Iceland is considered Nordic European though it is not part of continental, mainland Europe. It is a mountainous island nation which takes its name as 10% is covered by ice glaciers.
Despite its northern location, Iceland has a surprisingly mild climate and there are numerous hot springs which both locals and visitors enjoy. The scenery is breathtaking and one of the country’s main draws. It is characterized by beautiful, out-of-this-world, cinematic landscapes.
The amount of daylight Iceland receives varies dramatically depending on the time of year. In December, there are almost 20 hours of darkness, whereas in June the sun only very briefly sets and it is never fully dark. Many people travel to Iceland during the darkest months to see the spectacular Northern Lights.
From 2021, visitors from over 60 countries will need a Europe travel visa for Iceland. ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) is being implemented to improve the security of the Schengen Area.
Iceland as part of the Schengen Area
Iceland is well-integrated with Europe as a Schengen country and part of the European Economic Area. However, it is not a European Union member state. Iceland did apply for membership in 2009 but it was a controversial issue and the government eventually froze the application.
As part of the Schengen Area, travelers can move freely between Iceland and other participating countries. There are no hard borders between Schengen countries, there is only a shared, external border.
This means a European Visa Waiver for Iceland is only necessary for visitors entering from non-Schengen countries. Similarly, people can move freely from Iceland to other Schengen countries.
Once they become a requirement, Iceland ETIAS visas will be valid for three-year periods. They will allow travelers to spend up to 90 days in the Schengen Area (in any 180-day period.
Iceland’s mesmerizing landscapes not only make for spectacular scenery, but they also provide an unbelievable amount of opportunities for adventures and outdoor activities. Ice-covered volcanoes, bubbling mud pools, geothermal springs, and magnificent cliffs and beaches mean there is plenty of things to see and do in Iceland.
What to see and do in Iceland?
There is a wide range of day trips which operate from the capital city, Reykjavik. Many travelers use the capital as a base to stay and go on various activities which vary from gentle to more daring.
For those who are up for the challenge, the 4,500 square miles of glacier mean that ice climbing is practiced year-round. The two most popular locations are the Sólheimajökull and Svínafellsjökull glaciers in the south.
Iceland is undoubtedly one of the best places in the world for whale watching. The cold, coastal waters host a diverse range of marine life. The best time of year for whale spotting is the summer months, from April to September, when species such as Orcas, Minkes, Humpbacks, and Blue Whales, can all be seen.
The Northen Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, is a natural phenomenon. It is created when light interacts with the atmosphere. The best time to view it is on clear winter nights when the chances of seeing it are at their highest.
ETIAS requirements for Iceland
ETIAS for Iceland will be a requirement for many travelers from 2021. The ETIAS online application will only take a few minutes to complete and the form will be straightforward to fill out.
To successfully apply, visitors will need to meet the Europe visa requirements for Iceland. It will be necessary to have a valid passport from one of the eligible countries and to pay a fee using a credit or debit card.
The ETIAS Iceland visa waiver application will require applicants to enter a range of information including their full name, date of birth, address, and passport details. There will also be some questions related to health, security, and travel plans.
Applications will be screened using various security databases. The vast majority will be quickly approved, and the Iceland ETIAS Europe visas will be sent to travelers by email.