colours are symbolic for Iceland: red is for the volcanic fires, white recalls the snow and glaciers, and blue is for the skies above and the ocean around.
321,857 (Jan 2013). Median age is 37.1 years.
Reykjavik. The largest municipalities are Reykjavik* (118,000); Kópavogur *(30,000); Hafnarfjördur* (25,000); Akureyri (17,000); Reykjanesbær (14,000). *cities in the capital region.
Parliamentary constitutional republic.
Icelandic, a North Germanic language derived from Old Norse. English is widely spoken and understood.
The Icelandic ”króna”, (plural krónur) – ISK
Iceland is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) throughout the year.
103,000 sq.km (39,756 sq.miles), slightly bigger than Hungary and Portugal, and slightly smaller than Greece.
Glaciers cover 11,922 sq.km (4,600 sg.miles) of the islands‘ surface. Iceland is home to Vatnajökull National Park, the largest national park in Europe.
Hvannadalshnjukur peak 2,110 m.
Various excursions are available. For scheduled tours you can check following websites:
Reykjavík Excursions: www.re.is
Iceland Excursions: www.icelandexcursions.is
Various tourist information sites
The official travel guide to Iceland: www.visiticeland.com
The official tourism website of the Reykjavík Capital Area: www.visitreykjavik.is
Check the weather in Iceland: www.vedur.is
Blue Lagoon Spa In Iceland: www.bluelagoon.com
Iceland Review – What’s on in Iceland: www.whatson.is
Icelandic Directorate of Immigration: www.utl.is
Keflavik International Airport in Iceland: www.airport.is/english