Uninhabited areas

It is recommended that full precautions are taken when travelling in uninhabited areas, prepare trips and conditions examined beforehand.

Let someone know where you are going!
Travellers planning to travel in uninhabited areas can notify ICE-SAR of their travel plans. If travellers do not arrive at their planned destination at the expected time, enquiries will be initiated.

Safety in uninhabited areas

  • Telecommunications equipment is an important safety tool for those travelling far from populated areas.
  • Users of GPS positioning systems can take advantage of free access to a programme on the website of the National Land Survey of Iceland. The programme calculates co-ordinates between different co-ordinate systems and reference points.
  • Travel plans must always take account of the weather forecast.
  •  ICE-SAR - Landsbjörg Search and Rescue operates emergency shelters around the coastline and in the interior of Iceland. These may only be used in emergencies.
  • Care must be taken when travelling near volcanoes or in mountainous regions where there may be a risk of avalanches.
  • Crevasse areas on glaciers are continuously changing and are very dangerous. Travel on glaciers is inadvisable, unless information has been obtained from someone who knows the area. Great care must also be taken with rivers, and fords should be investigated.
  • Travellers planning to travel in uninhabited areas can notify ICE-SAR of their travel plans. If travellers do not arrive at their planned destination at the expected time, enquiries will be initiated. This applies particularly to hikers and others who are not part of an organised tour. 
  • The emergency number in Iceland is 112 – ONE ONE TWO.
    All emergency calls to 112 are answered and followed up with the appropriate response, whether a search, a rescue or some other emergency assistance required because of illness or an accident.

Links of interest

Laws and regulations