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    Practical information Iceland

     Iceland
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    Iceland

    Iceland : Travel Information before you go!

    Area

    103000.0

    Flights

    Between 3 and 4 hrs. Reykjavik is 1,174 mi away from London.

    Jet Lag

    0

    Population

    307672

    Airports

    The Keflavik International Airport is 25 miles west of Reykjavik. A Fly-bus service shuttles between the Loftleidir Hotel and the Airport (throughout the year, in the morning, 2 hours before the first international flight and, from the airport, 45 min after each arrival of an international flight). From June 15th to September 15th, this bus also serves the HI Hostel, Grand Hotel Reykjavik and Hotel Esja, from 4:30 to 17:00. The fare is around 600 ISK. You can also take a taxi in any of the five stations in town. The fare for a single ticket is about 6 140 ISK.

    Security

    The country is relatively safe. However, petty crimes are gradually gaining grounds.

    Languages

    Icelandic

    Required travel documents for

    No visa is required for European citizens. Just be sure your passport or identity card have not expired. If your stay lasts for more than 6 months, you will have to go and register with the local authorities.

    Religion

    87.1 % Lutheran, 4.1 % Protestant, 1.7 % Roman Catholic and 7.1 % others.

    Currency

    The currency is the Icelandic krona (ISK).
    Ł1 Sterling = 191 ISK in March 2010.

    Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club, American Express, Eurocard, etc) are accepted everywhere, even for small payments, and cheques and travellers cheques can be cashed easily. Banks are open Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 2:00pm, and closed on Saturdays.

    Local transportation

    The cheapest means of transport to go round the island if you are not rushing is the bus, especially in summer, for only main roads are developed, secondary roads are quite bad. The BSI company provides Pass like the Full-Circle Pass (from 12 000 ISK), Omnibus Pass ( from 14 000 ISK) and Highland Pass ( from 18 900 ISK).
    Flugleidir, the local Icelandic company, and other charter companies shuttle between Reykjavik and some thirty towns and islands. There are several Pass (Holiday Air Rover, Holiday Unlimited Air Pass). Prices might sound expensive, but they are interesting with the time gained and bus fares.
    For thosewanting to rent cars, they can easily get a 4 X 4 or camping car, but the prices will not be the best. You get the cheapest vehicle at 3 500 ISK/day (5 000 ISK for a 4 X 4) to which you add 25 ISK/km and 24.5 % VAT! If these prices give you goose bumps, you are left with the ferry with which you can take your car (it will be tormented by bad uncoated roads). Watch out! Only 3/4 of the roads are asphalted and most roads leading to the countryside are only opened between April and September. Only four wheel drives are appropriate on these tracks opened from mid-June to the end of Summer (depending on the amount of snow). Roads in Rekjavik are excellent but studded tires are indispensable between November and April.
    Vehicles in Iceland are right-hand driven and foreign licenses are accepted. You must drive with your low beam headlamps on throughout and it is forbidden to drive off the roads and marked tracks. Lastly, the safety belt must be fastened for both front and back passengers. For more information on the state of roads: Dial 354 17 77 (from 8:00 to 16:00) or log on to www.vegag.is

    Health

    No particular vaccineis required. Tapwaterisdrinkable. Health structures are excellent. It is recommended to subscribe to good health insurance covering medical expenses and sanitary repatriation or to have the E-111 form.

    Useful numbers:
    Tel: 525.17.00 (emergency reception office).
    Tel: 525.10.00 (medical help, during the week from 8.00am to 4.00pm).
    Tel: 552.12.30 (medical help from 4.00pm to 8:00am and in the end of the week).

    Electricity

    Voltage is 220 V. European norms. Adaptor not needed.

    Tourist numbers

    Taxes and tips

    A 24.5% tax that is applied on most products can be partly reimbursed (up to 60 to 75%), if you have purchased goods in a registered shop. You must however leave the country at the latest three months after the purchase, with a minimum purchase of 4,000 ISK per receipt (purchases must imperatively be showed at customs if the amount exceeds 40,000 ISK). During your purchase, do not forget to fill in a form you will show at the Duty Free airport frontdesk with your item (except for wool clothes, which can stay in your suitcase), the day of your departure (the reimbursement is in US dollars).
    Service is included in restaurant or hotel bills, thus tips are only given when the service is excellent.

    Telephone

    To call Iceland from the UK: dial 00 +354 + the 7 digits of the number you are calling.
    From Iceland to the UK: dial 00 + 44 + the number you are calling without the initial zero (in Skaftaffells, dial 90 in place of 00).

    Iceland : Useful addresses in the country

    Useful Addresses

    In the UK

    Embassy of Iceland
    2A Hans Street London SW1X 0JE.
    Telephone: 44-20-7259-3999. 01 44 17 32 85.



    01 53 64 80 50.

    At the destination

    British Embassy
    Laufásvegur 31 P.O. Box 460 121 Reykjavík.
    Telephone.: +354 550-5100. (354) 551 76 21/22


    Information on Iceland Tourism
    info@icetourist.is
    www.icetourist.is

    Tourist Information Centre
    Adalstraeti 2, IS-101 Reykjavik.
    Telephone: (354) 590 1500. (354) 590 1500.
    info@visitreykjavik.is
    www.visitreykjavik.is

    Our Iceland expert

    Francesca Long Section editor

    Watch this space! Writer's Easyvoyage profile

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