|Facts about Iceland
Iceland is the lead understood
European country. Iceland is not a land of ice as the name implies. It
is the second largest country in the European continent. It is also the
youngest and the last settled country in Europe. Iceland is a land of contraries.
You can find glaciers and volcanoes, hot springs and extensive lava, sandy
desert and sumptuous vegetation. Many parts of the land are not habitable.
The entire landscape is rugged and wild.
Iceland covers 103,300 km2
with glaciers for 11,000 km2 and lake streams for 2,700 km2. The country
has forests spreading in the area of 1,511 km2. The largest lake in the
country is Dingvallavatn and the highest peak is Hvannadalshnukur. The
capital of the country is Reykjavík.
The country has more than
300,000 people and about 150,000 people live in the capital. The other
percentage of people are scattered along the coastal areas. Many interior
parts of the country are not suitable for living. The average life span
of Icelanders is 80 years.
The climate is moderate
around the year and the Gulf Stream keeps the country warm. The summer
has endless days and nights of sunlight and winter has endless days and
night so darkness.
Since Iceland has many volcanoes
out of which 30 have erupted in the past two centuries. These provide geothermal
power for the country. The rivers flowing in the country provide hydroelectric
power. As there are many hot water rivers, the country gets pollution free
Iceland is the place where
the Nordic people settled in the early 9th century. Ingólfur Arnarson,
a Norwegian Viking is the first person to settle in the capital. So the
people follow the Vikings language and the language has been improved by
many civilizations. The people of island use patronymics instead of surnames.
Hence members of the same family have different surnames which are confusing
for the foreigners.
The people of Iceland follow
ancient heritage along with modern innovations. They live in perfect harmony.
The country has many artists who are experts in singing and music compositions.
Many colorful festivals are celebrated at different times and theme exhibitions
are conducted often. The country hosts supreme cuisines that provide sea
Iceland is the country which
has one of the world’s first republican governments. Now the country is
ruled by parliament called as Althing which has 63 members. These members
are elected every four years. The head of state in the country has no influence
on the day top day politics.
The country’s economy greatly
depends on fishing. Most of the people in the country are related in fishing
and other related jobs. The government now concentrates more on travel
industry and the export industry is the second largest industry that is
next to fishing industry. The country finds most of its money by exporting
sea foods. Iceland is a recognized member of the European Economic Area
(EEC) and European Fee Trade Association (EFTA).
Travel insurance is not
provided by the tourism department. Apart from that the medical assistance
and the health care facilities are very good in the country.
Many activities in the island
attract more and more tourist. Some of them include whale watching, bird
watching, hiking, horse riding, skiing, cycling, fishing, kayaking and
glacier tours. The people of Iceland are hospitable in nature and you can
have a great vacation when you visit Iceland. The country has anything
and everything the nature can provide. Since the climate is always warm
you can visit the country in any season.
By Jayashree Pakhare
Iceland: What's On Offer
For Your Next Holiday?
Iceland has recently been
in the news for its banking crisis and for the activity of its Eyjafjallajokull
volcano. And it is probably fair to say that, when thinking about Iceland,
what comes to mind hot springs, geysers, the somewhat eccentric pop singer
Bjork, and perhaps also Reykjavik's non-stop nightlife,
But what else does Iceland
have to offer?
Well, how about the presence
of 30 active volcanoes and the associated spectacular lava fields? Or upwards
of 10,000 waterfalls, 800 hot springs, maybe ten million puffins, the Northern
Lights and the Midnight. Sun Or how about the beautiful Blue Lagoon, only
20 minutes from the airport, with its milky blue seawater at a temperature
of 39°C? Well worth seeing, a good idea is to visit this famous spectacle
and spa as part of the airport transfer either on arrival or departure.
This means that you avoid going back over your route and using up holiday
time which could be better used on even more alternative excursions.
For those looking for a great
city break idea, Reykjavik is a must for its friendly, party atmosphere.
There is something for everyone, Reykjavik's nightlife is amazing. But
for a more relaxed evening for those who prefer things a bit more easy-going,
there are also many quieter restaurants with prices ranging from very a
reasonable £13-£22 for a main course. Well-recommended is the
Lobster House - one of Reykjavik's most famous seafood restaurants.
Visitors have a wide choice
of operators based in Reykjavik who offer extended day tours for Iceland's.
An example is the 'The Golden Circle', one of the most popular day tours
covering Gullfoss waterfall, the geothermal Geysir area - where Strokkur
geyser erupts every eight minutes. Also Pingvellir National Park, which
is the site of the world's oldest Parliament and where the mid-Atlantic
ridge is visible and the Hellisheioi Power Plant at Hengill. This eight-hour
day trip with pick up and drop off from hotels is available for around
£55 per person.
For those looking for outdoor
activities and adventure, there is much to choose from. Super-Jeep safaris,
whitewater rafting, caving, hiking, snorkelling, climbing, kayaking
and snowmobiling are just a few of the many activities possible. Whale-watching
tours are also available directly from Reykjavik harbour with prices from
around £43 per person. However, another great option is to hire a
car. Driving in Iceland gives you trafficfree roads stretching for
miles and with awe inspiring scenery, Most attractions can be seen along
Iceland's 830-mile long Highway 1 or 'Ring Road' which skirts the entire
coastline, apart from the West Fjords.
For the UK holidaymaker,
Iceland is closer than most people think. Visitors can be there within
less than three hours from Heathrow, Manchester or Glasgow with Icelandair.
Flights are also possible from Gatwick with Iceland Express to Keflavik
In short, a holiday in Iceland
is an unusual and exciting experience. Visitors are warmly welcomed, English
is widely spoken, and life is easy-going amongst the unique island scenery.
Jimi St. Pierre writes for
several Travel Companies in the UK, including Country Connect, a publisher
of a daily news feed to the UK travel industry. Country Connect has a UK
Tourist Office Directory, cheap flights to Iceland and airport parking