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Iceland Panorama, Skógafoss waterfall
Panorama with Skógafoss waterfall in the south of Iceland at the cliffs of the former coastline.
Image: Dirk.Heldmaier
Flag of Iceland
Flag of Iceland
Location map of Iceland. Where in Europe is Iceland?
Location map of Iceland

Destination Iceland, an island nation in the North Atlantic Ocean, between Europe and North America. The country is situated on a strategic location between North America and Europe, about 840 km north west of the United Kingdom and about 460 km south east of Greenland's coast. The closest bodies of land in Europe are the Faroe Islands (530 km).

The island lies just south of the Arctic Circle at the northern end of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR), where the tectonic plate of Eurasia meets the North American Plate, causing a lot of volcanic activity in the region. Iceland's extraordinary landscape offers hot springs and geysers, icefields and volcanoes, glaciers and wild waterfalls.

Iceland has 30 active volcanic systems, of which 13 have erupted since the settlement of island in AD 874, only about 20 percent of the country is habitable.

With an area of 103,000 km² Iceland is more than twice the size of Denmark, or about the same size as the US state of Kentucky.

The country has a population of 337,610 (3rd quarter 2016), it is the least densely populated country in Europe (beside Greenland, which is not in Europe). Capital and largest city is Reykjavik. Spoken language is Icelandic, one of the North Germanic languages.

Republic of Iceland | Lydhveldidh Island

Country Profile

Settled by Norwegian and Celtic (Scottish and Irish) immigrants during the late 9th and 10th centuries A.D., Iceland boasts the world's oldest functioning legislative assembly, the Althing, established in 930.
Independent for over 300 years, Iceland was subsequently ruled by Norway and Denmark.

Fallout from the Askja volcano of 1875 devastated the Icelandic economy and caused widespread famine. Over the next quarter century, 20% of the island's population emigrated, mostly to Canada and the United States.
Limited home rule from Denmark was granted in 1874 and complete independence attained in 1944.

Literacy, longevity, income, and social cohesion are first-rate by world standards.
(Source: CIA - The World Factbook)


Official Name:
Lydhveldidh Island
local short form: Island
int'l long form: Republic of Iceland
int'l short form: Iceland

ISO Country Code: is, isl

Actual Time: Fri-June-2  03:21
Local Time = UTC +0h

Country Calling Code: +354

Capital City: Reykjavik
The Municipality of Reykjavik (pop. 112,000).

Other Cities:
Kopavogur (24,950), Hafnarfjordur (20,675), Akureyri (15,840).

Type: Semi-presidential, parliamentary.
Independence: 1918 (became "sovereign state" under Danish Crown); 1944 (establishment of republic).

Location: Iceland is a volcanic island in the North Atlantic Ocean east of Greenland and immediately south of the Arctic Circle.
Area: 103,000 km² (39,600 sq. mi.); slightly larger than Ireland.
Terrain: Rugged.
Highest elevation: Hvannadalshnjukur at Vatnajokull Glacier, at 2,119 meters (6,952 ft.).

Climate: temperate; moderated by North Atlantic Current; mild, windy winters; damp, cool summers.

Nationality: Noun--Icelander(s). Adjective--Icelandic.
Population: 337,000 (2016)
Ethnic group: Relatively homogenous mixture of descendants of Norwegians and Celts.
Religion: Evangelical Lutheran, 87%.
Language: Icelandic.
Literacy: 100%.

Natural resources: Marine products, hydroelectric and geothermal power, diatomite. Agriculture products: Potatoes, green vegetables, mutton, dairy products, fish.

Industries: Fish processing; aluminum smelting, ferrosilicon production, geothermal power; tourism.

Exports - commodities: fish and fish products 40%, aluminum, animal products, ferrosilicon, diatomite (2010 est.)

Exports - partners: Netherlands 26.1%, UK 11.6%, Spain 11.5%, Germany 7.4%, France 5.7%, US 5.7%, Norway 4.7% (2015)

Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, petroleum products, foodstuffs, textiles

Imports - partners: Norway 10.1%, Germany 8.6%, US 7.9%, China 7.9%, Denmark 7.1%, Netherlands 5.9%, Brazil 5.8%, UK 5% (2015)

Currency: Iceland Krona (ISK)

Icelandic Althing house in Reykjavík
The Icelandic Althing house (Alþingishúsið) in Reykjavík. The classical 19th century building houses the Icelandic parliament, or at least some of it.
Image: JøMa

Political system
Iceland is a parliamentary representative democratic republic with a multi-party system, run by a directly elected president and a legislative assembly. Head of state is the President. Head of government is the prime minister. General elections (and presidential elections) are held every four years.
Iceland is arguably the world's oldest parliamentary democracy, with the Althingi, the parliament, established in 930 AD by the first Norse settlers.

Official Sites of Iceland

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Iceland Prime Minister's office.

The Icelandic Parliament.

Government Offices of Iceland
The official gateway to Iceland.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Iceland.

Diplomatic Missions
Permanent Mission of Iceland to the UN
Icelands Mission to the United Nations.
Embassy of Iceland
Washington D.C.

Statistics Iceland
Iceland in figures.

Vedurstofa Íslands
The Icelandic Meteorological Office, founded in 1920, Reykjavík.


Map of Iceland
Political Map of Iceland.
Google Earth Google Earth Iceland
Searchable satellite view and map of Iceland.
Google Earth Google Earth Reykjavik
Searchable satellite view and map of Iceland's capital city Reykjavik.
Google Earth Google Earth Eyjafjallajökull
Satellite view of Eyjafjallajökull, by now Iceland's most infamous volcano.

Map of Europe
Political Map of Europe.

Iceland News

Iceland Magazine
Daily news from Iceland.

Iceland Monitor
Iceland news magazine (in English)
Various Icelandic news outlets.

Icelandic news paper (in Icelandic)

National and international news (in Icelandic)

Bookmark/share this page


Arts & Culture

Aldrei fór ég suður
Music festival.
Exceptional contemporary Icelandic Artist.
Islenski thjodbuningurinn
Site about Icelandic traditional costumes by the National Icelandic Costume Board.
Eyrarbakki Maritime Museum
A collection of artifacts connected with fisheries, crafts, the social and cultural life of the people during the last 100 years.
Leif Erikson
Leifur Eiríksson, Iceland's folk hero from the Viking Age, an explorer and probably the first known European to have discovered North America.
Living Art Museum
Contemporary art, Reykjavik.
Listasafn Ìslands
The National Gallery of Iceland.
The National Museum of Iceland
Iceland's national museum offers insights of life on the island over time.

Steina and Woody Vasulka, early pioneers of video art.
Image: Listasafn Ìslands

Business & Economy

Seðlabanki Íslands
Central Bank of Iceland, owned by the Icelandic government.

Iceland Stock Exchange
Nasdaq Iceland (ICEX).

Iceland Chamber of Commerce
Organization of corporations, fims and individuals in Icelandic business.

International Federation of Icelandic Horse Associations
All about Icelandic Horses.

Iceland's airline and travel services company serving Europe and North America via their hub at Keflavík International Airport, Iceland.
Iceland Express
Iceland's low fare airline.

Keflavík International Airport
Keflavik is Iceland's principal international airport.

The Icelandic Maritime Administration (Siglingastofnun slands)
The authority is administrating Iceland's maritime, harbour and lighthouse affairs.
Northern Lights over Reykjavik, Iceland
Northern Lights (aurora borealis) over Reykjavik.

Travel and Tour Consumer Information

Destination Iceland - Country Guides

Discover Iceland: The Northern Lights, Snaefellsjokull National Park, Blue Lagoon, Gullfoss and Dettifoss (waterfalls), Golden Circle (popular tourist route, kind of instant Iceland), The Great Geysir, Þingvellir (national park with dramatic rocky scenery), Jökulsárlón (glacial lake), Mývatn (scenic lake), Hallgrimskirkja (cathedral, Iceland style), Vatnajökull National Park, Eyjafjallajökull (volcano)

The Official Gateway to Iceland
The country, the people and the culture.

Visit Iceland
Iceland for Tourists.

Visit Reykjavík
The official tourist website of Reykjavik, Iceland's capital.

Visit East Iceland
Official travel guide to East Iceland.
Visit West Iceland
Official travel guide to West Iceland.
Visit Westfjords
Official travel guide to the Westfjords.
Visit North Iceland
Official travel guide to North Iceland.
South Iceland
Official guide to Iceland's South.
Reykjanes Peninsula
Official guide to Reykjanes Peninsula.

Icelandic Times
Iceland's inflight magazine.
Nordic Adventure Travel
Island travel and tour guide.
Iceland on the Web
Another Iceland travel and tour guide.

Eruption of the Great Geysir, Haukadalur valley, Iceland
Eruption of the Great Geysir in Haukadalur valley, Iceland. It is the first geyser known to scholarship, i.e., it is the first geyser ever described in a printed source and the earliest geyser known to Europeans.
Image: Dieter Schweizer



Háskóli Íslands
The University of Iceland.

Environment & Nature

Ministry for the Environment
Official website of the ministry with information about Iceland's environment policy.

Nordic Volcanological Institute
Research and training in volcanology and related fields.

The Icelandic Institute of Natural History
A research and monitoring institute.


Iceland on the carta marina, a map created by Olaus Magnus in 1572.


History & People of Iceland
Brief overview of Iceland's history with a timeline.

History of Iceland
Wikipedia page about Iceland's history.

Sources and additional Information on Iceland

BBC Country Profile: Iceland

GlobalEDGE: Iceland

The Heritage Foundation: Iceland

Human Rights Watch: Iceland

OEC: Iceland

Reporters Without Borders: Iceland

Wikipedia: Iceland

The World Factbook -- Iceland
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