Iceland Sights, UNESCO, Climate and Geography

Iceland Sights, UNESCO, Climate and Geography

According to COUNTRYAAH, Iceland is located northwest of theEuropean mainland and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Denmark Strait, the Greenland Sea and the Arctic Ocean. Most of the country lies just south of the Arctic Circle, which cuts right through Grimsey Island. The island was created only twenty million years ago by volcanic activity. The first permanent habitation of the island did not take place until the ninth century AD. It was Norwegian Ingólfur Arnarson who built the first settlement here, which he called Reykjavik. According to other sources, Irish monks were the first permanent residents of the island. Iceland remained an independent country until the thirteenth century became a client state of Norway and Denmark. This would remain so until the nineteenth century after which Iceland would become a client state of Denmark. In 1918 Iceland became partially independent and the Kingdom of Iceland was created, which had the same head of state as Denmark. After World War II, ties with Denmark were severed and Iceland became an independent Republic. Since this period, the country has experienced great economic growth. Fishing is the country’s main trade product. About three quarters of the country’s total exports come from the fishing and fish processing industry. The country’s main road is the Hringvegur, this 1340-kilometre ring road follows approximately the entire outer edge of Iceland. In 2008, the country was discredited after the bank Landsbanki could no longer meet its payment obligations. There were more than 120,000 Dutch people who had their bank accounts.

Today, Iceland is a popular tourist destination for eco-tourists. The tourists who visit the country mainly come here to admire the beautiful landscapes with many waterfalls, mountains and geysers. Many consider Iceland to be one of the most beautiful islands in all of Europe. It’s hard not to come home with impressive photos of breathtaking natural phenomena that you will encounter during your vacation in Iceland.


Most of the sights in Iceland can be found in the rugged nature of the country. Think for example of the Westman Islands, the Dimmuborgir Rock Formations and the waterfalls of Gullfoss. Most tourists who visit Iceland make a tour of the highlights of the country. During such a tour you will pass several waterfalls and geysers. The word geyser comes from the hot spring Geysir which can be found in Iceland not far from the Gullfoss waterfall. Most geysers can be found in this part of Iceland, but there is also a geyser in other parts of the country such as the village of Hveragerði. The Blue Lagoon can be found about fifty kilometers from the city of Reykjavik from the town of Grindavík. This man-made lake is one of Iceland’s most famous attractions. The water here is continuously around thirty-nine degrees Celsius. The water has a special blue color due to minerals and other substances in the water. The water seems to have a healing effect for some skin diseases. Iceland has a total of three national parks, Snæfellsjökull National Park, Skaftafell National Park and Þingvellir National Park. The latter is the most popular with tourists, mainly because it is only a few kilometers from the capital Reykjavik. Reykjavik is the most popular tourist destination in Iceland. Near the city you will find the Árbæjarsafn Open Air Museum, the National Folk Museum and the Penis Museum. In the city is also the house Höfði where Reagan and Gorbachev ended the cold war. Next to Reykjavik are the cities, Akureyri, Selfoss,


Iceland has only two inscriptions on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Thingvellir National Park was the first to be added in 2004. This national park is only fifty kilometers from the capital Reykjavik. The park consists of a piece of subsided earth where all important events took place in the tenth century AD. Think of marriages, but also lawsuits and small feuds were settled here. The park is still used for important events. For example, the 1000th anniversary of Iceland was celebrated in this park. The second entry on the heritage list is the volcanic island of Surtsey off the south coast of Iceland. This island was created by the eruption of a volcano that lasted more than 3.5 years in total.


The climate in Iceland is a lot milder than its name suggests. There are two types of climate in Iceland, the cold continental climate and the tundra climate. The tundra climate covers most of Iceland’s coastline. The cool continental climate occurs in the interior, the southwest coast and the southeast coast of the island. The average temperatures in Iceland are a lot higher than you would expect so close to the Arctic Circle. This is due to the warming effect of the Atlantic Gulf Stream flowing past the island. This ensures that the temperature does not fall too far below freezing point, especially in the winter months. During the coldest months of the year, the mercury rarely rises above freezing. The average daytime temperature in this period is around minus one degree Celsius. The summer months are cool and not suitable for a holiday in the sun. With average temperatures around twelve degrees Celsius in the high summer months, your swimming trunks can stay in the suitcase. Precipitation is evenly distributed throughout the year and will come down as snow on the coldest days of the year.


Iceland is a large sparsely populated island southwest of the European mainland. It is a relatively young island that has grown in size through volcanism. The island is still growing. The last volcanic addition to the country occurred in 1963. This concerned the island of Surtsey, which is now part of the Vestmannaeyjar or Westman Islands. In addition, the island grows a few centimeters every year because the tectonic plates are slowly pulling the country apart. There are several active volcanoes in Iceland. The Katla, the Hekla and the Eyjafjallajökull are the best known. The Eyjafjallajökull gained worldwide fame in 2010 when its clouds of dust paralyzed air traffic in large parts of Europe. The highest mountain in Iceland is Hvannadalshnúkur. This mountain is 2110 meters high but is hidden under a nine meter thick layer of ice called Öræfajökull. the highest point of Iceland is actually at 2119 meters. The landscape of Iceland is mainly dominated by the mountainous landscape. Table mountains, volcanoes and calderas alternate. Several rivers meander between here. the two longest rivers in the country are the Þjórsá and the Jökulsá á Fjöllum. Because Iceland is a fairly young island, the rivers have not yet had the chance to wear out in the rocks, which ensures that there are a lot of waterfalls on the island. The highest waterfall in the country is the Glymur which spans almost 200 meters in height. The Dettifoss waterfall is the largest in Europe by volume. The capital Reykjavik is the largest and most important city in the country. About one third of the entire population of the country lives in this city. In terms of inhabitants, Kópavogur is the second largest city in the country and about 30,000 Icelanders live here.

Travel advice

There are no special security risks for a trip to Iceland. However, it is wise to check whether there are active volcanoes in the area you are going to before you go. If a warning is issued that a volcano is about to erupt, you are not allowed to travel near this volcano. You should also take into account that the water level of the rivers here can rise very quickly and unexpectedly burst its banks. When choosing travel insurance, it is wise to check whether it also covers a rescue helicopter as this is often the only way to get out of a certain area. There is no serious crime in Iceland. In fact, the country has been leading the global list of safest countries in the world for several years now.

Travel documents

Iceland is one of the Schengen countries, which ensures that residents of other Schengen countries can travel freely between the different countries. Tourists from outside one of the Schengen countries can apply for a standard visa, which has a duration of 3 months and money for all Schengen countries. However, you must be in possession of a valid ID and since 2012 this also applies to children.

Info table

Capital city Reykjavik
Phone (country code) 354
Internetdomein .is
Language(s) (official) Icelandic
Language(s) (colloquial) Icelandic
Religion(s) Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland
Time zone(s) UTC+0
Time difference summer In Iceland it is 2 hours earlier than in the Netherlands
Time difference winter It is 1 hour earlier in Iceland than in the Netherlands
Daylight Saving Time Control nee
Currency Icelandic Krona