An island made out of ice and fire in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean
Iceland is a volcanic island, which originated only about 16 million years ago and is therefore one of Europe’s youngest regions. Unique is the landscape with her fjords, impressive waterfalls, bubbling geysers and gigantic glaciers as well as the willful, uninhabited highland, partly resembling a moon landscape.
The country has a total area of 103 000 square km and is a little smaller then England (130 000 squere km). The coast line runs along 6 000 km, the distance between North and South is around 300 km, between East and West ca. 500 km. Iceland has around 310 000 inhabitants, of which around 170 000 live in Reykjavik and its surroundings.
The Icelanders voted for the first democratically elected woman as their head of state in 1980 Mrs. Vigdis Finnbogadottir. They are very open and progressive and their standard of living belongs to one of the highest in the world, but on the other hand they believe in their myths and old “sagas”. Therefore there is hardly a difference between the Icelandic language spoken today and that spoken during the first settlement, but English is very widely spread.