Questions and Answers About Iceland

Where is Iceland?

Iceland is an island in the North Atlantic, about 620 miles (1,000 km) west of Norway. It is the westernmost country in Europe.

How big is Iceland?

Iceland is a little smaller in size than the state of Kentucky. It comprises an area of 39,768 square miles (103,000 sq. km).

Is it difficult to get to Iceland?

No. There are daily flights to Iceland from many North American and European cities. Iceland’s major airport is Keflavík International, located 30 miles (48 km) southwest of Reykjavík.

How cold does it get?

Not as cold as the name of the country sounds. Thanks to the warm Gulf Stream, temperatures are moderate year-round. The average temperature in July is 51 F (10.5 C) and in January 31 F (-0.5 C).

What are the hours of daylight?

At the peak of summer, the sun barely sets in Reykjavík. In winter, there are only about four to five hours of daylight.

How should I dress?

No matter what time of year you plan to visit Iceland, always pack some warm and water-resistant clothes. The weather can change quickly anytime of the year. During the summer months, light clothing is often times enough. Don’t forget to bring your swimsuit. Iceland has an abundance of geothermally heated pools that are open year-round and have an average water temperature of 80 F (26 C).

Do Icelanders speak English?

Icelanders are taught English from age 11 on, so most of them are quite fluent in the English language.

What is Iceland’s money?

Iceland money is the króna (krónur in the plural). You can exchange your money at the airport. Major credit cards, such as Visa and MasterCard, are widely accepted and there are also plenty of ATMs all over the country.

What is the food like?

Fish, lamb and dairy products are the basics of the Icelandic diet. There’s plenty of fresh fish, such as cod, halibut, haddock, herring, salmon and trout. Popular dishes include hangikjöt (smoked mutton) and skyr (similar to yogurt). Most meals are served with potatoes. Iceland has a wide variety of international as well as traditional restaurants. There are also many fast food outlets. Hot dogs (heitar pylsur) are popular among locals. Tap water is safe to drink and clean throughout the country.

What about accommodation?

There are plenty of hotels, bed and breakfasts, guesthouses and campgrounds in Iceland. Most are very clean and comfortable.

What about the electricity?

If you come from North America or Great Britain and want to bring an electrical device from home, you will need to bring an adapter. The electrical standards in Iceland are 50 Hz and 240 volts.

Is Iceland expensive?

Iceland is not a cheap country. One meal at a restaurant, for example, can easily cost as much as a hostel bed. If you’re on a budget, you might want to stay at an accommodation where you can cook your meals yourself. Supermarket prices are reasonable. There are affordable hostels and guesthouses with beds without linens. If you bring your sleeping bag, staying at these places is a good way to save money.