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 What is this?
The Hospitality Club is the world's largest hospitality exchange organization. We are thousands of friendly members world wide who offer each other free accommodation when traveling. Membership is free and joining just takes a minute - we would love to have you onboard!

Travel Guide for Iceland

Here you will find travel information and insider tips about Iceland that has been cooperatively contributed by other friendly Hospitality Club members. Please become active as well, and share your vast budget travel and backpacking knowledge with other members and the internet community - it is very easy to edit any information here (more info in the Help File). We hope that these Travel Guides will quickly become a great and fun resource. If you want to print this guide out to take with you, we have prepared this Printer Friendly Travel Guide for you. Enjoy!
For Introduction, Top Things to See and Do, Neighboring Countries, Who is coming?, Want more guests!, Hospitality Club Meetings and the geographic navigation please see the main Iceland Page.

Basic Facts

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Official Country Name: Lýðveldið Ísland
Capital: Reykjavík
Population: 290.000
Telephone Code: 354
Time Zone: GMT 0 (all year round)
Area: 103.000sq km
Language(s): Icelandic
Highest Mountain: Hvannadalshnjúkur 2119m, under Öræfajökull glacier
President/Head of State: President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson (president has no real power), Prime Minister: Davíð Oddson
Government: Right wing
Currency: Króna (ISK)
Exchange Rate (7 May 2 ... more

Attractions and Things to See and Do

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June, July and August are the best times for weather in Iceland. It is the Tourist season. In the fall, spring and winter things are cheaper but

The duration of your stay depends a lot on what you want to see and do. For just Reykjavík, the Golden Circle and the Blue Lagoon, which is the basic tour you would need half a week to a week, and if you want to see more of the country I would suggest two weeks at last.

For the basics, if you arrive or depart in the daytime, you ... more

Maps

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Small but descriptive free maps at LMI

Off the Beaten Path and Insider Tips

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Suggested Itineraries

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1 Day to 2 weeks
Hitchike along the southeastcoast. The time it takes depends of how much you stop, how far you go and how good luck you have.
You can either go from Reykjavik to take the ferry from a town in the north east, or go even further, up to Myvatn (an amazing lavalandscape with boiling mud and so on).
Some highlights along the way: The waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss, the beach in Vik, Jökullsaurlon glacierlake and Skaftafell national park. If you have ti ... more

Transport

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Getting there and away
Getting here is not complicated because there are not that many options. 99% of travellers to Iceland come here by air. That's the simplest way of doing it, and in recent years it has become a lot cheaper. There are two airlines currently operating to Iceland. Icelandair is the bigger one with a lot of history and surprisingly many routes, London and Copenhagen are probably the easiest to get here but Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Paris and more also have daily ... more

Accommodation

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If you do not want to stay with other HC members, or noone is available, here is what other members suggest.

During summer most hostels is full booked several months in advance, and prices are quite high. Rather bring, buy or rent a tent and stay in the campinggrounds. This is cheaper and you dont need to book ahead.

Hostels
I guess Salvation armys guesthouse down town is your best bet in Reykjavik. Its at least 15 Euro per night, but you wont find a cheaper hostel. There is al ... more

Food and Drinks and Local Specialties

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Restaurants, Supermarkets, Street Food, Local Specialties ... If you ever come to Iceland don´t miss out eating lamb. You won´t get any better lamb anywhere and they sure know how to make a good meal out of it. And the fish is aswell good,for example what I always call the ugly fish, it is as good as it is ugly. It is the Monk fish. I just want to give you lonks to a few that I know that are good . http://cafeopera.is Another very good one is :http://www.la ... more

Money and Costs

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Currency, Exchanging Money, Credit Cards, Tipping, Bargaining, Costs
Iceland is generally expensive, but you avoid most of the costs if you hitchike, sleep in tent or HC members and buy your food in Bonus. This is also the most flexible way since you dont need to book ahed or follow timescedules.

Visa and Documents and Embassies

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Who needs a visa? How to get it? Embassies & Consulates, of the country abroad and in the country

Borders and Customs

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Post and Communications and Internet

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Post, Telephone, Fax, Internet Access ...

Questions and Answers or Forum

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Here anything goes, you can post questions you have, and other members will answer you. If you do answer, please send the reply directly to the asking member as well, and try to integrate the information into the categories above. If too difficult to do, just answer right here and a volunteer will integrate in the future. Also, you can put thanks notes in here. Add new questions on top so they show up on the Travel Guide page. Please post messages not related to traveling or the aim of the Hospi ... more

Hospitality Club Meetings

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Use this section to add more info if you organize meetings and events (you can add a short note on the main country page). You can also invite other members to parties, sports events, whenever you would like to meet up with someone.

Travelogues

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Have you written a story about a trip to this country? Just paste your text in here and share your experience with other members: Title of the article: ____V ZEMI ĽADU____ Slovo ISLAND skutočne znamená zem ľadu, a to v islandčine, starom germánskom jazyku, ktorého podoba sa od stredoveku zmenila iba málo. Dodnes tu na odľahlom ostrove blízko severného polárného kruhu žije starý sebavedomý národ, ktorý síce číta len niečo cez štvrt m ... more

Photos

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Here you can include photos that are hosted somewhere on the internet. As with maps, you have to make sure that it is ok for us to use the photos here (so they should be either your photos, or you should ask the owner), and that it is allright to call them up from here.

Activities and Sports

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Nightlife and Entertainment

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Bars, Cafes, Discos, Cinemas...

Population and People

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Culture and Conduct or Local Customs

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Language and Useful Phrases

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Young people speak good english. Old people speak good danish. Since it is optional to study at least one other nordic language in school you might find people who speak norweigian and swedish as well.

Events and Holidays

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Festivals
Dont remember if it is the first or the last weekend in july (first I think) when people go in their jeeps to party their heads off in the campingground in Thorsmörk.

There is also a musik festival in Vestmannaeyar (an island in the south). The prices in the island rise a lot during this weekend, and it is packed with people wich is fun if you want to see the festival and a hazel if you want to see the island. Book the flight or ferry ticket and accomodation in advance. ... more

Climate and When to Go

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Geography

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Environment and Flora and Fauna

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Dangers and Warnings

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Tourist Traps

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Health

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History

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When I was in Mongolia I learned that the Mongolian horse came as far as Iceland, but no longer. Therefore the Icelandic and mongolian horses are very close related and look very similar. Since Iceland is an isolated island the horse was preserved here and still have the same properties as it had for long time ago. Including the famous walk tölt. The mongolian horse was inbreeded and therefore most of them cant do this anymore, but still you can find some rare horses that do it. The thought ... more

Government and Politics

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Economy

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GDP, GDP per head, Annual growth, inflation, Major Industries, Major trading partners...

Arts

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Music, Literature, Theater, Movies ...

Media

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Newspapers, Radio and TV, Magazines ...

Religion

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Volunteer Opportunities and Work

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Oh, yes, try to find a job in a farm! You can milk cows, ride horses, grow vegetables (they heat their greenhouses with water from the hot springs), take care of children...
You can applay for the job before you go there (try EURES if you are european or nordjobb if you are nordic) or just go there and ask around. Everything from two weeks to permanent job is possible.
Wages are extreamly low, specially compared to the price level, but you do it for the experience, not for the money, a ... more

Organized Tours

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Dont buy organized tours, Iceland is an easy country to travel independent in. It will be much cheaper and you are not limited by a tour companys idea of where you should go.

What to Bring or Packing List

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Shopping

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Try Kolaportid in the harbour in Reykjavik. A big market where they sell a lot of things. Most of it is trash, but who know, maybe you will find exactly what you need here and prices ar lower. Anyway, it is nice to walk around just to feel the atmospher of the market.

Books and Further Reading

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Guidebooks, Travel, History and Politics
Please enter Amazon links to the books - we will put info on how to do this here shortly. This way we hope to get a bit of funding for the running of the club, if someone buys the books you recommend.

Other Information

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Could not fit it into any of the categories above? Put it here...:-)

External Links

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Official Country Website:

Reykjavik
Tours from Reykjavik
travel in Iceland
Blue Lagoon"
The lagoon itself

Offtopic Messages

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Here you can add messages that are not exactly related to the aims of the Hospitality Club (but related to the country). Do you need a visa invitation? Looking for an internship, job or a flat to rent? Just add this here, and if you are lucky other members will read it and contact you. Remember: do not send messages like this directly to members - after giving you this space here, we will fight spam even more strictly!
Disclaimer: The Hospitality Club has no control over the information above and accepts no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by anyone using this website. Please correct false information or send us feedback about it.
Copyright: Feel free to use the text on your website as long as you notify us and include a clearly visible link to www.hospitalityclub.org above the text.

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