Iceland is a fabulous northern country full of fantastic natural phenomena, Viking cultural monuments and ancient traditions. Countless volcanoes spewing jets of steam geysers, thermal lakes with clear blue water, glaciers and fjords give this country an unearthly look. And ancient buildings, unimaginable medieval cuisine, ancient traditions and legends about elves give Iceland a mysterious magnetism.
Geography of Iceland
According to collegesanduniversitiesinusa, Iceland is an island nation located between Greenland and Norway in the North Atlantic Ocean. Almost the entire territory of the country is covered with volcanic plateaus with peaks no more than 2000m, with an average height of 500m. The plateau abruptly ends on the coast of the ocean, forming a huge number of fjords. About 15% of Iceland’s territory is occupied by glaciers and lakes, and only 23% is vegetation. At the same time, most of the territory is covered with active volcanoes (Laki, Hekla, Askya, etc.), geysers, lava fields, hot springs and glaciers. The highest point is Hvannadalshnukur peak (2109.6 m).
The area of Iceland is 103,125 km. sq., occupies the 104th place in the world by area.
The national currency is the Icelandic krone (ISK)
Official language – Icelandic
Weather in Iceland
Despite the glaciers, the climate in Iceland is by no means arctic. The weather is strongly influenced by the warm North Atlantic Current, a continuation of the Gulf Stream, and the cold East Greenland Current, as well as drifting Arctic ice, which sometimes accumulates on the eastern and northern coasts. The most favorable months for visiting the country are July and August, when the air temperature in Reykjavik reaches +20 ° C (in January the temperature is around 0). In mountainous areas, the climate is much colder throughout the year. In general, the average temperature in the country in August is +10, in January – -10. At the same time, a strong wind blows constantly, which makes the weather very changeable. Despite the fact that there is no polar night as such in Iceland, from mid-November to the end of January, the sun rises only a few degrees above the horizon.
You can get to Iceland with an Icelandair flight from some European cities (London, Stockholm, Copenhagen), as well as from several cities in North America. Aircraft of other airlines operate flights to Iceland only in the summer. The main means of transportation within the country is a car or a bus. Rail communication is completely absent. You can travel around Reykjavik and its suburbs by buses, which are quite inexpensive and comfortable. Tickets can be purchased both from the driver and at the box office of bus stations. If you plan to travel with transfers, you must purchase a “skiptimidi”, a transit ticket valid for 35-40 minutes. You can also purchase the “Reykjavik Tourist and Museum Card”, which allows unlimited use of Reykjavik public transport, as well as free access to thermal pools, the ice palace, the zoo, some museums, etc. In the summertime, you can also purchase a season ticket that allows you to use transport on the ring road encircling the entire island. The car remains the most convenient and popular means of transportation among local residents. However, if you plan to rent a car, you should be aware of the frequent snow drifts on the roads, as well as the rather low speed limits (maximum speed on the highway is 90 km/h). Some locals also use small private jets to get around the country. The car remains the most convenient and popular means of transportation among local residents. However, if you plan to rent a car, you should be aware of the frequent snow drifts on the roads, as well as the rather low speed limits (maximum speed on the highway is 90 km/h). Some locals also use small private jets to get around the country. The car remains the most convenient and popular means of transportation among local residents. However, if you plan to rent a car, you should be aware of the frequent snow drifts on the roads, as well as the rather low speed limits (maximum speed on the highway is 90 km/h). Some locals also use small private jets to get around the country.
Currency exchange in Iceland
The official currency is the Icelandic krone, equal to 100 aurars. Exchange rate for January 2012 1.00 USD=124.58 ISK. You can exchange money at bank branches or at the hotel. When exchanging, as a rule, a commission is charged (a fixed amount). Cards and travelers checks are accepted everywhere. You can withdraw cash from numerous ATMs. Banking hours: Monday to Friday from 9.15 to 16.00.
230V/50Hz (European sockets).
The state religion is Lutheranism (the Church of Iceland), it is practiced by about 96% of the population, another 3% are Christians of other denominations. At the same time, the influence of ancient pagan traditions and beliefs is strong.
The crime rate in the country is low, so special precautions are not required in the urban areas. However, local natural phenomena pose a danger: snowfalls, geyser eruptions, mud pits. When traveling independently around the country, it is strongly recommended to follow only paved hiking trails (carefully marked), with extreme caution you should move along the mountain slopes in the north, northwest and east of the country, which often occur avalanches and snow falls. Setting up a tent outside specially designated areas is possible only with the permission of local authorities or land owners. It is strictly forbidden to leave garbage, to fish and hunt without a permit, to cut down trees or break their branches. It is also forbidden to drive a car outside the roads.
It is strongly recommended to purchase an international medical insurance policy, only emergency medical care is provided free of charge. help. Other services are paid and quite expensive. Tourists often suffer from colds, because. The weather in Iceland is very changeable and even in summer it can get cold. In addition, piercing cold winds are constantly blowing, so it is recommended to stock up on appropriate clothing.