Here are few things that are good to know if you are visiting Iceland.
Passports, Customs & Visas
- A valid passport is necessary for visitors to Iceland, except for citizens of the Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Citizens of the following countries may enter Iceland using, instead of passports, national identity-cards issued by the competent authorities in their countries of origin: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland.
- The participants are responsible for obtaining their own entry visas. For information on visas to enter Iceland see here. For those requiring a formal invitation letter for visa purposes please send email to email@example.com
- Information from the Directorate of Customs.
Icelandic is the official languages of Iceland. Most people speak English.
Iceland operates on a standard time zone of GMT all year round.
Health & Well-being
- Emergency Services (Fire, Police & Ambulance): Dial 112
- The ICE-SAR staff will be able to contact a local doctor and recommend a pharmacy if required.
- There are no vaccinations required to enter Iceland but as with any country you are advised to get a tetanus injection and ensure that your boosters are up to date.
- Smoking – Most public places and all airlines do not allow smoking. Hotel rooms and all of the public spaces such as restaurants and bar areas are non smoking.
Weights and Measures system
Iceland uses the metric system of weights and measures. Distances are in kilometres, petrol is in litres.
The Iceland supply is 230/240 volts (50 hertz). Plugs are two pronged with round pins. An electricity and plug converter is recommended.
Iceland enjoys a much milder climate than its name and location adjacent to the Arctic circle would imply. A branch of the Gulf Stream flows along the southern and the western coast greatly moderating the climate. However, this brings mild Atlantic air in contact with colder Arctic air resulting in a climate that is marked by frequent changes in weather and storminess. Furthermore this leads to more rainfall in the southern and western part than in the northern part of the island.
The month of October in Reykjavík is characterized by falling daily high temperatures, with daily highs decreasing from 9°C to 5°C over the course of the month, exceeding 12°C or dropping below 1°C only one day in ten. So bring a windbreaker, rainwear, a thick pullover (wool or fleece) and sturdy walking shoes.
Weather forecast for Reykjavík
The country code for Iceland is: +354. A range of phone cards are available from airport, gas stations and shops.
- The currency is the Icelandic krona (IKR). Icelandic notes come in denominations of 500, 1000, 2000, 5000 and 10000. Coins come in denominations of 1, 5, 50, and 100 kr.
- Credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express are widely accepted. Charge cards such as Diners Club are not as widely accepted.
- ATMs machines are available throughout major cities. Any card connected to the international banking network – Visa, Mastercard, Maestro and Eurocard - should work, provided a PIN is keyed in.
- Foreign currencies or cash can be readily exchanged at any bank or exchange bureau. A passport will need to be presented for identification when cashing them.
- Tips are not expected.
The exchange rate of the Icelandic króna
Icelanders drive on the right hand side of the road. Speed limits are marked and are regularly enforced by speed cameras and police cars. Substantial fines are distributed. Care should be taken when driving on unfamiliar roads - potential dangers on the open road include unfamiliarity of gravel roads and fatigue caused by travelling long distances without a break.
Acknowledgements: This information is drawn from several sources and websites related to specific activities.