About Iceland - General information

Iceland facts, figures and tourism


The breathtaking northern hotspot known for its geothermal activity is populated with only about 300K people. Within the past 2 centuries, there has also been more than 30 post-glacial volcano eruptions, strangely enough. These eruptions have helped the people of Iceland with the hot water supply. Situated in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the island is 103.000 km2 (39,756 square miles), and is approximately 1/3 larger than Ireland or Scotland. Additionally, it has dozens upon dozens of hotels in the vicinity of the airport. With the northern isolated land, it is better known for being at the tip of the earth. Although, because of it's beauty surrounding it, especially the northern lights, it displays one of the many reasons to travel to the marooned island.

Things to do while you’re in Iceland

Some of the things that are popular to do in Iceland are walking inside glaciers of ice. Here are some other things tourists can do when they take a magnificent tour.

  • Visit the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon which is full of glacier shards and showcases beautiful natural views.
  • Take a look at the gorgeous Gullfoss and Seljalandsfoss, one of the few waterfalls in the world that you can walk behind and still view safely.
  • Driving around "Iceland's Circle Road" is an endless scenic route with a scene that looks naturally picture perfect.
  • Dive into the blue lagoon and take a "wonder swim" with the mountains surrounding you and others. You'll love it!
  • Snowmobiling on glaciers, it feels great with the sun hitting your face and riding on the snow capped mountains!
  • Go to the black sand beaches on the south coast, Reynisfjara and the Diamond beach near Jokulsarlon.

The eco-friendly island

The water supplies the vast amount of cheap hydro-electric power for it's citizen who live on the island. With the majority of the population harnessing the eco-friendly and pollution-free heat, the rivers supply this form of heat as well. Iceland also has its own high peaked mountain called "Hvannadalshnjukur" (which rises more than 2.119 m). The country is surprisingly covered with approximately 11% of glaciers, more than Europe in fact. Thus, the majority of the people who live in Iceland are living along the coast. The highest interior of the island, which is considered uninhabitable, includes Vatnajokull.

Life expectancy

The longevity of the people is more than 75 years old for men and women. In fact, with a comprehensive state health care system (in the world), women have a life expectancy to live up to 81.3 years and for men it averages 76.4 years. This is in fact one of the highest averages world wide.

A brief historical look of Iceland

Half of the population live in the capital of Reykjavik. In addition, some living in nearby towns in the southwest. The Keflavik International Airport is about 50 km from the capital. Historically, the capital was named after a Ingolfur Arnarson, a Norwegian Viking. He was (traditionally) the first permanent settler who made it his home during the 9th century. The Nordic Viking people spoke a language that Icelanders still speak today, it has only changed a bit in vocabulary and pronunciation.

During 930, Icelandic settlers founded the world's first republican governments. This was after Iceland lost its independence as it was illustrated in the Icelandic Sagas, the classic literature of the Old Commonwealth Age. It lasted until 1262. This is when the country lost its independence.

The present Republic was founded in 1944. The country which is governed by parliament (aka Althing), has 63 members and are elected every 4 years. With that said, it's held for the Presidency which is considered the Head of State, but does not participate in the daily political activities. It's also one of the most considerably oldest parliamentary democratic governments in the world it is the Prime Minister of Iceland whom is the head of government within this multi-party system. The Executive power is exercised by the government.