Over the past decades Iceland has gained a worldwide recognition as a popular tourist destination. There are many parts that explain this development.
Despite this there are people around the world which do not know where Iceland is.
So, where is Iceland? Well, Iceland is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean. Iceland is a European country and a part of the Nordic country’s family. This sound simple enough. But there is a little bit more to it.
On Two Continents
Iceland sits on the Atlantic ridge which separates the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. That explains the high volcanic activity in Iceland, which the country is so well known for due to latest eruptions in Fargadalsfjall and Meradalir and of course the one in Eyjafjallajökull. Giving Iceland the nickname the Land of ice and fire
This also means that Iceland is on two continents. The West part being part of North America and the East in Europe. There are places in Iceland, such as the Bridge Between Continents on Reykjanes Peninsula, where you can see the gap and walk across the two continents.
Land of the Northern Lights
This is however not the only interesting fact about Iceland´s location. Most people assume that Iceland is a cold place, but that is not entirely accurate. Iceland is kept quite warm by the Gulf stream in the ocean. Although it can get cold here, it doesn’t get as cold as it should be so far north.
The Arctic circle goes across the most northern part of Iceland. Being so far up North is one of the reasons why the Northern lights, also called the auroras borealis, can be seen in Iceland during winter.
This is also the reason why Iceland has such a long winter, where daylight is limited and in some parts nothing during high winter. On the other hand, it also gives us the midnight sun during the summer.
See Also: Find Northern Lights in Iceland With This Comprehensive Guide
How do I get to Iceland?
It is an island. You can´t simply walk or drive to Iceland. The first settlers arrived by boats and for centuries that was the only way to reach the island.
This has luckily changed and today the most common way of transportation to Iceland is by flying. There are surprisingly many flights that go to Iceland. It´s geographical location makes it ideal for air traffic between North America and Europe, as it is right in the middle.
Getting around in Iceland
Although it is impossible to drive to Iceland, driving is the best way to get around the island. Despite most of Iceland being mountains, glaciers, volcanos and highland terrain, there are roads.
It is a common misunderstanding that Iceland is just a small island in far north. Iceland is in fact a very large island. It Europe second largest island, second only to Great Britain.
The population is however one of the smallest in Europe. Around 350.000 people live in Iceland and most around Reykjavik and in small town along the coast.
Therefore we have the Ring Road, which goes around the island. The Ring Road is almost all paved tarmac and easily drivable from most of the year.
Iceland is however largely made from mountains, glaciers, and volcanos. As well as the Highlands cover most of the island and traveling there can be extremely difficult even in summer.
Now you know where Iceland, how to get there and what to expect when getting there. The only thing left to do is book a car for your trip and start planning your next adventure.Back