Iceland - Abbey Travel, Ireland



Begin Your Search

    • 16+ yrs

    • 12-15 yrs

    • 2-11 yrs

    • 0-23 mnth

Found Item

Welcome to Iceland


With its glassy glaciers, hot thermal springs, spectacular geysers, active volcanoes, lava fields, stunning waterfalls and snow-capped mountains, Iceland is indeed the original 'land of fire and ice'.

It is not only unique and wonderful natural phenomena that intrigue visitors to this, the second largest island in Europe, which lies close to the Arctic Circle northwest of Scotland and south of Greenland. The hardy Icelandic people, descendants of ancient Norsemen and Celts, are intriguing too, having spawned what is now renowned as the oldest-surviving parliament in the world (called the 'Althing'), founded in 930AD. Iceland also boasts a much-revered literary heritage of the best medieval works, mostly based on heroic sagas.

Most of the country's popular tourist features are in the south of the island near the capital, Reykjavik, in the region known as 'The Golden Circle'. Top of the list for scenic splendour is the Gullfoss double-tiered waterfall, set off with a brilliant rainbow, and the spouting hot springs of Geysir.

Reykjavik means 'smoky', but in the case of Iceland's pristine capital (which is Europe's most northerly capital city) the smoke is not smog, but rather steam from the underground springs that warm the city. Reykjavik has a well-deserved reputation for being the cleanest, most invigorating city in Europe, where the standard of living is one of the highest in the world. The city may be small, but it is full of interesting attractions, from galleries and museums to thermal bathing spots, and the nightlife is second to none.

What else is there to do and see in Iceland? Well, how about whale-watching; chic fine dining; hiking the highlands; viewing Europe's largest glacier, Vatnajokull; fishing the rivers; taming one of the great wild Icelandic horses; river-rafting; exploring the ice on a snow-scooter; shopping for designer wear, souvenirs and gourmet foods; joining the descendants of the vikings in the Summer Solstice Festival at Hafnarfjorour; visiting the northerly island of Grimsey to cross the Arctic Circle; and visiting the recreated medieval farm at Stong, to name but a few!

Information & Facts


Most business in Iceland tends to take place in the capital, Reykjavik. Business meetings tend to be formal, with smart dress essential. It is worth handing out business cards, and initial greetings are usually accompanied by a handshake. Punctuality should be respected. Meetings are usually conducted in English when dealing with foreigners. It is worth noting that Icelanders generally go by their first name, and telephone directory listings are alphabetical by first name. Business hours are usually from 8am to 4pm (summer) and 9am to 5pm (winter). Most offices are closed on weekends.


As its name suggests, Iceland's climate is cold, but not as cold as might be expected because of the passing warm waters of the Gulf Stream, which regulate the climate. The summer temperatures in Reykjavík range from 41°F (5°C) at night to as high as 77°F (25°C) during the day. The average January temperature is 31°F (-0.5°C). The south is the wettest part of the country, but snow is rare. Coastal areas tend to experience winter gales and are generally windy. During the summer months there is almost continuous daylight; early spring and late autumn feature long twilights. From mid-November until the end of January, in the darkness of winter, the opposite is true, with the country only experiencing a few hours of daylight each day. The Northern Lights are often visible in autumn and early winter.


The international country code for Iceland is +354. The outgoing code is 00, followed by the relevant country code (e.g., 0027 for South Africa). City/area codes are not in use. Note that Icelanders are listed by their first name in the telephone directory, not the last. Iceland has the highest per capital mobile phone use in the world with GSM networks and there are roaming agreements with most international mobile phone companies. Iceland Telecom rents mobile phones to visitors. There are numerous Internet cafes around the country.


Smoking in bars, restaurants and on public transport in Iceland is illegal.

Duty Free

Travellers to Iceland over 18 years do not have to pay duty on 200 cigarettes or 250g of other tobacco products. Travellers over 20 years are also allowed 1 litre spirits and 1 litre wine, or 1 litre spirits and 6 litres beer; or 1 litre wine and 6 litres beer; or 2.25 litres wine; and food items up to 3kg not exceeding kr13,000. Permits from Post & Telecom Authorities are required for cordless phones, remote controls or radio transmitters, but not for a GSM mobile phone. Prohibited items include narcotics and drugs, meat products, weapons and powdered or moist snuff.

Iceland's electricity supply is 220 volts, 50Hz, as it is in most European countries. Plugs and sockets are of the two-pin type as in Continental Europe.

There are no specific health risks associated with travel to Iceland, and no vaccinations are necessary for entry. Medical care in the country is of high quality. Payment is usually expected in cash from visitors. Travel health insurance is highly recommended. A reciprocal agreement exists whereby British citizens are entitled to free emergency medical treatment provided they possess a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

Icelandic, but English is widely spoken.

The unit of currency is the Icelandic króna (ISK), plural krónur, divided into 100 aurar. Iceland's three banks, Íslandsbanki, Landsbanki Ísland and Búnaðarbanki, all offer foreign exchange facilities and can be found in even the tiniest villages. Most have ATMs on their premises, available after banking hours, which are usually Monday to Friday from 9.15am to 4pm. Credit cards are widely used in Iceland for purchases and cash advances, and travellers cheques are accepted by all banks and most hotels. Travellers cheques in US Dollars get the best exchange rate charges.

Passport Visa

The borderless region known as the Schengen Area includes the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. All these countries issue a standard Schengen visa that has a multiple entry option, and which allows the holder to travel freely within the borders of all the aforementioned countries. Additionally, foreign passengers to Iceland must hold return or onward tickets, the necessary travel documentation for their next destination, and sufficient funds to cover their stay in Iceland. NOTE: It is highly recommended that your passport has at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.


Iceland is an extremely safe country to visit, the only threats being a low level of petty crime and rapidly changing weather conditions, which necessitate keeping a check if you are on the road.


Service charges are included in bills and tipping is not expected in Iceland.

} ());
ACCEPT COOKIESTo give you the best possible experience, this site uses cookies. Using this site means you agree to our use of cookies. We have published a cookies policy, which you should read to find out more about the cookies we use. View cookies policy.