About Iceland
Tuesday, 05 April 2011 22:18
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Practical information about Iceland





The modern Icelandic alphabet consists of the following 32 letters: 

Aa Áá Bb Dd Ðð Ee Éé Ff Gg Hh Ii Íí Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Óó Pp Rr Ss Tt Uu Úú Vv Xx Yy Ýý Þþ Ææ Öö

It is based upon a Latin alphabet with diacritics. In addition it includes the character “eth - Ðð” and the runic letter “thorn - Þþ”. Ææ and Öö are considered letters in their own right and not a ligature or diacritical version of their respective letters.



Icelandair flies year round from several destinations in North America and Europe. It also flies from many more locations in the high season. www.icelandair.com

Iceland Express offers year round flights from Newark as well as seasonal flights from Boston, Chicago and Winnipeg. Iceland Express also offers seasonal flights to 24 major European cities. www.icelandexpress.com

Delta Airlines offers flights from New York (JFK) commencing in June 2011. www.delta.com



The following mobile systems can be used in Iceland. GSM900 and 1800 both 2G and UMTS 3G. Pre-paid cards are available at petrol stations around the country. The internet network in Iceland is very well developed and most hotels offer internet connection.



Thanks to the Gulf Stream, Iceland enjoys a cool temperate maritime climate; cool in summer and fairly mild in winter. However, the weather is very changeable and tourists should be prepared for the unexpected.



When traveling in Iceland you should bring along lightweight woolens, a sweater or cardigan, a rainproof (weatherproof) coat and sturdy walking shoes. Travelers who are camping or heading into the interior will need warm underwear and socks, rubber boots and a warm sleeping bag. en.vedur.is

Average Temperature in Reykjavik:

January 35°F 1.8°C 

April 41°F 5.0°C 

July 55°F 12.8°C 

October 41°F 5.1°C 



All major credit cards are accepted by hotels, restaurants, shops and gas stations. You can also draw money with your credit card (limited amounts) from cash points throughout the country. Traveler’s cheques, debit & credit cards are widely accepted. The major cards in Iceland are Mastercard and VISA. American Express is accepted on a limited basis.



The Icelandic monetary unit is the krona. Coins are in denominations of 100 kr., 50 kr., 10 kr., 5 kr. and 1 kr. Bank notes are in denominations of 5000 kr., 2000 kr., 1000 kr., and 500 kr. All Icelandic banks provide foreign exchange and are generally open on weekdays from 09:15 to 16:00.







  Reykjavík Ísafjörður Akueyri
1-Jan 11:19 12:02 11:33
  15:43 15:10 14:59
1-Feb 10:10 10:31 10:07
  17:14 17:02 16:46
1-Mar 8:34 8:44 8:23
  18:48 18:47 18:28
1-Apr 6:44 6:45 6:26
  20:20 20:30 20:09
1-May 4:58 4:47 4:31
  21:53 22:15 21:51
1-Jun 3:21 2:39 2:32
  23:32 0:26 23:52
1-Jul 3:06 —— 1:59
  23:56 1:22 0:30
1-Aug 4:35 4:18 4:03
  22:30 22:56 22:32
1-Sep 6:11 6:08 5:50
  20:42 20:54 20:33
1-Oct 7:37 7:44 7:23
  18:56 18:58 18:39
1-Nov 9:12 9:29 9:06
  17:10 17:02 16:45
1-Dec 10:46 11:21 10:54
  15:47 15:21 15:08



Food is an essential part of the Icelandic experience, fresh, pure local produce is showcased in restaurants up and down the country, serving both homely traditional dishes and gourmet fine- dining. For more information about restaurants, menus and prices please check www.restaurants.is



Ring Road Nr. 1 around Iceland is 1,339 km (832 m). 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. Many mountain roads and roads in the interior of Iceland have a gravel surface. The surface on the gravel roads is often loose, especially along the sides of the roads, so one should drive carefully. The mountain roads are narrow and not made for speeding. More info www.safetravel.is  and  www.road.is



The electric current in Iceland is 220 volts, 50 Hz AC, you may need an adapter with two round ended prongs. 



Businesses, banks and most stores are closed on these holidays:


2011 Holiday 2012
1-Jan New Year’s Day 1-Jan
21-Apr Maundy Thursday 5-Apr
22-Apr Good Friday 6-Apr
24-Apr Easter Sunday 8-Apr
25-Apr Easter Monday 9-Apr
21-Apr First Day of Summer 19-Apr
1-May Labor Day 1-May
2-Jun Ascension Day 17-May
12-Jun Whit Sunday 27-May
13-Jun Whit Monday 28-May
17-Jun National Day 17-Jun
8-Aug Bank Holiday Monday 6-Aug
24-Dec Christmas Eve (from noon) Des 24
25-Dec Christmas day Des 25
26-Dec Sec. Day of Christmas Des 26
31-Dec New Years Eve (from noon) Des 31





Icelandic is the national language and is believed to have changed very little from the original tongue spoken by the Norse settlers. English and Scandinavian languages are widely spoken.



Health insurance: Citizens of Scandinavia must show their passport in the event of a medical emergency. Citizens of EEA countries must bring the EHIC card (European Health Insurance Card) otherwise the patient will be charged in full. Non- EEA citizens are not covered by the EEA regulations and will be charged in full. 

Vaccinations: Vaccinations are not required.



During summer the nights are bright all over Iceland. In the month of June the sun never fully sets in the north. There are even special excursions to the island of Grimsey on the Arctic Circle where you can experience the midnight sun. Bear in mind, however, that the sun at midnight is not as warm as at midday, so bring along a sweater.



There are three National Parks around the country, each with its own particular points of interest.

Thingvellir “Symbol of the Icelandic Consciousness”, is in a rift valley between the American and European geological plates and Lake Thingvallavatn contains species of fish found nowhere else. Thingvellir is a World Heritage site

Snaefellsjokull National Park is at the foot of a volcano and glacier, and is steeped in mystery and romance; it is the only Park that reaches from the seashore to the mountaintops.

Vatnajokull National Park is the largest national park in Europe, covering an area of 12.000 km2 (4,600 sqm). The park encompasses, among other areas, the Vatnajokull glacier, Skaftafell, and Jokulsargljufur.



The Northern lights, Aurora Borealis are a spectacular sight, a bright colored waves of light illuminating the night sky. The best time for viewing is generally between October and March, however there is no guarantee as they only appear under certain meteorological conditions, a clear sky and temperature below zero.



A valid passport, valid at least three months beyond intended stay, is required for visitors to Iceland. Iceland has fully implemented the Schengen Agreement since March 25, 2001. 





The law of access to the natural environment allows you free passage through the country and to dwell there for legitimate purpose. Everyone is obliged to treat the natural environment with respect and take the utmost care to avoid damaging it. Environment Agency’s web site www.english.ust.is/



Iceland is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) throughout the year, and does not adjust to daylight saving time.



Swimming is a very popular activity all year around in Iceland and there are outdoor and indoor pools located in most towns and villages, all filled with water from natural hot springs. The temperature of the water is around 30°C. Jacuzzis and hot pots where the water temperature ranges from 36–44°C can also be found at most pools. More information on 

www.visitreykjavik.iswww.sundlaugar.is and www.vatnavinir.is 



VAT in Iceland is 25,5% or 7% on special goods. To get a refund you must have a permanent address outside of Iceland. Minimum amount when shopping tax-free is ISK 4.000 (approx $35 USD). Goods must be exported within three months from date of purchase. Maximum refund is 15% of the retail price.



Service and VAT are invariably included in prices in Iceland. Tipping is therefore not a must, but always welcome.



Information Centers around Iceland (clockwise):



Tap water is safe to drink in Iceland and it is one of the countries with cleanest water in the world.


Last Updated on Saturday, 29 October 2011 00:31

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