Where is Iceland?
The easternmost point of
the country is Gerpir (13°30’V), the northernmost Hraunhafnartangi
(66°32’N), the westernmost Bjargtangar (24°32’V; also
the westernmost part of Europe) and the southernmost,
The total area is
about 103.100 km². Lakes cover about 3% of the area, deserts (incl. lava
fields) about 63%, glaciers about 11% and 23% are vegetated.
different from most other countries. It is mountainous and situated
between Greenland and Norway. It is the second largest island of Europe
and its guardian in the west with rather a sparse population. About 20%
of its area are populated. The central highlands and parts of the
northwest are uninhabited.
People have to be prepared for the rapid changes in the
weather and change clothes accordingly. It is better to be familiar
with the road system, the
rural road system,
the streets in the inhabited areas and the tracks in the
interior. It is vital to get
aquainted with the rules and regulations
concerning off road driving. The sensitive vegetation at
this latitude and lava formations have to be taken into account as well.
Nature in this country is raw, and there are more dangers to be taken
into account than the weather (snowstorms, hurricane
force winds), such as unbridged rivers, crevassed glaciers,
volcanoes, geothermal areas and merciless seas.
Without the Gulf
Stream, the whole country would be covered with a shield of ice. The
average temperature of the warmest month is about 12°C
(54°F) and of the coldest month about 0°C (32°F). Usually it is
considerably colder in the mountains. Warm, wind-, and waterproof
clothes are highly recommended and lighter clothes for nice weather as
The Icelanders are friendly and polite people
as a rule. They
are very helpful, well educated, and usually fluent in foreign languages. They are less dependant
on external services when it comes to inviting people to lunch or dinner
than people elsewhere in Europe. An invitation to a meal usually means
homemade food and an evening at home. The character of the Icelander
probably was best described in this sentence: "The average Icelander is
somewhat shy, but proud, and is not familiar with any class distinction,
and therefore behaves like an aristodemocrat".