health and Safety
Iceland is one of the safest countries in the world where you can travel around and enjoy a safe trip all year round if basic safety precautions are followed while travelling. We recommend that visitors take the same care of personal safety and belongings as you would in any other country. Below are some tips on how to safely enjoy Iceland and Icelandic nature.
The Icelandic emergency number is 112
Download the 112 Icelandic emergency app. You can call for help from the app and leave your location and travel plan with the Icelandic rescue team. If something happens on your travel they will have more information to work with.
We recommend you purchase a travel insurance before leaving your country of residence, that will cover you for any accidents, medical problems, theft, losses or anything else that might affect your trip. It is important to bring the insurance policy details with you to Iceland. If you are in need of medical emergency, you need to provide the insurance. Those who are citizens of EEA countries need to bring the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC Card) or else you will be fully charged for your medical attention. If you are interested in participating in any adventure activities like snowmobiling, scuba diving, hiking in the highlands or something else make sure that your insurance covers that as well. Take a copy of important documents, for example passport and credit cards and keep them in a different place than the original.
Health care and hospitals
Iceland provides first-rate healthcare and emergency services. There are hospitals or healthcare in every major towns in Iceland as well as pharmacies, called Apótek in Icelandic. In case of an emergency do not hesitate to call 112, the emergency number in Iceland.
- Always bring a phone with you and remember the emergency number 112.
- Do not travel by foot or bike on the main road after dark. It gets very dark in Iceland during the winter and it is not easy for drivers to see people walking or cycling on the side of the road.
- Weather in Iceland is unpredictable and can be variable between regions. Always check the weather forecast and road conditions before heading out in Iceland, especially during the winter.
- Always be prepared with enough clothes for all kinds of weather, appropriate equipment's, communication device, first-aid kit, water and snack.
- Leave a plan! It is very important, whether you are traveling by yourself or with others, that someone knows your travel plan. You can leave your travel plan at www.safetravel.is or by downloading the 112 Icelandic emergency app.
- The roads in Iceland are probably different then in you home country so be careful and always check the road conditions. Make sure to be driving a vehicle in good conditions, for example a 4X4 or with winter tires during the winter. Read more about Driving in Iceland here.
- Even though the crime rate in Iceland is low we recommend that you always lock your accommodation or vehicles and keep your personal belongings in a safe place.
- Do not leave important documents in the car.
Stay safe in the highlands of Iceland
Most people visit Iceland to enjoy the unique and beautiful nature, but it is important to remember that Icelandic nature is very unpredictable and the weather can change very quickly. If the plan is to travel in the highlands of Iceland keep these things in mind:
- It is important to be informed about the area for example, what hazards can be hidden there and what you need to bring with you.
- The highland roads in Iceland are only open during the summer and it is not advisable to travel there during winter without a professional guide who knows the area.
- Cell phone connection is not guaranteed in the highlands of Iceland. You can rent a Personal Location Beacon or Emergency Beacon from 4 different locations in Iceland. The cost is 1200 ISK per day. Click here for more information.
- Weather in Iceland can change very quickly, always be prepared for all seasons by bringing clothes, equipment and enough food and water for emergency situations. Read more about weather in Iceland here.
- Let someone know about your travel plans or leave the plan with the Icelandic rescue team. If something happens they will have more information to work with.
- Challenge yourself within your physical limits and experience.
Remember the most important thing is to use common sense, follow safety warnings, remember the emergency number 112 and enjoy your stay in Iceland!