Top tip: You won’t see it all
Iceland is a large island in the North Atlantic Ocean, close to the Arctic Circle. It comprises a maze of islands both to the north and south and a coastline indented with bays and fjords. The landscape is wild and rugged: this is nature at its most raw. The whole of the central highland plateau is a beautiful inhospitable wilderness. Five sixths of this island is largely uninhabited, much of the population being concentrated in the valleys and bays to the south. Iceland is widely recognised as one of the most volcanically active countries in the world. Hekla, in the south of Iceland, is the most famous and magnificent volcano of them all, having erupted no less than 16 times.
Iceland’s climate is tempered by the Gulf Stream. Summers are mild and winters are cold. The colourful Aurora Borealis appears from the end of August. From the end of May to the beginning of August, there are nearly 24 hours of perpetual daylight in Reykjavik, while in the northern part of the country the sun barely sets at all.
Facts and Figures
|Area||103,001 km2 (39,770 sq miles)|
|Language||Icelandic. English and Danish are widely understood.|
|Religion||81% National Church of Iceland, a Lutheran body. Minorities include other Christian denominations.|
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