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ICELAND

 
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Diveiceland.com
Asbudartrod 17
IS-220 Hafnarfjordur
Iceland
Tel.: +354 699 000 and +354 565 2148
E-Mail: info@diveiceland.com
Web: http://www.diveiceland.com
Diveiceland.com is the only dive center in Iceland offering boat dives. From our newly bought 8 meters Viking RIB we can now offer boat dives from Reykjavik. We have some great dive sites in the area, like the wreck of Vestri, puffin island and the whale meeting areas.


About Iceland

Iceland, the second largest island in Europe, lies close to the Arctic Circle. It is about midway between New York and Moscow. Iceland has a total area of 103,000 square km (39,756 square miles). From north to south the greatest distance is about 300 km (185 miles), from west to east about 500 km (305 miles). The coastline is about 6,000 km (3,700 miles) and the shortest distances to other countries are 286 km (180 miles) to Greenland, 795 km (495 miles) to Scotland and 950 km (590 miles) to Norway.

There are numerous islands around the coast, some of them inhabited. The largest being is the Westman Islands in the south, Hrísey in the north, and Grímsey on the Arctic Circle.

A wide variety of activities are offered all over Iceland, including river rafting, hiking, glacier tours, fishing, horseback riding, boat tours, whale watching and swimming and scuba diving.

There are many diving opportunities around Iceland. With a visibility of up to more than 100 m (330 ft), it is probably the clearest water to dive in on this planet. Two of the most unique dive sites (unlike anywhere else in the world) are Silfra - a ravine between the Eurasian continental plate and the American continental plate, which are drifting apart about 2 cm in average every year. When diving Silfra you can dive from Eruope to America and back as many times you like and no visas needed. The other is Strýtan - a thermal chimney build up from a hot water spring on the bottom of 70 meters, rising like a tower up to about 15 meters depth. Divers diving there can see hot water rising up from it all over it and you can even feel the warmth which attracts many types of sea life.

 

Getting There

Approximate flight times from several cities:

Copenhagen,London,Frankfurt,
Paris,Amsterdam to Reykjavik..........approx: 3 hrs
New York,Boston,Baltimore,
Minneapolis to Reykjavik...............approx: 5-6 hrs

List of airlines that fly to Iceland all year round:

Wow Air
Flights to and from USA and Europe.

Icelandair
Maintains regular scheduled flights to Iceland from the following cities:

All year:
London, Glasgow, Manchester, Copenhagen, Oslo, Paris, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Baltimore, Boston, Minneapolis, New York, Orlando and Washington.

Summertime only:
Barcelona, Berlin, Halifax, Helsinki, Göteborg, Bergen, Milan and Munich.

British Airways maintains regular scheduled flights to Iceland from London (Gatwick).

SAS Maintains regular scheduled flights to Iceland from Oslo.

Entry Requirements

A passport or other travel document accepted by Icelandic authorities valid at least three months beyond intended stay is required for visitors to Iceland. Further information at www.utl.is • e-mail: utl@utl.is

THE SCHENGEN AGREEMENT: The Schengen agreement went into effect for Iceland on March 26, 2001 and the following countries participate in the Schengen cooperation in addition to Iceland: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Holland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Germany.
Travel between above-mentioned countries will in principle be without document check.

ATTENTION: Nationals of the following countries do not require visas to travel to Iceland as visitors, although they do require passports that are valid for three months beyond their intended stay: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong (applicable for those holding HKSAR passports), Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macao (applicable for those holding MSAR passports), Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Great Britain (incl. Bermuda, Turks and Caicos Islands, Cayman Islands, Anguilla, Montserrat, British Virgin Islands, St. Helena, Falkland Islands and Gibraltar), United States of America, Uruguay, Vatican and Venezuela.

VISAS: Foreign citizens who must produce a visa upon arrival in Iceland now also gain entry to the other Schengen countries. Schengen visas should be obtained prior to arrival in the Schengen territory. In most instances, Danish embassies will handle visa applications on behalf of Iceland. A list of these embassies and further information is available on the Directorate of Immigration home page, www.utl.is

Getting Around

By air
AIR ICELAND operates regular scheduled flights from Reykjavík to major domestic airports in all parts of the country. Furthermore, in co-operation with several bus companies, Air Iceland can offer an air/bus connection to over 40 towns all over Iceland.

Ferries
A number of ferry lines operate services to various islands and fjords. Regular sightseeing tours are also available by ferries during the summer.

By bus
There is an extensive bus service to most parts of the country and to the highlands, as well as a large number of organized bus tours. Reservations are not necessary and tickets can be bought either at the bus station or from the driver. Children under 4 travel free of charge, and half price is charged for children from 4-11.

Car Rentals
There are several car rental agencies in Iceland. Cars can be booked through a travel agent or an airline, at airports or directly after arrival in Iceland. Many types of cars are available, from small family cars to powerful 4-wheel-drive vehicles.

Travel Tips

Business Hours
Office hours are generally 09:00-17:00 and 08:00-16:00 during June, July and August. Shopping hours are Mon-Fri 09:00-18:00, Sat from 10:00 to 13:00/14:00/15:00 or 16:00. Some supermarkets are open to 23:00 seven days a week. Banking hours are Mon-Fri 09:15-16:00.

Currency
The Icelandic monetary unitis the "króna." Coins are in denominations of 100 kr., 50 kr., 10kr., 5 kr. and 1 kr. Bank notes are in denominations of 5000 kr., 2000 kr.,1000 kr., and 500 kr. All Icelandic banks provide foreign exchange and are generally open on weekdays from 09:15 to 16:00.

Travellers Checks, Debit and Credit Cards
Are widely accepted in Iceland. The major cards in Iceland are EUROPAY/MASTERCARD and VISA. Cash can be obtained at every bank branch (over 170) as well as in all ATMs throughout the country.

Shopping
The shops inIceland are of international standard, and carry a wide variety ofmerchandise. Local specialities are woollen knitwear (for example sweaters, cardigans, hats and mittens), handmade ceramics, glassware and silver jewellery. Also available is a great variety of high-quality seafood.

Tax-Free Shopping
A refund of local Value-Added Tax (VAT) is available to all visitors in Iceland.The refund will result in a reduction of up to 15% of the retail price, provided departure from Iceland is within 3 months after the date of purchase. The purchase amount must be no less than ISK 4,000 (VAT included) per store.All goods (except woollens) need to be shown at customs before check-in.At Keflavík airport this applies only to tax-free forms whose refund value exceeds ISK 5,000.All other forms can be refunded directly in cash at Landsbanki Íslands in the departure hall.

Postal Services
There are post offices located in all major communities in Iceland. General hours are: Mon-Fri 09:00-16:30. Many post offices in Reykjavik are alos open during the weekends.

Telephone Service
Direct calls can be made to all parts of Iceland.The code into Iceland from overseas is +354 + seven-digit number. Direct long-distance calls can be made to Europe and the USA by dialling 00 plus the country code, and the telephone number you wish to reach.

Mobile Phones
GSM: There are two GSM operators in Iceland:Siminn and Vodafone.Together they cover most of Iceland including all towns and villages with over 200 inhabitants. These two telephone companies both sell pre-paid GSM phone cards and offer GSM/GPRS services. Pre-paid cards are available at petrol stations around the country. GSM phones may be rented from Iceland Telecom, Ármúli 27, Reykjavík.

Climate
Thanks to the Gulf Stream, Iceland enjoys a cool temperate ocean climate: cool in summer and fairly mild in winter. However, the weather is very changeable and tourists should be prepared for the unexpected.

Weather/Clothing
For weather information in English, Tel.: 902-0600, extension 44, E-mail: office@vedur.is, www.vedur.is/english. When travelling in Iceland you should bring along lightweight woollens, a sweater or cardigan, a rainproof (weatherproof) coat and sturdy walking shoes. Travellers who are camping or heading into the interior will need warm underwear and socks, rubber boots and a warm sleeping bag.

Midnight Sun
During summer the nights are bright in all of Iceland. In the month of June the sun never fully sets in the north. There are even special excursions to the island of Grímsey on the Arctic Circle where you can experience the midnight sun. Keep in mind, however, that the sun at midnight is not as warm as at midday, so bring along a sweater.

Time Zone
Iceland is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) throughout the year, and does not go on daylight saving time.

Medical Information
Icelanders enjoy a healthy life, thanks to clean air and water and quality fish. Water is safe to drink throughout Iceland. Pharmacies are called "Apótek" and are open during normal business hours. Many are open at night. Reykjavík has a great many general practitioners, as well as specialists, many of whom will receive patients at short notice. There are also many Health Centres in Reykjavík, with officially appointed family doctors who receive patients at short notice during the day.

Medical Help
There is a medical centre or a hospital in all major cities and towns in Iceland. The emergency phone number (24 hours) in Iceland is 112.

Health Insurance
Citizens of Scandinavia have to show passport in case of medical emergency. Citizens of EEA countries must have the E-111 form, otherwise the patient will be charged in full. Citizens of other countries must be charged in full. For further information contact:
State Social Security Institute
Laugavegur114 · IS-105 Reykjavík
Tel.: +354-560-4400 · +354-560-4520
Fax: +354-562-5053
Office hours 08:05-15:30

Vaccinations
Vaccinations are not required.

Visitors with Disabilities
Visitors with disabilities can make travelling in Iceland fairly easy by planning their vacation in advance. They may also find it necessary to travel with a companion, for although there are many hotels and restaurants accessible to people with disabilities, they do not always provide full assistance. A number of hotels in Reykjavík and Akureyri have rooms specially designed for guests with disabilities. Larger department stores are generally accessible to wheelchair users. The coastal ferry Baldur is accessible to people with disabilities and so is the ferry Herjólfur. All airlines flying to and from Iceland are equipped to accommodate travellers with disabilities. A few domestic buses equipped for wheelchair users are available for special tours upon request. For accessible hotels and tourist attractions, see www.sjalfsbjorg.is

Police
Reykjavík police, for information only,Tel.:+354-569-9020.
Emergency phonenumber in Iceland is 112. (24 hours).

Religion
The established religion in Iceland is Lutheran.

Language
Icelandic is a Teutonic language ofthe Nordic group. It is believed to have changed little from the original tongue spoken by the Norse settlers. English is widely spoken and understood. Icelandic has two letters of its own: Þ/þ pronounced like th in "thing" and Ð/ð pronounced like th in"them."

News in English
A short news broadcast in English is made on State Radio, FM 93.5 and FM 92.4, every morning Mon-Fri at 07:31, from June 1st to Sept. 1st. A telephone recording of the broadcast can also be heard, Tel.: +354-515-3690.

Tipping
Service and VAT are invariably included in prices in Iceland.

Electricity
The electric current in Iceland is 220volts, 50 HZ AC.

Iceland Tourism Offices

Main web site
http://www.visiticeland.com/

Main office

The Icelandic Tourist Board
Ferðamálaráð Íslands
Lækjargata 3
101 Reykjav355k
Telephone: +354 535 5500
Fax: +354 535 5501
Email: info@icetourist.is

The Icelandic Tourist Board
Ferðamálaráð Íslands
Strandgata 29
600 Akureyri
Telephone: +354-464-9990
Fax: +354-464-9991
Email: info@icetourist.is
Web site: www.visiticeland.com

France

Office National du Tourisme d'Islande
Email: islande@icetourist.de
Web site: http://www.visiticeland.com

Germany

Isländisches Fremdenverkehrsamt
Frankfurter Str. 181
D-63263 Neu-Isenburg
Telephone: +49 6102 254 484
Fax: +49 6102 254 570
Email: info@icetourist.de
Web site: http://www.visiticeland.com

USA

Icelandic Tourist Board
655 Third Avenue
New York, N.Y. 10017
Telephone: +1 212-885-9700
Fax: +1 212-885-9710
Email: usa@icetourist.is
Web site: http://www.icelandtouristboard.com/

 
 

 


 










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