Iceland Travel Guide
For the adventurers, thrill-seekers and waterfall chasers, Iceland is a breathtaking departure from your normal life. Around every magnificent corner, awaits a new discovery that will captivate even the most seasoned travellers. So whether it's your first visit or your fifteenth, make sure you cross these highlights off your bucket list during your Icelandic adventure.
This national park sits in a rift valley caused by the separation of 2 tectonic plates and is where you’ll find the Silfra fissure, where you can snorkel or dive between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates - a truly unique experience.
With boiling mud pits and exploding geysers, Strokkur erupts 30 metres high every few minutes, while the Great Geysir is much more unpredictable and infrequent, hurtling water up to 70 metres high.
The capital city of Iceland - and, incidentally, the most northerly capital in the world - is a quaint yet quirky, place to explore. Head to the top of the church, Hallgrimskirkja, where you’ll get an expansive view of the colourful buildings and the ocean.
Langjokull (‘The Long Glacier’) is the second largest glacier in Iceland at 50km long and 15-20km wide, but it’s the most popular for jeep and snowmobile trips, given its proximity to Reykjavik in the Highlands of Iceland.
Thrihnukagigur is the only volcano in the world where visitors can take an elevator of sorts into the magma chamber. It takes six minutes to be lowered to the bottom of the crater, which is 700 feet deep. Fun fact: the Statue of Liberty could easily fit inside.
Located on Iceland’s south coast near the village of Vik, Reynisfjara Beach is well known because of its jet-black sand and basalt columns on the beach and basalt stacks off the shore, which come with their own intriguing folklore.
Iceland is a European country, bordered by the Greenland Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Europe's westernmost country, Iceland is the second largest island in the North-Atlantic Ocean, and a little over 3 hours flight from London, Paris or Copenhagen.
Reykjavik is located on the coast of Iceland and is not only the country’s largest city but also the world’s northernmost capital. The city is considered one of the greenest, cleanest and safest in the world.
Keflavík International Airport, also known as Reykjavík-Keflavík Airport, is the largest airport in Iceland and the country's main hub for international transportation.
- Major airlines
- Icelandair and WOW air
The official language of Iceland is Icelandic. Most Icelanders also speak English.
Iceland uses the Icelandic krónur (kr). The currency code is ISK. In most cases, you will not exchange currency prior to arriving in the country, but instead withdraw money from ATMs or banks in Reykjavik, or of course at the airport upon arrival.
Residents of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and the USA and EU do not require a visa for tourist visits of up to three months. Note that the total stay within the Schengen area must not exceed three months in any six-month period.
The Japanese voltage is 100V/50-60Hz, different from North America (120V) and Central Europe (230V). Japanese sockets and plugs are compatible with American electrical devices.
No vaccinations are required or recommended for travel to Iceland.
The phone number to call in case of emergency (fire, police, paramedics, etc) is 112.
When to Visit
FAQs about Iceland
Do you tip in Iceland?
Generally, tipping is not customary or expected in Iceland, as service charges at restaurants, hotels, spas and tour guides are usually included in the bill. If it’s not included at a restaurant, or you feel like you want to include a tip anyway, a 10% gratuity is acceptable.
What is the internet access like?
Internet and wifi are widespread throughout Iceland and are usually free in accommodation, food venues, tourist information centres, petrol stations and sometimes buses, as well. There could be a small fee or you may need to ask a staff member for an access code.
Is the tap water safe to drink?
Yes. Some tap water may have a sulfur smell (depending on what part of the country you’re in) but it is safe to drink and some of the cleanest in the world.
Can I use my credit cards?
Cards (including Debit, MasterCard and American Express) are widely accepted in bars, restaurants and ATMs. Note that you could be charged a 1-3% foreign transaction fee for each use - be sure to contact your bank.
What are the public holidays?
Iceland has a total of 13 annual public holidays, including the typical ones like Christmas Day, but they also get Maundy Thursday (the Thursday before Easter Sunday) and the afternoon of Christmas Eve. Icelanders also celebrate Independence Day on June 17th and Commerce Day on August 1.
What are the toilets like?
Toilet facilities feature in major cities like Reykjavik and at large tourist attractions, but there can be long stretches of road with no facilities, so plan a road trip well. You may have to pay a small fee when visiting public restrooms, but they are clean and modern.