Iceland is a country in Europe according to physicscat. Wild, rocky and colourful, Iceland, the “Land of Ice and Fire”, consists of a landscape of contrasts: black lava fields, bubbling blue geysers and green valleys. Bays and fjords dominate the coast, while inland there are many rivers and waterfalls. In 2018 Iceland celebrated 100 years of independence as a sovereign state. The large island in the North Atlantic near the Arctic Circle is one of the most volcanically active countries on earth. The Hekla volcano in southern Iceland – which missionaries once described as the gateway to hell – has erupted no fewer than 16 times. In the coastal region, Iceland is a place of bustling activity, especially in the country’s capital, Reykjavík, where more than half of the population lives. Reykjavík, with its mix of old wooden houses and modern buildings, is situated in a wide bay and surrounded by mountains. There are many thermal springs nearby, which form a natural and environmentally friendly heating system. Although relatively small for a capital city, Reykjavík offers a lively nightlife and is internationally known for its party scene.
Arriving by plane
The national airline Icelandair (FI) offers scheduled flights from Berlin, Frankfurt/M., Hamburg, Munich and Zurich to Reykjavik and from Berlin and Düsseldorf to Keflavik. In the summer months there are flights from Iceland to the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Contact Icelandair (FI) for more information. Direct flights from Vienna to Reykjavik with Austrian (OS) once a week from July to September and three times a week in July and August. Iceland is also served by Lufthansa (LH), Eurowings (EW) and Scandinavian Airlines (SK).
Frankfurt – Reykjavik: 3 hrs 35 mins; Hamburg – Reykjavik: 3 hours 15 minutes; Vienna – Reykjavik: 4 hrs 25 mins; Zurich – Reykjavik: 3 hrs 50 mins
Arrival by car
Tolls: There are no toll roads in Iceland. Documents: The national driving license is sufficient.
Arrival by ship
Iceland is served by both ferries and numerous cruise ships.
Cruises with stops in various cities in Iceland are offered by the following shipping companies, among others: Hurtigrouten – Reykjavik and Ísafjörður; Aida – Seydisfjordur, Akureyri, Reykjavik; Iceland Pro Cruises – Reykjavik with circumnavigation of Iceland: Stykkisholmur, Isafjördur, Akureyri, Husavik, Seydisfjördur, Djupivogur.
The shipping company Smyril Line connects Hirtshals/Denmark via Tórshavn/Faroe Islands with Seydisfjördur/Iceland; twice a week in July and August, once a week from September to December. With Smyril Line you can choose between different packages for the crossing by car, motorbike or mobile home and also book without a vehicle. Further information: Smyril Line Germany, Tel. +49‑431 20 08 86. Smyril Line also offers vehicle shipping from Rotterdam to Thorlakshöfn once a week all year round. Thorlakshöfn Port is approximately 80 km from Keflavik Airport and 50 km from Reykjavik.
Traffic regulations: – Lights must be switched on when driving day and night. – Seat belts are compulsory in the front and back seats. – Alcohol limit: 0.5 ‰. – Any driving away from marked paths/pistes is prohibited. Speed limits: – within built-up areas: 50 km/h, – outside on unpaved roads 80 km/h, on paved roads 90 km/h, unless otherwise signposted.
The ADAC partner club in Iceland is Felag Islenskra Bifreidaeigenda (FIB) in Reykjavik, Tel. +354-4 14 99 99. ADAC-Auslands-Notruf also offers extensive assistance to ADAC members and holders of ADAC international health and accident insurance Vehicle breakdowns, traffic accidents, loss of documents and money to medical emergencies. The emergency number is available around the clock; in the event of vehicle damage: Tel. +49-89 22 22 22, in the event of illness: +49-89 76 76 76.
The national driver’s license is sufficient for stays of up to three months. For citizens of EU and EFTA countries, the license plate number is valid as proof of insurance. Nevertheless, EU and EFTA citizens are recommended to take their international motor insurance card with them in order to be able to enjoy full insurance cover in the event of damage. Otherwise, the statutory minimum liability insurance coverage applies. In addition, the international motor insurance card can make it easier to record accidents.
Condition of the roads
The ring road (national road 1) is largely tarred and paved. However, as with most mountain and highland roads, sections are gravel. The gravel cover is often loose, especially at the shoulders. Evasive maneuvers should therefore be carried out very carefully and at low speed. Highland roads and dirt roads are often single lane and, like bridges, unsuitable for fast driving. Mountain roads and side roads often follow the winding landscape; longer travel times should therefore be taken into account. Most mountain roads are only accessible in summer, some even only with four-wheel drive. Vegagerdin provides information about road conditions in English on Tel.