Iceland is a country like no other. Where else will you find a country with 15 active volcanoes, 10,000 waterfalls, 800 hot springs, 11,500 square kilometers of glaciers, 1.000.000 puffins, exploding geysers, the Northern Lights and the Midnight Sun?
Iceland is also closer than you think. Reykjavík, Europe's northernmost capital, is closer to New York than Los Angeles and only 2-4 hours flying time from most major cities in Western Europe.
Iceland is Europe's second largest island (103,000 sq. km). The present population is approximately 320,000. More than half of the population lives in or around the capital, Reykjavík. The rest of the population is dispersed around the coastal fringes, leaving the highland center of the country uninhabited.
Iceland is Europe's youngest country, geologically speaking, and was also the last European country to be settled by man. On our unique island you will discover Mother Nature´s greatest contrasts; the perfect balance of fire and ice. Come to Iceland for the adventure of a lifetime.
CURRENCY AND MONEY EXCHANGE
The Icelandic monetary unit is the krona, which is abbreviated Kr or ISK. Money can be easily exchanged at the airport, bank and currency exchanges. All major credit cards are accepted and can be used to pay for virtually anything – except the public buses. ATM/Bank machines are found in most banks and many other locations throughout the country. Look for the Hradbanki sign.
Western Europeans and citizens of the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore do not require visas. Tourist stays are permitted for up to three months. A passport or other travel document accepted by Icelandic authorities valid at least three months beyond intended stay is required for visitors to Iceland.
For additional information on passport and visa requirements see Icelandic Directorate of Immigration website www.utl.is/english.
Iceland is a tech-savvy country with Internet access available almost everywhere including Internet Cafes in the larger cities and towns. Hotels and Guesthouses generally offer internet access and Wifi free of charge. Internet websites for businesses and organizations in Iceland end in the suffix “.is”.
All taxis accept credit cards and have to be reserved in advance. In some major cities and towns there are also taxi stations where you can line up to get a car. And there are of course taxi stands at airports for transfer (Arriving in Iceland).
VAT TAX-FREE SHOPPING
Value Added Tax in Iceland is 25.5% or 7% on special goods. A refund of the local VAT is available to visitors and 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 4000, (VAT included) per sales receipt. All goods (except woolens) need to be shown at customs before check-in. At Keflavik airport this applies only to tax-free forms whose refund value exceeds 5000 ISK.
CALLING FROM ICELAND
Direct calls can be made to all parts of Iceland. The code into Iceland from overseas is +354 + seven-digit number. Direct long-distance calls can be made to Europe and the USA by dialing 00 plus the country code, and the telephone number you wish to reach.
CELL PHONE SYSTEM
Please note: Iceland's mobile phone system operates on the 900/1800 MHz frequencies. Some phones from North America (and parts of South America) may not work on this system as they operate on the 850/1900 MHz frequencies. However, a quad-band phone (850/900 /1800 /1900 MHz) will work. Pre-paid cards are available at petrol stations around the country. Cell phone rental is also available.
CLIMATE AND DAYLIGHT
Iceland is actually warmer than its chilly name suggests. Warmed by the Gulf Stream, the Icelandic winters are relatively mild, with average temperatures in January about -0.2 °C and average summer temperatures of around 12-13 °C with highs occasionally reaching 25 °C. A big factor in Icelandic weather is that it is unpredictable since you never know what is going to happen next. A beautiful day can suddenly turn windy and rainy (and vice versa), and you can expect to see every kind of weather imaginable in a couple of days in Iceland, especially in late autumn and early spring.
Average temperatures by month:
The period of May through August provides long days with bright nights, and the midnight sun is especially prevalent in June.
Iceland is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) throughout the year, and does not go on daylight saving time.
MEDICAL ATTENTION / EMERGENCIES
There are medical centers or hospital in all major cities and towns in Iceland. The 24-hour emergency phone number in Iceland is 112. Pharmacies are called “Apotek” and are open during normal business hours.
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.
Vaccinations are not required.
Icelandic is the national language of Iceland. Most Icelanders (especially those from their teenage years through their fifties) speak fluent English. English and Danish are mandatory subjects in primary school, and many Icelanders are proficient in other major European languages as well, so most travelers find that communication is not a problem.
Service and VAT are invariably included in prices in Iceland and tipping is never required. However, if you are very pleased with provided service, Icelanders are generally not offended if they are offered tip.
The electric current in Iceland is 220 volts, 50 Hz AC. Icelandic electrical plugs are of the rounded, European two-pin type.
You can find further useful information at https://www.extremeiceland.is/en/information/about-iceland/useful-information