(03) 9584-0896
1300 663 854
Home  |  Info  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us 
Car Hire | Car Lease | Motorhomes | Canalboats | River Cruising | Specials | Ferries | Accommodation | Attractions
Countries:
Car Hire in Iceland - Europe
   
Austria
Belgium
Bulgaria
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
England
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Holland
Hungary
Iceland
Ireland
Italy
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Macedonia
Malta
Netherlands
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Romania
Scotland
Slovakia
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Turkey
United Kingdom
Other Links:
Car Hire FAQs
Helpful Info
Currency Converter
Insurance

We represent the major car hire companies like:
Avis Car Hire, Hertz Car Rental, Europcar Car Hire, Alamo Car Rental, Budget Car Hire,
Dollar Car Rental, Thrifty Car Rental and Sixt Car Rental

For complicated itineraries, personalised service or any questions - click here


Iceland Country Information
With its glassy glaciers, hot thermal springs, spectacular geysers, active volcanoes, lava fields, stunning waterfalls and snow-capped mountains, Iceland is indeed the original 'land of fire and ice'.

It is not only unique and wonderful natural phenomena that intrigue visitors to this, the second largest island in Europe, which lies close to the Arctic Circle northwest of Scotland and south of Greenland. The hardy Icelandic people, descendants of ancient Norsemen and Celts, are intriguing too, having spawned what is now renowned as the oldest surviving parliament in the world (called the 'Althing'), founded in 930AD, and boasting a much-revered literary heritage of the best medieval works, mostly based on historic heroic sagas.

Most of the country's popular tourist features are in the south of the island near the capital, Reykjavik, in the region known as 'The Golden Circle'. Top of the list for scenic splendour is the Gullfoss double-tiered waterfall, set off with a brilliant rainbow, and the spouting hot springs of Geysir.

Reykjavik means 'smoky', but in the case of Iceland's pristine capital (which is Europe's most northerly capital city) the smoke is not smog, but rather steam from the underground springs that warm the city. Reykjavik has a well-deserved reputation for being the cleanest, most invigorating city in Europe, where the standard of living is one of the highest in the world. The city may be small, but it is full of interesting attractions from galleries and museums to thermal bathing spots, and the nightlife is second to none.

The Basics

Time: Local time is GMT.

Electricity: Iceland's electricity supply is 220 volts, 50Hz, as it is in most European countries. Plugs and sockets are of the two-pin type as in Continental Europe.

Money: The unit of currency is the Icelandic króna (ISK), plural krónur, divided into 100 aurar. Iceland's three banks, Íslandsbanki, Landsbanki Ísland and Búnaðarbanki, all offer foreign exchange facilities and can be found in even the tiniest villages. Most have ATMs on their premises, available after banking hours, which are usually Monday to Friday from 9.15am to 4pm. Credit cards are widely used in Iceland for purchases and cash advances, and travellers cheques are accepted by all banks and most hotels. Travellers cheques in US Dollars get the best exchange rate charges.

Language: Icelandic, but English is widely spoken.

Travel Health: There are no specific health risks associated with travel to Iceland, and no vaccinations are necessary for entry. Medical care in the country is of high quality. Payment is usually expected in cash from visitors. Travel health insurance is highly recommended. A reciprocal agreement exists whereby British citizens are entitled to free emergency medical treatment provided they possess a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

Tipping: Service charges are included in bills and tipping is not expected in Iceland.

Safety Information: Iceland is an extremely safe country to visit, the only threats being a low level of petty crime and rapidly changing weather conditions, which necessitate keeping a check if you are on the road.

Local Customs: Smoking in bars, restaurants and on public transport in Iceland is illegal.

Business: Most business in Iceland tends to take place in the capital, Reykjavik. Business meetings tend to be formal, with smart dress essential. It is worth handing out business cards, and initial greetings are usually accompanied by a handshake. Punctuality should be respected. Meetings are usually conducted in English when dealing with foreigners. It is worth noting that Icelanders generally go by their first name, and telephone directory listings are alphabetical by first name. Business hours are usually from 8am to 4pm (summer) and 9am to 5pm (winter). Most offices are closed on weekends.

Communications: The international country code for Iceland is +354. The outgoing code is 00, followed by the relevant country code (e.g., 0027 for South Africa). City/area codes are not in use. Note that Icelanders are listed by their first name in the telephone directory, not the last. Iceland has the highest per capital mobile phone use in the world with GSM networks and there are roaming agreements with most international mobile phone companies. Iceland Telecom rents mobile phones to visitors. There are numerous Internet cafes around the country.

Duty Free: Travellers to Iceland over 18 years do not have to pay duty on 200 cigarettes or 250g of other tobacco products. Travellers over 20 years are also allowed 1 litre spirits and 1 litre wine, or 1 litre spirits and 6 litres beer; or 1 litre wine and 6 litres beer; or 2.25 litres wine; and food items up to 3kg not exceeding kr13,000. Permits from Post & Telecom Authorities are required for cordless phones, remote controls or radio transmitters, but not for a GSM mobile phone. Prohibited items include narcotics and drugs, meat products, weapons and powdered or moist snuff.

Top of Page

Visa and Entry Information

  • Entry requirements for Americans: United States citizens require a valid passport, but no visa is required for a stay of up to three months.
  • Entry requirements for UK nationals: British citizens require a valid passport, but no visa is required. British citizens and passport holders endorsed with British National Overseas or British Overseas Territories Citizen do not require a visa for stays of up to three months. In all other cases, a visa is required.
  • Entry requirements for Canadians: Canadians require a valid passport, but no visa is required for a stay of up to three months.
  • Entry requirements for Australians: Australians require a valid passport, but no visa is required for a stay of up to three months.
  • Entry requirements for South Africans: South Africans must have a valid passport and a Schengen visa is required.
  • Entry requirements for New Zealanders: New Zealand citizens require a valid passport, but no visa is required for a stay of up to three months.
  • Entry requirements for Irish nationals: Irish citizens require a valid passport, but no visa is required.

Passport/Visa Note: Most visitors to Iceland require a passport valid for at least three months after their intended stay. Return or onward tickets, all documents for the next destination and sufficient funds are necessary for entry into the country, except for members of the EEA. The borderless region known as the Schengen area includes the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. All these countries issue a standard Schengen visa that has a multiple entry option that allows the holder to travel freely within the borders of all.

Weather and Climate in Iceland
The climate in Iceland is warmer than most visitors expect due to the temperate effects of the Gulf Stream coming off the Atlantic. The temperature in summer can change from 41°F (5°C) during the night to as high as 77°F (25°C) in the afternoons. The summer months (May, June, July and August) have almost continuous daylight, which decreases to three or four hours over the winter months (November, December and January). Visitors should note that the weather in Iceland can change quickly.

Despite its extreme north Atlantic situation, Reykjavik's climate is not as cold as might be expected, its average mid-winter temperatures being no lower than those in New York City. This is because the Icelandic coastal weather is tempered by the warm waters of the Gulf Stream. The city's coastal location does, however, also mean it is prone to wind, and gales are common in winter. Reykjavik is also a very wet city, having on average 213 rainy days out of the year, with spring having slightly more sunny days.

Attractions in Reykjavik

  • Hallgrimskirkja - This landmark church, the tallest building in Iceland, dominates the city from its highest point and is visible on a sunny day from up to 10 miles (16km) away.
  • National Museum - The recently refurbished National Museum of Iceland is the best place to become acquainted with the folklore, history and culture of this fascinating nation.
  • Botanical Gardens - The lush, green Botanical Gardens are a haven for strollers and planted with a large collection of Icelandic indigenous plants. Besides walking trails and water features, the gardens have a greenhouse café open during the summer months, a children's park and a zoo.
  • Einar Jónsson Museum - Einar Jónsson was Iceland's foremost sculptor and he himself designed and established this museum, which contains several hundred of his works spanning his 60-year career. The museum building itself is deemed to be Jónsson's largest work, and served as his home, gallery and studio.

Events Information

  • Thorrablot - Thorrablot, also known as the Mid-winter Feast, sees the capital of Reykjavic and her restaurants open up to crowds of thousands and a menu that was surely concocted by the Addams Family's Lurch or, possibly, the witches from Macbeth. If the vikings have been historically misconstrued as hairy savages who drank too much, this traditional feast might not help the bad rap, but it will provide a novel experience to anybody visiting Iceland. It includes Hákarl (putrefied shark), Hrútspungur (ram's scrotum with testicles) and Svið (jellied sheep's head). Over dinner, your host might share a riveting viking tale while you sample the foods that the empire once enjoyed. After the meal, take a swig or two of Brennivin (a very potent Icelandic Schnapps) and revel the night away with traditional dances, music and games

Airports in Iceland

Keflavik International Airport (KEF)

  • Location: The airport is situated 31 miles (50km) southwest of Reykjavik.
  • Time: GMT.
  • Contacts: Tel: +354 425 6010.
  • Getting to the city: The inexpensive Flybus service leaves Keflavík Airport 35-40 minutes after the arrival of each flight. The Flybus terminal in Reykjavík is at Hotel Loftleiðir and the bus stops at Hafnarfjörður and Garðabær en route to the city. Its first stop in Reykjavik is the BSÍ Bus Terminal. Free onwards transfers are available to all major hotels, the Youth Hostel, Laugardalur camping area and the domestic airport. For these transfers the driver will ask you to board smaller busses. Two taxi companies also operate from a rank outside the arrivals hall.
  • Car rental: Hertz, Budget, Europcar and Avis are represented at the airport. Most other major car hire companies have offices in Reykjavik.
  • Facilities: The small but well-equipped Leifur Eiriksson terminal was refurbished in 2007 to mark its 20th anniversary. The terminal offers a 24-hour exchange bureau; an executive lounge with phone, fax and internet connections; restaurants; a children's playground; duty free store; coin and card operated telephones; baby-changing facilities; and an information desk. The terminal is designed for easy access for the disabled.
  • Parking: Secure, guarded long- and short-term parking is available.

Top of Page

Driving Information

Drinking and driving:
The maximum permitted level of alcohol in the driver’s blood is 0.05 per cent. If the level of alcohol in the bloodstream is more than 0.049 per cent severe penalties include the withdrawal of your driving licence, prison
sentence and up to 140,000 Krona fine.

Driving licence:
Minimum age at which a UK licence holder may drive a temporarily imported car and / or motorcycle (over 50cc) 17. All valid UK driving licenses should be accepted in Iceland. This includes the older all-green style UK
licenses (in Northern Ireland older paper style with photographic counterpart) although the EC appreciates that these may be more difficult to understand and that drivers may wish to voluntarily update them before travelling abroad, if time permits. Alternatively, older licenses may be accompanied by an International Driving Permit (IDP).

Fines:
On-the-spot, only payable in HUF. Credit cards are not accepted. On the spot fines can be paid by post within 30 days. The police must give a receipt for cash payments. Wheel clamps are in use.

Fuel:
Unleaded petrol (95 & 98 octane) and diesel is available but not LPG. No leaded petrol (lead substitute petrol available as 98 octane). It is forbidden to import fuel in spare can. Some credit cards are accepted at most filling stations; check with your card issuer for usage in Iceland before travel.

Driving Distances:
Please click here http://www.viamichelin.com/ for driving distances


Lights:
Use of dipped headlights during the day compulsory, fine imposed for non- compliance.

Motorcycles:
Use of dipped headlights during the day compulsory. The wearing of crash helmets is compulsory for both driver and passenger.

Motor Insurance:
Third-party compulsory.

Passengers/Children in cars:
Children must be secured by either safety seats or safety belts.

Seat belts:
Compulsory for front / rear seat occupants to wear seat belts, if fitted.

Speed limits:
Standard legal limits, which may be varied by signs, for private vehicles without trailers: In built-up areas 31 mph (50 km/h), outside built-up areas 49 mph (80 km/h) on gravel roads and 55 mph (90 km/h) on asphalt roads.

Compulsory equipment in Iceland:

  • Warning triangle

Other rules/requirements in Iceland:

It is recommended that visitors equip their vehicle with first-aid kit, fire extinguisher and set of replacement bulbs.
The use of spiked tyres is permitted between 15 November and 15 April.

Snow Chains may be used when necessary. It is prohibited to drive outside marked roads or tracks in order to protect Flora an Fauna.

Weather conditions can change rapidly, using a local phone you can dial 1777 to obtain information about road and weather conditions between 0730 and 2200.

Top of Page

 

Travel Agents | Terms & Conditions | Contact Us | Blog | About Us

© 2004 UK and Europe Travel - A Division of BTEC Travel Pty Ltd.
Telephone: (+61 3) 9584 0896 Fax: (+61 3) 9584 0840   Toll-Free Australia: 1300 663854
Office Address: Office 3, 128 Balcombe Road, Mentone, VIC 3194, Australia
Mailing Address: PO Box 5309, Mordialloc, VIC 3195, Australia
Licence Number: #32610