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Iceland

Iceland, the most sparsely populated country in Europe has recently become a popular destination due to its breathtaking landscapes and dramatic scenery.

Iceland’s capital is Reyjavík, home to 65% of its population, which as of 2021 was 375,580. Iceland is a land of unblemished beauty. It’s one of the most volcanically active landscapes on Earth and hosts Europe’s largest glacier. It’s the kind of place that has to be seen to be believed.

 

A vector map of Iceland

 

 

Practical Information

Languages 

Icelandic is the country’s native language. German, Norwegian, and English are also commonly spoken languages.

Visas

UK and Europe citizens are exempt from a visa for a stay up to 90 days. In addition to that, visitors are allowed to bring the following items into the country: camping gear and food items except uncooked meat, as well as alcoholic drinks and tobacco. Always check the most up-to-date visa and custom requirements before planning your trip to Iceland.

Transportation 

Reykjavik is well served by a public bus network but the city is so small you can walk just about everywhere. Seeing the country by bus is possible but can be limiting. The Strætó bus network goes all around the country but doesn’t stop at attractions so you would need to find an alternative transport to reach your final destination.

There are bus/tour companies which are geared specifically for tourists but these are generally day trips so you don’t have much flexibility over your schedule and how much time you want to spend in each spot.

If you want more flexibility, you can get The iceland-on-your-own Hiking Pass which allows you to experience two of Iceland´s most popular hiking routes on your own. One pass allows you to get a bus transfer from Reykjavík to the start of your trail and back to Reykjavík from the end of the trail. The pass is only available in the summer months (15 June – 11 September).

Hiring a vehicle is the best way to travel around the country and costs as little as 6,200 ISK/ £38 per day. Iceland has an extensive road system that is largely easy to navigate and a well-maintained motorway.

Currency 

króna(krónur in the plural), abbreviated to either Isk or kr.

Climate

Iceland has the typical Arctic climate of a Nordic country, but there are some variations between different parts of the island. The North of the country is noticeably colder and windier than the South. Although you shouldn’t base your travel plans on the weather, the most pleasant season in terms of temperatures and light is Summer, between May and the end of August. It’s also when Iceland experiences the Midnight sun so the lack of darkness might be a problem especially in June when the sun never sets. In winter, the average temperature is around 1°C and daylight is limited to a few hours. In Reykjavík, sunrise isn’t until almost 11am in December. Winter (November to February) is a popular season for seeing the Aurora Borealis. September is the rainiest month.

Food 

Iceland sits in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean and is blessed with fresh water and a clean natural environment.

The most typical food in Iceland involves fish (haddock, shark and whale), meat (lamb but also horse) and dairy (be sure to try skyr). These have been the main elements in the Icelandic diet for over a thousand years. The diet wasn’t rich in vegetables and fruits due to the lack of farmable land in the past but these are more accessible nowadays thanks to geothermally-heated greenhouses. Iceland has some of the best fine-dining restaurants in Europe where chefs get creative using local ingredients and technology to enhance old recipes.

Voltage

230V and type C and F plugs for all electronic devices.

 

 

 

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