Practical information

Before you go

You can find lot of usefull information at Ivan Viehoff’s Cycling Web Pages

 Look at Alternative tourist Information (under construction)

 Look also at Nordic AdventureTravel website

PASSPORT:
A valid passport is necessary for visitors to Iceland, except for citizens of the Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.  
http://www.mfa.is/

VISAS:
Foreign citizens who must produce a visa upon arrival in Iceland now also gain entry to the other Schengen countries. Schengen visas should be obtained prior to arrival in the Schengen territory. In most instances, Danish embassies will handle visa applications on behalf of Iceland. A list of these embassies is available on the Directorate of Immigration web site, http://www.utl.is/english/index.html or contact
The Directorate of Immigration
Borgartśn 30 ·  IS-105 Reykjavķk
Tel.: +354-510-5400 · Fax: +354-562-3375
E-mail: utl@utl.is
 

THE SCHENGEN AGREEMENT:
The Schengen agreement went into effect for Iceland on March 26, 2001 and the following countries participate in the Schengen cooperation in addition to Iceland: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Holland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Germany. Travel between above-mentioned countries will in principle be without document check. 
http://www.mfa.is

ATTENTION:
Nationals of the following countries do not require visas to travel to Iceland as visitors, although they do require passports that are valid for three months beyond their intended stay: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong (applicable for those holding HKSAR passports), Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macao (applicable for those holding MSAR passports), Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Great Britain (incl. Bermuda, Turks and Caicos Islands, Cayman Islands, Anguilla, Montserrat, British Virgin Islands, St. Helena, Falkland Islands and Gibraltar), United States of America, Uruguay, Vatican and Venezuela

 

Entry formalities and arrival in Iceland

AIRPORT BUSES:  Service is operated between Reykjavķk and Keflavķk International Airport. Buses leave Reykjavķk from Hotel Loftleišir 2 hours before flight departure. The drive from the airport to Reykjavķk takes about 40-50 minutes. The fare is USD 10 one way for adults and USD 5 one way for children 2-12 years.

AIRPORT TAXIS:  Cab fare to Reykjavķk for a four-passenger taxi is approximately USD 100.

 

In Iceland

BUSINESS/SHOPPING/BANKING HOURS:
Office hours are generally 09:00-17:00 and 08:00-16:00 during June, July and August. Shopping hours are Mon-Fri 09:00-18:00, Sat from 10:00 to 13:00/14:00/15:00 or 16:00. Some supermarkets are open to 23:00 seven days a week. Banking hours are Mon-Fri 09:15-16:00.

CURRENCY EXCHANGE:
The Icelandic monetary unitis the "króna." Coins are in denominations of 100 kr., 50 kr., 10kr., 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.

TRAVELLERS' CHEQUES, DEBIT and CREDIT CARDS: 
Are widely accepted in Iceland. The major cards in Iceland are EUROPAY/MASTERCARD and VISA.
SHOPPING: The 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 inIceland are of international standard, and carry a wide variety ofmerchandise. 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.

TAX-FREE SHOPPING:
A refund of local Value-Added Tax is available to visitors in Iceland. The refund will result in a reduction of up to 15% of the retail price, provided departure from Iceland is within 3 months after the purchase is made. The purchase amount must be no less than ISK 4,000 (VAT included) per sales receipt, and all goods (except woollens) need to be shown at customs if the total sales amount is more than ISK 40,000.

For information please contact:
Global Refund in Iceland
Kaplahraun 15 · IS-220 Hafnarfjöršur
Tel.: +354-555-2833 · Fax: +354-555-2823
http://www.globalrefund.com

POST OFFICES:
There are post offices located in all major communities in Iceland. General hours are: Mon-Fri 08:30-16:30. The post office in Grensįsvegur 9 is open on Saturdays year round from 10:00-14:00. The post office in Žönglabakki 4 is open Mon-Fri from 10:00-18:00.

TELEPHONES:
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 dialling 00 plus the country code, and the telephone number you wish to reach.

MOBILE PHONES:
GSM:
There are three GSM operators in Iceland: Iceland Telecom, Islandssimi and TAL. Together they cover most of Iceland including all towns and villages with over 200
inhabitants. These three telephone companies all sell pre-paid GSM phone cards and offer GSM/GPRS services. Pre-paid cards are available at petrol stations around the country. GSM phones may be rented from Iceland Telecom, Įrmśli 27, Reykjavķk.
NMT: Iceland Telecom“s NMT long-range mobile service covers most of Iceland, including the
interior highlands, and is suitable for those who travel much in rural areas. NMT
telephones can be rented from Iceland Telecom, Įrmśli 27, Reykjavķk.

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

2000 Temperature Averages in Celsius (Centigrade)

 

Reykjavķk

Akureyri

Jan.

0,7

0,7

Feb.

-1,0

-2,2

Mar.

0,6

-0,3

Apr.

1,5

0,5

May

6,5

7,3

Jun.

9,4

9,1

Jul.

11,5

12,3

Aug.

10,7

11,3

Sep.

8,7

8,4

Oct.

4,8

3,7

Nov.

0,9

0,3

Dec.

0,1

-1,2


WEATHER/CLOTHING:
For weather information in English, Tel.: 902-0600, extension 44, E-mail: office@vedur.is, www.vedur.is. When travelling in Iceland you should bring along lightweight woollens, a sweater or cardigan, a rainproof (weatherproof) coat and sturdy walking shoes. Travellers who are camping or heading into the interior will need warm underwear and socks, rubber boots and a warm sleeping bag.

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. There are even special excursions to the island of Grķmsey on the Arctic Circle where you can experience the midnight sun. Keep in mind, however, that the sun at midnight is not as warm as at midday, so bring along a sweater.

Daylight (sunrise/sunset )

 

Reykjavķk

Ķsafjöršur

Akureyri

Jan. 1st

11:19 AM

12:01 PM

11:32 AM

 

03:44 PM

15:11 PM

15:00 PM

Feb. 1st

10:08 AM

10:29 AM

10:06 AM

 

17:15 PM

17:04 PM

16:47 PM

Mar. 1st

08:36 AM

08:46 AM

08:25 AM

 

18:46 PM

18:45 PM

18:26 PM

Apr. 1st

06:46 AM

06:47 AM

06:28 AM

 

20:19 PM

20:28 PM

20:07 PM

May 1st

05:00 AM

04:50 AM

04:33 AM

 

21:52 PM

22:12 PM

21:49 PM

Jun. 1st

03:23 AM

02.42 AM

02:34 AM

 

23:30 PM

00:23 AM

23:50 PM

Jul. 1st

03:05 AM

------------

01:57 AM

 

23:57 PM

------------

00:32 AM

Aug. 1st

04:33 AM

04:16 AM

04:01 AM

 

22:32 PM

22:59 PM

22:34 PM

Sep. 1st

06:09 AM

06:06 AM

05:48 AM

 

20:44 PM

20:56 PM

20:35 PM

Oct. 1st

07:36 AM

07:42 AM

07:22 AM

 

18:58 PM

19:00 PM

18:41 PM

Nov. 1st

09:20 AM

09:27 AM

09:04 AM

 

17:12 PM

17:04 PM

16:47 PM

Dec. 1st

10:45 AM

11:19 AM

10:52 AM

 

15:48 PM

15:23 PM

15:10 PM

Used with the kind permission of the Science Institute of the University of Iceland.

 

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

 

General information

HEALTH/PHARMACIES/EMERGENCY MEDICALHELP:
Icelanders enjoy a healthy life, thanks to clean air and water and quality fish. Water is safe to drink throughout Iceland. Pharmacies are called "Apótek" and are open during normal business hours. Many are open at night. Reykjavķk has a great many general practitioners, as well as specialists, many of whom will receive patients at short notice. There are also many Health Centres in Reykjavķk, with officially appointed family doctors who receive patients at short notice during the day.

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 Reykjavķk
Tel.: +354-560-4400 · +354-560-4520
Fax: +354-562-5053
Office hours 08:05-15:30

VACCINATIONS: 
Vaccinations are not required.

VISITORS WITH DISABILITIES:
Visitors with disabilities can make travelling in Iceland fairly easy by planning their vacation in advance. They may also find it necessary to travel with a companion, for although there are many hotels and restaurants accessible to people with disabilities, they do not always provide full assistance. A number of hotels in Reykjavķk and Akureyri have rooms specially designed for guests with disabilities. Larger department stores are generally accessible to wheelchair users. The coastal ferry Baldur is accessible to people with disabilities and so is the ferry Herjólfur. All airlines flying to and from Iceland are equipped to accommodate travellers with disabilities. A few domestic buses equipped for wheelchair users are available for special tours upon request. For accessible hotels and tourist attractions, see www.sjalfsbjorg.is

POLICE:
Reykjavķk police, for information only,Tel.:+354-569-9020.
Emergency phonenumber in Iceland is 112. (24 hours).
 

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

2002

 

2003

Jan. 1st

New Year“s Day

Jan. 1st

Mar. 28th

Maundy Thursday

Apr. 18th

Mar. 29th

Good Friday

Apr. 19th

Mar. 31st

Easter Sunday

Apr. 20th

Apr. 1st

Easter Monday

Apr. 21st

Apr. 25th

First Day of Summer

Apr. 24th

May 1st

Labour Day

May 1st

May 9th

Ascension Day

May 29th

May 19th

Whit Sunday

Jun. 8th

May 20th

Whit Monday

Jun. 9th

Jun. 17th

National Day

Jun. 17th

Aug. 5th

Bank Holiday Monday

Aug. 4th

Dec. 24th

Christmas Eve (from noon)

Dec. 24th

Dec. 25th

Christmas Day

Dec. 25th

Dec. 26th

Boxing Day

Dec. 26th

Dec. 31st

New Year“s Eve (from noon)

Dec. 31st


RELIGION:
The established religion in Iceland is Lutheran.

LANGUAGE: 
Icelandic is a Teutonic language ofthe Nordic group. It is believed to have changed little from the original tongue spoken by the Norse settlers. English is widely spoken and understood. Icelandic has two letters of its own: Ž/ž pronounced like th in "thing" and Š/š pronounced like th in"them."

NEWS IN ENGLISH: 
A short news broadcast in English is made on State Radio, FM 93.5 and FM 92.4, every morning Mon-Fri at 07:31, from June 1st to Sept. 1st. A telephone recording of the broadcast can also be heard, Tel.: +354-515-3690.

TIPPING:
Service and VAT are invariably included in prices in Iceland.

ELECTRIC CURRENT:
The electric current in Iceland is 220volts, 50 HZ AC.

DRIVING IN ICELAND:
Most mountain roads and roads in the interior of Iceland have a surface of loose gravel. The same applies to large sections of the national highway, which also has long stretches of asphalt. The surface on the gravel roads is often loose, especially along the sides of the roads, so one should drive carefully and slow down whenever approaching an oncoming car. The mountain roads are also often very narrow, and are not made for speeding. The same goes for many bridges, which are only wide enough for one car at a time. In addition to not having an asphalt surface, the mountain roads are often very winding. Journeys therefore often take longer than might be expected. For information on road conditions, Tel.: +354-1777, daily 8:00-16:00. www.vegagerdin.is.  The total length of the Ring Road around Iceland (national highway) 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.

PLEASE NOTE:
Special warning signs indicate danger ahead, such as sharp bends, but there is generally not a separate sign to reduce speed. Please choose a safe speed according to conditions. Motorists are obliged by law to use headlights at all times day and night. In Iceland all driving off roads or marked tracks is prohibited by law. Passengers in the front and backseats of an automobile are required by law to use safety-belts. Icelandic law forbids any driving under the influence of alcohol.

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, Croatia, Channel Islands, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, 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, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Vatican. Drivers without a “Green Card” (or equivalent) must buy a separate third-party insurance policy on arrival.

FUEL TAX:
Vehicles that run on fuel other than gasoline must pay a weight tax in accordance with special regulations specifying a certain amount for the start of each week while the vehicle is in Iceland. For further information contact the Directorate of Customs via e-mail: tollstjori@tollur.is or view their web site http://www.tollur.is

FILLING STATIONS:
In the greater Reykjavķk area most filling stations are open every day to 23:30. Opening hours around the country, where the pumps are privately operated, can vary from place to place. Many stations in the Reykjavķk area and larger towns of Iceland have automats in operation after closing, which accept visa and euro credits cards as well as notes.

OPENING OF MOUNTAIN TRACKS:
Most mountain roads are closed until the end of June, 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 some mountain tracks it is strongly advised that two or more cars travel together. Also, before embarking on any journey into the interior collect as much information as possible regarding road conditions from a travel bureau, tourist information office or the
Public Roads Administration
Tel.: +354-1777 · daily 8:00-16:00
www.vegagerdin.is
Always take along a detailed map.

Average opening dates of some mountain tracks:

FJALLABAKSLEIŠ NYRŠRI (F208):

 

Sigalda – Landmannalaugar

Jun. 17th

Landmannalaugar – Eldgjį

Jul. 28th

Skaftįrtunga – Eldgjį

Jun. 8th

FJALLABAKSLEIŠ SYŠRI (F210)

Jul. 5th

LANDMANNALEIŠ (F225)

 

(DÓMADALUR)

Jun. 19th

KJALVEGUR (F35)

Jun. 15th

SPRENGISANDSLEIŠ (F26)

Jul. 1st

EYJAFJARŠARLEIŠ (F82)

Jul. 9th

UXAHRYGGJAVEGUR (F52)

Jun. 6th

KALDADALSVEGUR (F550)

Jun. 15th

ASKJA (F88)

Jun. 20th

KVERKFJALLALEIŠ

Jun. 20th

MAPS:
Ask for road maps and maps of Iceland at tourist information centers, bookstores or filling stations

 

Tourist information
Icelandic Tourist Board (Feršamįlarįš Ķslands)
Lękjargata 3 · IS-101 Reykjavķk 
Tel.: +354-535-5500 · Fax: +354-535-5501
E-mail: info@icetourist.is
 

Icelandic Tourist Board
655 Third Avenue · N.Y. 10017, U.S.A 
Tel.: (212)885-9700 · Fax: (212)885-9710
E-mail: usa@icetourist.is  
http://www.goiceland.org

 

Isländisches Fremdenverkehrsamt
City Centre · Frankfurter Str. 181
D-63263 Neu-Isenburg · Germany.
Tel.: (6102) 254484 · Fax: (6102) 254570
E-mail: info@icetourist.de
http://www.icetourist.de

For detailed information during your visit to Iceland please contact the tourist information centres located throughout the country. There are 44 tourist information centers in Iceland. Eight of them are partly financed by the Icelandic Tourist Board and provide both nationwide and regional information.

Keflavķk Airport - Leifsstöš:
Tourist Information Centre
Leifsstöš - IS-235-Keflavķk
Tel.: +354-425-0330, 421-6760 · Fax: +354-421-6199
E-mail: touristinfo@gi.is · www.reykjanes.is
For international correspondence:
rtb@rnb.is

Reykjavķk:
Tourist Information Centre

Bankastręti 2 · IS-101 Reykjavķk
Tel.: +354-562-3045 · Fax: +354-562-3057
E-mail: tourinfo@tourinfo.is
http://www.tourist.reykjavik.is

West-Iceland:
Tourist Information Centre
At Brśartorg · IS-310 Borgarnes
Tel.: +354-437-2214 · Fax: +354-437-2314
E-mail: tourinfo@vesturland.is
http://www.vesturland.is

Westfjords:
Tourist Information Centre

Ašalstręti 7 · IS-400 Ķsafjöršur
Tel.: +354-456-5121 · Fax: +354-456-5185
E-mail: info@vestfirdir.is
http://www.akademia.is/vestfirdir/

North-Iceland:
Tourist Information Centre
Hafnarstręti 82 · IS-600 Akureyri
Tel.: +354-462-7733 · Fax: +354-461-1817
E-mail: tourinfo@est.is
http://www.eyjafjordur.is

East-Iceland:
Tourist Information Centre
Kaupangur 6, P.O. Box 144 · IS-700 Egilsstašir
Tel.: +354-471-2320 · Fax: +354-471-1863
E-mail: east@east.is
http://www.east.is

South-Iceland:
Tourist Information Centre

Hafnarbraut 25 · IS-780 Höfn
Tel.: +354-478-1500
E-mail: markadsrad@southeast.is
http://www.east.is

South-Iceland:
Tourist Information Centre
Breišamörk 2 · IS-810 Hveragerši
Tel.: +354-483-4601 · Fax: +354-483-4604
E-mail: tourinfo@hveragerdi.is
http://www.hveragerdi.is/info 
 

Have a nice trip