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Iceland Introduction

Iceland is an island country that lies just below the Arctic Circle in the North Atlantic Ocean. It is about 320 kilometres east of Greenland and about 1,050 kilometres west of Norway.

Iceland is sometimes called the Land of Ice and Fire because large glaciers lie next to steaming hot springs, geysers, and volcanoes. The country was named Iceland by an early settler who was upset by seeing the coastal waters choked with ice after an unusually cold and long winter.

But Iceland is not as cold as most places so far north. The Gulf Stream ocean current warms most of Iceland's coast. Iceland is also a land of midnight sun. It is light almost 24 hours a day in June, and dark for a similar period in December.

A Short Background

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 US.

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.

1UpTravel's Guide to Iceland

Topography of Iceland - Read more about the geography and topography of Iceland

History of Iceland - Presents a detailed historical background and culture of Iceland

Life & People of Iceland - Study the characteristics, background, and details on the people of Iceland

Local Cuisine of Iceland - Find out delicious local cuisines of Iceland

Holidays in Iceland - Check out a list of the local holidays in Iceland

Festivals in Iceland - Learn about the festivals in Iceland

Embassies of Iceland - Provides an Embassy database for Iceland

Administration facts of Iceland - Learn about the governmental administration facts of Iceland

Newstands in Iceland - Browse through a collection of local online newspapers of Iceland

Attractions in Iceland - Discover the best places to visit, sight seeing, and tourist attractions in Iceland

Maps of Iceland - Discover a detailed map of Iceland

Map Database of Iceland - Browse a large collection of city, country, historical, political, thematic, and shaded relief maps of Iceland

Flags of Iceland - Uncover the flag images and description of the flag of Iceland. Includes historical flags, symbols, and related information

Weather for cities of Iceland - Browse weather forecast, hourly conditions, temperature, sunrise, sunset, and other weather related reports for the cities of Iceland

Shopping in Iceland - Find out the best places for shopping in Iceland

Restaurants in Iceland - Browse a list of eat-outs in Iceland

Geography of Iceland - Highlights the location, map references, area, land boundaries, climate, natural resources, land use, natural hazards, environment, and geography of Iceland

People of Iceland - Learn about the population, age structure, birth and death rate, sex ratio, nationality, ethnic groups, religions, languages, and literacy in Iceland

Government and Politics in Iceland - Profiles the country name, government type, administrative divisions, independence, national holiday, constitution, legal system, suffrage, executive, legislative, and judicial branches, political parties and leaders, and a flag description of Iceland.

Economy of Iceland - Study the GDP, growth rate, per capita, inflation, labor, budget, industries, exports, imports, currency, exchange rates, and economy of Iceland

Communications in Iceland - Browse statistics on telephones, mobile and cellular lines in use, radio broadcast stations, televisions, internet country code, ISP's, internet users, and facts on communications in Iceland

Transportation in Iceland - Offers statistical details on the railways, highways, waterways, ports & harbors, airports, and other facts on transportation in Iceland

Military of Iceland - Provides statistics on military branches, army, air force, navy, manpower, military service, expenditure, and facts on military in Iceland

Transnational Issues of Iceland - Explore international disputes and transnational issues of Iceland


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