My friend from the USA wants to know if her Samsung Android something phone will work in Iceland. I think making and receiving calls will probably not work but do you know if Wifi and 3G will work? I'm not very knowledgeable about these fancy smartphones, haha, any tips would be appreciated!
Most cellphones should work in Iceland without any problems. Iceland uses the 900 and 1800 MHz bands for 2G traffic like most of the world. US phones generally use the 850 or 1900 Mhz bands and might therefor not work in Europe. However lots of phones can handle all of the bands.
3G is I believe more universal, so there should be no problem there. Iceland is pretty well covered with 3G reception. I guess the thing most likely to stop your friends’ phone from working is if her carrier does not have an agreement with an Icelandic carrier. Then you could of course get an Icelandic sim card and number. Unless the phone is locked. The two largest Icelandic phone companies have information in English: Síminn and Vodafone.
When it start snowing in Reykjavik? I love your blog :)
The weather in Iceland is extremely hard to predict and you can get all the year’s seasons in a single day anytime of year. There are winters during which almost no snow falls in Reykjavík and there are winters when we get a lot. Typically we’ll get the first “hausthret” or fall snow/sleet sometime in October. However it is unlikely that snow will cover the ground for more than a day or so at a time until late December. But even in the coldest month, January, the average temperature is just below freezing. This means that it can rain any day. In my experience Reykjavík rarely stays snow covered for much more than a week or so at a time.
Last year we had a couple of odd days of snow in mid June. This is very unusual, but as I said, weather in Iceland is unpredictable.
Iceland has received a lot of attention from the world’s gay and lesbian community for several reasons. In 2010, with a unanimous parliament vote, Iceland was one of the first countries to fully legalize same-sex marriage. Registered partnerships had been allowed for some time before that. Iceland’s prime minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, the world’s first openly lesbian head of government, was one of the first to marry under the new law.
However, Reykjavík’s mayor has received a lot of attention from the gay community despite not being gay. Jón Gnarr opened the Reykjavík gay pride festival last year in drag.
Following this stunt, Jón has repeatedly received requests from gay men asking him to wed them. Unfortunately he has had to deny them all, since mayors in Iceland have no such right. Currently it is only religious leaders, heads of police and captains at sea which have the right to wed couples.
He is now advocating for the law to be changed so that mayors and perhaps others can also do the service. He would then be happy to fulfill these wishes.
Iceland’s new budget airline, WOW air opened its website today for sales. My post from about a month ago about WOW air received a lot of attention. Their new website, wowair.com, offers twelve destinations outside Iceland. They are Alicante, Basel, Berlin Brandenburg, Cologne, Copenhagen, Krakow, London Stansted, Lyon, Paris, Stuttgart, Warzaw and Zurich. All of these flights are already bookable for dates starting at the first of June 2012.
Hi! My uncle is from Iceland, where his family owns a riding tour business, and for Christmas I want to surprise him by making an Icelandic horse for him (I make art out of paper collages). I was wondering whether you could post some pictures of Icelandic horses, especially pictures that show details of the face. I already saved most of your pictures from this tumblog to use as models. Thank you so much!
That’s interesting. You should be able to find all the pictures I’ve posted of horses under the tag “Icelandic horse”. Perhaps to make it clear that it is an Icelandic horse, you could make it wear a lopapeysa.
Hi! I'm a photographer planning a trip around your beautiful country for fun and not so much profit, probably in late March or April of 2012. However, I am not really a fan of freezing to death or anything like that. Do you have any advice for the completely unprepared and foreign novice hiker as far as necessary equipment for the weather or general physical preparations, if I was actually intending to hike? (in case you can't tell, this plan is in the very basic stages.)
There is no such thing as bad weather in Iceland, only improper clothing. That said, things can get a bit extreme and it is possible to literally freeze to death.
Iceland is not as cold as many might think. However, we have strong winds and plenty of rain. You should therefore get yourself familiar with layered clothing. You’ll want a good waterproof outer jacket and pants, goretex or similar. As inner layers you might choose a wool or synthetic base layer and a midweight fleece sweater in the middle. March and April can be quite cold, so a permaloft or similar jacket is very useful. Don’t skimp on the shoes. Proper hiking boots are very useful as soon as you leave Reykjavík.
There are several “foreign novice hikers” which have made not so positive headlines in recent years and I’ve spent many hours searching for them, not always with success. So be careful. Plan your trip thoroughly, get local info and always leave a detailed travel plan with a trusted contact when you leave civilization. The Icelandic Search and Rescue has created a great site about planning safe trips in Iceland.
A while ago I posted that the President of Iceland was inviting you for pancakes at the Presidential farm. Today he and his wife Dorrit will be serving the pancakes to a group of travelers who have accepted the invitation. Listen to the President’s interview on the BBC today.
By the way Icelandic pancakes are wonderful. Be sure to try some when in Iceland, even if they’re not presidential.
Hey IcelandInPictures! I really want to move to Iceland but I don't have a clue how to start...I was in Reykjavík for 3 weeks in 2007 July and I LOVED IT!
I’ve lived in a few different countries and can tell you that moving between countries is both challenging and fun. For Iceland, I’d start with something short term and accessible. If you are studying, then why not try an exchange year at the University of Iceland. If you are not already studying, you could enroll for full time studies.
If studying is not your thing, you could also try a summer job. Iceland’s economy is quite seasonal and relies on lots of extra hands in the summer. You could quite likely find a job of some sort in tourism.
Then if you still find Iceland attractive, you can try settling in a little more. For people from the Nordic countries, the European Economic Area or Schengen, staying permanently is easy. For others you first need to find an employer and then I believe it’s quite possible. If you’ve first tried a summer job or studying, finding an employer and contacts should be easier.
Góðan dag! My dream is to get to Iceland one day. I thought about getting Icelandic pen-pals, I registered on a site, but I haven't got any replies. Do you know how to make connections from this way? Or is there a site where you can get to know Icelandic people, talk to them, making friends?
When I was a kid you’d put an ad in the kids’ section of the newspaper. Unless you are looking for 9 year old pen-pals that might not be appropriate.
I see a lot of people telling you they are planning on moving to Iceland, but none say how they are planning to get Visa's, which is extremely difficult. Do you think they even know it's nearly impossible to gain residency in EU countries?
I’ve been surprised at how many people here want to move to Iceland. It would definitely surprise most Icelanders. There is a way for nearly anybody to move to Iceland, but how difficult it is in practice I’m not sure. Iceland is actually not part of the EU. But we are part of the European Economic Area and the Schengen zone, which makes moving here somewhat similar to an EU country. At least it is a lot easier if you come from the EU. It is easiest for people coming from any of the other Nordic countries. The Nordic countries allow their citizens to share nearly all rights.
Coming here for studies is pretty easy for everybody and I think if you find an employer, getting a work permit is easy. But don’t take my word for anything. You can read all about it at the Immigration Directorate.
I really want to move to Iceland after I graduate but I was researching a bit and saw that you are right on top of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and it freaked me out a little. Is it dangerous? Will I die if I move to Iceland?
Will you die? Well it mainly depends on how long you live there. Personally I plan to die there one day in the far future. As long as you remember the basic eating, breathing and drinking. You will live a long life in Iceland. Might even be a really long life. Iceland has the highest life expectancy in the world for men at 80.2 and second highest in the world for women at 85.3.
True, Iceland is the child left behind by the breakup of the North Atlantic and Eurasian continental plates. The plates are drifting apart leaving a void that needs to be filled. That void is filled up by lava and that’s how Iceland has formed. It’s just a bunch of lava that has flowed to the surface. The lava still flows to the surface and Iceland is growing (1 cm each direction per year). If you look back the past few million years you’d see that there have been eruptions on average every five years. Most however come in cycles.
I’m not gonna lie to you, we have a wide variety of natural disasters in Iceland. Earthquakes, eruptions, glacier flash floods, avalanches and some pretty damn gnarly weather.
However, we’re pretty used to this stuff. We have a few dozen earthquakes around the country every day. Every few years we get big ones, but since our plates are drifting apart, not crashing together, we don’t get anything like in Japan. Our houses easily withstand these things. Eruptions are mostly predictable. That is almost all eruptions come from volcanoes that we know and don’t live to close to. We just get bothered by the ash a couple of times per century. Ash is almost never dangerous, just annoying. We did however have an eruption in downtown Vestmannaeyjar in 1973. It destroyed many homes, but nobody died. The glacier floods always go down the same paths, so nobody lives there. Avalanches are as dangerous as everywhere else. In 1995, Iceland’s worst natural disaster for centuries, occurred when two villages in the Westfjords were hit by avalanches. Several people died. The result however is that avalanches are now well researched and possible avalanche paths mapped out. Barriers have been built to protect these villages today.
All in all you’ll probably live a long calm life in Iceland, cause it’s a niceland. I wouldn’t want to be without our nature that keeps throwing surprises at us.