Iceland - Useful information for your trip

Iceland is a island country in Northern Europe surronded by the Atlantic Ocean.

Its landscape is shaped by volcanic and geothermical activities because of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, on which Iceland is located. Therefore, most of its territory is covered by mountains, that here and there leave space to wide plateaus and glaciers. The coasts are jagged and host several fjords to the north, while to the south they become more gentle and sandy.

Iceland features more than 200 active volcanoes. Beyond the primary volcanic activities, there are also geysers, springs of water ejected turbulently and accompanied by steam. The country tries to take advantage from this natural events. In fact, thanks to the exploitation of geothermical power, it is possible to produce heat for houses in a sustainable way.

The weather is extremly heterogeneous based on different areas. Because of a perennial low depression zone, rainfalls are abundant and regular, sometimes they cause aggressive storms. Nevertheless, in spite of the proximity to the Arctic Circle, its winters are not excessively rigid, thanks to the influence of the Gulf Stream. This in fact, mitigates the southern and the south-western sides. Summers are short and cool.

Beacuse of adverse weather conditions, Iceland could not develop a strong agriculture, although its territory is very fertile. The main product of agriculture is potato. On the other hand, fur farming and breeding of sheeps are higly developed, just as fishing, which provides many fine products. Therefore, the secondary sector is devoted to the activities that work products derivated from fishing.

Tourism is also strongly developed. Visitors are attracted by northern lights and the natural beauty of the island, such as Vatnajökull, a glacier located on the south-eastern part, below which several active vulcanoes are located. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is another truly surreal place. Here, an uncountable number of iceberges float on an emerald lagoon, also home to beautiful seals. The pictoresque villages are worth visiting too. The city of Reykjavik features amazing alleys with little colourful houses. In the summer the city has 22 hours of light, while during the winter it is subject to storms. It also offers many museums of local history and nature. They show the wide cultural heritage of the Icelandic population.