What travel insurance do I need when visiting Iceland?
Travel insurance: the trouble-free way to prepare for your journey to Iceland
Iceland is a wonderful and unique country that you can even discover in the course of a road trip. From the capital, Reykjavik, to the numerous waterfalls and volcanic lunar landscapes, your stay on this North Atlantic island will undoubtedly be devoted to nature. If you are lucky and travel at the right time of year, you may even be able to see the spectacular Northern Lights in the sky too. People visiting from countries outside of the Schengen Area will require a visa and travel insurance to enter Iceland.
Your Schengen Visa will allow you to begin your exploration of Iceland
Iceland is one of the 26 countries located within the Schengen Area. In order to enter this zone and move around it in complete freedom, you will need a visa. This will allow you to visit not only Iceland, but countries including Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, and Estonia, among others.
To find out which documents are required to obtain your Schengen Visa, you can follow the link here.
Travel insurance for Iceland: additional options to leave you fully protected
While travel insurance for Iceland is required to obtain your Schengen Visa, it will also allow you to travel in the knowledge that you are fully protected. For the purposes of your visa, the compulsory guarantees are repatriation in the event of serious accident or death and coverage of medical costs, up to a maximum of €30,000.
You can choose to add assistance for solo travelers in the event of hospitalization, as well as daily compensation. Other options will allow you to be covered in the event that your identity or travel documents are stolen, among other eventualities.
How do I get to Iceland?
By plane: Numerous flights provide access to Iceland - you should allow around six hours to fly from North America. Most flights arrive at Keflavík International Airport, located around 50km from the capital. KLM and Icelandair offer regular flights.
By boat: Depending on the time of year, you may be able to reach Iceland by ferry. To do so, you will need to leave Denmark, more specifically, the port of Hirtshals. This will allow you to travel in your car. Nevertheless, remember that this journey is only possible between April and October.
By bus: Four bus companies provide regular long-distance services around Iceland. Three are based in Reykjavik: Reykjavik Excursions, Sterna, and the long-distance arm of Reykjavik’s city bus operator, Straeto, which has a terminal located around 5km south of the city center at Mjódd. SBA-Norourleio, which shares some routes with Sterna, is based in Akureyri.
Advice on health and vaccinations
There are no compulsory vaccinations for Iceland. It is, however, recommended that you be vaccinated against hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, and polio. Visitors may also want to be vaccinated for tick-borne encephalitis if they are planning on going hiking or visiting a rural area in spring or summer.
Iceland enjoys an oceanic climate. The average temperature in summer is 12.5 degrees Celsius, while in winter it is around zero degrees Celsius. The temperature and rainfall will depend on the altitude. The climate is very unpredictable; it is difficult to anticipate whether or not it will rain during the day, so it is best to always be prepared.
Iceland is a fascinating country that will delight lovers of nature and the great outdoors. The locals are welcoming and you will greatly appreciate the changing scenery.
- Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland. It is a pleasant city with a small-town feel. Take a walk through the little streets to admire the houses, and don’t miss out on joining the locals in a bar or restaurant to experience their way of life. During summer, in particular, you will be able to take advantage of very long days.
- Around a 40-minute drive from the capital, Blue Lagoon is a relaxing destination that can’t be missed. The water comes from the Svartsengi geothermal power station, allowing visitors to bathe with temperatures varying between 36 and 39 degrees Celsius. Mineral salts, silicates, and blue-green algae give the water an incredible turquoise color.
- The Icelandic waterfalls are very impressive. Dettifoss is the most powerful waterfall in Europe. At 44 meters in height, it is an unmissable destination for photography enthusiasts. Don’t miss the falls of Selfoss and Hafragilsfoss either.
- With its picture-postcard scenery, Jökulsarlón is a lake full of icebergs. If you can, try and visit at the end of the day. The light is even more beautiful and you will feel as if you are in another world.
There is a risk of volcanic eruptions in Iceland, mainly in the south of the country. One area to the north of the Bardarbunga volcano remains off-limits. If you are thinking of going hiking, check the weather conditions regularly, as the climate is very unpredictable and the rainfall can be particularly intense.
The currency is the Icelandic Króna. You are advised to take good note of the exchange rate and do the maths to ensure that you are getting close to the current rate at the time of your trip. Prices may also be displayed in Euros in some establishments.
English is spoken by most of the capital’s inhabitants, though in more remote places it may be useful to carry a phrasebook. Most embassies and consulates, should you need help from your own country’s overseas officials, are based in Reykjavik.
Icelandic shops are generally open from 9am to 6pm during the week and from 10am to 2pm (sometimes 4pm) on Saturdays.
If you can, it is advised that you hire an off-road vehicle (i.e. 4x4) in order to navigate the roads in the center of the country.
The Icelandic National Day is on 17 June, which is, therefore, a bank holiday. If you’re lucky enough to be in Reykjavik on this day, you will be able to witness a parade and various special events.
How can AXA help?
AXA can help by providing you with Low Cost Schengen Area travel insurance that meets your visa requirements when traveling to Iceland from as little as €0.99 per day - a fee that will cover you for medical expenses up to €30,000 in all Schengen countries. A certificate proving you are insured will be available immediately, meaning you can get on with your application.
AXA is the number one brand and offers assistance 24/7, as well as other options and tailor-made products. Other coverage available includes our Europe Travel insurance, costing €1.50 per day, or Schengen Multi Trip insurance, perfect for regular travelers, available from €298.
The other countries of the Schengen area
Iceland travel insurance
Frequently asked questions about travel insurance for Iceland
Will my travel insurance fees be refunded if my visa is refused?
Yes. If your visa is refused, AXA will refund your insurance fees. However, you may need to provide documentation stating the reason for the refusal to obtain this.
Iceland is not in the EU, how is it in the Schengen Zone?
Iceland signed a cooperation agreement with the Schengen Zone countries in 1996, placing it within the border-free travel area. Accordingly, your travel insurance will be valid there.
If I am attempting risky activities, what travel insurance should I buy?
Generally speaking, the more risk you are taking with your plans - for example, if you are taking part in extreme sports - you should opt for a more comprehensive insurance option to ensure you are covered. This is also true of those carrying valuable equipment or possessions.