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Good to know

Administratives formalities

Valid passeport or national ID card with at least three months beyond the proposed stay for EU members. 

 

Money

The Icelandic krona is the official currency of Iceland. Coins are of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 krónur and banknotes of 500, 1000, 2000, 5000 and 10,000. In 2014 the currency converter is 1 € = 153 kr or £1 = 195 kr.

Icelandic use a lot their credit card, it’s advisable to have yours with you when you travel in Iceland, for example some petrol station don’t accept cash. Nevertheless having cash is also important for small expenses, bars and restaurants bills and when you travel outside Reykjavik. If you’ll find many banks and ATM in the capital, some other village have just an ATM at the petrol station or the supermarket, if nothing.

 

Electricity

Iceland has the same electric system as in EU countries. If you come from UK you need to have an adaptor with you. If you are planning some hikes in the highlands note that electricity might not be available in some huts and campsite, have your batteries recharged.

 

Phone and Internet

Iceland country code is : 00 + 354 + number of your correspondant.

International call from Iceland: 00 + country code + phone number of your correspondant without the 0.

For example 0033 for France, 0044 for UK, 0064 for New Zealand…

Internet network is well developed around the country even some uninhabited or more remote area don’t have any network (less and less true). It’s possible to buy a sim card with a top up for your texts, calls and data. The three main companies are Siminn, Nova and Vodafone. Wi-fi is also found in almost every bar, restaurant and accommodation around the island. It’s most of the time free of charge.

 

Time zone

Iceland is on the GMT/UTC meridian, there is no changes of time all of the period no Daylight Saving Time. Which means in summer there is -2 hours with Europe GMT/UTC and -1 hour in winter. 

Coordinates : 64°09′N / 21°57′W

 

Climate and environnement

Located almost at the Polar circle, Iceland is considered as a cold country even there is no extreme temperatures thanks to the Gulf stream along its coasts. You can expect temperatures between 10 and -20°C in winter and 0 to 20°C in summer. The climate can change really quickly and it’s common to have a beautiful blue sky follow with heavy showers a few minutes later. Be prepared and aware of this while travelling in the country.

With its specific localisation, Iceland has almost full sun days and nights from May to August and almost no sun at all in winter but that time of the year offers amazing northern lights instead and beautiful milky way. Northern lights are more likely visible between september and april.

Water

In Iceland, you can drink water from the tape it’s probably one of the best tape water in the world. Sometimes it can taste a bit sulfur because of the geothermal activity but it’s nevertheless good to be drank. Note that tape water can darken silver jewelry, you can clean them afterward with a special produce or just take them of before showering or bathing into natural hot water.

Clothes and equipment

You have to bring appropriate clothes for the weather and the season while travelling in Iceland. Here is a list of gears and clothes we recommend you to have with you when coming.

  • Duffle bag or suitcase for your belongings
  • Day backpack for your pique-nique and accessories
  • Confortable and robust hiking shoes  (gore-tex)
  • Waterproof jacket with hood (gore-tex)
  • Waterproof trouser
  • Woolen socks or hiking socks (few pairs)
  • Woolen pull-over
  • Woolen long-sleeve tee-shirts (merinos)
  • Thermal underwear
  • Swimsuit / towel
  • Hat
  • Scarfe
  • Gloves
  • Sun glasses
  • Toiletry bag

If you join us on one of our trek without with porterage bring only one rucksack with you.

 

Driving

For EU members, a national driving licence is requested to rent a car in Iceland. Please check special restrictions for countries outside EU. Icelandic drive on the right like most of the european countries except United Kingdom. It’s really easy to drive in the country, most of the roads are in asphalte and in good conditions. No need to rent a 4×4, a car is enough. Only roads in the highlands are gravel roads and request a 4×4 and might request some practice on how to drive on such roads. They are indicated on road signs with the letter F and are available from june to september only. In winter roads can be snowy or icy, you need to have a vehicle with winter weeks and check the Icelandic website for road conditions before starting your journey. Finally, between May and September farmers leave their sheep and lambs free, it’s common to see them along the road, please slow down and respect the speed limits in all circumstances.

 

Security

Iceland is probably one of the safest country in the world and you can travel alone, even if you are a woman, without any problem. There is no wild or dangerous animal in the country which can make hiking dangerous, the only concern is about nature and climate that can be rough. You need to have the appropriate gear and always check the forecast before starting a hike (see our informations and website section). In towns or village it’s safe to walk at night, only alcool can sometimes heat up minds!

  

Language

Icelandic is the national language in Iceland but almost everyone speak perfectly English.

 

Informations and websites

If you’re planning a trip to Iceland, remember that the climate can easily change especially in the highlands. Check the forecast and dress appropriately. Don’t walk outside paths and always check for crevasse, crack and other bumps on the ground, accident or even death happen to imprudent tourists.

Here are some website that can help you during your trip :

Vegagerdin live road condition website

Vedur Icelandic forecast