The land of fire and ice...
Ferocious glaciers, hot springs, spectacular geysers,
active volcanoes, snow-capped peaks, immense lava deserts...
Feel the difference in Iceland.
Located in the Atlantic Ocean
northwest of Scotland and southeast of Greenland, Iceland is
the second largest island in Europe. Occupying an area of 103,000
square kilometres, it is home to 272,000 people. Icelands first
permanent settlers came from Norway and the population has pretty
much survived on fishing and sheep herding for a living since then.
The country came under Danish rule in the 14th century and only got
full independence in 1944. The country has the oldest surviving
parliament in the world - the Althing - which was established in
930. Icelands rugged terrain has fashioned a resilient and independent
people. They have a rich literary tradition dominated by sagas
fact-based accounts of struggles, battles, heroics and occupations
which are considered the best of all Western medieval works.
Majestic and ever-changing...
The countrys most visited tourist attractions are in south central
Iceland. The area is world famous for its natural phenomena and
historical sites. Gullfoss is a two-tiered waterfall through which
you can see a rainbow when the sun shines. Just west of here is Geysir,
the area containing the countrys best examples of bubbling hot springs.
Some of the springs spout up to 20m every three minutes. Myvatn, in
northeastern Iceland, is also well worth a visit. A sparkling blue lake
bursting with bird life lies in the rain shadow of a huge icecap.
The area boasts some of the best weather in the country.
Reykjavik is Europes most northerly
capital city. A modern European city, it also boasts an interesting
old town, whitewashed wooden buildings and rows of colourfully painted
concrete houses. The stunning beauty and colour of the Icelandic sea
and mountain scenery provide the city with its majestic and ever-changing
backdrop. International influences exist side-by-side with old Icelandic
cultural traditions and there is a wealth of museums and galleries,
sporting events, concerts, exhibitions and fine restaurants. Swimming
in an outdoor geothermally-heated pool has to be the ultimate Icelandic