General country info Iceland

Visit Iceland

Visit Reykjavik

Foreign Ministry of Iceland

Iceland on Wikipedia

Iceland on Facebook

University of Iceland

About Iceland

Iceland is a relatively large island in the Atlantic Ocean and the westernmost country in Europe, midway between North America and mainland Europe. In fact, it is the second largest island in Europe, following Great Britain, and the 18th largest island in the world.

Iceland is a country of extreme geological contrasts. Widely known as “The Land of Fire and Ice” Iceland is home to some of the largest glaciers in Europe, and some of the world’s most active volcanoes. 

The landscape is characterized by waterfalls, geysers, volcanoes, black sand beaches, and otherworldly steaming lava fields. Its location, just below the Arctic Circle, makes for long summer days with near 24-hours of sunlight; offset by short winter days with very little sunlight at all. Fortunately, while winters in Iceland are dark, they are relatively mild and play host to one of nature's most spectacular exhibitions of beauty - the Aurora Borealis.

Iceland was the last country in Europe to be settled. When the first Viking settlers arrived in Iceland in the late 9th century A.D., they found an uninhabited island. Today Iceland is thoroughly modern country and home to a progressive and peaceful nation that has formed a modern society where freedom and equality are the most important qualities. Iceland continuously ranks near the top of measurements for quality of life, gender equality, and democracy, and is one of the highest ranked countries in the world regarding health care, education and internet availability.

Isolation and the extreme nature have shaped Icelandic culture through the years. These conditions have created a resilient nation where family ties are tight, the sense of tradition is strong, and the bond with nature is powerful.  The cornerstone of Icelandic culture is the Icelandic language. A strong literary tradition still thrives in modern Iceland. Icelandic authors publish more books per capita than in any other country in the world. Iceland also boasts a prospering music scene, a burgeoning film industry, and Icelandic design is coming of age.

 

REYKJAVIK - THE LITTLE CAPITAL WITH BIG HEART

Reykjavík - the capital and largest city of Iceland- and the surrounding areas in the southwest of the country are home to over two-thirds of the Iceland’s population. Reykjavík is not a whirlwind metropolis - few skyscrapers grace the skyline, traffic jams are rare and faces are familiar. But don’t be deceived—a steady beat of energy and events keeps the city alive and pulsing with excitement.

Downtown Reykjavík (also known by its postal code as 101) is the nucleus of Iceland’s rich culture and arts scene. By day, café-culture rules supreme. As day turns into night, people start filling into many of the cities excellent restaurants. Throughout 101, playful murals and street art testify to the city’s sense of creativity and fun. Art galleries such as the Reykjavík Art Museum and The National Gallery showcase the works of classic Icelandic artists, while smaller independent galleries display the projects of cutting-edge, contemporary Icelandic and international artists. Various museums preserve the culture and history of both the city and the country at large.

 

ICELAND - Video presentation