Practical information about Iceland, Laugarvatn, travel and other.
The Gullkistan residency is located in Laugarvatn, a small school village 90 km east of Reykjavík. It is in an agricultural area, close to some of the most popular touristic sites of Iceland and close to the highlands.The village of Laugarvatn has 250 inhabitants. One childrens school, kindergarten, high school and the department of athletic pedagogics of the University of Iceland. There is one outdoor swimming pool and good sports facilities inside and outside. There is a grocery shop, Lindin restaurant and summer hotels in the schools. The next town is Selfoss, 45 km south of Laugarvatn. Around Laugarvatn there are farms and many summerhouses. Swimming pools are everywhere to be found in Iceland, most including a hot tub, so a bathing suit is something you might want to bring.
Arriving at Laugarvatn
There are buses from the Keflavik International Airport to BSI, the main bus station in Reykjavik, 45 km. http://www.re.is/Flybus/ , One way ticket 1950.- kr ( c.a. 10 euros), return ticket 3500 kr
Buses going to Laugarvatn. Please ask for new information before making your travel plans as these may change.
In the summer there are 3 buses going to Laugarvatn every morning from BSI the main busstation – the same as where the airport bus stops. It is near to down town.
SBA bus, 8.00, drives through Selfoss and arrives in Laugarvatn at 9.30. http://www.english.sba.is/Scheduledbusservice/Timetablesprices/Kjolurhighlandroute/
Sterna bus, 8.00, drives through Thingvellir, makes a tourist stop there and arrives in Laugarvatn at 10.10 http://www.sterna.is/en/moya/ferdir/hopurview/f35_f35a_-_reykjavik_-_kjolur_-_akureyri_-_reykjavik
Sterna bus, 8.30, drivest through Selfoss and goes to Gullfoss and Geysir, stopping there for tourist and arrives at Laugarvatn at 2.20 http://www.sterna.is/en/moya/ferdir/hopurview/2_2a_-_reykjavik_-_laugarvatn_-__sum
Buses from MJODD (Reykjavík) to Selfoss and Laugarvatn see http://www.straeto.is/english/south-iceland/, one way ticket 3000 kr
If you are arriving by car from the airport you drive to Reykjavík (45 km) until you see signs for Selfoss. Just before Selfoss you will see a sign to turn left for Laugarvatn, 45 km.
We can arrange to take you to and from Laugarvatn from the busstation in Reykjavík where the flybus stops. The fee is € 105 / US$ 140
Directors are Alda Sigurðardóttir http://www.simnet.is/aldasig/
Kristveig Halldórsdóttir http://www.internet.is/kristveigh/
They are both artists and solid dreamers who specialize in making dreams come true. We will be there to assist guests with what they need and want.
All personal expenses have to be covered by the guests. This includes all travel expenses such as flights and buses and insurance. This also includes materials, shipping of artwork and food. Telephone expenses are the responsibility of each guest during his/her stay at Laugarvatn. If there is some special food that you require in your diet we suggest you bring it with you. Importing uncooked meat is illegal.
Practical Information – Passport and Immigration
A stay in Iceland up to three months does not generally require a visa. See a full list of citizens exempt from a visa on http://www.utl.is/english/visas/no-visa/. All other citizens need a visa to enter Iceland, see the list of embassies in your country that issue visas to Iceland on http://www.utl.is/english/visas/apply/
Staying in Reykjavík:
If you need an affordable place to stay in Reykjavík, SÍM, the Association for Icelandic Artists is located in the center of town not very far from the bus station BSÍ. Just take any bus from across the street up from BSÍ that is heading towards the center. At SÍM they have nice and clean rooms to stay, see: http://www.sim.is/Index/English/ , Telephone: +354 551 1346 – Fax:+354 562 6656, e-mail: sim(at)simnet.is
If you have lots of luggage and would need a cab to SÍM it might be better for you to book at http://www.guesthouseanna.is/ which is across the street from BSÍ, which has a shuttle service even if it is just 200 meters. The prices are more expensive in the summer but affordable in winter.
The other affordable place to stay is the Youth hostel. They are situated about a 7 minute drive from BSÍ right by the main swimming pool in town. http://www.hostel.is/displayer.asp?cat_id=13
Renting a car in Iceland:
There are many car hires, see who has the best offers.
The Gullkistan car
Gullkistan has a small old jeep, Rocky, for guests to use for errands and shorter trips. It takes 4 people.
Eyvindartunga – Laugarvatn
IKr 500 (€ 3 / $ 4)
IKr 8000 (€ 50 / $ 70) + gas.
Gullkistan has a few bicycles guests can use as they like.
In summer Gullfoss and Geysir can be visited by taking a bus from Laugarvatn.
Selfoss is the biggest town in south Iceland, it is about 45 km from Laugarvatn.
Reykjavík is 70 km from Laugarvatn through Thingvellir.
The tourist board of Iceland can send you brochures but you can also check their information website on http://www.icetourist.is/ . The cheapest accommodation in Iceland if you are traveling around is “Farmhouse accommodation” listed on their site. Most of them have both sleeping bag accommodations and made up beds, which is slightly more expensive.
More on money. Credit cards like Visa and Master-card are accepted everywhere. In Laugarvatn there is a mini-bank (ATM-automatic teller machine) where you can withdraw cash, just bring your pin number. Most other types of plastic cards are also acknowledged in the banks and ATM’s.
For grants we recommend that you contact any possibilities in your home country such as Arts Counsils or government funds. The only grants we know about are the following:
· For US citizens:
· The Fulbright grant http://www.cies.org/about_fulb.htm
· The Leifur Eiriksson grant, http://www.leifureirikssonfoundation.org/
· The American Scandinavian foundation, http://www.amscan.org/is
· Thor Thors grant http://www.iceam.is/english/
· For Nordic and Baltic citizens: Mobility grant, http://norden.org/webb/news/news.asp?id=8361&lang=6, and on http://www.kknord.org/?pageID=35
See also kickstarter.com
The climate in Iceland is not what most people think. We have a costal climate with mostly mild temperatures – sort of like the west coast of Canada and Ireland only a bit colder. Some say Iceland only has two seasons, spring and fall. This is true in some sense as we can have +10°C (50F) both in January and June.
Summers in Iceland start late and it never gets hot, so one pair of shorts is plenty and windbreakers, fleece and lots of layers essential, especially if you want to go walking, hiking or camping. In summer we have the midnight sun and it never really gets dark. In the winter on the other hand we have 3 hours of daylight on the shortest day, so it never really gets light.
http://www.outdoors.is/weather , http://www.hi.is/~oi/climate_in_iceland.htm and http://www.studentsoftheworld.info/pageinfo_pays.php3?Pays=ISL&Opt=climate also an Icelandic meteorological weather link at: http://en.vedur.is/weather/forecasts/areas/northwest/#group=14&station=3317
There is a mobile telephone net in Laugarvatn. We are on the European system of mobile phones, so for Americans (of all nations) you may have to check your telephone company before you leave to see if your telephone will work. Those who have “pay as you go” contracts may also have to engage their telephone for foreign countries for them to work. If you plan to use your telephone a lot while you are here, you can of course buy an Icelandic telephone number.
Shipping and mailing:
You can mail things to the residency before you get there and receive personal mail. On packages mailed ahead of time just put your name and arrival date on the packet and:
Eyvindartunga, 801 Selfoss
For custom benefits just write “personal belongings, no commercial value – may be opened by customs.”
If you do send something please let us know so we can watch out for it.
For further information e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Guests are expected to take good care of everything in the house / apartment, keep it clean and tidy at all times and pay for any accidental damages caused during the time of stay. Pillows, duvets, sheets, duvet, covers, towels are provided.
Before you leave, the house/apartment must be cleaned: Floors vacumed and washed, dishes washed and put away, dishtowels and rags washed and hung to dry and bathroom and toilet cleaned. If you have moved furniture around while there please put it back in place.
End of stay cleaning service can be arranged for IKr 5000 (€ 30 / $ 40) pr room or IKr 15000 (€ 90 / $ 120) pr apartment.
The resident guests are encouraged to participate in mutual activities.