Iceland Travel Guide
Iceland is a country located in Europe with name that begins with letter I. Iceland – the land of geysers, glaciers and volcanoes and incredible landscapes – is the result of the tectonic forces on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The rift between the North American and Eurasian plates runs across the island and fuels over 30 active volcanoes, including the volcano with the unpronounceable name Eyjafjallajökull, which paralyzed air traffic in Europe when it erupted in 2011. The other dominant elements on the island are water in the form of rivers, waterfalls (such as the Dettifoss) and geysers and – due to its proximity to the North Pole – the large glacier areas that cover around 11% of Iceland and are occasionally 1,000 m thick, such as the Vatnajökull, the most massive glacier in Europe. Check Countryaah to find more countries that begin with letter I.
Citizens of the EU and Switzerland only need a valid passport to enter the country.
The subarctic ocean climate gives Iceland cool summers, the relatively warm Irmingerstrom in the south ensures comparatively mild winters. Except in the sparsely populated central highlands, the precipitation values are rather high; in the south they average 2,000 mm per year, in the north they reach 4,000 mm. In Reykjavik the mean January temperature is 1.9 °C, the mean July temperature is 13.3 °C.
Food and drink
Fish still play a major role in Icelandic cuisine, including trout, wild salmon and char. Typical Icelandic specialties from earlier times – including black-smoked sheep’s head, fermented shark or rays and mutton testicles or seal fins pickled in whey – take some getting used to for visitors from other countries.
The most popular drink among Icelanders is coffee, which is also drunk in the evening. You put the sugar lump with the black coffee in your mouth and let the liquid slide over it.
Icelanders use the hot springs for outdoor thermal baths – there are seven of them in Reykjavik alone. The most famous of these is the Blue Lagoon – now a real tourist attraction.
By the way: in bars and restaurants it is not customary and not expected to tip. The service is included in the price.
No special vaccinations are required to enter Iceland, and the medical standard in Iceland is considered good. However, it is recommended that you take a personal first-aid kit with you.
Iceland is one of those enviable countries where crime does not play a major role. The only danger arises from the volcanoes when they erupt: their gases can pose a health risk to people with heart or respiratory diseases. The German Foreign Office therefore recommends that you inquire about current volcanic activities and their effects on the island before you start your journey.
All about money
1 euro corresponds to approximately 134.64 Icelandic kronor
The prices in the catering industry include the cost of the service. Tipping is not customary and is not expected. However, every service person and also every bus driver or companion on guided tours is happy if a tip is given.
Other essential information
The time difference to CET is + 2 hours
The electrical voltage in Iceland is 230 volts. The sockets and plugs are two-pole as in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. You therefore do not need an adapter to use your electronic devices.