Before you embark on your trip around Iceland, be sure to check out your options regarding phone use and the cost that can add up if you are not careful. If you intend to use your phone a bit while on your trip, the best bet is probably to buy a prepaid SIM card from one of the Icelandic phone companies. That is, if your phone is not locked. That way, you can avoid roaming charges that can make your head spin if you’re not careful. With a prepaid SIM card you pay the local rate for all domestic calls and incoming calls are free of charge.
Another important thing is this; you are about to venture into the rugged Icelandic nature. It can be harsh and unforgiving and things can happen. It is therefore important to be able to contact friends and family, or the police, if things get really out of hand.
There are three major phone companies in Iceland and all of them offer some kind of prepaid SIM card service.
For 2000 ISK, Vodafone offers a starter kit including unlimited talk & text and 1 GB of data for your mobile phone. They also offer a starter kit including 3 GB of data for your tablet or dongle, for 1800 ISK.
Plug & Play SIM-card, clear instructions and a simple online top-up have you connected from arrival to departure.
The Vodafone Starter Pack is available at Keflavik Airport, What´s On at Laugavegur 5 and Tryggvgata 11, Macland, Vodafone stores, fuel stations and at their network of partners and resellers all around Iceland.
Síminn is the largest company and pobably with the best network coverage. They boast of the largest 3G network and a steadily growing 4G network. However, the other companies have as good, or at least similar coverage, so that is not really an issue.
Síminn offers a prepaid starter package, that includes everything. That is a SIM card (available in all sizes) and a voucher for 2000 ISK which can be used for voice calls or data. For a little bit more, or 2990 ISK you get the Deluxe package. That adds 100 minutes of talk, 100 text messages and 1 GB of data.
And for a refill you can go to various convenience stores and gas stations throughout the island.
Nova is the third option. It offers similar services and connectivity as the other companies. You can get prepaid cards in a broad prize range, from 1000 ISK to 9000 ISK. These are valid for 90 days and what Nova offers that the other companies do not, is that all calls to other Nova numbers are free of charge. Nova could therefore be a good option if a large group is travelling together, if you all sign up at Nova, you can keep in touch, free of charge.