ICELAND

ICELAND

ICELAND

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Name: Blue Lagoon
Location: Grindavík, Iceland
The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa in southwestern Iceland. The spa is located in a lava field near Grindavík on the Reykjanes Peninsula, in a location favourable for geothermal power. It is one of the most visited attractions in Iceland.

The water's milky blue shade is due to its high silica content. The silica forms soft white mud on the bottom of the lake which bathers rub on themselves. The water is also rich in salts and algae.

The water temperature in the bathing and swimming area of the lagoon averages 37–39°C. The lagoon is man-made. The water is a byproduct from the nearby geothermal power plant Svartsengi where superheated water is vented from the ground near a lava flow and used to run turbines that generate electricity. After going through the turbines, the steam and hot water passes through a heat exchanger to provide heat for a municipal water heating system. Then the water is fed into the lagoon.

The rich mineral content is provided by the underground geological layers and pushed up to the surface by the hot water used by the plant.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Lagoon_(geothermal_spa)
Name: Golden Circle
Location: Reykjavík, Iceland
The Golden Circle is a tourist route in southern Iceland, covering about 300 kilometres (190 mi) looping from Reykjavík into the southern uplands of Iceland and back. It is the area that contains most tours and travel-related activities in Iceland.

The three primary stops on the route are the Þingvellir National Park, the Gullfoss waterfall, and the geothermal area in Haukadalur, which contains the geysers Geysir and Strokkur. Though Geysir has been mostly dormant for many years, Strokkur continues to erupt every 5–10 minutes. Other stops include the Kerið volcanic crater, the town of Hveragerði, Skálholt cathedral, and the Nesjavellir and Hellisheiðarvirkjun geothermal power plants.

The name Golden Circle is a marketing term for the route, derived from the name of Gullfoss, which means "golden waterfall" in Icelandic.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Circle_(Iceland)
Name: Aurora
Location: Kirkjufell, Iceland
An aurora sometimes referred to as polar lights, northern lights (aurora borealis), southern lights (aurora australis), is a natural light display in the Earth's sky, predominantly seen in the high-latitude regions (around the Arctic and Antarctic).

Auroras are produced when the magnetosphere is sufficiently disturbed by the solar wind that the trajectories of charged particles in both solar wind and magnetospheric plasma, mainly in the form of electrons and protons, precipitate them into the upper atmosphere (thermosphere/exosphere) due to Earth's magnetic field, where their energy is lost.

The resulting ionization and excitation of atmospheric constituents emits light of varying color and complexity. The form of the aurora, occurring within bands around both polar regions, is also dependent on the amount of acceleration imparted to the precipitating particles. Precipitating protons generally produce optical emissions as incident hydrogen atoms after gaining electrons from the atmosphere. Proton auroras are usually observed at lower latitudes.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurora
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COUNTRY INFORMATION GUIDE
PLEASE SEE BELOW FACTS, USEFUL US GOVERNMENT TRAVEL LINKS AND BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES, FOR TRAVEL TO ICELAND.
FACTS:
Official Languages: Icelandic
Currency: Iceland Króna (ISK)
Time zone: GMT (UTC)
Drives on the right
Calling code: +354
Local / up-to-date weather in Reykjavík (and other regions): BBC global weather – click here
US GOVT TRAVEL LINKS:

For more useful information on safety & security, local laws / customs, health and more, please see the below official US travel.state.gov web link for Iceland travel advice. NB: Entry requirements herein listed are for US nationals only, unless stated otherwise.

You can also find recommended information on vaccinations, malaria and other more detailed health considerations for travel to Iceland, at the below official US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) weblink.

BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES*:
Activities you may undertake on a business visa / as a business visitor:
PERMISSIBLE
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*This information does not constitute legal advice and is not an exhaustive list. For a full legal assessment on business visitor activities, please revert to your internal company legal team / counsel.
TRAVEL INFORMATION**
It is highly recommenced that you access the above official US travel.state.gov web link and read all safety & security information prior to making your travel arrangements / planning your trip.
PLEASE CLICK / TOGGLE BELOW FOR USEFUL TRAVEL INFORMATION TO ICELAND.

The local currency is the Icelandic króna, denoted by the abbreviation “kr” (ISO code: ISK). Although its value plummeted during the 2008 economic crisis, it has since recovered against the major world currencies.

You will get a better rate of exchange if you buy and sell your króna in Iceland itself. Just about every establishment in Iceland will accept a credit card, including taxis, gas stations, souvenir stands, and even the most remote guest house, so it is not necessary to carry large amounts of Icelandic currency.

BY PLANE:

Aircraft in Iceland are like buses or trains elsewhere – they’re the main form of internal travel other than the roads. Be warned though, that the ride can be a bit bumpy if you’re entering one of the fjords like Akureyri.

Domestic flights from Reykjavik operate from Reykjavik Airport, a different airport located closer to the namesake town. Scheduled service to nearby destinations, including Greenland and Faroe Islands, is provided by Air Iceland, Atlantic Airways and Eagle Air.

BY CAR:

A car offers the most flexibility for travel around Iceland. Numerous agencies rent vehicles, and ferries allow individuals to bring their own car with them. Rental prices are high – expect to pay at least kr 4000 per day for a two wheel drive vehicle, and upwards of kr 12,000 per day for a four-wheel-drive vehicle; these prices include basic car insurance, but additional insurance may be purchased to protect against damage from gravel or other common mishaps.

A four-wheel-drive car is needed only in the interior, which is open only in the summer. Renting cars in advance is often cheaper than doing so on-location. Off-road driving is strictly forbidden in Iceland and punishable with fines in the range of kr 300,000 to 500,000. Icelandic nature is sensitive and does not recover easily from tire tracks.

Driving in Iceland is on the right side of the road. Headlights and seat belts for all passengers must be on at all times. There is a single main highway, Route 1-Ring Road, which encircles the country. Because of Iceland’s ever-changing weather, one should keep extra food and know where guesthouses/hotels are located in case of a road closure.

Most mountain roads are closed until the end of June, or even longer because of wet and muddy conditions which make them totally impassable. When these roads are opened for traffic, many of them can be passed only by four-wheel-drive vehicles. The roads requiring four-wheel-drive (and possibly snow tires) are route numbers with an “F” prefix, e.g. F128. Some roads that were previously signed with an F have since been upgraded and assigned a number without an F. In general you can trust those designations in both cases.

The general speed limit on Icelandic rural roads is 90 km/h (56 mph) on paved surface and 70 km/h (43 mph) on gravel, in urban areas the general speed limit is 50 km/h (31 mph). Driving on gravel can be a challenge, and loss of control on cliff-side roads can easily be fatal. Speed cameras are posted around the country, and fines are kr 5,000-70,000. The blood alcohol limit is 0.05%, with a minimum fine of kr 100,000 – don’t drink and drive.

Drivers in Iceland should familiarize themselves with road signs and be prepared for Iceland’s unique driving conditions. The roads in Iceland are of a medium to low quality, typically made from slightly rough black basalt. There are two signs in particular that foreigners should pay attention to. First, “malbik endar” means that the road changes from a paved road to a gravel road. Slow down before these changes, for one can lose control easily. Also “einbreið brú” means that a one-lane bridge is approaching. Arrive at the bridge slowly and assess the situation. If another car has arrived at the bridge first allow them the right of way.

If you are traveling by road a great site to check is the Iceland Meteorological Office who have an excellent set of pages including the Icelandic Road Administration on all of the main roads.

The Route 1 road that encircles the island nation is a staple for tourists who wishes to see the diverse geological features of Iceland, from waterfalls, icebergs, fjords, to volcanoes.

BY BUS:

Scheduled trips between Icelandic towns are operated by Strætó bs. Tours to attractions are provided by scheduled buses from various companies, including Reykjavík Excursions (who also operate the FlyBus), Trex, Sterna, NetBus and SBA-NORÐURLEIÐ. Long distance bus travel can cost several thousand kronur and is sometimes more expensive than flying. For example, a one way trip from Reykjavík to Akureyri costs kr 10,340, while flying costs kr 8,925 ISK (as of May 2019). It is possible to go from the eastern part of the country to the western one via bus in one day, but only a few trips are served every day. All public transport services are listed on PublicTransport.is.

Some tours to the interior, in special 4×4 buses, can be a cheaper and more relaxing alternative to driving and serve most major locations (e.g. Landmannalaugar, Thorsmork, Aksja). Tours to the interior are scheduled only for the summer months.

Golden Circle day tours are available from Reykjavík from many tour operators which will take you round the Gulfoss waterfall, geysers, the crater and the Mid-Atlantic rift/place of Iceland’s first Parliament. Although you don’t get much time at each stop, the guide will tell you about Iceland’s history and some general information. Cheaper tours (~€55) will be a full-coach whereas more expensive tours (~€80) will be small minibuses or vans. The currency for booking tours can vary from euros, to dollar to krona, so make sure to double-check before booking if you need to.

The capital area bus system, run by Strætó bs., is an inefficient and expensive mess that can not be relied on. A single fare costs kr 470 (as of May 2019). Bus drivers do not give back change, so if all you have on you is a kr 500 bill, do not expect to get the difference back. You can also buy a set of twenty tickets for kr 9,100 from major bus stops, also from the driver (as of September 2016). Once you have paid to the driver, you will not get a ticket, unless you ask for one. If you get a ticket, it is valid for any other buses you take within 75 minutes.

All buses stop running at midnight, with some stopping earlier, some as early as 18:00. Buses start running at 09:30 to 10:00 on Sundays. Fares to zones 2 and upwards (extending all the way to Höfn and Egilsstaðir) are higher, although all of Reykjavík, Garðabær, Hafnarfjörður, Mosfellsbær, Álftanes and Seltjarnarnes fall within zone one, where the regular fare of kr 420 is valid.

BY BICYCLE:

Cycling is a good way to experience Iceland, and provides a very different experience to other means of transport. You should bring your own touring bike, as buying a bike locally can be expensive. Traffic in and out of Reykjavík is heavy, otherwise, it’s OK. You can cycle safely on the Ring Road, or take the bike on the buses (which are equipped with bicycle racks) serving the Ring Road and do side trips. However, if going self-supported, considering the weather and conditions, it is strongly advisable to have a previous touring experience.

When cycling in the winter use studded tyres and dress yourself up in lightweight but warm layers. Bicycle maintenance is typically not a concern, brake pads for example tend to last for 12 months or more, depending on the quality of the brakes.

For trips outside of a town or a city, bring food with you. Icelandic towns can be 100-200 km apart. Food that cooks within 10-15 minutes is preferred. Foraging blueberries and herbs is possible, but do not rely solely on that as a food source.

More information and routes can be found on Cycling Iceland.

CARPOOLING:

Check Samferda.is for carpooling options.

ATVs:

In the past few years, ATV travel has become popular among adventure travel enthusiasts. Several companies offer ATV tours of various parts of Iceland, check

EAT:

Icelandic cuisine has changed a lot in the last few decades from involving mainly lamb or fish in some form or other, as the popularity of other types of food has increased. A vegetarian diet is more tricky to maintain but there are several vegetarian restaurants in Reykjavík and vegetarian dishes are widely available at other restaurants.

Distinctively Icelandic foods include:

  • harðfiskur, dried fish pieces eaten as a snack with butter (also good with coleslaw)
  • skyr, a yoghurt-like cheese available in flavoured and unflavoured varieties all over the country. Low in fat and high in protein.
  • hangikjöt, smoked lamb
  • smoked lamb sausage
  • svið, singed sheep’s head
  • Slátur, consists of lifrarpylsa, a sausage made from the offal of sheep, and blóðmör which is similar to lifrapylsa only with the sheep’s blood mixed into it.

Iceland is famous for its whale meat, and is one of the few places in the world where it is possible to eat Minke whale. Whaling has long been a tradition in Iceland, albeit it has become a controversial issue in recent times. However, most restaurants that cater to tourists will sell whale meat, and if you are feeling a little more adventurous some places will serve grated puffin with it if you ask.

During the Þorri season (late January-Early February) many Icelanders enjoy Þorramatur, a selection of traditional Icelandic cuisine which usually contain the following: hákarl (putrefied shark cubes), Sviðasulta (brawn [head cheese] made from svið), Lundabaggi (Sheep’s fat) and hrútspungar (pickled ram’s testicles). Þorramatur is usually served at gatherings known as Þorrablót. If you find yourself invited to a Þorrablót do not be afraid to (politely) refuse some of the more unpalatable delicacies, as many Icelanders choose to do so as well. Don’t worry about going hungry, though, as many of the more “normal” foods mentioned above are almost always available too. If uncertain which is which, do not be afraid to ask the caterers for assistance.

A similar event to Þorrablót is Þorláksmessa, celebrated on 23 December each year. During this day you might find yourself invited to skötuveislur where cured skate is served. As with Þorrablót, you can politely refuse to partake in the skate (other type of fish is usually served alongside it for the less adventurous). A word of warning though, the pungent smell that accompanies the cooking of cured skate is very strong and sticks to hair and clothing very easily. Do not wear formal (expensive) clothing at these gatherings, especially not clothing you intend to wear during Christmas.

Any Icelanders’ first choice of fast food is usually the pylsa or hot dog. It is usually served with a choice of fried onions, fresh onions, ketchup, mustard and remoulade. It is cheap compared with other fast food staples at around kr 350, and is sold in every one of the small convenience stores/eateries/video rentals/sweet shops that litter Icelandic towns. At least in Reykjavik you can also encounter food trucks and carts selling piping hot lamb meat soup (kjötsúpa). They also have a vegetarian alternative – the same soup minus the meat.

Food prices are particularly high in Iceland – the following sample prices were accurate as of summer 2016:

  • kr 1000 – 2000 for a hamburger.
  • kr 350 – 500 for a hotdog
  • kr 3000 – 6000 for a three-course meal in a restaurant.

DRINK:

Tap water is safe to drink in Iceland and it is one of the countries with the cleanest water in the world. Coffee is easy to find and is comparable to what is found throughout Europe. Juices are generally imported and made from concentrate.

Alcoholic drinks are very expensive compared to the UK and US – as an example, half a litre of Viking beer in a bar will cost approximately kr 900. Liquor can be purchased at licensed bars, restaurants, or Vínbúðin, the state monopoly (locally known as Ríkið: “the state”) liquor bought there is much cheaper than at bars, there you pay kr 350 for the same beer you paid kr 900 for at the bar. The local Icelandic drinks such as Brennivín (“burning wine”) contain a fairly high alcohol content, so pace yourself while at the bars.

The local beer brands are:

  • Egils: Lite, Gull, Pilsner, Premium, El Grillo
  • Vífillfell: Thule, Gull, Lite, Víking
  • Bruggsmiðjan: Kaldi
  • Ölvisholt Brewery: Skjálfti
  • Ölgerð Reykjavíkur: Gullfoss

For visitors arriving by air, there is a duty free store for arriving passengers where they can buy cheap alcohol (at least cheap compared to Iceland). To find the duty free store just follow the Icelanders. No Icelander in their right mind will pass the duty free store upon arrival!

Be sure to not exceed the allowance which is 1L strong alcohol and 1L light wine (less than 22%) or 1L strong and 6L of beer. The strong alcohol can be exchanged for either 1L light wine or 6L beer.

The drinking age in Iceland is 18 for all alcoholic beverages, but the buying age is 20.

If you’re visiting in summertime you won’t regret bringing an eye mask with you. During the height of summer there is no actual darkness and in the north, the sun might just dip for a few minutes below the horizon.

For travel during the high season (July and August), and even in September, reserving a month or more in advance can help ensure that you find suitable and affordable accommodation. Reserving later can put you at risk of having to take more costly accommodation.

The hotels are usually fairly basic around the island but you can usually get a room even in August just by phoning them up and reserving it before you get there. They are clean and well maintained, light and airy with nothing at all that could even remotely be considered ‘dingy’. They are expensive though. Fosshotels is a chain of 12 hotels located throughout Iceland, close to the island’s most treasured nature spots and major cities of Iceland. The most popular hotel is Fosshotel Nupar, located in by the National Park Skaftafell. The accommodation in Fosshotel hotels is diverse and Scandinavian breakfast buffet is always included. Fosshotels are part of Hotels of Iceland. Icelandair Hotels include the Edda summer hotels and the Icelandair hotels. Icelandair Hotels are upscale, Scandinavian-style hotels located in most major cities of Iceland. Most notable is the Nordica on the outskirts of downtown Reykjavík.

Guesthouses are between hotels and hostels in prices and services. At some times if travelling in groups the guesthouses can be cheaper than the hostels. Guesthouses will usually have more space than a hostel with a shared bathroom that is cleaner and less crowded. Icelandic Farm Holidays: the members are farmers who offer accommodation to travelers in their homes, guesthouses, country-hotels and cottages. The association was founded in 1980 and from 1990 Icelandic Farm Holidays has been a fully licensed tour operator and a travel agent. The accommodation is diverse; made up beds in four different categories, with or without private bathroom, sleeping bag accommodation, cottages and camping. Some of the farms offer also various recreation; horse riding, fishing, hunting, sailing, swimming, glacier tours, golf, etc. You can grab their brochure from tourist information centers or find it on their website. It is very informative and lists all farms, the services they provide, at what time of the year and contact information. It is best to call in advance to book, especially in the summer.

Iceland has many hostels throughout the entire country. Thirty-seven of them belong to Hostelling International Iceland and it is best it to buy the international membership card (if you do not have it already), if you are staying for four or more nights at HI hostels in Iceland or abroad within the next 12 months. Bring your bedlinen or sleeping bag to avoid extra costs.

If you’re travelling on a budget, camping is your best bet. There are sites located throughout the country, especially at places you’d want to visit. They range from fully-equipped (hot showers, washing machines, cooking facilities) to farmers’ fields with a cold-water tap. Expect to pay kr 500-1000 per person per night. If you intend to camp in Iceland you must be prepared for the cold, 3-season sleeping bags are essential and an inner. Thick pajamas and a warm hat are also recommended! A bedding roll is also useful as you may end up sleeping on very rough ground. Don’t wait until last minute to find a place to camp. Campers and mobile homes have become immensely popular among Icelanders and they take up a lot of space. You could arrive at a large camping ground that’s so filled up with campers and mobile homes that you’ll have no place to pitch your tent. It is however, not allowed to camp or park a mobile home anywhere other than these campgrounds!

Trekkers will need to use some of the mountain huts, either government or privately-run. These range from dormitory accommodation to fully-staffed facilities. Booking ahead is likely to be necessary at popular times of year (and they may be accessible only in summertime).

Don’t bother attempting to sleep in the Keflavík Airport overnight. It’s far better to find a hotel in Keflavík or Reykjavík before arrival. If there are no flights to be serviced in the middle of the night (which is most often the case) the airport is closed for a few hours at night and you might have to stand outside in the rain and wind.

Typical Icelandic products that make good souvenirs include:

  • Icelandic wool products. Icelandic sheep are a unique breed that produce a soft and durable wool, and Icelandic woolen goods (hats, gloves, etc.) are soft and warm; don’t just buy them for other people if you plan to visit the interior.
  • Arts and crafts. Iceland has a huge number of great little craft shops that sell everything from musical baskets and wonderful weird porcelain sculptures to paintings, glasswork, and jewelery. The National Galleries tend to carry the same artist’s work in the gift shops rather than the usual mass-marketed products found in so many other museums.
  • Local music. There is a plethora of interesting local music CDs (beyond just Björk and Sigur Rós) worth hunting for. Obscurities worth picking up include Eberg, Hera, Retro Stefson, FM Belfast, Worm is Green, Múm, Singapore Sling, and Bellatrix. Be warned that many of these CDs are often available back home as imports for much lower prices. CDs tend to cost kr 1500-2000.

With the exception of alcohol, accommodations and consumables, you can claim your tax refund after passing through the security at Keflavik Airport. Be sure to have your original receipts with you.

**All travel information has been sourced from wikivoyage. However like wikipedia, wikivoyage is an open platform editable by any member of the public. Therefore, although very useful, all above information IS INDICATIVE ONLY and must be verified prior to personal use. Moreover, if you wish to see more information please visit: https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Iceland
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Name: Blue Lagoon
Location: Grindavík, Iceland
The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa in southwestern Iceland. The spa is located in a lava field near Grindavík on the Reykjanes Peninsula, in a location favourable for geothermal power. It is one of the most visited attractions in Iceland.

The water's milky blue shade is due to its high silica content. The silica forms soft white mud on the bottom of the lake which bathers rub on themselves. The water is also rich in salts and algae.

The water temperature in the bathing and swimming area of the lagoon averages 37–39°C. The lagoon is man-made. The water is a byproduct from the nearby geothermal power plant Svartsengi where superheated water is vented from the ground near a lava flow and used to run turbines that generate electricity. After going through the turbines, the steam and hot water passes through a heat exchanger to provide heat for a municipal water heating system. Then the water is fed into the lagoon.

The rich mineral content is provided by the underground geological layers and pushed up to the surface by the hot water used by the plant.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Lagoon_(geothermal_spa)
Name: Golden Circle
Location: Reykjavík, Iceland
The Golden Circle is a tourist route in southern Iceland, covering about 300 kilometres (190 mi) looping from Reykjavík into the southern uplands of Iceland and back. It is the area that contains most tours and travel-related activities in Iceland.

The three primary stops on the route are the Þingvellir National Park, the Gullfoss waterfall, and the geothermal area in Haukadalur, which contains the geysers Geysir and Strokkur. Though Geysir has been mostly dormant for many years, Strokkur continues to erupt every 5–10 minutes. Other stops include the Kerið volcanic crater, the town of Hveragerði, Skálholt cathedral, and the Nesjavellir and Hellisheiðarvirkjun geothermal power plants.

The name Golden Circle is a marketing term for the route, derived from the name of Gullfoss, which means "golden waterfall" in Icelandic.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Circle_(Iceland)
Name: Aurora
Location: Kirkjufell, Iceland
An aurora sometimes referred to as polar lights, northern lights (aurora borealis), southern lights (aurora australis), is a natural light display in the Earth's sky, predominantly seen in the high-latitude regions (around the Arctic and Antarctic).

Auroras are produced when the magnetosphere is sufficiently disturbed by the solar wind that the trajectories of charged particles in both solar wind and magnetospheric plasma, mainly in the form of electrons and protons, precipitate them into the upper atmosphere (thermosphere/exosphere) due to Earth's magnetic field, where their energy is lost.

The resulting ionization and excitation of atmospheric constituents emits light of varying color and complexity. The form of the aurora, occurring within bands around both polar regions, is also dependent on the amount of acceleration imparted to the precipitating particles. Precipitating protons generally produce optical emissions as incident hydrogen atoms after gaining electrons from the atmosphere. Proton auroras are usually observed at lower latitudes.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurora
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...WHO ARE WE?

...WHO ARE WE?

…WHO ARE WE?
…WHO ARE WE?

My name is Manny and I would like to personally welcome you to Global Visas.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluable.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluableI have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects...

I have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects.

Please do also view our introductory video at the following web link:

https://usglobalvisas.com/personal/more/about-us

We look forward to working with you and meeting all your expectations.

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