Iceland is a small, rugged island nation in the North Atlantic Ocean. It is 103,000 sq km (39,769 sq mi) and has a population of around 320,000. Its capital and largest city is Reykjavík.

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Iceland is believed to have been first settled by Ingólfur Arnarson, a Norwegian chieftain, in AD 874. From 1262 to 1918, it was ruled by

Norway and then by Denmark. As such it developed a culture base of the Norse heritage. Its local dialect is also related to West Norwegian dialect.

Ísafjarðardjúp, Iceland
Ísafjarðardjúp, Iceland
Author: Salvor Gissurardóttir (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5 Generic)

Iceland is 970 km (603 mi) from the coast of

Norway, its closest neighbor on the European mainland. It is 287 km (178 mi) from Greenland and 420 km (261 mi) from the Faroe Islands. It is the second largest island in Europe after Great Britain.

About 63% of the terrain of Iceland is tundra. Lakes and glaciers cover another 14.3% of the country, leaving only 23% of it vegetated. The country has many fjords along its coastline. Most of its inhabitants live along the coast, as the interior highlands are cold and inhospitable.

Grjótagjá Caves, Iceland
Grjótagjá Caves, Iceland
Author: Chmee2, DerHexer (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

The climate of Iceland is subpolar oceanic. The average temperature of Reykjavik ranges from 1.9°C (35.4°F) to 7°C (44.6°F). The warmest months are July and August, with average temperature rising to 13°C (55.4°F) while the coldest is January, when it drops to -3°C (26.6°F).

Planning your visit to Iceland

Iceland is a member of the Schengen Agrement, meaning nationals of EU and EFTA (Iceland,

Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) only need an approved ID card to enter. As of December 2010, nationals of the following non-EU/EFTA countries do not need a visa to enter the Schengen Area: Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, United States, Uruguay, Vatican City, Venezuela, and those holding British National (Overseas) passports. Nationals of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia need a biometric passport to enjoy visa-free travel while Serbian nationals with passports issued by the Serbian Coordination Directorate (Serbs residing in Kosovo) still do need a visa.

By Plane

Inside Reykjavík Cathedral
Inside Reykjavík Cathedral
Author: Wolfgang Sauber (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

Preparing Money for your trip to Iceland

The currency used in Iceland is the Icelandic Krona (ISK). The following are the latest rates for Icelandic Krona in the last 24-hours.

Major Cities in Iceland

  1. Reykjavík – capital
  2. Akureyri
  3. Blönduós
  4. Hafnarfjörður
  5. Hofn
  6. Húsavík
  7. Ísafjörður
  8. Keflavik
  9. Seyðisfjörður

Places of Interest in Iceland

  1. Blue Lagoon
  2. Geysir
  3. Gullfoss
  4. Jökulsárlön
  5. Landmannalaugar
  6. Mývatn
  7. Snæfellsjökull National Park
  8. Vatnajökull National Park

UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Iceland

  1. Þingvellir National Park
  2. Surtsey

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