• Though geographically as big as England, Iceland’s population is tiny – at barely 323,000, it’s no bigger than many towns in other countries. Two out of three Icelanders live in and around the capital, Reykjavík.

Iceland sits atop the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the fault line where two of the Earth’s tectonic plates are slowly drifting apart; as a result, Iceland is getting wider at a rate of roughly 1cm per year. Either side of this ridge, from the northeast to the southwest, earthquakes and volcanic activity are commonplace.

There are no motorways or railways in Iceland. The country’s only main road, the Ringroad which circumnavigates the island, was completed in the 1970s following several unsuccessful attempts to bridge treacherous glacial rivers on the south coast.

Iceland is home to the third-biggest glacier in the world, Vatnajökull, covering an area equal to that of the English county of Yorkshire. One of the country’s greatest sources of geothermal energy, the Grímsvötn caldera, sits directly beneath the ice cap.

Thanks to the existence of countless medieval documents, many Icelanders can trace their ancestors back to the time of the Viking settlement, around 800 AD. Low immigration over the centuries means that today’s Icelanders have one of the purest gene pools in the world, providing an invaluable research opportunity for scientists.

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Hot tub happiness: the dos and don'ts of Icelandic spas

Hot tub happiness: the dos and don'ts of Icelandic spas

Going for a spa in Iceland can feel wonderfully alien. Against a backdrop of barren moonscapes and denuded hills, the waters are so preternaturally blue, so exa…

24 Nov 2016 • Mike MacEacheran insert_drive_file Article
A day-by-day itinerary for the perfect weekend in Reykjavík

A day-by-day itinerary for the perfect weekend in Reykjavík

Reykjavík, a bustling port and the world’s most northerly capital, draws visitors from across the globe in record-breaking numbers – and its popularity sho…

12 May 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
360° video: up close and personal with Iceland's Strokkur geyser

360° video: up close and personal with Iceland's Strokkur geyser

Feeling far away from the natural wonders of Iceland? You're about to feel a lot closer. Welcome to 360° virtual reality, where you can look where you wan…

14 Oct 2015 • Colt St. George videocam Video
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