- Normal precautions
- High degree of caution
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Do not travel
- Safety and Security
- Local Laws and Customs
- Natural Disasters and Climate
- Embassy Contact
Latest Travel Alert
Volcanic Unrest in South West Iceland
Icelandic authorities are monitoring increased earthquake and potential volcanic activity on the Reykjanes Peninsula in South West Iceland. A state of emergency has been declared in the Grindavík area. Access to the area may be restricted or closed at short notice.
Visitors to Iceland must follow the directions and guidance of the local authorities at all times.
Operations at Keflavík International Airport are unaffected so far.
Residents of the town of Grindavík have evacuated. Travel to this area is prohibited. Residents of the town who have left are asked to call 1717 to register their departure. Roads to the town are closed except for emergency services. Please follow the directions of police and local authorities at all times.
The evacuation details are available here in English: RGP - Bæjarkort_Grindavík_flotaleidir_Enska (grindavik.is)
For the latest information from authorities in English please see:
- SafeTravel Iceland: You can sign up for text alerts and register your trips with the authorities at SafeTravel Iceland. The latest restrictions and closures are also available: http://safetravel.is
- The Icelandic Met Office: Latest updates on volcanic activity, earthquakes and weather conditions https://en.vedur.is
- Civil Defence Facebook
- RÚV National News in English: http://ruv.is/englis
General Travel Advice
Irish citizens need a valid passport or passport card to enter Iceland.
Irish passports do not have a minimum validity requirement while travelling to the UK or within the EU/EEA. When travelling within Europe with an Irish passport, it should be valid for the duration of your stay.
Irish citizens do not require a visa to enter Iceland. However, if you are staying for longer than three months, you are advised to register your presence with authorities via Registers Iceland (Þjóðskrá). Iceland is a part of the EEA, not an EU member state however as an EU/EEA national you have the right to live, work and study in Iceland. To find out more visit the Registers Iceland website.
Visitors to Iceland are advised to follow the guidance of national and local authorities and stay fully informed of what's going on by monitoring local news and social media.
The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.
You can contact the emergency services in Norway by dialling the following emergency numbers:
- Police: 112
- Fire brigade: 112
- Ambulance: 112
Our tips for Safe Travels:
- Get comprehensive travel insurance that covers all your planned activities
- Get a European Health Insurance Card
- Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
- Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
- Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.
Safety and Security
Safety and Security
Safety and security
The political situation in Iceland is reasonably stable but there can be occasional outbreaks of social unrest.
Always keep yourself informed of what’s going on around you by monitoring local media and staying in contact with your hotel or tour organiser. Avoid demonstrations and public gatherings, which can sometimes turn confrontational.
Although the threat from terrorism in Iceland is low, there is still a global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by tourists and expatriates.
Crime remains relatively low in Iceland but you should take sensible precautions:
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place.
- Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
If you’re a victim of a crime while in Iceland, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Copenhagen if you need help.
If you’re planning to drive in Iceland, you should exercise caution as road conditions may be hazardous, especially in winter when you should seek information on weather and road conditions before commencing your journey.
- Bring your full Irish driving licence and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance.
- Dimmed headlights are mandatory at all times.
- Note that it is illegal to drive off-road in Iceland.
Hiring a vehicle
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
Local Laws and Customs
Local Laws and Customs
Local laws and customs
Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or even illegal
You should carry personal identification at all times, for example either a passport or driving licence.
Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms.
Natural Disasters and Climate
Natural Disasters and Climate
Natural disasters and climate
If you’re travelling to Iceland, make sure you know what to expect – then plan and pack so that you’re prepared. Get local advice on how to manage in the case of a serious incident or dangerous conditions and co-operate with local authorities and emergency services in the case of serious incidents.
Volcanoes & Earthquakes
Iceland is volcanically and seismically active. You should always follow local guidance and heed any warnings and instructions from local officials. If you’re travelling to or living in Iceland, make sure you know what to do in the event of an earthquake or volcanic eruption. If you are travelling to volcanic or geothermal sites in Iceland always follow local advice and instructions.
The latest information on volcanic and seismic activity from the Icelandic Meteorological office can be found here: www.vedur.is (English and Icelandic)
In recent years, there have been a series of eruptions on the Reykjanes Peninsula. While these eruption sites have been open to the public you should be aware that they are usually in remote locations with limited or no facilities. The sites are not accessible by car and involve long distance hikes over varying terrain. You should ensure that you have the appropriate equipment and clothing for your trip. Weather conditions in the remote areas can change rapidly, it is important that you carefully plan ahead.
If you are travelling in remote or volcanically active areas you can find out further information and register your trip with the Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue here: Safetravel – The official source for safe adventure in Iceland
The healthcare system in Iceland is of a very high standard, and in the case of serious injury emergency, medical treatment is free of charge, although you will be charged for follow-up care.
We can’t pay for emergency medical repatriation, repatriation of remains, or for expenses as a result of a personal emergency while you are abroad. If you buy an appropriate travel insurance policy, these costs will be covered, provided you haven’t broken the terms and conditions.
Buying comprehensive travel insurance can save you and your family a lot of money if something goes wrong. It will also ensure that you get the medical attention you need, when you need it. Hospital bills can quickly run into thousands of euro, and a medical evacuation back to Ireland can cost thousands more.
Not all policies are the same, and the cheapest one might be cheap for a reason. Make sure your policy covers all the activities you plan to do on your trip. Insurance Ireland recommend that you purchase a policy that provides a minimum medical cover of €1 million.
Your policy should cover:
- All medical care abroad, including evacuation by air ambulance, or other emergency procedures, and any other costs associated with an unexpected longer stay.
- Your entire trip, from departure to return. Consider an annual multi-trip policy if you’re making more than one trip in the year.
- 24-hour emergency service and assistance.
- Personal liability cover (in case you’re sued for causing injury or damaging property).
- Lost and stolen possessions.
- Cancellation and curtailment.
- Any extra activities you intend to do that are excluded from standard policies (e.g. water sport activities such as jet skiing or other extreme sports).
Exclusions: You should know most insurance policies will not cover drink or drug-related incidents.
Entry requirements (visa/passport)
Irish citizens don’t need a visa to enter Iceland.
The currency of Iceland is the Icelandic krona. Credit and debit cards are commonly used for payments, although foreign cards often attract a surcharge.
If you need emergency assistance outside normal working hours, please dial the Embassy switchboard at +47 2201 7200. The mobile telephone number of the officer on duty will be available on the answering machine. Alternatively, you can contact the 24-hour duty officer in Dublin at +353 1 478 0822.
Embassy of Ireland
Haakon VII's Gt.1
Monday to Friday 09:00-16:30
Honorary Consulate Contact
Jens Thordarson/Consulate of Ireland
Nautholsvegur 50 (Icelandair Office)
Email: Email us
Get travel and medical insurance
Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.