Capital
Capital — Reykjavik
Population
Population — 357,000
Language
Language — Icelandic
Religion
Religion — Evangelical Lutheran
Time Zone
Time Zone — 10 hours behind AEST
Currency
Currency — Icelandic Krona
  • Iceland has the most active volcano area in the world, along with the largest glacier and largest waterfall in Europe. 
  • It is home to the most northern golf course in the world. 
  • Hekla is Iceland’s most active volcano (this is also one of the most popular girls’ names in Iceland).
  • Aurora Borealis (the spectacular phenomenon of the Northern Lights) can be seen during deep winter (usually best in November and December) when the weather is clear. 
  • In the telephone book, everyone is listed by his or her first name. 
  • The arctic fox is the only native mammal in Iceland. 
  • Believe it or not, as many as 80% of Icelanders believe in elves. In fact, roads have been re-routed and buildings re-designed to avoid rocks where elves are said to have lived. 
  • Volcanic activity provides Iceland with a natural source of geothermal warming – in 2008 natural hot water was used to heat 90% of buildings in Iceland.  

Due to the ongoing pandemic, we anticipate visa and passport requirements may change for many countries once Australia lifts the current travel ban. Please check back or contact your consultant for more information. 
 
We require that your passport is valid for travel for at least six months from the date you are planning to return to Australia. Your passport must be valid to travel internationally and must be machine-readable. You also need to carry a valid return ticket on you. 
 
Whether travelling on an Australian passport or the passport of another country, all travellers require visas for a number of countries, and it is your responsibility to secure what may be required before departing Australia. You can consult with your travel agent, but it is also recommended that you check the foreign embassy website for your respective destination as it can also provide you with useful information. 
 
The Australian Embassy in Iceland 
 
The Australian Embassy in Denmark is responsible for Iceland. 

Dampfaergevej 26, 2nd floor 
Copenhagen DK-2100 
Denmark 
 
Phone: +45 7026 3676 

The recommended currency to take to Iceland is the EUR. Once in each country you will be able to change some euros into the local currency. Ensure you change a small amount into small denominations. 

Advise your bank of your travel plans so that they can make a note of it. Otherwise they may cancel your credit card as a safety measure due to the overseas transactions. Also make a note of the 24-hour emergency contact number of the bank or building society which issued your credit card in the unlikely event that your card is lost or stolen. 

Whenever possible use ATMs when the banks are open (Mon – Fri) so that if a machine ‘eats’ your card you can then deal with it straight away. It is always advisable to carry a supply of cash in addition to your credit card. Be sure to retrieve your credit/debit card before walking away from the ATM as cash is often dispensed before the card. 

We advise that you exchange some money into the local currency at the airport even if the exchange rate is not the best, this way you’ll have money to get a drink, snack or give a tip during those first few hours of arrival. Your guide will be able to advise you on where the best places are to exchange money. 

Small change is also useful for paying for toilets while on tour which is customary in many places outside of Australia. 

  • The price of a cappuccino in Reykjavik is approximately 4EUR 
  • The price of an inexpensive lunch is approximately 17EUR. 
  • The price of dinner in a moderately-priced restaurant is approximately 51EUR. 
  • The price of a beer in a local pub is approximately 8EUR. 
     

Due to its isolation, many of Iceland’s dishes revolve around fish, lamb and dairy products. As a consequence of their isolation and climate, fresh fruit and vegetables are not generally used as part of the meal, although this is slowly changing. Some traditional dishes include hykarl (cured shark) and singed sheep’s head and black pudding. Puffin birds are also considered a delicacy that is cooked by broiling. Cod, haddock, salmon, herring and halibut are the most widely used seafood. Potatoes, cabbage, green beans and rye bread are generally served with main meals. Coffee is the most popular drink, however, Coca Cola is also widely consumed. In fact, Iceland is the world’s largest Coca Cola consumer per capita. Among alcoholic beverages, the most popular is Brennivin (which literally translates to burnt wine) and is a type of vodka. 

Important: When dining at buffets (i.e. breakfast) please refrain from taking food away with you to ‘save’ for later!  If you feel that you’ll need snacks between meals, pack some dried fruit, nuts, muesli bars etc. 

If you have specific food allergies and/or preferences, we highly recommend you take every precaution before your tour, including carrying a small card with your food allergy listed in each language of every country you are travelling to show to table staff when ordering. Whilst we take all dietary requirements seriously, due to the serious nature of potential allergic reactions, it is your responsibility to be as prepared as possible.  

Iceland’s climate is classified as ‘subpolar oceanic’. This means that the warmer North Atlantic current has a warming effect on the temperature in Iceland. It is generally warmer here than in other places of a similar latitude. Having said that, temperatures range from 0 degrees celsius during the winter months to a high summer temperature of 13-14 degrees celsius. 

Want to get out and explore on your own? 
 
Iceland does not have a railway system, but buses travel all over the country. Walking and cycling offer a fantastic way to get around cities and towns, although keep an eye on the weather, as it can change quickly and you may find yourself in an unexpected downpour.  
When catching taxis, have small change on you and choose one with a meter, if it doesn’t have one then negotiate the price before getting in. Also, ask your guide or hotel staff the names of reputable taxi companies. 

So, you’d love to bring home a special souvenir from Iceland… 
 
Iceland is not known as a big shopping destination, but local souvenirs worth investigating include hand knitted items, whether it be a scarf or sweater; items made from the volcanic leftovers and handcrafted silver jewellery. Another great souvenir idea is any of the Blue Lagoon spa products. Also Icelandic vodka seems a big hit to bring home. 
 
Please remember to always declare all your purchases with customs when arriving back in Australia.  

  • Tipping is not expected in Iceland. 
  • Generally, Icelanders love to talk about the weather. 
  • They are usually fairly easy-going people and never having had an ‘upper class’ system, there is little formality.  

First Day of Summer 

The First Day of Summer has been a public holiday since 1971, but its history goes back further to when Icelanders used the Old Norse calendar which was divided into just two seasons: Summer and Winter.  
Although the weather can be notoriously bad on the First Day of Summer, Icelanders still celebrate with parades, outdoor sporting events and live entertainment all over the country. There is an old superstition that if the temperature drops below zero the night before Sumardagurinn fyrsti, it is a favourable sign for a fair summer to come. Parents give children a summer gift, an Icelandic tradition which is 400-years older than the custom of giving presents at Christmas. 
 
Independence Day 

Chosen for the birthday of the nation's champion for autonomy, Jón Sigurðsson, June 17th marks the anniversary of Iceland's independence from Denmark in 1944. People flock to downtown Reykjavik to watch the parade and outdoor concerts. The annual 'Lady of the Mountain' is crowned as part of the parade and she symbolises the Icelandic spirit and nature, especially in the context of independence as a feminine resistance to the King of Denmark.  
 
 
Other national public holidays to be aware of include: 
 

New Year’s Day 
First Day of Summer – mid-to-late April  
Labour Day – May 1st  
Ascension Day – May  
Iceland Republic Day – June 17th 
Commerce Day – early August  
Independence Day – December 1st 
Christmas Day 
 

Independent Tours & Extensions

Aurora Expeditions - Greenland Odyssey

Experience the enormity of Greenland, the world’s largest island, where jagged peaks pierce azure skies, and countless glaciers snake their way towards the coast.

Extension
Days 17
From (Per person / Twin share) $23,895

Aurora Expeditions - Iceland Circumnavigation

Explore the ‘Land of Ice and Fire’ where snow-capped peaks rise above glaciers and active volcanoes rumble.

Extension
Days 11
From (Per person / Twin share) $13,095

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