For UK guests please see the FCDO advice regarding entry requirements and the prevailing entry rules in response to coronavirus https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/iceland/entry-requirements
For guests traveling from the US please see: https://is.usembassy.gov and https://dk.usembassy.govhttps://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Iceland.html for current advice.
All visitors to Iceland must be in possession of a passport that is valid for a minimum of six months at the time of entry and has been issued within the last ten years. It is advised to have at least one blank page. Please be sure to fill out the "Emergency Next of Kin" section in your passport.
Citizens of the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and European citizens may enter Iceland for up to 6 months for tourist purposes without a visa. All other nationalities must check the visa entry requirements before your departure. You need sufficient funds and a return airline ticket.
Canada, the UK and the USA all have embassies in Reykjavik. However, embassies for other countries, including Australia and New Zealand are located in Copenhagen or other Scandinavian cities, offering coverage to Iceland. Please check with your relevant government for the relevant contact details.
N.B. Please note, visa and entry requirements, regulations and restrictions can vary on a regular basis. Please ensure you check in good time prior to travel the current requirements applicable to you.
HEALTH, INSURANCE AND SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS
• Travel Insurance
It is company policy that all passengers must have valid travel insurance prior to travelling, to include but not limited to health insurance and cancellation insurance. It is vital that ALL members of the travelling party are fully insured for the dates of travel. All pre-existing medical conditions must be declared to the insurer and the correct cover must be taken in regard to the specific type of holiday you are taking.
The details of your insurance must be advised to The Big Journey Company at least 6 weeks before your departure date. Please make sure to write down important information from your insurance policy, such as the company’s 24hr emergency telephone number (including dial code from abroad) and your policy number and take these with you on tour.
• General Health
Please talk to your doctor or travel health clinic in person at least eight weeks before you travel, where a health professional can provide you with the necessary health information for your personal needs.
Wearing sunscreen, drinking plenty of water, washing your hands properly before eating and avoiding insect bites should keep you healthy on tour.
We recommend you carry a simple travellers’ first-aid kit containing any basic items that you feel may be required, including remedies for minor stomach complaints.
If you do need to see a doctor during the tour, please speak to your Big Journey Company tour escort.
• Passengers with Disabilities or Reduced Mobility
Our Iceland tours are an Activity Level 2. Participation will require moderate physical activity and include various forms of transport. Please check our Activity Levels description page to see if this level is suitable to you or contact us if you require further information on the activities involved in the tour.
If you or any member of your party has any medical problem or disability which may affect your holiday, please provide us with full details before we confirm your booking, or as soon as possible at the time they occur, so that we can try to advise on the suitability of your chosen arrangements. Please note, we may require you to produce a doctor’s certificate certifying that you are fit to participate in the tour.
• Medical Conditions and Personal Medication
Please advise us prior to travel if you have any medical conditions requiring special attention during your trip. If you have a specific medical condition, it is wise to carry the relevant doctor’s prescription with you.
• Pack a sufficient supply of any medications you are taking, copies of the prescriptions and the telephone/fax numbers of your doctor.
• Please note, some countries require that prescription drugs be carried in their original container, with the label clearly visible. In the event of you losing your medication, a qualified pharmacist should be able to source a replacement.
There are currently no vaccination requirements for international travellers, but please consult your doctor before travelling for the latest immunisation information as well as advice according to your unique medical needs.
• Travelling with CPAP or other Medical Machines
Please inform The Big Journey Company that you are travelling with any such device as early as possible, and well before you travel. This is especially important in places where there may be issues with power supply, such as on safari or smaller cruise ships. Also,
• Check that you have the correct electrical and voltage adapters for the country and accommodation you are visiting;
• Check with your airline that they allow your device to be carried as additional hand luggage and ensure that your device is easily accessible and properly labelled as medical machinery;
• Always carry a letter from your medical practitioner prescribing its use for you;
• Ensure you have details of your machine separately in case of the need to secure repairs/replacements whilst you are travelling;
• Check with your medical practitioner about the use of tap or bottled water in the event that distilled water cannot be sourced in the country you are travelling to.
Please note, if you require distilled or ionised water, you must inform The Big Journey Company of this at least two weeks ahead of travel, so we are able to make preparations with our ground agents. There will be an additional charge for this.
• Special Dietary Requirements
Please let us know in good time prior to travel if you have any special dietary requirements (e.g., vegetarian, vegan, diabetic, gluten-free, etc.). We will make every effort to accommodate your request with the resources available to us.
• What to Pack and Wear
We recommend comfortable clothes and comfortable walking shoes for this tour. Feel free to include a few smart-casual outfits for dinner if you wish, however there is usually no formal dress code. Your Tour Director will inform you pretour if there is a dress code for any part of your tour.
The weather is always changeable in Iceland, no matter what time of year you travel. It is best to be prepared for every eventuality, so make sure you pack a waterproof jacket as storms and rain are frequent. Iceland is an Arctic state where the weather is cold, there will often lots of snow and ice around, so you will need to be prepared for this. Layers are good in the summer months and warm clothes; hats and gloves are required in winter as temperatures drop dramatically! Walking or snow boots are also necessary for grip and warmth when you will be outside. Sun cream is also an essential item. Don't forget your camera, with charger/spare batteries and memory cards.
• Luggage Allowances
International airlines have strict policies about the size and weight of checked in baggage and carry-on luggage. Prior to your departure, please contact your airline or visit their website for specific luggage requirements, as size and weight limitations vary according to the airline and destination.
Luggage handling is not included in our Iceland tours. It may be available at the hotel for a local charge.
Laundry services may be available in some hotels on the tour. Ask your Tour Director for further information.
The main language of Iceland is Icelandic, encompassing 85-90% of the total population. English is taught as a second language in Iceland and almost every Icelander speaks the language fluently. And more so, most Icelanders speak several other languages including Danish, German, Spanish and French and welcome the opportunity to practice their language skills.
The time zone in Iceland is GMT. Daylight saving time (DST) is no longer in use. Clocks do not change in Iceland. The previous DST change in Iceland was on October 29, 1967.
Between July and August average highs are around 13 degrees Celsius, though temperatures can reach as high as 15 or even 20 degrees. However, during the winter season, the temperature usually stays around 0 degrees, which is quite warm compared to other Northern countries. Temperatures can go as low as -30 degrees Celsius if you’re in Northern Icelandic during winter, so remember your layers if you’re visiting then!
For Iceland there are two associated plug types, C and F. Plug type C is the plug (two round pins) and plug type F (two round pins, with two earth clips on the side). Iceland operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.
MOBILES & INTERNET COMMUNICATION
Iceland has a well-developed communications infrastructure. A number of cellphone/mobile phone providers offer national coverage and there are well-established landline phone networks. In populated urban areas, there should be good mobile signal but as we head into rural areas, may fluctuate. Internet and Wi-Fi are easily accessible in most urban areas and most hotels and restaurants provide free WIFI. Please check data roaming charges for Iceland with your service provider before leaving home as these can quickly become very expensive.
The currency of Iceland is the Icelandic Krona (ISK). Debit and Credit cards are widely accepted at almost all shops, bars and restaurants even for small transactions. Many transactions are now carried out ‘contactless’ and there are some situations where cash is no longer accepted, for example on certain public transport. It is advisable to carry a small amount of money in cash with you. ATMs are widely available in cities, but not always in smaller villages and rural areas.
Important Note for US Travellers –Cards with magnetic strips on the back (commonly used in North America) may not work with certain automated machines where contactless payment or chip and pin is the only option. It may be advisable to contact your card issuer to see if you can get a new chip and pin card if you do not have one already. You may be asked to provide ID if you cannot pay by chip and PIN.
Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted. Many places do not accept Diners Club or American Express cards.
If you intend to use your debit or credit cards whilst away, please contact your bank before you leave to inform them that you will be travelling in order not to cause any problems using your cards or whilst on the trip.
Prices can vary considerably. Prices in Iceland and in tourist hotspots are higher than elsewhere, so expect to budget more for these days. Prices are on an average with other main European countries.
• Bank Opening
Banks in Iceland are usually open between 9:15am – 4pm Monday to Friday, with majority open Saturday mornings as well. Most banking in Iceland is now done online and High Street branches only exist in larger town centres.
After feedback from previous guests, we offer a group tipping package for this tour. Look out for more information in your pre-tour emails.
Plokkfiskur is the national stew of Iceland. A simple but tasty mix of cooked and mashed Atlantic cod, flour, milk, potatoes and onions. Other popular foods include cod, salmon and haddock along with langoustines, a favourite for most local gourmands.
Some meals are included as part of your tour – please check your individual departure for the relevant meal inclusions
The tap water in Iceland is in fact one of the cleanest and most delicious drinking water in the world. Icelandic tap water is not treated with chlorine or any other chemicals. It’s simply not necessary! In Iceland there is no need to buy bottled water, it’s just the same water as runs from the tap, for free!
Iceland offers lots of good quality, locally made items for visitors to buy. From its gift shops, outdoor clothing shops, its handicrafts, trinklets, food and drink, you will be sure to bring something home with you.
• Opening Hours
In the cities and towns, most retail shops are open from 9am – 6pm Monday- Friday and between 10am- 7pm on Saturdays. Some larger shops and supermarkets are open later into the evening. Many shops are closed on Sundays with exception of shopping malls in Reykjavik and some shops on the capital's downtown streets.
• VAT/Tax Refund
Numerous shops in Iceland offer a VAT refund when leaving the country. Please ask the salesperson whether tax-free shopping applies to the shop in question.
SAFETY & SECURITY
Crime levels in Iceland are generally low, it is considered by many as one of the safest countries in the world to live in. However, there’s a risk of petty theft, particularly in airports, in popular tourist attractions and on public transport. Please take sensible precautions to protect your belongings, particularly your passport, money and credit cards.
Smoking is banned in indoor and public places. There are usually designated outdoor areas where people can smoke. Smoking is prohibited on all means of public transport.
Religion in Iceland has been predominantly Christian. Most Icelanders (80%) are members of the Lutheran State Church, another 5% are registered in other Christian denominations, including the Free Church of Iceland and the Roman Catholic Church. Almost 5% of people practice Asatru, the traditional Norse religion.
Iceland offers incredible photo opportunities one after another. You will return with many photos that can never be repeated. Remember to pack your camera, along with the charger, spare batteries and a spare memory card. It is always polite to ask permission when taking photographs of others. Please note any signs informing you that photography is not permitted in certain locations.
ARRIVAL IN THE UK
Please note, standard hotel check-in is around 3pm. Should you arrive earlier than this, your room may not be available upon arrival. For those arriving early morning, we do everything we can to work with the hotel to get you an earlier check-in subject to availability.
For tours including arrival airport transfers, proceed through to the arrivals hall after collecting your luggage. There will be a representative holding a sign with your name welcome you and transfer you to your hotel. Please advise your flight details no later than six weeks prior to travel.
TOUR HOTEL INFORMATION
Please check your tour paperwork for full hotel information.
OTHER COUNTRIES ON TOUR ITINERARY
For those continuing their stay in Greenland please check the relevant Travel Tip pages for information on these countries.
FLYING & TRAVEL HINTS
• Photocopy the personal information pages of your passport; leave one copy at home with a friend or family member, and take a copy with you, but pack it separately from the passport itself.
• It is advisable to carry all your travel documentation as well as valuables and essential items in your hand luggage, such as camera, toiletries, reading material etc.
• Duty-Free shopping is always tempting, but please check the current Duty-Free limits applicable in the country of your destination.
• Longer flights can be made a little more enjoyable by wearing loose clothing and good, comfortable shoes. Walking in the aisles regularly, eating sensibly and drinking plenty of fluids (not alcohol) is also advised.
• Where possible, try to get some sleep during the flight and upon arrival at your destination, most people adjust better to the local time if they wait until the evening before sleeping – this should relieve some of the effects of jet lag.
If you have any other questions that we have not covered here; then please send us an e-mail to: email@example.com
Please note, the above information is provided as a guideline only. Although every effort has been made to provide complete and accurate information, The Big Journey Company makes no warranties, express or implied, or representations as to the accuracy of content on this website. The Big Journey Company assumes no liability or responsibility for any error or omissions in the information contained in the website.
Updated February 2023