ICELAND

Iceland is a young country formed as a result of volcanic eruptions happening in the last 60 million years. Across the country from north to southwest a vast area extends, including the area of ​​ Snæfellsnes in the west, a large number of volcanoes. 20 of them erupted after the country had formed. The most characteristic are the chains of craters that appeared as a result of eruptions along cracks and faults.
Volcanic activity is closely linked to hot springs scattered throughout the country (there are more than 250 of them). The Big Geyser is most famous. The energy of thermal springs is widely used in Iceland. 85% of the population lives in houses heated by their waters. In addition, warm water is supplied to numerous greenhouses and swimming pools.
Geography
Republic of Iceland, the state in the north of Europe. Located on the island between the Atlantic Ocean and the Greenland Sea of ​​the Arctic Ocean, slightly south of the Arctic Circle, 320 km east of Greenland, and 1050 km west of Norway. The northern point reaches the Arctic Circle, and the southern point located at a distance of 306 km is at a latitude of 63 ° 24'N. From west to east the island extends for 480 km - between 13 ° 28ў W. And 24 ° 32'W. The area is 103 thousand square km.
Time:
3 hours behind Moscow time in winter and 4 – in summer . Iceland uses Greenwich time and does not switch to summer time.
Climate
Contrary to its name and presence of glaciers, Iceland is by no means an arctic country. The warm waters of the North Atlantic Current (continuation of the Gulf Stream) the branch of which runs along the southern and western shores of the island have a softening effect on its climate. The average annual temperature on the southwestern coast in Reykjavik is 4 ° C, the average temperature in January is -1 ° C, July 11 ° C. The corresponding temperatures on the north coast in Akureyri are 3 ° C, -2 ° C and 11 ° C. The coastal waters are free from ice throughout the year. The exception is the situation associated with the removal of polar ice in the north and east. In connection with the significant improvement in the climate since the early 1920s, polar ice floes were brought to the shores of Iceland only once in 1965. The weather in this country changes sharply, sometimes within 24 hours, which depends on the passage of cyclones eastward across the Atlantic Ocean. The average annual precipitation is 1300-2000 mm on the southern coast, 500-750 mm in the northern and over 3,800 mm in the open to the south slopes of Vatnayöküdl and Mirdalsjöküldl.
Language:
The official language is Icelandic, the representative of the Scandinavian group of Germanic languages
Religion:
Iceland has an evangelical Lutheran church. There are many Lutheran churches. In Reykjavik there is a Catholic church, as well as several churches of other denominations with the following distribution of parishioners: Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland - 92.2%, other Lutheran churches - 3.1%, Roman Catholic - 0.9%, others - 3.8% .
Population:
The population is 276 thousand people. The national composition is homogeneous - about 99% of the total population is Icelandic. There are also people of foreign origin - mainly Danes, Germans and Norwegians.
Electricity:
The voltage in the network is 220 V, 50 Hz. Forks with two round pins: sometimes an adapter may be needed.
Find the work of your dreams!
Emergency phones:
The Russian Embassy in Reykjavik: Gardastraeti 33; Tel. (354) 551-515-68-10
Embassy of Iceland in Moscow: Khlebny per., 28; Tel .: (495) 956-76-04
Police, fire rescue, ambulance: 112.
Phones
Payphones are scattered on the streets of major cities. You can call anywhere in the world. Also an international call can be made at any post office.
In order to call to Russia, you need to dial 00 - 7 - the city code - the subscriber's number. For a call from Russia to Iceland from a landline: 8-10-354-city code-subscriber's number. To call to Iceland from a mobile phone: + 354-city code - subscriber's number
Currency exchange:
The national currency is the Icelandic krona (ISK), equal to 100 aurams. Banknotes in denominations of 5000, 1000, 500 and 100 krones, coins - 50, 10, 5 and 1 krone, as well as 50 and 10 aurar are in circulation. You can exchange money in banks or hotels. Rate to the US dollar as of August 2002 is equal to 85 ISK. Banks are open from Monday to Friday from 9.15 to 16.00.
Visa
A visa to Iceland for Russian citizens is issued at the consulate of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Denmark in Moscow. Required documents: a valid international passport (the validity period must be at least three months after the end of the proposed trip, the owner must have a signature in the passport), two color photographs 3.5 × 4.5 cm on a blue background (the photo should not be " Older than 6 months), personal data, photocopy of all pages of the internal passport. In addition, you will need a certificate from the place of work (or study - for students) on the company letterhead with an indication of the annual income and position of the tourist, as well as with confirmation of leave.
If a child under the age of 18 leaves with one of the parents, other relatives or accompanying persons, a notarized authorization from the remaining parent (s) to leave the child to this country is necessary. The power of attorney should contain the phrases: "a trip to Iceland and other countries of the Schengen agreement" and "It is allowed to take any decisions related to the stay of the child abroad" is allowed.
Single women traveling with children should provide a photocopy of a single mother's certificate or an original police certificate stating that the relationship with the child's father is not supported and his whereabouts are unknown. Widows (widowers) must provide a copy of the death certificate of the spouse.
Under-age citizens of Russia (under the age of 18) when leaving Russia on a foreign or general passport, accompanied by their parents (guardians, adopters, trustees) must have a document confirming their relationship with them (birth certificate, guardianship, marriage, etc). Without such a document, the child will not be allowed in, even if he is traveling with both parents.
Visas for citizens of the CIS countries
To enter Iceland, citizens of Ukraine need a visa, a passport and a tourist voucher. The Embassy of Iceland in Ukraine is located in Kiev at: ul. Yakira 8, telephone (+38 044) 568-5962, 568-5963.
Citizens of Belarus to obtain a visa from April 1, 2007 in most cases it is necessary to apply to the German Embassy in Minsk at: ul. Sakharova 26, phone (+375 17) 217-5900.
Citizens of Kazakhstan will need the following documents: a passport, two photos, an invitation, a certificate from work, an extract from a bank account (for a minimum of 50 EUR per person per day).
Customs regulations
Allowed duty-free import of a liter of alcoholic beverages stronger than 22 °, 200 cigarettes or 250 g of other tobacco products. Alcoholic beverages are allowed to be carried to persons not younger than 20 years, tobacco products - not younger than 18 years.
It is forbidden to import narcotic and psychotropic substances, raw meat products, jerky, bacon, smoked sausage, fresh or frozen game, non-pasteurized milk, eggs, seeds and children's toys made of lead or materials containing this metal. Also prohibited is the import of fishing tackle and equipment used abroad without prior disinfection and official confirmation of sanitation. This rule applies to the importation of equipment and equipment for riding. It is forbidden to export objects of natural historical value - including untreated lava, stones from protected areas, birds, bird eggs and nests.
Holidays and days off
January 1 - New Year
May 1 - Labor Day
June 17 - Independence Day
The first Monday in August is the Day of Trade
December, 25 - Christmas
Transportation
There are no railways in the country, but there is a network of highways. Between many cities and towns there is a regular bus service. Along the coastline of the island stretches a ring road, 1400 km in length. Bus tours are possible only in summer. Also in Iceland domestic air traffic is developing rapidly.
For travel around central Iceland, it's best to rent a car. In order to rent a car, you must have an international driving license and be over 21 years old (for renting an SUV - over 25 years).
Tipping
Give "tea" in Iceland is not accepted: the cost of maintenance is already included in the bill. However, for especially liked service it is possible and to thank - it does not offend anyone.
The shops
Shops in the Icelandic capital are open from Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 18:00, on Saturdays - from 10:00 to 16:00. Some supermarkets are open until 23:00 every day.
In addition to unreal photos, Iceland can bring a wool sweater with deer, handmade ceramics, art glass or silverware.
National cuisine
Icelandic cuisine is very specific. It is based on dishes from seafood and lamb.
In local restaurants meat dishes such as "blakia" (charred meat), "hanguikot" (smoked lamb), chopped sheep liver "sweets", sausages from blood and liver, as well as original "hrutspungur" (pickled eggs of young lamb) and "Svid" (boiled sheep's head) are offered
During a trip through the countryside, you can purchase dried fish (hardfiskur) at the nearest gas station to have a snack on the road. This will make the trip more enjoyable, and you will feel a real Icelander. Many people like dried fish, but some scare off a specific smell.
The most commonly used milk dish is "skir", reminiscent of both yogurt and cottage cheese. It is highly recommended to try - in combination with forest berries or jam - it is dekicious. Now in the skir are added ice cream, a variety of fruits, whipped cream. Skir, diluted with water with fruit puree or juice, is offered in sports and spa complexes for thirst quenching and toning.
If you would like to experience these culinary things, you do not have to go beyond the nearest supermarket. Try rye pancakes (flatkaka) with smoked lamb meat (hangikjot). To add softness to the taste of the sandwich, add a little oil.
Very popular is smoked salmon (lax) with rye bread (rugbraud). Other popular ingredients for sandwiches are pickled herring, sausage rolls, lamb pâté.
Iceland baked "volcanic" bread. Dough is placed in a metal container and is left in the ground for a day, afterwards you take out a ready-made loaf.
Dessert is usually served with a dairy dish "skir" with berries, jam, ice cream, fruit or whipped cream.
Icelanders mainly drink coffee. National alcoholic beverage is Icelandic vodka "brewery" (a potato drink flavored with cumin).
Restaurants in Iceland offer a wide variety of dishes. Here you will be offered everything, from traditional Icelandic dishes from seafood and lamb, ending with Indian and Japanese cuisine. There are also institutions that serve pizza, hamburgers and other inexpensive food. The average price of lunch in Iceland: breakfast 10-15 euros, lunch 15-20 euros, dinner 30-45 euros.
sights
Modern Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, stretched to the east of the old city. The National Gallery of Iceland, the National Museum of Iceland with a unique historical collection and the City Art Museum of Reykjavik. Immediately behind the National Museum of Iceland is the Arnie Magnusson Institute, which contains unique ancient books with traditional sagas, as well as extensive collections of historical works. The Arber National Museum exhibits a number of old houses in Reykjavik, reconstructed in an original manner - a traditional Icelandic church with a roof covered with turf, and farm houses from all over Iceland in the 19th and early 20th centuries. One of the main attractions of the capital of Iceland is the central church of Reykjavik - Hallgrimskirkya, in which, in addition to its original architectural form, an interesting organ in the Art Nouveau style is of interest. Before the church stands a monument to the Vikings - the discoverers of America. Among other attractions in Reykjavik are attractive small botanical gardens, a recreation park, as well as a number of museums devoted to the activities of leading Icelandic artists.
Near the capital of Iceland there is a huge extinct volcano Esya (906 m.) - a great place for trekking and outdoor activities. Still further to the south of the capital of Iceland is a large lake Blauloun or Glacial Lagoon, connected with the ocean by a strait. Here, among the unique stone-mossy heathland with relic vegetation and giant glacial languages, there are wonderful hiking trails that leave a sense of travel through the deserted rock deserts of the times when the planet was still young. In 100 km. East of Reykjavik, at the foot of the Laungyokull glacier, lies the unique valley of the geysers of Iceland - Haukadalur. It is here in Iceland that the famous Big Geyser (Geisir) is located, whose three-meter crater is filled with overheated highly mineralized water is strikingly turquoise, then it dries up, exposing the bottom of tuff rocks. The main feature of the Big Geyser in Iceland is the built ten-minute eruptions of steam, rising to a height of 40-60 meters, which, unfortunately, recently become more and more rare. Dozens of other geysers are located around. Equally interesting in Iceland is the Hengil district near Reykjavik, whose hot water is currently used to heat the capital of Iceland and numerous outdoor pools. In the valley east of the geyser fields is the place of the formation of the Icelandic statehood - described in the Tingvellir sagas (Tinga fields), at which meetings of the inhabitants of the island of Iceland took place at the dawn of its settlement.
The geyser fields themselves are one of the business cards of Iceland. In total, more than 250 groups have been found in Iceland, including more than 7 thousand individual hot springs - this is the largest number of geysers per unit area in the world. Even the very word "geyser" of Icelandic origin means "hitting the stream." The vast geyser field of Haudakalur lies in the south of Iceland, where the once largest geyser of the country is located - Geyser (Big Geyser), but more or less periodically only the Stekkur geyser erupts here. Around it lies a lot of outcrops of underground hot water in the form of bottomless wells, filled to the brim with surprisingly clear blue water. The areas of the Peat Glacier east of the Hekla volcano, the Kverkfjöll volcano, the Grim lakes area at the glacier Vatna, the regions of Nama, the Kerlingar and Kverk mountains, the Chris gulf, the geothermal fields Kjölür, Landmannaløygar, Nesjavellir, Onavfelsnes, Reikir and others are no less colorful in Iceland. Also hot springs and fields of "colorful earth" near the town of Hveragerdi. Some sources throw water to the surface, overheated in underground boilers to a temperature of about +750 C. For example, the largest hot spring in Iceland - Daydartanthuhver, gives every second more than 150 liters of boiling water. Local residents use underground boiling water to heat houses and evaporate salt from seawater, and also to create numerous pools with hot water, so popular in the local cold climate.
"Blue Lagoon" - a unique geothermal lake in Iceland, saturated with natural salts, where you can swim at any time of the year - the water temperature is always above +16 C. In the vicinity of the lagoon, lava fields, a geothermal power station with a swimming pool, a picturesque rocky coast and a bird market . Having traveled east from the Blue Lagoon over the lava-covered Reykjanes Peninsula and visiting the fishing village of Grindavik, you should head northwest to the Reykholt settlement, where Snorri Sturluson, the famous Icelandic poet, writer and politician, author of the famous history of Norwegian kings, lived for a long time. Circle of the earth "(Heimskringli).
No less interesting are the waterfalls of Iceland. The most beautiful of them are the "waterfall of the gods" Goudafoss, Gullfoss ("golden waterfall") on the river Hvitau, near the Big Geiser, Skougarfoss and the "falling waterfall" Dettifoss in the north of the island of Iceland. The highest in Iceland is Hauifoss, located on the river Fossad (height 130 m.). The most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland - Hrynossfossar ("lava waterfalls") are next to the Reykholt and have their name because they flow from the lava field cascades and rush into the river surprisingly blue (from dissolved in mineral salts water) colors.
The interior of the island of Iceland is a practically lifeless plateau where you can enjoy absolute silence or watch the life of the relic natural world of Iceland. Also these places of Iceland are fanned by the romance of thousands of sagas and legends, in which each site is given some magical property. In East Borgarfjord, in the extreme east of Iceland, is the cliff of Aulvaborg, which according to Icelandic tales is the home of the Icelandic king and queen of elves, and their people. Every year, from here to Norway, the elf ship is reportedly on a visit to the Norwegian king of elves. The Kerlingaskar pass ("witch's gorge"), located at the western foot of the Körlingarfjell mountain in Iceland, is a habitat for evil forces by local beliefs, and in the nearby lake, it is believed that the local analogue of the Loch Ness monster is found.
Resorts
Western Iceland is an amazing and beautiful place where you can see a lot of fjords. It is a pantry of nature, history and culture of Iceland. Here you can see the mysterious glacier Snaefellsjokull on the peninsula and the Langjokull glacier inside the country, mountains and forest-covered valleys, rivers and lakes, bird bazaars, geothermal springs. In Western Iceland, you can make a trip to glaciers, excursions to ancient settlements, you also have a unique meeting with whales. In the waters of this coast, whales appear very often. In summer, there is the greatest chance to see these largest mammals on earth. Akranes deserves special attention - the old port, whose main attraction, especially on a good summer day, is its golden beach Langisandur. Here is the highest waterfall of the island - Glymur (198 m). In the region Borgarfjordur a lot of interesting for nature lovers and history. Reykholt - one of the most famous ancient settlements of Iceland, here in the 13th century, the author of Snorri Sturluson created the ancient Icelandic sagas. Snaefellbaer is a territory located in the south-western part of Snaefellsnes peninsula. Most of it is uninhabited, in the west is the national reserve "under the glacier." This glacier is considered the largest in Iceland, towering above the peninsula, it is called one of the seven energy centers of the Earth.
Northern Iceland abounds with sights, mostly natural: waterfalls, lava fields, volcanoes and even canyons. Most of the pilgrimage places of tourists are located along the circumferential road, so that it is not difficult to reach them. The administrative, transport and trade center of Northern Iceland is the city of Aquirey. The city is hidden behind the mountains, here is the largest in the length of the fjord in Iceland, stretching for 60 km. Akureyri is the center of the country's winter sports. It organizes trips on snowmobiles, scooters, ski walks, ice fishing, ice hockey championship. At 60 km from Akureyri is the city of Olafsfjordur, which hosts the unofficial world championship in snowmobile racing. From the coast you can take a boat to the islands, and when you go out into the sea you can see whales. From Akureyri go ferries to the "island near the Arctic Circle" Grimsay, considered one of the most "extreme" places inhabited by man, also famous for its wild landscapes and seabird colonies. Those who get to the island of Grimsey are waiting for a journey beyond the Arctic Circle. You can stop in this region and in the hotel, and in cottages, and in holiday homes, and on farms, which has recently become very popular. Here - in Northern Iceland is the most powerful waterfall in Europe - Detifoss.
East Iceland is a delightful region that is represented by Egilsstadir, the largest population center of Eastern Iceland, whose population, together with the inhabitants of the nearby village of Fatlabayr, is about 2 thousand people. The main attraction of Eastern Iceland is Lake Logurinn (Logurinn). According to legend, there lives a monster, similar to the famous Scottish Nessie. The name of this monster is the pleasure ship Lagarfljotsormurinn. Against the background of the whole architecture of the largest point in East Iceland - Egilsstadira, the city church stands apart, which can be called one of the most unusual not only in Iceland, but, perhaps, in the whole world.
From the geological point of view, the Western fjords are the oldest Icelandic region left from the volcanic plateau of Thule. Here the river Dinyandi flows with a waterfall, which brings down its waters from a height of 100 m, and below it is divided into five smaller waterfalls, eventually reaching the ocean. Near the coast for 12 km stretches the ridge of the cliffs of Latatbyarg. Their height ranges from 40 to 400 m. Here is the most western point of Iceland and all of Europe - the lighthouse Bjargantar. This place is perfect for bird watching, among which you can see the symbol of the country - a dead end bird. Isafjordur is the capital of the Western Fjord region. The city stands on the shallows and is surrounded by water on three sides. The main attraction of Isafjordur is the Maritime Museum of the Western Fjords. The museum complex consists of several ancient houses in which the sea exhibits and photos of the region are presented. The city park is very interesting. The entrance is decorated with an arch made of whale jaw. Not far from Isafjordur there are two valleys - Tungudalur and Engidalur. This place is known among hikers. Many trails are laid here, especially in the forested valleys of the valleys. Usually tourists come to Isafjordur in order to go on a trip to the Western fjords. These places are considered one of the most beautiful in Iceland. If you look at the map, then in form this region looks like a paw. From the geological point of view, the Western fjords are the oldest Icelandic region left from the volcanic plateau of Thule. Here the river Dinyandi flows with a waterfall, which brings down its waters from a height of 100 m, and below it is divided into five smaller waterfalls, eventually reaching the ocean.
South Iceland is located east of Reykjavik and extends to the sands of Myrdalssandur. The landscape of this region is valleys and rare mountains, on the one hand the sea, mountains and glaciers on the other, valleys cross rivers and lakes, here the longest river in Iceland Pjorsa flows and the largest natural lake Pingvallavatn. Rocks on the coast are found only in two places, most of the coast is covered with sand, here in the sea runs a lot of ice rivers. Contrast this area are fertile valleys and gray sand deserts. Vestmannaeyjar is the fifteen islands on the south coast of Iceland. They were formed as a result of volcanic eruptions in the last 10 thousand years. The only inhabited island is Heimaey, on which the volcano Helgaffell has been sleeping for five thousand years, which unexpectedly woke up in January 1973. Residents of the city were evacuated, the eruption lasted several months, but soon life returned to its mainstream. In this region there is an aquarium, a museum of natural sciences, in which samples of rocks, a museum of folk art are exposed. The national cuisine of South Iceland is simple, tasty and peasant good. This, for example, is the traditional Icelandic soup and roast lamb. But fish restaurants are amazing with the delicacy of dishes: in the menu in a variety of forms and variations there are salmon, halibut, cod, shrimp, scallops and even a shark cooked according to special Icelandic recipes. The fish category of dishes even skeptic and gourmet will call refined and diverse.
Reykjavik is the charming capital of Iceland, a city that is considered the most northern metropolis in the world. Called the first settler of Reykjavik or "Smoky Bay" for the eruption of geothermal vapors from its hot springs, the capital of Iceland now completely got rid of the previous steam smoke. The main attractions of this delightful city are its many natural open spaces, for example, the area along the banks of the Ellidaar river, flowing through the eastern part of the capital and rightly considered one of the richest Icelandic rivers where salmon is found. It is worth noting that in 2000, UNESCO awarded Reykjavik the status of "Capital of Culture of the World", and a year later the city received the official title of "The Hottest Capital of Europe". This honorary title was given to the city not only because of its active night life, but also due to some festivals that attract many world celebrities and foreign tourists. Resting in Reykjavik, be sure to visit restaurants specializing in fish dishes or dishes from Icelandic lamb. Also, do not forget to try traditional Iceland
Also do not forget to try the traditional Icelandic broth (Icelandic broth) and fresh Icelandic seafood.
Highlands of Iceland - between the inhabited north, south, east and west lies the most wild, undeveloped and enchanted land - Central Iceland, the highlands with the most beautiful nature. Endless glaciers, deserted black sands and placer stones, hot springs, formidable volcanoes and rare oases of greenery.
Kjolur (Kjolur) - one of the most popular mountain routes featuring a variety of landscapes and natural attractions. The southern part of the route is considered more complex, but the difficulty of the transition is more than compensated by the amazingly beautiful views. The hottest point on the route is Hveravellir, a valley of pure hot springs and untouched nature between the glaciers of Langjokull and Hofsjukull. You can diversify the route to the southeast of Hveravetlir - to the Kerlingarfjöll area and to the south to the Hvítárvatn lake.
Landmannalaugar is a mountain plateau full of frozen lava flows, lakes and hot springs, which are extremely popular among tourists. A variety of mineral impurities give the local places unusual shades, from yellow, pink and red on the rocks to bright blue in the lakes. The plateau rises above sea level for 600 meters and is a great place for hiking.

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