We've always been a fan of the colour green, but now that Iceland has the green light for travel in 2021, we love it even more! So, let's talk all things Iceland...
- Currency: Icelandic króna (ISK)
- National Language: Icelandic
- Time difference: Iceland is typically 1 hour behind the UK
Iceland doesn't observe BST
- Flight time: The average flight time from London to Iceland is 3h 5mins
It's been a long time coming, but international travel is back!
Following the Government's announcement on Friday 7 May 2021, we were told about the new Traffic Light System - in a nutshell it means that if a country is considered 'green', you can travel there and back freely with no need to quarantine. Before booking or travelling, please make sure you check the Government website for updates on which countries are on the green list.
Before you book a trip, please make sure you check the entry requirements on the FCDO website, including any vaccinations needed for the country you visit - you can do this on the Government website. You won't be covered if you're stopped from entering a country or destination because you don't meet their entry requirements or if the FCDO advise against ‘all travel’ or ‘all but essential travel.
Any trips you now book will be covered if you need to cancel due to you not being fit to travel (including if you have COVID-19) but not if the FCDO (Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office) change their advice about travel to your destination due to COVID-19. So, it's best to look for trips with flexible bookings and ATOL/ABTA protection.
Iceland is currently on the green list, but before you head off, here's what you need to know about the Government's traffic light system...
What does the Government’s traffic light system mean?
It sets out what you’ll need to do when you return to the UK. So, each country is in one of three categories - green, amber or red and these represent the current coronavirus (COVID-19) risk in that country.
Green category countries have the lowest rate of COVID-19 infections, whereas travelling to a country in the amber and red categories will involve tighter restrictions such as Government quarantine hotels and testing. Remember, the category for a country could change before you go or even when you’re on holiday and your travel insurance won’t cover you if this now means you can no longer travel or incur additional cost returning to the UK, e.g. quarantine hotel or testing costs.
For the latest information, it's always best to check the Government website. And there's also a specific page that details the red, amber and green list countries here.
Right, now back to Iceland... You may already be familiar with Iceland as a Nordic island nation, defined by its dramatic landscape and volcanoes, geysers and hot springs - did you know that Iceland was one of the last places on earth to be settled by humans?
Did you know?
Iceland is a mosquito free zone
Ever been bothered by annoying flying insects when on holiday?
Well there's no need to pack mosquito repellent when visiting Iceland as you'll be pleased to learn that mosquitoes don't exist on the island.
In fact it's not just a lack of mosquitoes, there's very few insects of any kind that'll do much to bother you.
It is however home to the Arctic Fox, the only mammal native to Iceland.
Volcanic eruptions every few years
The eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull in April 2010 might be familiar to many UK travellers, as although classed as relatively small for volcanic eruptions, it led to 107,000 flights being cancelled across western and northern Europe.
Even though most eruptions cause very little disruption and are magnificent to look at from afar, check that your travel insurance covers you for delays and cancellations caused by volcanic ash.
All this volcanic activity has created an environmentally friendly way to generate heat and electricity - this mostly comes from hydroelectric power and geothermal water reserves.
Thorsson, son of Thors
There are strict laws on what names are allowed in Iceland, and Icelanders don't have traditional surnames.
First names are almost always used when addressing someone, no matter how formal the meeting. Even the phone book lists subscribers by their first name.
Icelanders - a warm and friendly population
Visitors to Iceland often recall the warm and friendly service received, the magnificent scenery and unpredictable weather (best to pack warm clothes and footwear suitable for different types of terrain).
Some might be surprised at how technologically connected the island is with roughly 97 per cent of the population having internet connection. You're often able to complete a contactless payment not just with shops and restaurants but with many street vendors too.
One word of warning is that Iceland is not known as a budget destination, food and drink can seem expensive relative to UK prices. Traditional Icelandic food consists largely of seafood and lamb (as well as some more unusual local delicacies) but you’ll also find burgers, pizza, pasta and salads on most menus.
Whilst Icelandic is the national language and it’s always a good idea to learn a few words of the native language wherever you travel, most people you encounter will speak excellent English.
Whilst Iceland is widely acclaimed for its low rates of crime and no particular security concerns, as a responsible travel insurer we always recommend you check for the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice before visiting any country. Read the latest FCDO advice for Iceland.
What travel insurance do I need in Iceland?
Standard travel insurance should be enough when visiting Iceland.
Our travel insurance for Iceland offers:
• Up to £10 million of emergency medical cover
• Compensation of up to £10,000 if you have to cancel your trip
• Cover for groups of up to 10 people on one policy
• Cover for travellers over the age of 65.
If you’re a frequent traveller, you may want to think about multi-trip cover.
Optional extras can be added to protect you against theft of bags and their contents, valuables and money. If you’ve got an action-packed trip planned, check the activities covered in our policies to make sure yours are included.
Just be mindful if you’re looking to get a job during your trip to Iceland that work-related incidents are not covered.
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