University of Akureyri
Iceland
August 6-10, 2008

Be sure to read the Practical Information before departing
for Iceland

Once you are at the airport: This link provides a map of the Keflavik International Airport, and information about Flybus, the usual way to go from the airport to the city (at a distance of 50 m.). You can use your credit card to pay for the bus, either buying a ticket in the outer arrivals lobby (after passing customs) or paying as you enter the bus. This is also one place where foreign currencies are accepted, but you may not get a good exchange rate, and your change will be given in ÍSK. The cost is ÍSK 1500 one-way, ÍSK 2700 roundtrip. Taxi trips between Keflavik and Reykjavik are prohibitively costly.

Tips at the Airport: The Keflavik Airport offers duty-free shopping on the way INTO Iceland. Alcohol is particularly expensive in Iceland, but prices at the duty free shop at the airport are comparable to (and sometimes better than) those offered at many other duty-free shops internationally.

If you have a credit card (preferably VISA or MasterCard, or corresponding debit cards, with PIN), you will not need much cash in Iceland. But you may need some, e.g. for city buses in Reykjavik or for the lunch on August 9th. The best way to get Icelandic currency (ÍSK) is to use your credit card to take it out of an ATM. There are ATM’s in various locations in Reykjavik, and in Akureyri, but you will also find an ATM in the outer arrivals lobby of the airport, after you pass customs. The exchange rates for actual currency are not the same as for an interbank card and will not work in your favor. Buying currency at an exchange kiosk (e.g. at the airport) is expensive: they are not doing it for fun.

The airport map linked above shows you where you can pick up the Flybus. Tell the Flybus conductor where you are going and ask if the Flybus will shuttle you to your hotel or guesthouse (see below).

Once you are in Reykjavik: Assuming that you arrive on or before August 5th, your first stop will normally be your hotel or guesthouse. Depending upon where you are staying, the Flybus may or may not shuttle you to your place of accommodation. Ask when boarding the bus whether your particular accommodation is served by the Flybus (or Flybus shuttle). If not, you will need to go to your guest accommodation from the Flybus terminal in Reykjavik, referred to as BSI (pronounced "bjeh-ess-ee" in Icelandic), that can be found at #14 on this Reykjavik map. To go from BSI to your accommodation, you can walk (weather permitting and provided that your luggage will not kill you) to downtown locations in under 30 minutes. The other alternative is to take a taxi. If there is not one waiting at BSI, you can ask someone in the terminal to call one for you (in which case the taxi station should get your name so that the taxi does not pick up someone else); this does not cost extra. You can pay for the taxi with any major credit card (VISA and MasterCard are the best for Iceland), and there is no tipping. A typical taxi ride will cost about ÍSK 1500. You would be well advised to locate your accommodation on the Reykjavik map before flying to Iceland. Should you be arrving from the west on August 6th, you will have to go directly to the Conference site on the University of Iceland map (see below).

Arriving at the Conference: As you will see on the Conference Program, registration will be held between 8:30 and 9:00 on Wednesday, August 6th. This will take place in the Main Building of the University of Iceland, to be found at #1 on this map. A map of the campus itself is provided here. When you appear at registration, you must have CHECKED OUT OF YOUR HOTEL OR GUESTHOUSE (assuming that you have stayed overnight in Reykjavik) and you must BRING ALL OF YOUR LUGGAGE WITH YOU. Luggage will be kept in a secure location in the Main Building and then loaded on the buses during the conference sessions/lunch; retain any items you need to have with you during the sessions. Alternatively, your luggage may be brought by an accompanying person to the Main Building at 12:30 (also applicable to those arriving from North America on the 6th, who may not make the 8:30 registration); there will be a second luggage drop-off from 12:30 to 13:00. ALL LUGGAGE MUST BE CLEARLY MARKED WITH YOUR NAME. As we are receiving luggage as well as registering people for the conference, we ask you to arrive as close to 8:30 as you can manage. THE CONFERNCE SESSIONS WILL BEGIN PROMPTLY AT 9:00.

How best to get from your guest accommodation to the Main Building of the University of Iceland (which is NOT the University of Reykjavik -- that is another institution!) depends of course upon where you are staying. If you are at Gardur Inn, for example, you are already on the University of Iceland campus and a minute's walk from the Main Building. Other locations are more distant, and you should consult with the management at your particular hotel or guesthouse as to the best way of getting to the University Main Building with your luggage. In many cases, it is an easy walk; in other cases, a taxi may be advised. In any case, you should make your arrangements in advance and allow adequate time for checkout and transit. If you are arriving from North America on the morning of August 6th, you should depart the Flybus at BSI (see above) and go directly to the Main Building, a 10-minute walk to the west of BSI. You will easily spot the Main Building from the street (Hringbraut); it is a 1930's quasi-Bauhaus design.

Akureyri: We will be visiting this city as part of the Conference. We have two maps for you to use there: map #1 and map #2.

Leaving Iceland: This link has the Flybus schedule to go to the airport. Pickup is available from some hotels; otherwise, you will get the Flybus at BSI. If you are flying west, you can also combine your return with a visit to the Blue Lagoon.

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Getting to Iceland: Because of the organization of our conference as a “moveable feast”, participants should plan to arrive in Reykjavik not later than August 5th and to leave Iceland not earlier than August 11th. In extremis, one may arrive from the USA (not from Europe) on the morning of August 6th and still make the bus (see conference main page), but this will involve missing some of the opening sessions. Travel plans not consistent with the overall conference arrangements will typically involve considerable inconvenience and added expense for the participant. Moreover, the organizers will not assist in making special arrangements for those making travel plans which do not accord with the overall scheme.

Iceland is connected to destinations in Europe and the United States by two principal air carriers, Icelandair and Iceland Express (Europe only). A few other airlines (e.g. Lufthansa) offer infrequent service in the summer months, and there are some charter companies offering summer service to Iceland (e.g. Nouvelle Frontières); but as a general rule, people will be traveling with one of the two principal carriers.

Those traveling to Iceland from destinations not served by the Icelandic carriers will generally need to travel first to one of those destinations, and it is sometimes difficult to arrange for good connections. There are not many flights a day to Iceland from the various destinations. Icelandair flights from the USA generally leave in the evening, arriving in Iceland the NEXT MORNING. Thus, to arrive in Iceland on August 5th, one would have to depart from the States on the 4th. Both Icelandair and Iceland Express flights from Europe generally depart in the early-to-mid-afternoon, arriving in the late afternoon (with the time change) or in the evening, arriving at around midnight.

The airlines are constantly revising their networks, but the US airports currently served by Icelandair are: Baltimore/Washington, Boston, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York (JFK) and Orlando (Sanford).

There are many European airports served by Icelandair, but the airports which offer the best connections for many travelers are Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, London (Heathrow) and Paris (CDG).

The airports most frequently served by Iceland Express are Copenhagen, Frankfurt Hahn and London (Stansted). Iceland Express has the advantage of offering all of its tickets as one-way tickets, which makes it easier to tailor one’s itinerary to one’s needs. Iceland Express bills itself as a discount airline, and is often cheaper than Icelandair. However, at the destinations where these two carriers compete, Icelandair will often offer comparable “bargain” prices.

Travel to Iceland can be very expensive, but surprisingly reasonable fares ARE often available. Travelers are advised that they will generally get the best fares by (1) planning and booking EARLY, (2) by doing their own web bookings, rather than by using a travel agent or search engine (e.g. Expedia), and (3) by using discount carriers such as Ryanair or EasyJet (where available) to connect to airports served by the Icelandic carriers. If you are tempted to use a travel agency or general search engine, you should at least compare the prices you are offered with the prices obtainable through direct booking on the web.

You are not likely to find charter flights that fit your plans, but it will not hurt to look.

Accommodations combined with travel: If you make your own travel bookings on the web, you should not neglect to check special hotel prices that may be offered by the airlines. Accommodation in Iceland is rather expensive (see Lodging), but one can often get excellent special deals, particularly if combined with travel.

Accommodation for the nights of August 6th and 7th (at Hólar) is prearranged and will be billed through the conference, there being no practical alternative lodging. Minimally, participants will need to book accommodation in Reykjavik for the nights of August 5th and 10th, and in Akureyri for the nights of August 8th and 9th. The organizers have made arrangements for discount prices at some hotels/guesthouses in Reykjavik and in Akureyri (see Lodging), but individuals may be able to find better deals by searching on the web. There is huge pressure on accommodation in both Reykjavik and Akureyri in the month of August. The importance of making one’s arrangements EARLY cannot be overemphasized.

 

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