Explorers of the North Atlantic since 1982

Facts about Iceland

The country 

Iceland is an island of 103.000 km2 (39,756 sq.miles), with an average height of 500 m above sea level.  Its highest peak, Hvannadalshnjúkur, rises to 2.119 m and over 11 per cent of the country is covered by glaciers, including Vatnajökull, the largest in Europe.

 

People

Out of a population numbering more than 280.000, half live in the capital Reykjavík and its neighbouring towns in the southwest. The highland interior is uninhabited (and uninhabitable), and most centres of population are situated on the coast.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Time

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

 

Currenct Exchange

The Icelandic monetary unitis the "króna". Coins are in denominations of 100 kr., 50 kr., 10 kr., 5 kr. and 1 kr. Bank notes are in denominations of 5.000 kr., 2.000 kr., 1.000 kr. and 500 kr. All Icelandic banks provide foreign exchange and are generally open on weekdays from 09:15 to 16:00. Central Bank of Iceland - Exchange rate.

 

Travellers' cheques, debit & credit cards

Are widely accepted in Iceland. The major cards in Iceland are EUROPAY/MASTERCARD and VISA. Cash can be obtained at every bank branch (over 170) as well as in all ATMs throughout the country.

 

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.

 

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 08:05-15:30

 

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: Þ/þ pronounced like th in "thing" and Ð/ð 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 and vat

Service and VAT are invariably included in prices in Iceland.

 

Electic current

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

 

Subject to errors and corrections.