FAQ/ Practical Information

  • Favorable Exchange Rate

    Visiting Iceland has never been more affordable.

  • A Beautiful Winter Day

    There is no typical winter in Iceland. After snowy Christmas, there can be a rainy January, or vice versa.

  • Iceland Is Always on GMT

    4 hours ahead of New York (5 in winter)
    1 hour behind London (same as London in winter)


Where is Vopnafjordur?
Vopnafjordur is in Northeast Iceland, 370 km (230 miles) from the capital Reykjavik. Iceland is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, and the westernmost country in Europe, midway between North America and mainland Europe.

What should I know before visiting?

Iceland is one of the most developed and politically stable countries in the world. Infrastructure is solid, and medical and safety services are world-class. Vopnafjordur also has plenty of services to offer despite its small size. If you intend to travel on your own, please keep in mind that nature can sometimes be harsh if you're not prepared. Visit safetravel.is for information on how to plan a safe visit to Iceland.

What is the currency?
The Icelandic Krona (abbreviated ISK or kr.) is the state currency in Iceland. Some tourist services accept Euro or US Dollars. The exchange rates have been very favorable for foreign tourists since 2009. Click here to check out current rates.

Can I use my credit card?
Credit cards and debit/ATM cards are widely accepted around Iceland, including in Vopnafjordur. Note that your credit card company's exchange rate for the Icelandic Krona may differ from the published bank rates.

Do I need a visa to visit?
Citizens of many countries can visit Iceland without acquiring a visa. Those include citizens of the European Union, the United States and Canada. Click here for a complete list of countries and detailed information.

What is the weather like?
Despite Iceland's location just south of the Arctic Circle, the country enjoys a fairly temperate climate, thanks to the Gulf Stream, which brings warm seawater from the Gulf of Mexico to Northern Europe. Winters are chilly, and can be windy and snowy, while summers are cool and snow free with periods of warm and sunny weather. Weather in Iceland can change incredibly fast, so always follow the weather forecast closely.

Always bring plenty of warm clothes. Icelandic weather is unpredictable. Some snow can be expected from late September to early May, and sometimes till the end of May. In winter, bring thick coats, hats and gloves, wool socks and sweaters, warm pants and boots. In summer, bring warm sweaters and raincoats, and though you may very well catch good weather with sunshine, always prepare for heavy rain and wind.

In summer, the sun is more dangerous than most visitors expect for Iceland's northerly latitude. Remember to apply sunscreen.

And again, follow the weather forecast closely on en.vedur.is.

Is it safe to travel in remote areas?
Always consult with knowledgeable locals before going into remote areas. Make sure that somebody knows your itinerary, and keep in mind that mobile phone service can be sporadic in uninhabited regions. Search and rescue missions can be risky and very expensive. Highly-trained search and rescue teams are always on standby, equipped with snowmobiles, rescue boats, off-road vehicles and SUVs customized for extreme conditions. When needed, the Icelandic Coast Guard provides airplane and helicopter assistance.

What are the business hours?
General office hours are usually 9:00-17:00 or 8:00-16:00 on business days. Some government offices close earlier. Banking hours are generally 9:15-16:00 on business days. Shopping hours are usually 9:00-18:00 on business days. Many stores are open on weekends, often for a shorter period.

In Vopnafjordur, the supermarket closes at 18:00 and is closed on weekends, but the convenience store is open late daily. Banking hours in Vopnafjordur are 12:30-16:00. An ATM is open 24/7.

Should I bring all basic supplies from home?
No. Icelandic stores are of international standards, and carry a wide variety of merchandise.

What is the telecommunications service like?
As good as it gets in the western world. Both regular and long-distance 3G coverage is widely available. High-speed internet service (DSL) is available in all parts of the country, including Vopnafjordur. Free wi-fi access is available at the Tourist Information Center & Cafe in Vopnafjordur during business hours.

The country code to call Iceland from abroad is 354. If calling a foreign number from Iceland, dial 00 before the number, or 011 for discounted international calling service. Prepaid mobile phone cards can be purchased from one of the major wireless service providers: Siminn, Vodafone, Tal or Nova.

Will the midnight sun keep me awake?
It never gets dark in Vopnafjordur from mid-May to early August, and in late June the sun shines 24/7, weather permitting. If you are sensitive to light, a sleeping mask to cover your eyes is a great way to block out unwanted nocturnal sun rays.

What time is it?
Iceland uses GMT year round. There is no daylight savings or summer time. Iceland is four hours ahead of New York during summer (five hours in winter), and one hour behind London during summer (same as London in winter).

Should I be concerned about my health?
Iceland's health care system is world class, but the country is sparsely populated. The capital Reykjavik in Southwest Iceland, and Akureyri in North Iceland, have well-equipped emergency hospitals. Most smaller towns around the country are served by clinics or small non-emergency hospitals. Medevac services are always on standby for emergency transport to a major hospital. Transport can be very expensive though, so make sure to carry a travelers insurance policy that covers emergency medical services in Iceland.

Is the water safe to drink?
Yes. There is no need to buy bottled water. Tap water comes from protected springs and is clean and refreshing.

Do I need health insurance?
Medical services in Iceland can be very expensive. Nordic citizens can show their passport to avoid being charged in full, and other EEA citizens can show either the E-111 form or the European Health Insurance Card to avoid being charged in full. Citizens of all other countries, including the USA and Canada, need to be charged in full. It is therefore recommended that visitors hold a travel insurance medical policy that is valid in Iceland during their whole stay.

What vaccinations do I need?

None are required.

Will people with disabilities have a trouble-free visit?
Information on accessibility in Iceland can be found on the web site of the Association of the Disabled in Iceland. Accessibility in Vopnafjordur is generally acceptable. Please inquire at the Tourist Information Center for details.

Where can I call in case of an emergency?
Call the countrywide 24/7 emergency number, 112 (ONE-ONE-TWO) for police, fire department, ambulance, search and rescue, to report drunk drivers, to report abuse, or in any other kind of emergency. English is spoken.

When are the public holidays?

New Year's Day (Jan 1), Maundy Thursday (date varies), Good Friday (date varies), Easter Sunday (date varies), Easter Monday (date varies), First Day of Summer (first Thursday after April 18), International Workers' Day (May 1), Ascension Day (sixth Thursday from Easter), Pentecost Sunday (seven weeks from Easter Sunday), Pentecost Monday (seven weeks from Easter Monday), National Day/Independence Day (June 17), Trade Holiday (first Monday of August), Christmas Eve (December 24, beginning at noon), Christmas Day (December 25), Second Day of Christmas (December 26), New Years Eve (December 31, beginning at noon).

Most businesses are closed on public holidays.

Are people religious?
Most Icelanders are members of either the National Lutheran Church or other Christian churches. Few Icelanders attend churches regularly outside major holidays.

What language is spoken?
Icelandic is the official language, and is related to the Scandinavian languages and other Germanic languages, including English and German. Icelanders are usually skilled in English, and Scandinavian languages are understood by many.

Is tipping customary?

Tips and service charges are always included in the quoted price, so tipping is not necessary.

I don't understand the metric sytem!
No worries. Just remember that a meter is roughly one yard, a liter is about the same as a quart, and a kilo is just a little over two pounds.

Water freezes at zero degrees Celsius, and boils at 100 degress. To figure out other temperatures, start at the freezing point (0°C=32°F). For every five degree change in Celsius tempereture, add or subtract nine Fahrenheit degrees: 5°C=32+9=41°F / 15°C=32+9+9+9=59°F / -10°C=32-9-9=14°F.

Google Search has a built-in measurement converter. For example, search for 100 kilometers to miles, and Google will immediately display the answer at the top of the search results page.

What is the electric standard?
220V 50Hz AC


Source: visiticeland.com


Photos: Icelandic Krona by puyol5 (CC BY)




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