Iceland Guide

Iceland Guide

Iceland – country information

Country name Iceland
Official name Republic of Iceland
Capital Reykjavík
Continent Europe
Area 103,000 km2
Population 325,671 (2013)
Foundation of a state 1/12/1918
The highest mountains Hvannadalshnúkur 2119 m
Longest rivers Pjórsá 230 km
State system a pluralist republic with a unicameral parliament
The biggest cities Reykjavík (capital) 153,000 (conurbation), Akureyri 15,000, Keflavík 7,600
Official language Icelandic
Ethnicity/National Composition Icelanders 96%, other Scandinavians 1.5%, Americans 0.5%, other 2%
Religious affiliation Protestant 96.2%, Roman Catholic 1%, no religion 1.4%, other 1.4%
Currency 1 Icelandic króna (IsK) = 100 aurars
gross domestic product (GDP) US$39,718 (2012)
Average life expectancy of the population 80.31 years (2006)
Structure of GDP agriculture, forestry and fishing 12%, mining and industry 21.5%, construction 8.5%, services 58%

Country overview

According to Abbreviationfinder, Iceland is an island republic just below the Arctic Circle. It is about 700 km from Scotland, 1000 km from Norway and only 250 km from Greenland. Its culture was founded by the Vikings in the 9th century. The inhabitants of the island grow up in a specific isolated harsh environment of a volcanically active area.

Iceland (ice country) is an island state. Located in the North Atlantic Ocean, the capital is Reykjavik. The currency is the Icelandic krone. The official language is Icelandic. The state religion is Lutheranism. Internet

The climate is maritime, moderately cool. More than 10% of the country’s territory is covered by glaciers.

Iceland is a country of ice or an ice country – an island in the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean, near the Arctic Circle, between Greenland and Norway. Almost the entire territory of the island is a volcanic plateau with peaks up to 2 km, rather steeply ending to the ocean, forming thousands of fjords. The average height above sea level is 500 m.

Numerous active volcanoes (Hekla, Askja, Laki), geysers, hot springs, lava fields and glaciers cover almost the entire territory of the country.

The highest peak of the island is Hvannadalshnukur peak (2109 m).

Despite the name and the presence of glaciers, Iceland is by no means an Arctic country. The climate in the country is maritime, moderately cool, with strong winds, humid and changeable. The weather in Iceland is influenced by two sea currents (the warm North Atlantic, a continuation of the Gulf Stream, and the cold East Greenland) and Arctic drift ice, which accumulates on the northern and eastern coasts.

July and August are the warmest months (up to +20*C in Reykjavik in July). The average temperature in January is -1*C, in July 11*C. Coastal waters are ice-free throughout the year. The exception is situations associated with the removal of polar ice in the north and east.

Tours to Iceland will open for you this unique corner of the Earth, where nature has been preserved in its original form. Geysers and icebergs, hot springs and glaciers, active volcanoes and lava fields, flowering valleys and sandy deserts, thundering waterfalls and majestic fjords – you will see all this when you go on a group or individual tour to Iceland.
Iceland is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts: rafting, diving and trekking. And fishing in Iceland will pleasantly surprise even the most sophisticated.

Resorts and attractions of Iceland

The largest lakes are Torisvatn (83-88 km2) and Thingvallavatn (82 km2). The central part of the island is a desert region of volcanoes, sand and lava fields, uplands and glaciers. Plateaus from 500 to 1000 m high prevail. Only 1/4 of the territory is suitable for habitation – coastal lowlands and valleys. Eyyafjallajökull

peak height1,666 meters, glacier area approx. 100 km2. Volcanic crater with a diameter of 3-4 km. The volcano is classified as a thyroid. The nearest village of Skougar is located at the southern end of the glacier. The Skogau River originates from the glacier, on which the famous Skogafoss waterfall is located.

Vatnajökull is the largest glacier in Europe.

Country data

Location: Northern Europe

Time zone: CET – 1 (CET – 2 applies during European summer time)

Total area: 103,000 km²

Land area: 100,250 km²

Water area: 2,750 km²

Length of the state border: 0 km

Coastline: 4,970 km

Capital: Reykjavík

Regions: 8
Austurland, Hofudhborgarsvaedhi, Nordhurland Eystra, Nordhurland Vestra, Sudhurland, Sudhurnes, Vestfirdhir, Vesturland

Electric current: 220 V / 50 Hz

Telephone code: 00 354 (Source: Allcitycodes)

Highest point: Zugspitze Hvannadalshnukur 2,110 m



Population: approx. 320,000 residents (Countryaah, 2021)

Population growth: 0.6% per year

Population density (residents per km²): 3

Life expectancy: 79 (male), 84 (female)

Official language: Icelandic


  • 76% Evangelical Lutheran
  • 3% Roman Catholic
  • 21% other


The oceanic climate brings mild and windy winters. The summer months are usually cold and humid.

The average temperature in the capital is around 10 ° C in summer and around 0 ° C in winter.

Due to the high northern location, the sun shines almost 24 hours a day. The sun only sets for about 2 hours at night for a short time each year.


Currency / finance

Currency unit: Icelandic krona (ISK)

Classification: 1 crown = 100 aurars

ATMs: Plenty of them available in almost all cities.

International credit cards: These are accepted by many hotels and shops.

Regulations: Foreign and national currencies can be imported and exported in unlimited amounts.

Customs regulations

The following may be carried duty-free:

  • 200 cigarettes or 250 g tobacco
  • 1 liter of alcoholic beverages

Tobacco products from 16 years / alcoholic beverages from 20 years)

Tourists and people in transit can bring items of personal use with them duty-free.

Meat, meat products, eggs, milk and poultry products are not allowed to enter Iceland.

Pets are quarantined for 4 weeks upon entry.

Behavioral advice

In the subpolar climatic zone there are always sudden changes in weather and temperature drops. You should adjust your clothing and equipment accordingly.


Although there are only a few different industries, the standard of living (also in European comparison) is very high.

The main source of income is fishing and the fish processing industry, which is the most important branch of industry.

Industries: aluminum smelting, fishing, tourism

Natural resources: geothermal energy, fish, hydropower

Land use:

  • Usable land: 0%
  • Grain cultivation: 0%
  • Pasture area: 23%
  • Forests: 1%
  • other: 76%


The scattered plateaus have many mountains, some Bordering countries are covered with ice. The coast is severely cut by many indentations and fjords.

With around 30 active volcanoes and over 700 hot springs, the island is one of the most active areas on earth.

As a result, however, many areas consist of wasteland on which no plants grow. The few meadows are used for cattle breeding. There are very few trees.


The ptarmigan and the arctic fox are particularly common. There are also some farm animals that are kept (e.g. horses, cattle, sheep).

In the sea around Iceland there are not only small fish species but also seals, harbor seals and whale.

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