Visit Iceland
ENTER HERE
About Iceland - ENTER HERE
ICELANDIC NATURE AND LANDSCAPE.
Icelandic nature offers an incredible variety of different land...
About Iceland - ENTER HERE
ICELANDIC NATURE AND NATIONAL PARKS:
Wildlife
All land mammals, except the Arctic fox, have bee...
About Iceland - ENTER HERE
CLIMATE IN ICELAND
The climate in Iceland is milder than many people expect. Thanks to the Gulf...
About Iceland - ENTER HERE
NORTHERN LIGHTS IN ICELAND
The Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis are a spectac...
About Iceland - ENTER HERE
ICELANDIC LANGUAGE
The Icelandic language is one of the main characteristics of this proud nati...
Icelandic Lifestyle and culture - ENTER HERE
DINING IN ICELAND
Everywhere in the country, and especially in Reykjavík, you...
Icelandic Lifestyle and culture - ENTER HERE
In terms of music, Iceland has everything from pop to classical, opera, rock ...
Icelandic Lifestyle and culture - ENTER HERE
ART AND HANDCRAFTS
There are countless museums and galleries which have both ...
Icelandic Lifestyle and culture - ENTER HERE
WOOLENDS
The traditional Icelandic lopapeysa, a knitted wool sweater with a s...
Icelandic Lifestyle and culture - ENTER HERE
ANNUAL EVENTS IN REYKJAVIK
THORRABLOT VIKING CELEBRATION
Every winter at the ...
Independence day - June 17th
The National Day of Iceland has been celebrated on June 17th since 1944 to commemorate the
bi...
Culture Night & Reykjavik Marathon
Reykjavik's Culture Night has become an essential part of cultural life in Iceland with...
Christmas & New Year's Eve
By late November, streets and buildings are illuminated with Christmas lights and people start
...
Pratical information About Iceland - ENTER HERE
GETTING TO AND AROUND ICELAND
The two major Icelandic airlines, Icelandair...
Pratical information About Iceland - ENTER HERE
GETTING FROM THE AIRPORT AND AROUND ICELAND
The Flybus airport shuttle bet...
Pratical information About Iceland - ENTER HERE
GOOD TO HAVE IN MIND
Special warning signs indicate danger ahead, such as ...
Pratical information About Iceland - ENTER HERE
GAS STATIONS:
In the greater Reykjavík most of the gas stations are open u...
Pratical information About Iceland - ENTER HERE
TIPPING:
Service and VAT are included in prices in Iceland.
BUSINESS/SHOPP...
Pratical information About Iceland - ENTER HERE
BUSINESS HOURS
Banks are open from 09:15 to 16:00. As general rule, office...
Pratical information About Iceland - ENTER HERE
MEDICAL HELP:
There is a medical centre or a hospital in all major cities ...
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Best places to visit in iceland

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Visit Iceland. Icelandic nature offers an incredible variety of different landscapes and natural phenomena in a relatively small country.

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Best places to visit in iceland

  1. 1. Visit Iceland ENTER HERE
  2. 2. About Iceland - ENTER HERE ICELANDIC NATURE AND LANDSCAPE. Icelandic nature offers an incredible variety of different landscapes and natural phenomena in a relatively small country. Geologically, Iceland is very young and in a very real sense it can be said to be still in the making. Iceland is the world's 18th largest island, and Europe's second largest island following Great Britain. The island is 103,000 km² (39,768 square miles). ICELANDIC VOLCANOES. A geologically young land, Iceland is located on both the Iceland hotspot and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, which runs right through it. This location means that the island is highly geologically active with many volcanoes. Icelandic Volcanoes and Geothermal areas are an important feature of the Icelandic landscape. At least 30 Icelandic volcanoes are active and more than 160 eruptions have taken place since the first days of the settlement. In the last 10 years there have been eruptions under the Vatnajökull ice-cap and in the Icelandic volcano Hekla; Iceland´s most recent volcanic event was the famous eruption under the Eyjafjallajökull in March/April 2010, which caused major disruption of international flight traffic, but no casualties in Iceland. Geothermal Activity can be found in nearly all parts of the Icelandic nature, in the form of mud pools, steam vents, sulphur pits and hot springs and the best known of all: Geysir. Geothermal energy is also used to generate power and many hot springs are tapped for domestic and industrial use. ICELANDIC GLACIERS: Icelandic glaciers and Lakes cover 14.3% of the country; only 23% is vegetated. The uninhabited interior is a mountainous plateau with ice caps, bordered on the south by vast glacial outwash plains. In Iceland you can find the largest glaciers outside Greenland and Antarctica. The largest Icelandic glacier is Vatnajökull, which is 8,200 km² and up to 1,000 m thick in places. Rivers, Fjords and Waterfalls bear witness to the landscape left by the last Ice Age. Powerful glacial torrents continue to shape the land, carving spectacular gorges into the lava landscape. Calmer freshwater rivers and lakes are plentiful with an abundance of salmon, trout and char, and the northern and eastern fjords are suited to deep-water fishing. The main farming areas are around the coast, particularly in the south and west.
  3. 3. About Iceland - ENTER HERE ICELANDIC NATURE AND NATIONAL PARKS: Wildlife All land mammals, except the Arctic fox, have been brought by men into the country since the settlement. These include (besides domestic animals) reindeer, mink, mice and rats. 70 species of bird nest regularly in Iceland, including some that do not breed elsewhere in Europe. Huge numbers of sea birds can be found in the bird cliffs along the coast, and waders and wildfowl attract bird watchers from all over the world. There are no reptiles in Iceland, and biting insects are rare. Rich coastal waters attract plentiful marine life such as whales, dolphins and seals. Flora Only 25% of Iceland is continuously covered with vegetation, and only 1% with woodland. Nevertheless, the landscape is never dull. Colourful arctic and alpine flora thrive even in the deserts of the interior highlands and at high altitude, including many types of moss and lichens. GEOGRAPHY IN ICELAND Iceland is the second largest island in Europe, with a total area of 103,000 km² (39,768 square miles), situated in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, directly under the Arctic circle (66° N). The coast line is 6,000 km long; the distance between the north and south coasts is c.300 km, between east and west c. 500 km. The shortest distances to Iceland's nearest neighbours is about 280 km to Greenland, 400 km to the Faroe Islands, 800 km to Scotland and 950 km to Norway. By air, Iceland is about 3 hours from western Europe and 5 hours from North America. With a population of only 320,000, Iceland is the most lightly populated country in Europe. Over half of the inhabitants live in the metropolitan area in and around Reykjavik and about 75 % of the land is uninhabited - consisting mostly of sand and stone deserts, lava fields and glaciers. Total area: 103,000 km² Inhabited area: c. 25 % Total population: 320,000 - Metropolitan area, population: 170,000 Time: Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) throughout the year.
  4. 4. About Iceland - ENTER HERE CLIMATE IN ICELAND The climate in Iceland is milder than many people expect. Thanks to the Gulf Stream, Iceland enjoys a cool temperate ocean climate with cool summers and relatively mild winters. However, the weather is very changeable and one should always be prepared for unexpected changes. 2008 Temperature Averages in Celsius (Centigrade). Reykjavík Akureyri Jan. -0.2 -1.5 Feb. -0.2 -0.4 Mar. 0.8 -1.4 April 3.9 1.4 May 8.6 8.0 June 10.6 9.1 July 12.5 12.4 Aug. 11.5 11.5 Sep. 9.4 9.8 Oct. 2.8 1.2 Nov. 2.8 1.1 Dec. 1.1 -0.3 Daylight in Reykjavík (hours): 1 Jan. 4.5 1 Feb. 7.2 1 Mar. 10.2 1 Apr. 13.5 1 May 16.8 1 Jun. 23.2 1 Jul. 23.8 1 Aug. 18.0 1 Sep. 14.6 1 Oct. 11.5 1 Nov. 8.0 1 Dec. 5.0 Travellers in Iceland should always bring along lightweight woollens, a sweater or cardigan, a rainproof coat and sturdy walking shoes. If you are travelling in wintertime or are heading into the interior, you will need warm underwear and socks, rubber boots and a warm sweater (fleece, wool). For weather information see: www.vedur.is/english Midnight sun: Due to the country's location directly under the Arctic circle, the nights are bright in all parts of Iceland during summertime. In the month of June the sun never fully sets in the northern part of the country.
  5. 5. About Iceland - ENTER HERE NORTHERN LIGHTS IN ICELAND The Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis are a spectacular natural phenomenon, often seen dancing around in fantastic colours across the Icelandic Arctic sky. The Northern lights are caused by the interaction of particles from the sun with the upper atmosphere near the North Pole. That creates this wonderful light effect, known as the Aurora Borealis. The winter in Iceland brings the chance to see this spectacular phenomenon in the dark northern sky on a cold and clear night. ICELANDIC PEOPLE AND CULTURE As a whole, Icelandic people are very open and progressive, creative and self-reliant. They are highly educated, well-read and they share a deep love for arts and music. Like anyone else,Icelandic people like to have fun. They work hard and play hard and love sharing their country with visitors. In general are Icelanders very helpful. The standard of living in Iceland is among the highest in the world. Although they are technically advanced and modern in outlook, many people are justly proud of the cultural heritage of Norse mythology and the Icelandic sagas. ORIGIN OF THE ICELANDERS Icelandic language and culture today reflects the predominantly Norse origin of the early population, but there is also evidence of celtic blood and heritage. Although the first settlers ofIceland are supposed to have been Irish monks or hermits, they left the island when the heathen Vikings arrived the late 9th century. Most of the evidence indicates that of the first permanent settlers came from Norway and from parts of the British Isles where Viking settlements had been established and Scandinavian settlers had become partly assimilated into the celtic population; they would also have been accompanied by celtic slaves. According to The Book of Settlements (Landnámabók), Ingólfur Arnarson was the first permanent settler of Iceland, establishing himself there in 874.
  6. 6. About Iceland - ENTER HERE ICELANDIC LANGUAGE The Icelandic language is one of the main characteristics of this proud nation. It belongs to the group of the North Germanic languages and is still closely similar to the language that the settlers brought with them in the ninth and tenth centuries (Old Norse). The Icelandic literature and sagas of the thirteenth century can still be read by modern Icelandic speakers with little difficulty. English is widely understood and spoken, especially among the younger generation, and many people have a working knowledge of Danish, German or other languages as well. ICELANDIC LITERATURE Medieval Icelandic literature is probably Iceland's most significant contribution to world culture, especially the sagas, a unique genre of realistic secular prose narratives dating from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Modern Icelandic literature has also gained international attention, not least since 1955, when the great novelist Halldór Laxness won the Nobel Prize. Today, authors such as Thor Vilhjálmsson, Einar Kárason, Arnaldur Indriðarson and Yrsa Sigurðardóttir and others are available to an international audience in translation. RELIGION The established religion in Iceland is Lutheran. Next page Icelandic Lifestyle and culture
  7. 7. Icelandic Lifestyle and culture - ENTER HERE DINING IN ICELAND Everywhere in the country, and especially in Reykjavík, you will find an astounding variety of restaurants embracing both ethnic styles from around the world and also cuisine native toIceland. The food served in Icelandic homes and restaurants is excellent in quality and taste, the key being the freshness of the products. Fish comes fresh from the oceans surrounding the country, meat from animals that graze in meadows situated far from urban areas, sometimes deep in the uninhabited interior. It may come as a surprise to learn that a lot of vegetables are also grown in Iceland, some in the open air, others in greenhouses heated with natural hot water. Iceland's two main raw materials for quality cuisine are fish and lamb. At the other end of the culinary spectrum, you might like to try a distinctively Icelandic version of fast food: the "pylsa". This is a hot dog with a topping of your choice: tomato ketchup, mustard, rémoulade and raw or fried onions. In terms of ethnic cuisine, you will have no trouble satisfying a craving for Danish, Italian or French cuisine. For Asian delicacies, there are quite a number of Indian, Thai and Chinese restaurants. Sushi is available from the many seafood restaurants and speciality restaurants downtown. Generally restaurants are open until midnight, but their kitchens normally close at ten o'clock. Coffee shops and bars are open until 1 o'clock during weekdays and until 6 o'clock at weekends. ENTERTAINMENT IN REYKJAVIK Reykjavik is vibrant city with active and energetic habitants. This is reflected in the city's nightlife which has long been renowned for its intensity, energy and special atmosphere. The focus of all this is in the main streets of Laugavegur and Aðalstræti (in the old town centre), and the roads leading off them. Cafes and bars in Reykjavik serve beer and coffee throughout the day, before transforming into buzzing drinking and dancing venues in the evening. Opening times for the majority of cafe-bars are Sunday to Thursday 10.00 to 01.00 and Friday and Saturday 10.00 to 03.00. Nightclubs close around 04.00 or 05.00 and the dress code is strictly smart. Alcohol is available from licensed bars, restaurants and "Vínbúð" shops. The minimum drinking age is 20 years.
  8. 8. Icelandic Lifestyle and culture - ENTER HERE In terms of music, Iceland has everything from pop to classical, opera, rock and musicals. International artists often play in Iceland, while at the other end of the spectrum you will find that many pubs offer a wide variety of live music. Theatre is also popular, but is usually performed in Icelandic. In cinemas, however, all films are presented in the original language with Icelandic subtitles. CULTURAL ACTIVITIES IN ICELAND Iceland has a rich culture and extremely resourceful and creative artists. There are numerous museums in the country, focussing on a wide variety of themes. For visitors, this opens up more opportunities of finding out more about this unique island. MUSEUMS There are museums dedicated to interpreting the very earliest history of the country, highlighting the extraordinary fact that the history of Iceland is known in its totality, from the original settlement in the ninth century to the present day. For example, you can visit museums on the settlement period, the Saga period, themes from the Middle Ages and the 19th century, when many people emigrated from Iceland to the New World in the wake of a devastating volcanic eruption. There are also countless folk museums all over the country which focus mainly on local history, largely artefacts dating from the late 19th century. You can obtain a very good impression of how people lived in those days by visiting any of these museums. Some include (or are actually housed in) old turf buildings, which were used as homes right down to the 20th century. Many of the museums you find in Iceland are dedicated to a particular theme, such as fisheries, ghosts, witchcraft, whales, volcanoes, glaciers, photography, medicine, medieval manuscripts, seals, science, old buildings, horsemanship, rocks and semi-precious stones, natural history, etc.
  9. 9. Icelandic Lifestyle and culture - ENTER HERE ART AND HANDCRAFTS There are countless museums and galleries which have both classical and modern art on display. Even in small villages and rural areas you can find exhibitions by local artists. In many of those places you can buy work by local Icelandic artists, such as paintings, small sculptures, exclusive postcards, ornaments, articles of clothing made of unusual materials such as reindeer or fish leather, toys and utensils. ICELANDIC LITERATURE Icelandic Literature has always been important to the people and it is astonishing how many books are published every year in such a tiny country. There are many theatre companies in Iceland, including a National Theatre. In Reykjavík there is a symphony orchestra, an opera house and a ballet company. International performers make regular visits, especially to the Reykjavík Arts Festival. SHOPPING IN ICELAND Iceland has some of the best souvenirs in the world, with a different take: most of what you buy here you'll use elsewhere. From warm woollens to beautifully crafted pottery and glass, to resilient outdoor wear, these are more than just keepsakes. Local goods are most often of high quality and are sold at fair prices. OUTDOOR CLOTHING If anyone knows how to make outdoor wear practical, durable and fashionable, it's the Icelanders. Stores like 66 Degrees North and Cintamani offer great looking outdoor clothing that you can use on any of your hikes or just when you need to be warm. Stock up on everything from fleece to wind and rain gear to hiking socks (highly recommended!).
  10. 10. Icelandic Lifestyle and culture - ENTER HERE WOOLENDS The traditional Icelandic lopapeysa, a knitted wool sweater with a special design at the top and on the sleeves, is now a must-have fashion item. Worn for practical reasons by farmers and fishermen, the sweater (or its variations, including button or zipped cardigan) is one of the trendiest items around. Other high-quality woollen items, all made from Icelandic wool, are also available such as scarves, gloves, hats, blankets, and many other things. FASHION AND ACCESSORIES Iceland is home to many great fashion brands you are already familiar with, as well as some smaller, more specialised ones. The constant desire for fresh materials and inspiration has kept goldsmiths in the capital busy churning out gallery pieces. Artists often combine gold or silver with materials found in Iceland, such as lava rock, and the effect is very eye-catching. Reykjavík is full of boutiques and shops which feature the unique work of Icelandic designers using a variety of styles and materials. It is a great place for finding a really unusual yet incredibly stylish piece of clothing. ARTWORK Artists in Iceland often draw their inspiration from the country's outstanding natural surroundings or from its literary history. From paintings to sculptures to pottery and glass work, you'll find all sorts of creative designs here, both small and large. A street that is becoming more and more dedicated to artists, Skólavörðustígur in downtown Reykjavík hosts many respected smaller galleries. Reykjavík's main shopping streets are in Laugavegur and Skólavörðustígur. Most stores are open from 10.00-18.00 on weekdays and from 11.00-16.00 on Saturdays. Clothing stores are usually closed on Sundays, but most bookstores will be open. For longer shopping hours, visit either the Kringlan or Smáralind Shopping Centres. Kringlan and Smáralind both have a number of major stores for clothing, accessories and books / souvenirs.
  11. 11. Icelandic Lifestyle and culture - ENTER HERE ANNUAL EVENTS IN REYKJAVIK THORRABLOT VIKING CELEBRATION Every winter at the end of January, Icelanders celebrate the old feast of Þorrablót. This very lively and joyful festivity includes a lot of singing, dancing, and of course the consumption of traditional Viking food, such as: smoked lamb, singed sheep heads (for most the eye is the best part), "harðfiskur" which is dried fish, cured shark, rye bread steamed in the hot ground, delicious "skyr" (a thick Icelandic yoghurt made with rennet), washed down with "brennivín" (Icelandic schnapps, which is sometimes called svarti dauði - "black death"). REYKJAVIK JAZZ FESTIVAL The annual Reykjavik Jazz Festival offers a colourful programme of jazz events, performed by Icelandic and international artists. The Reykjavík Jazz Festival hosts international guests and has always made a priority of giving young and upcoming artists an opportunity to perform. REYKJAVIK ARTS FESTIVAL Iceland's premier cultural festival since 1970, this combines the best in local and international theatre, dance, music and visual art. A variety of selected exhibitions, concerts, dance, theatre and opera performances are on the agenda. Along with its focus on Icelandic culture past and present, the festival hosts many outstanding international artists and performers. FESTIVAL OF THE SEA The first weekend in June is a very special day in Iceland,celebrating how important the sea and sailors are to Iceland's history, economy and national life. It's the only day when every ship in Iceland is in harbour, and all the sailors have a day off. Boats and ships of all sizes come into port carrying sailors eager to try their hands at strongman competitions. On this day the Icelandic rescue team displays a rescue at sea in Reykjavik harbour.
  12. 12. Independence day - June 17th The National Day of Iceland has been celebrated on June 17th since 1944 to commemorate the birthday of national hero Jón Sigurdsson (1811-1879). Festivities in Reykjavik include colorful parades, street theatres and music, side shows and dancing. Everyone takes the day off to enjoy the real festival atmosphere. 21st June Midsummer Night The solstice is the apex of a long month of endless sunshine, during which the sun hangs determinedly in the sky, never setting. Unlike some other Scandinavian countries, formally organized events are rare, but visitors will find plenty of family get-togethers where the magic of the midnight sun on the longest day of the year is celebrated. Viking Festival in Hafnarfjörður In Viking times the year was divided into summer and winter halves, with celebrations marking the climax of each. On June 21st the summer solstice was celebrated marking the longest day of the year. The Viking Village in Hafnarfjörður hosts a Solstice Festival with Viking clothing, instruments, jewellery, crafts, and of course food and drinks. Bank Holiday weekend. In the first weekend in August, almost everyone goes off to camp at festivals around the country - everything from family events to wild rock festivals. Gay Pride This colourful event brings tens of thousands of people into the city centre every year, to show solidarity and to have fun with the gay community in Reykjavik. Everyone gathers to celebrate and support human rights for all.
  13. 13. Culture Night & Reykjavik Marathon Reykjavik's Culture Night has become an essential part of cultural life in Iceland with thousands of people enjoying themselves in the streets of the city on this exciting and eventful night. Culture Night offers the chance to enjoy a variety of activities ranging from traditional shows and exhibitions to more unusual happenings. The Reykjavik Marathon is an annual event involving thousands of participants from Iceland and abroad. It is possible to participate in the full Marathon, half marathon and the "Fun Run". Reykjavik Jazz Festival - September/October The Reykjavik Jazz Festival is held in August annually with a broad line-up of jazz artists from all over the world as well as Iceland's leading Jazz musicians. Reykjavik Film Festival - RIFF The Icelandic film industry is growing steadily, and the Icelandic landscape provides an interesting setting for both Icelandic and foreign films. The Reykjavik Film Festival was founded in 2004 with the goal of creating an annual international film festival in Reykjavík. The aim was to establish a major film event to enrich and enliven the local film culture. Since then it has become an international attraction, hence making it one of the best- kept secrets on the film festival circuit. Iceland Airwaves Iceland Airwaves, a festival gathering increasing international attention, has rocked Reykjavik every October since 1999. It's been called "the most innovative music festival since CMJ" and "as responsible for all of Reykjavík's recent positive press as Björk herself". Thousands of fans from around the world show up to groove to cutting-edge music by alternative artists from both sides of the Atlantic.
  14. 14. Christmas & New Year's Eve By late November, streets and buildings are illuminated with Christmas lights and people start frequenting traditional Christmas buffets offered by many restaurants. Delicacies such as Hangikjot (smoked lamb served with potatoes, vegetables and a white sauce), Rjúpa (Icelandic Ptarmigan) or Reindeer are served for a traditional Icelandic Christmas Dinner. On the first Sunday in Advent, the lights are lit on a large Christmas tree on Austurvollur Square in Reykajvik's city centre, accompanied by music, choir singing and a visit by the 13 Icelandic Santa Clauses, (Yule Lads e.g. Door-slammer, Spoon-licker, Candle Beggar and others). Christmas is very important to Icelanders and is celebrated everywhere. Families, friends and colleagues make the season special by having Christmas parties, baking cookies, drinking jólaglögg (mulled wine) and decorating their homes. The main day of celebration for Icelanders is Christmas Eve (24 December), where people are exchanging gifts. New Year's Eve in Iceland is one spectacular celebration! The festivities usually start with a family dinner, followed by going to bonfires (brennur), where people gather to meet friends and neighbours. Iceland does not have the restrictions on fireworks that other countries have. So at midnight the whole population of the Reykjavík Capital Area makes its own massive fireworks show by setting off fireworks from their gardens or some vantage points. Don't miss this spectacular display!. Next page Pratical information About Iceland
  15. 15. Pratical information About Iceland - ENTER HERE GETTING TO AND AROUND ICELAND The two major Icelandic airlines, Icelandair and Iceland Express, serve the vast majority of those who visit Iceland. Their network reaches over 30 destinations in Europe in North America. Additionally, during the summer time, there are several charter airlines, mainly from various locations in Europe, offering flights to Iceland. Direct flights to Iceland are available from all major cities in Europe and North America, including Paris, Barcelona, Glasgow, Oslo, Stockholm, Helskinki, London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Boston, New York, Orlando and Seattle. Iceland is not as far away as you might think. Flight times from the majority of destinations in Europe are usually no longer then 3-4 hours. With the Schengen Agreement, entry into Iceland has been facilitated; nevertheless you should always carry a passport or personal ID valid for 3 months after your departure. The Leifur Eiríksson Terminal at Keflavik International Airport (50 km from Reykjavik) is the gateway for most passenger flights and air-freight flights to and from Iceland. Unveiled in April 1987, the terminal is small by international standards but remarkable both for its ease of use as well as its comfort, spaciousness and relaxing atmosphere. The airport is open 24 hours per day and offers a good selection of shops and stores. All retail sale and services operated in the departure hall are located within the Duty-Free Zone and the goods and services available here are very competitive, compared to other European airports. When arriving, passengers should stroll straight downstairs to the Arrival hall where, unlike most international airports, tax- and duty-free goods are available upon arrival. Iceland can also be reached by ferry. Throughout the year the Smyril Line "Norræna" maintains a regular scheduled cruise- and car-ferry service to Seyðisfjörður/Iceland from Denmark and the Faroe Islands. There are also a number of local ferry services connecting ports.
  16. 16. Pratical information About Iceland - ENTER HERE GETTING FROM THE AIRPORT AND AROUND ICELAND The Flybus airport shuttle between Keflavík International Airport and Reykjavík makes numerous trips over the day - every day of the week. It departs from Keflavik Airport approximately 30-40 minutes after all arriving flights. Passengers are dropped off at major hotels and guesthouses in Reykjavík. The distance between Keflavik Airport and Reykjavik is 50 km and the drive takes 50-75 minutes. Car-rental agencies are found at Keflavik Airport and also in most major towns and at the national airports. When renting a car, remember to bring along your credit card. Local transport includes municipal buses, and taxis which can also be hired for sightseeing. Have in mind that the taxis cost rather more than a bus fare. DRIVING IN ICELAND Most of the mountain roads and roads in the interior of Iceland have a surface of loose gravel. The same applies to some sections of the national highway. The surface on the gravel roads is often loose, especially along the edges of the roads ('soft shoulder'), so it is important to drive carefully and slow down whenever approaching an oncoming car. Please be aware that farm animals (horses, cattle and particularly sheep), often graze along the roads, and may suddenly run in front of your car. Slow down well in advance and give them time to move clear of the road. Lower speeds mean a safer trip. Icelandic mountain roads are often very narrow and are not made for speeding. The same goes for many bridges, which are sometimes only wide enough for one car at a time. The mountain roads are often very winding and most don't have an asphalt surface. Therefore journeys usually take longer than might be expected in terms of the distance alone. GOOD TO KNOW The total length of the Ring Road around Iceland (National Highway No. 1) is 1,339 km. The general speed limit is 50 km/h in urban areas, 80 km/h on gravel roads in rural areas, and 90 km/h on asphalt roads. For information on road conditions: Tel: 354-1777, answering service 24 hours, or visit the official website: http://www.vegagerdin.is/english/
  17. 17. Pratical information About Iceland - ENTER HERE GOOD TO HAVE IN MIND Special warning signs indicate danger ahead, such as sharp bends, blind rises, single-lane bridges, etc. Generally there is not a separate sign to reduce speed. The speed limit in built up areas is 50 km/h, on surface roads outside built up areas 90 km/h and on gravel roads 80 km/h Please choose a safe speed according to conditions. By law motorists are obliged to use headlights at all times day and night. In Iceland all driving off roads or marked tracks is forbidden. Passengers in the front and back seats of an automobile are required by law to use safety-belts. Icelandic law forbids any driving under the influence of alcohol ; if any trace of alcohol is found in a driver's blood, this may result in heavy fines or prohibition from driving. MOTOR VEHICLE INSURANCE A Green Card or other proof of third-party insurance is mandatory for motorists driving their own cars in Iceland, except from the following countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Vatican. PLEASE BEAR THE FOLLOWING IN MIND The driver must present a valid driver's licence held for minimum of one year at the time of rental, the driver's credit card is also required. In Iceland the minimum age for rentals is 20 years for passenger cars and 23 years and for 4WD and minibuses. Damage to the automobile, including the following, will usually not be compensated by the insurance company and costs have to be paid by the driver: Damage caused by driving on rough roads to the vehicle or to the chassis due to the road surface. The same applies to damage occurring when stones are thrown up, striking the underside of the vehicle during driving. Damage resulting from driving in places where vehicle traffic is banned (tracks, banks of snow, ice, unbridged rivers or streams) or other trackless areas.
  18. 18. Pratical information About Iceland - ENTER HERE GAS STATIONS: In the greater Reykjavík most of the gas stations are open until 23:30. Many stations in the Reykjavík area have automats in operation after closing, which accept credit cards and bank notes. Opening hours around the country, where the pumps are privately operated, can vary from place to place. All filling stations accept credit cards and automats are also operated in various places around the country. Octane levels in Iceland are 92 regular unleaded, 98 premium leaded and premium unleaded 95. OPENING OF THE MOUNTAIN TRACKS: Most mountain roads are closed until the end of June / beginning of July, or even longer because of wet and muddy conditions which make them totally impassable. When these roads are opened for traffic many of them can only be negotiated by four-wheel-drive vehicles. For most mountain roads it is strongly advised that two or more cars travel together. Also, before embarking on any journey into the interior we recommend to collect as much information as possible regarding road conditions from a travel bureau, tourist information office or the Icelandic Road Administration (ICERA) Tel: +354 1777 daily: 08:00 - 16:00 - http://www.vegagerdin.is/english/. SHOPPING IN ICELAND Shops in Iceland are of international standard, and carry a wide variety of merchandise. Local specialities are woollen knitwear (for example sweaters, cardigans, hats and mittens), handmade ceramics, glassware and silver jewellery. Also available is a great variety of high-quality seafood. SHOPPING: The shops in Iceland are of international standard, and carry a wide variety of merchandise. Local specialties are woollen knitwear, handmade ceramics, glassware and jewellery. TAX-FREE SHOPPING: A refund of local Value-Added Tax (VAT) is available to all visitors in Iceland, up to 15% reduction. The purchase amount must be no less than ISK 4,000 (VAT included) per store.
  19. 19. Pratical information About Iceland - ENTER HERE TIPPING: Service and VAT are included in prices in Iceland. BUSINESS/SHOPPING/BANKING HOURS: Office hours are generally 09:00-17:00. Shopping hours are Mon-Fri 09:00-18:00, Sat 10:00 - 13:00 or 16:00 and some supermarkets are open to 23:00 seven days a week or even 24/7. Banking hours are Mon-Fri 09:15-16:00. FAQ' S ELECTRIC CURRENT: The electric current in Iceland is 220volts, 50 Hz AC. CURRENCY EXCHANGE: The Icelandic currency is the Icelandic crown, and is called króna. Central Bank of Iceland - Exchange rate EQUIPMENT It is important to bring the right equipment and clothing for every trip to Iceland. We recommend all- weather and outdoor clothing, since the weather can change very rapidly. A few things that should be on your list are: Wool pullover, Waterproof rainwear, Anorak, Walking boots, Fleece wear, Bathing wear, Sun protection TRAVELLERS' CHEQUES, DEBIT and CREDIT CARDS: These are widely accepted in Iceland. The major cards in Iceland are EUROPAY/MASTERCARD and VISA. Cash can be obtained at any bank branch (over 170) and from 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
  20. 20. Pratical information About Iceland - ENTER HERE BUSINESS HOURS Banks are open from 09:15 to 16:00. As general rule, offices are open from 09:00 to 17:00, in some cases during the summer these hours are from 08:00 to 16:00. Shops are open from 09:00 to 18:00 on weekdays. The Kringlan and Smáralind shopping malls, and souvenir and some bookshops in the city centre are open at weekends. TAX FREE SHOPPING/TAX REFUND A refund of the local Value Added Tax is available to visitors to Iceland. The refund will result in a reduction of up to 15% of the retail price, provided departure from Iceland is within 30 days after the purchase is made. The purchased amount must be no less than ISK 4,000,- (VAT included) per sales receipt, and all goods (except woollens) must be packed in sealed bags or containers. TELEPHONES: The code for Iceland from overseas is +354 followed by a seven-digit number. Direct long-distance calls can be made to Europe and the USA by dialing 00 + the country code, and the telephone number. MOBILE PHONES: GSM: Pre-paid GSM phone cards are available at the next phone operation store, e.g. Síminn and Vodafone, and at petrol stations around the country. HEALTH/PHARMACIES/EMERGENCY MEDICAL HELP: Water is safe to drink throughout Iceland. Pharmacies are called "Apótek" and are open during normal business hours, some 24 hours a day. Many general practitioners, and some specialists, many of them will receive patients at short notice. VACCINATIONS: Vaccinations are not required.
  21. 21. Pratical information About Iceland - ENTER HERE MEDICAL HELP: 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. HEALTH INSURANCE: Citizens of Scandinavia have to show passport in case of medical emergency. Citizens of EEA countries must have the E-111 form, otherwise the patient will be charged in full. Citizens of other countries must be charged in full. For further information contact: State Social Security Institute Laugavegur114 • IS-105 Reykjavík Tel.: +354-560-4400 • +354-560-4520 Fax: +354-562-5053 Office hours 08:30-15:30

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