Official name of the state
Republic of Iceland.
As a country located in Europe according to topschoolsintheusa, Iceland is the second largest island nation in Europe and is located in the North Atlantic near the Arctic Circle. A few smaller islands off the north and south coast also belong to the national territory. The landscape is wild and barren with lava fields, red sulfur, hot geysers, gray and white rivers, waterfalls and green valleys. The coast consists of countless bays and fjords. The desolate and deserted high plateau in the interior is reminiscent of a lunar landscape, the first American astronauts completed their training program here.
Much of the country is uninhabited. The population lives on the coasts, in the valleys and on the plains in the south-west and south-east. Over half of the population lives in the Reykjavík area.
Hardly any other country in the world has so many active volcanoes. The most famous and impressive is Hekla in the south, which has erupted 16 times since Iceland was settled. In the Middle Ages, many clergy believed that it was the entrance to hell. The journey to the center of the earth in Jules Verne’s famous novel begins at the crater of Snaefellsjökull. The Vatnajökull (8500 square km) is the largest glacier in Europe.
Parliamentary republic since 1944. Constitution of 1944. Last amended in 1999. Parliament (Althingi) with 63 members. Direct election of the head of state every 4 years. Since 1918 independent kingdom in personal union with Denmark, in 1944 proclamation of the republic and independence from Denmark.
Head of state
Gudni Jóhannesson, since August 2016.
Head of government
Bjarni Benediktsson, since January 2017.
240 V, 50 Hz. 2-pin Central European sockets.
Greenwich Mean Time: CET -1
Hotel categories correspond to international standards. 1 to 5 stars. Most hotels can provide rooms with bath / shower, telephone, radio and television on request. There are shops, hairdressers, and beauty salons in the expensive hotels. Discounts for children are common. Private accommodation can also be arranged through the Icelandic Tourist Board (see addresses). Information is also available from the Iceland Travel Industry Association, Borgartúni 35, IS-105 Reykjavík. Tel: 511 80 00. (Internet: http://www.saf.is/)
The inhospitable inland and the unpredictable weather are not exactly ideal for a camping holiday. It is recommended to use one of the coastal towns as a starting point for excursions and not to camp outside of the built-up areas. The best campsites can be found in Reykjavík, Húsafell, Isafjördur, Varmahlid, Akureyri, Myvatn, Egilsstadir, Laugarvatn, Thingvellir, Jökulsargljufur and Skaftafell. Outside of the official campsites there are generally no restrictions, in some areas, e.g. B. in the highlands, but you may only camp in the designated places. Before setting up your tent on fenced and agricultural land, you should ask the owner for permission. Information from the Icelandic Tourist Board or regional tourist information centers.
Other accommodation options
There are 30 youth hostels in Iceland, including in Reykjavík, Leirubakki, Fljótsdalur, Reynisbrekka, Höfn, Stafafell, Berunes, Seydisfjördur, Húsey, Akureyri, Bakkaf Jördur, Fosshóll, Hamar, Hafnarf J., Hveragerfard, Lbaerón, Ósar, Patreksfjördur, Reydarf Jördur, Reykholt, Runnar Stykkishölmur, Saeberg, Pingvellir and Vestmannaeyjar; many are only open in summer. There is no age limit. Overnight stay with your own sleeping bag costs less.
The Icelandic Trekking Association maintains numerous huts inland where you can stay overnight. You have to bring your own food and sleeping bags. Hiking groups of the association have priority. More information from the Icelandic Youth Hostel Association,Borgartún 6, IS-105 Reykjavík. Tel: 575 67 00. (Internet: www.hostel.is) and The Icelandic Touring Club, Mörkinni 6, IS-108 Reykjavík. Tel: 568 25 33. (Internet: www.fi.is)
The Tourist Office has a list of the farms that offer rooms for tourists. Discounts for children. Information from Icelandic Farm Holidays, Sidumula 13, IS-108 Reykjavík, among others. Tel: 570 27 00. (Internet: www.farmholidays.is)
80.7% Lutherans; 4% other Protestants; 2.5% Catholics.
Social rules of conduct
Iceland presents itself to the visitor as a classless society.
Manners: Shake hands to greet you. One speaks with the first name, the last name consists of the first name of the father and the suffix Son (son) or Dóttir (daughter). Jón Magnússon is »Jón, son of Magnus«, and Sigrid Magnúsdóttir »Sigrid, daughter of Magnus«.
Visitors are often invited home. Small favors are welcome.
Icelanders like to dress up; However, casual wear is widespread.
Smoking: Smoking is prohibited in all restaurants and cafes in Iceland, as well as in public buildings and on public transport.
Tip: A service fee is already included in almost all bills, including taxis. An extra tip is not expected, but it pleases the service providers.
Best travel time
The Gulf Stream ensures a moderate maritime climate. Temperatures are generally lower than in Central Europe. Summer relatively cool with frequent rains. Mild winters, but occasionally cold. The brightly colored northern lights can be seen at the end of August. In late May – early August there is daylight for almost 24 hours in the north. In Reykjavík there is two hours between sunset and sunrise. Winter storms are common, inland sand storms are not uncommon. Snowfall is not that frequent, and snow in Reykjavík rarely stays. The weather is generally very changeable, which is why people who do not like the weather are sometimes advised to wait five minutes. The weather is usually most pleasant from May to September.