Iceland is situated in the North Atlantic Ocean just under the Arctic Circle midway between Europe and America. It only takes 3 – 4 hours to get there from most European cities, around 5 hours from the east coast of the USA, and 6 – 7 from the west coast. The international airport in Keflavík is about 45 min. from Reykjavík.
When to go
Each season has its own charm. The summer remains the most popular season for enjoying the outdoors and different activities and from around mid June to mid September offers the biggest the selection of tours. The fall and winter are a time of winter activities, lighter traffic, beautiful colors and the northern lights. It is also a time of festivals and spending Christmas and New Years in Iceland is a unique experience.
Size and population
Iceland is Europe’s second largest island at around 103.000 Km2. It‘s population is around 320.000 making it one of the sparsely populated counties in Europe. The majority of the population lives in the capital area of Reykjavík and other towns are located around the coast.
The climate in Iceland is mild due to the Gulf stream, but very varied. The coldest winter months have an average temperature around 0°C / 32°F in the lowlands. On the other hand the summers are rather cool with an average around 15°C/60°F with seasonal highs reaching up to around 25°C / 77°F.
No matter which season you visit, it is necessary to bring a warm sweater, hat and gloves, a rain and wind proof shell and a pair of good shoes, as you never know how the weather and wind may turn. Dress in layers. Another practical item is your bathing suit, necessary for the pools and geothermal bathing.
The currency in Iceland is called króna (crown), or ISK and all banks change foreign currencies. Credit and debit cards are also widely used and almost everywhere they can be used even for the lowest amount. Cash can also be obtained with credit cards at banks and ATM’s.
The language in Iceland is Icelandic. It is a Nordic language of Germanic origin and related to Scandinavian languages. English is spoken by almost everyone as well as some European languages.
Iceland has good health service. Travelers should have their individual travel insurance before coming to Iceland. Citizens of the EU and EEA need their E-111 form to access health services and Scandinavians show insurance and passport to avoid charges. No vaccinations are required.
Iceland offers excellent dining and restaurants of all kinds can be found in Reykjavík and around the country. Fresh fish and lamb are the national specialties and the cuisine has an international flavor.
Phone and internet
Iceland is very well connected to the world and free Wi-Fi service is easily found in Reykjavík and in many accommodation and cafés around the country. Mobile phone coverage is good in habited areas and along main roads. Iceland’s mobile system operates on the frequencies of 900/1800 Mhz
Iceland is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) all year and does not have daylight saving time. In summer, from around mid May to mid August the sun only sets for a few hours and there is daylight for 24 hours. However in the darkest winter months there are only about 4 – 5 hours of daylight.