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stc 2010 About Iceland

About Iceland

Link to Icelandic Government's Information & Services --> here

Link to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs --> here

Iceland is an island located in the North Atlantic Ocean between mainland Europe and Greenland with a total area of 103,000 km² (39,756 sq.miles). Iceland's population is around 313.000 of which the vast majority or around 2/3 lives in the capital, Reykjavik, and surrounding areas.

Situated on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Iceland is volcanically and geologically active on a large scale. 30 post-glacial volcanoes have erupted in the past two centuries, and natural hot water supplies much of the population with cheap, pollution-free heating. The interior of the country contains stunning contrasts. The country is largely an arctic desert, punctuated with mountains, glaciers, volcanoes and waterfalls.

Iceland has a pure, pollution-free environment. It is a modern European economy with strong economic foundations in fisheries, natural renewable energy sources and human capital. Industry is operated almost exclusively with clean hydroelectric and geothermal power.

The weather in Iceland is very mild. The average summer temperature in Reykjavik is 11.8°C/ 53°F in July, with average highs of 24.3°C/76°F.

Icelandic is the national language and is believed to have changed very little from the original tongue spoken by the Norse settlers. It is one of the Nordic languages, which are a sub-group of the Germanic languages. Iceland is alone in upholding a Norse tradition, i.e. the custom of using patronymics rather than surnames; and Icelander´s Christian name is followed by his or her father´s name and the suffix -son or -dóttir, e.g. Guðrún Pétursdóttir (Guðrún, daughter of Pétur). Members of a family can therefore have many different "surnames", which sometimes causes confusion to foreigners.


Thanks to the Gulf Stream, Iceland has a mild temperate ocean climate, cool in the summer and surprisingly mild in the winter. During the mid-summer, temperatures generally average between 12° and 15° C (50°-54° F) The average temperature in January, the coldest month, is warmer than in New York or Vienna. Iceland is among the most pollution free countries. During the summer months June and July Icelanders do enjoy almost 24- hour daylight.

Opening 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.


Iceland is on Greenwich Mean Time [GMT]

City sightseeing and daytours
The conference main travel agency

Other travel agencies in Iceland:

The following tours are availible in connection with the conference

Registration is via Icelandic Travel --> click here


Currency exchange

The Icelandic monetary unitis the "króna." Cash can be obtained against most common cards in all ATM banks, which are to be found in most of the bigger hotels in Reykjavík

Tax and Tipping

Taxes and services are always included in all prices for restaurants, hotels, taxis etc. Tipping is not customary in Iceland

Duty free shopping / Tax Free shopping 

Duty-free goods may be purchased both upon arrival and departure at Keflavík International Airport. 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 main voltage is 220volts, 50Hz. Appliance sockets are usually plugs with round pins.


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.