Iceland is a volcanic island, which originated only about 16 million years ago and is thus one of Europe’s youngest regions. The island's landscape really is unique, with its fjords, impressive waterfalls, bubbling geysers and gigantic glaciers as well as the wild, untouched highlands, which often resemble a lunar landscape.
Iceland in figures
The country has a total area of 103,000 sq. km (64,000 sq. miles), which is a little smaller than England. The coastline runs along 6,000 km (3,700 miles), the distance between North and South is around 300 km (186 miles), between East and West about 500 km (310 miles). Many attractions can be easily visited on a trip around Iceland by stopping in the South, in the Eastfjords, up North, in the Westfjords or in the greater Reykjavik area. Not to forget the lovely pensinsulas Snaefellsnes and Reykjanes. To get close to the attractions of the highlands you will need a 4x4 rental car or join a guide in his big all terrain vehicle or one of the scheduled highland buses from June until the end of August.
No visas are required for entry to Iceland for U.K. citizens, but you will need to take your passport and always carry it with you. Remember that it must be valid for at least 3 months after your holiday in Iceland. You can take up to 20kg of checked luggage per person on your flight to the island. To travel safely in Iceland, you should know the emregency no. 112 for police, fire brigades, ambulance and rescue teams. Always be informed about the road and wheather conditions when travelling on your own.
CurrencyThe currency used in Iceland is the Icelandic Krone (pronounced “krona”), ISK.
Euro/Mastercard and Visa credit cards are widely used. In larger towns and airports it is easy to withdraw cash through ATMs (cash machines). Exchange rate 29 th April 2013: 1 GBP = 182 ISK. Please check daily conversion here.
Custom rules and travellersThere are various import restrictions and prohibitions you have to be aware of when traveling to Iceland: Fishing equipment and riding equipment must be thoroughly disinfected, used riding gear made of leather (saddles, bridles, halters, riding apparel made of real leather) may not be imported, animals may only be imported with the approval of the Agriculture Ministry, flowers and seeds are not allowed, as well as raw meat and various meat products, raw milk and raw eggs, weapons, and chewing tobacco. For more information check Custom Rules and Travelers and the website of the Directorate of Customs at www.tollur.is.
Daylight - Sunrise & Sunset in Iceland
During summer the nights are bright in all of Iceland. In the month of June the sun never fully sets in the north. There are even special excursions to the island of Grímsey on the Arctic Circle where you can experience the midnight sun. Keep in mind, however, that the sun at midnight is not as warm as at midday, so bring along a sweater. Find more about sunrise and sunset, time and daylight hours. From September through to March the amazing northern lights can bee seen in different colours outside of Reykjavik and around the whole country.
Travel ConnectionsThere are good bus connections to almost every point on the island. Reykjavik itself has an excellent bus service. There is no train service, but there is a national airline service between Reykjavik, Höfn, Egilsstadir, Akureyri and the West fjords. The international airport is in Keflavik, 50 km west of Reykjavik. Your holiday in Iceland starts with 3hr flight. The two Icelandic airlines; Icelandair and WOWair operate flights from UK to Iceland daily throughout the year.
In March, the days are already longer in Iceland than in central Europe. The midnight sun can be observed especially well from mid May to mid July onclear nights in the north of the country. From September to March you can admire the northern lights or Aurora Borealis that can only be seen close to the arctic poles. During the winter, the days are not as dark as you may think. In the winter months of November to February there are still 5 to 8 hours of daylight.