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Is Iceland in Europe for Travel Insurance?
Since Iceland is not really part of the European continent — located between North America and Europe — there can sometimes be a little confusion when it comes to categorising the country for travel insurance purposes. Principally, Iceland is considered part of Europe for political, economical and cultural reasons.
With Holiday Extras, and most other insurers, Iceland is covered under European policy — excluding countries with higher healthcare costs, such as Cyprus, Greece, Malta, Spain and Turkey.
Finding the right travel insurance for Iceland
Though it's easy to find a host of cheap quotes for travel insurance to Iceland on comparison websites, this doesn't necessarily guarantee you the most appropriate travel insurance policy for your trip.
By choosing to take out a policy from Holiday Extras, you have automatic cover for over 100 sports activities. So if you're planning some trekking (up to 1000m) up Vestrahorn mountain, you can enjoy quality cover free from charge. If you have some more extreme winter sports planned, then taking out additional cover is easily done.
With 4 levels of cover to choose from - Bronze, Silver or Gold and Platinum - along with Single or Annual Multi-trip policies, finding a policy that's entirely suited to your needs is a straightforward process.
Safety tips for Iceland
A lot of these tips will most likely seem obvious, but it doesn't hurt to familiarise yourself with them before your trip. As they say: "it's better to be safe, than sorry!".
Don't stand too close to the cliff edge
- Though this may sound like common sense, it's still worth pointing out. You will find straight away that Iceland's rugged hinterland isn't sign-posted for hazards. Yes, you may be trying to get that perfect selfie with a puffin, but if it means hanging backwards off a cliff face in the howling wind... it's probably best to leave it.
- One fantastic way to explore Iceland at your own pace and truly immerse yourself in the landscape is by camping. Unfortunately you can't just pitch your tent anywhere; in most cases, you'll need to seek permission from the farmer who owns that patch of land. If you do decide to camp, pick up any rubbish you make and do your part in keeping Iceland the beautiful country it is.
- Depending on which time of year you decide to go, roads around Iceland can become virtually impassable. During the colder winter months, it won't be possible to complete the Golden circle in its entirety. You'll also need to pay special attention to forecasted weather and road conditions along any route you decide to take, which can easily be done by using apps like road.is which allows you to keep up-to-date with road and weather conditions throughout the country.
The best ways to see Iceland
Rent a van
- Perhaps one of the best, most cost-effective ways of seeing Iceland is to go exploring with a rental van. The Beauty with hiring a rental van is that you have greater freedom to explore Iceland than you would with a tour, and you also have (should you wish) a portable means of accommodation that's warmer and sturdier than a tent! If you're worried about being uncomfortable, then there are vans for hire with all the utilities you might need for a camping trip.
Bring an eye mask
- This item might seem a little out of place on a list for the best ways to see Iceland, but hear us out. During the summer months, Iceland really does become the 'land of the midnight sun', and especially if you decide to camp, it can be very difficult to go to sleep at an appropriate time with the sun high in the sky for most of the day.
- With your circadian rhythms messed up, sleep deprivation and all that comes with it are only just round the corner. With a lack of proper sleep you aren't likely to have much energy left to see Iceland, or you'll at least risk being a grumpy zombie for most of your trip, which no one wants. For that reason, an eye mask really is invaluable for when you're out in the wild and bright heart of Iceland, and need to grab a few hours kip in total darkness.
Travelling in the Summer? Take the Golden Circle!
- Yes the famous ring road that circles the entirety of Iceland is a great way to make sure you miss nothing out on your trip, as most of the major tourist site are on this route. If you like a good long, meditative drive in the wilds then it's probably best to go independent without booking a tour. On the other hand, if you'd prefer not to drive for all that long then tours are the best way to go.
Making your money last
For most travellers, this will be one of our biggest concerns when planning a trip to the most expensive country in the world. We've all heard tales of that £6 cup of coffee, or the restaurant meal that left someone bankrupt, so how can you stay savvy and at the same time enjoy your trip?
- Eating out in Iceland is by far the most expensive thing. While Icelandic cuisine is truly delicious and is well worth trying at some point in your trip, to make your money last longer, we advise keeping meals out to a minimum.
- The best way to stay well fed for a reasonable price in Iceland is to raid the supermarkets, specifically 'Bonus'. Here you'll find all the food stuffs you could need for more familiar prices. Stock up at your local Bonus, and pack a lunch for the day.
- Getting a car means you can stay outside of Reykjavik, where prices for accommodation can be very high. You can find some good deals on accommodation in guest houses and B'n'Bs outside of the city on the Ring road. Book as early as you can to ensure the best prices. Alternately, as we've already mentioned in this article, you can altogether skip booking accommodation and just sleep in your rental van!
Tours: independent or guided?
- Again, there are positives and negatives for both approaches, but for the budget-conscious traveller, it might be more cost effective to skip the tours and just explore the country on your own with a rental car.
- Though please do bear in mind that some specific tours are only covered within our policy if you are accompanied by a guide. We always advise checking your policy wording or calling our Holiday Extras team and asking if you're at all unsure.
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