Iceland is easily one of the world's safest countries. Crime is almost non-existent there. However, depending on the area in Iceland you're traveling to, make sure to keep information in mind such as rough driving conditions, extreme weather, and availability of health services.
Safety in Reykjavik
Crime in Reykjavik is basically non-existent. Even petty thieves are only rarely seen. Violent crimes? Not often here. There are no safety issues concerning drugs or homeless people.
The only area in Reykjavik that a single woman may not want to visit late at night is Austurvöllur Park, a public square, and that's only because it's a popular place for drunk people, who tend to like to keep to themselves anyway. During the day, in fair weather the square is a popular gathering place for the citizens of Reykjavík due to the prevalence of cafés on the adjoining streets.
If you want safety, Reykjavik is the perfect destination for you.
Safety in Rural Areas
The rural areas of Iceland are safer than you could possibly imagine. The only risks to your safety here are slower response times by emergency assistance services in remote locations.
If you are driving in Iceland, carry a flashlight with you, keep your headlights on and don't go off-road. Quite a few of the country roads only have a gravel surface, so seat belts and headlights are always a must. Iceland's roads are not made for high speeds.
The Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue has up to date information on their website for travel in Iceland.
Medical Safety in Iceland
Iceland does not have an official vaccination requirement. It's one of the healthiest countries today. Flu shots can come in handy year-round due given the weather in Iceland.
One of the biggest dangers in Iceland isn't the people as much as it is the weather, which can change quickly and change a lot between different regions. You need to beware of hazards caused by nature and weather conditions. Pay attention to forecasts and road conditions, especially if you are traveling in the winter.
Some ways to stay safe in Iceland's weather include:
- If you are hiking or planning on being outside, make sure you bring proper equipment. This includes a compass, phone, GPS, maps and more.
- Travel with a tour operator, rather than alone.
- Dress for the weather.
- Make sure someone knows your travel plans.
During travel on Langjökull glacier, conditions can be very difficult and they can change drastically in a matter of seconds. The conditions on the glacier can be much more severe than on the flat ground. It is not something you can do alone or without preparation. There are snowmobile tours offered by Mountaineers of Iceland and other companies and are available on then Iceland Travel website.
The weather forecast and area conditions are important to know before setting out. Proper clothing, sunglasses and sunscreen are necessary.