Iceland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is home to a progressive and peaceful nation that has formed a modern society where freedom and equality are held in high regard. Iceland continuously ranks near the top for measurements of quality of life, gender equality, and democracy and is one of the highest ranked countries in the world for health care, education and internet availability.
Iceland is a country of extreme geological contrasts. Widely known as “The Land of Fire and Ice”, Iceland is home to the largest glacier in Europe, and some of the world’s most active volcanoes. Iceland is also the land of light and darkness. Long summer days with near 24-hours of sunshine are offset by short winter days with only a few hours of daylight.
The cornerstone of Icelandic culture is the Icelandic language, which has spawned a literary tradition that dates back to the ancient Icelandic Sagas. These are tales of violent blood feuds, traditions, family, and character. A strong literary tradition still thrives in modern Iceland. Icelandic authors publish more books per capita than any other country in the world. Iceland also boasts a prospering music scene, a burgeoning film industry, and Icelandic design is coming of age.
ICELAND IN BRIEF
- Language: Icelandic. English is widely spoken and understood.
- Currency: The Icelandic króna (plural krónur) – ISK.
- Time: Iceland is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) throughout the year.
- Size: 103.000 km2 (40.00 sq. miles), slightly bigger than Hungary and Portugal, and slightly smaller than Cuba.
- Population: 325,000 (January 2014). Median age is 35.6 years.
- Capital city: Reykjavik. The largest municipalities are Reykjavik* (118,000); Kópavogur* (30,000); Hafnarfjörður* (25,000); Akureyri (17,000); Reykjanesbær (14,000). *Cities in the capital region.
- Government: Parliamentary constitutional republic.
- Religion: Predominantly Christian
- Glaciers: Glaciers cover 11,922 km2 (4,600 sq. miles) of the island’s surface. Vatnajokull National Park is the largest national park in Europe.
- Highest point: Hvannadalshnjúkur peak 2,110 m.
- Natural resources: Fish, hydropower, geothermal energy.
- Flag: Blue with a red cross outlined in white. The colors are symbolic for Iceland: red is for the volcanic fires, white recalls the snow and glaciers, and blue is for the skies above.
Iceland is conveniently located between Europe and the east coast of the United States of America. Travel time is about 5-6 hours by flight from the USA and 2-4 hours from Europe.
Icelandair is the national carrier and there are multiple alternative carriers servicing Keflavik airport, Iceland’s main international airport.
ARRIVAL AND AIRPORT TRANSFERS
The Reykjavík Global Forum maximises sustainability, and has the ambition of being carbon-neutral.
We have partnered up with Airport Direct who has an existing program of airport shuttles to provide bus transfers for our Conversationists from Keflavík airport to the following hotels on Monday 18th until 14.00h:
- Canopy by Hilton
- Hilton Reykjavík Nordica
- Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Marina
- Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Natura
- Reykjavik Konsúlat Hotel by Hilton
The transfers leave every hour from Keflavík Airport and transfer time into Reykjavík is around 50min. Please check in with the Airport Direct transfer desk in the Arrivals lounge to receive your complimentary bus voucher.
The Forum will only provide airport transfers on the 18th until 14.00. If you arrive at other times you will be able to purchase your bus ticket from Airport Direct or make other arrangements. There is no pre-booking necessary for the bus service.
Should you want to book a private car or if you need further information on transportation please contact Reykjavik_GFWL@sena.is
Please note that you will have to make your own travel arrangements back to the airport. Your hotel will be able to help you with this.
SHUTTLE BUS SERVICE WITHIN REYKJAVÍK
We want to confirm that the Forum will not be providing shuttle busses within Reykjavík, so it is up to each Conversationist to get to and from Harpa.
The exception to this is a transfer to / from Bessastaðir. Shuttle busses will be leaving from Harpa to take all conversationists to Bessastaðir on the 18th at 15.30.
Please find below booking links to 5 hotels near the Harpa Conference Centre (click on the hotel name to book):
Reykjavik Konsúlat Hotel by Hilton
450 m from Harpa (6 mins walk)
Reykjavik Konsúlat Hotel by Hilton is situated in the oldest part of Reykjavík at the junction of Icelandic history and style. This 4 star hotel is situated downtown, only 5 minute walk from Harpa Conference Centre.
Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Marina
650m from Harpa (7 mins walk)
Reykjavík Marina is a 4 star hotel located by a slipway in the old downtown harbour district of Reykjavík, where it has a unique view of the ocean and is about 7 minutes walk from Harpa Conference Centre.
Canopy by Hilton – To book a room at Canopy please email firstname.lastname@example.org mentioning the forum in the subject
800m from Harpa (10 mins walk)
The 4-star Canopy By Hilton Reykjavik City Centre Hotel is located downtown, off the high street, less than 10 minute walk from Harpa Conference Centre.
Hilton Reykjavík Nordica
2.8km from Harpa (8 mins by car)
Hilton Reykjavík Nordica is a 4-star hotel located a few minutes drive from Harpa Conference Centre. The hotel’s amenities and facilities include a fine dining restaurant, spa facilities, multiple meeting spaces and a fitness center. On November 18th, lunches will be hosted at Nordica and busses leave from this hotel for activities and Welcome reception.
Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Natura
3km from Harpa (9 mins by car)
Icelandair Hotel Reykjavík Natura is located a few minutes drive from the Harpa Conference Centre, next to the Reykjavik Airport. The hotel is certified as a Green Hotel and operates accordingly.
For information on passport and visa requirements as well as the Schengen area regulations, visit the website of the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration
Should you need an invitation letter for your visa, please contact us at Reykjavik_GFWL@sena.is
Vice Chairman, Mastercard
Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir
Chair of the WPL Executive Board
Ambassador Special Envoy for Gender Equality of Iceland, (on behalf of Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland)
Deloitte Global Chief People and Purpose Officer
President of WPL
Executive Director of the Women and Public Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School
Angela Lowe – Programme & Communities Manager
Assita Kanko – Special Senior Advisor
Avni Kondhia, Project Assistant
Dee Thomsen – Managing Director
Dominic Nieper – Managing Director
Erik Boman – Accountant
Eyrún Þorsdottir – Intern
Gioconda Carrera Herrera – Programme Director
Helga Arnardottir – Press Officer
Hrund Gunnsteinsdottir – Special Programme Advisor
Lilja Dögg – Advisor
Lucia de Luca – Communication Director
Rick Zedník – Managing Director
Ross Melzer – Partnerships Director
Sigthruður Armann – WPL Iceland Summit Ambassador/ Coordinator