Interesting places and things to do in Iceland. Main focus is on families with kids but many good ideas for everyone.

General information about Iceland

Iceland is an island of 103.000 square kilometers (39.756 square miles). The country's highest peak, Hvannadalshnjúkur in Vatnajökull, rises 2.110 meters above sea level. Roughly ten percent of the country is covered in glaciers, including Vatnajökull, the largest in Europe.
Because of its location on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Iceland is a hotbed of volcanic and geothermal activity, thirty volcanoes have erupted in the past two centuries. Natural hot water supplies the majortity of the population with inexpensive, pollutionfree heating.
Iceland's population is about 310.000, about 6% of which are foreign-born. Only 2% of Icelanders live in rural areas, the rest live in urban areas, and the majority, about 75%, live in the capital area of Reykjavik. Each year, more than 400.000 travellers visit the country annually. Life expectancy is one of the highest in the world with about 83 years for women and 80 years for men.
It is believed that the first permanent settler in Iceland was Ingolfur Arnarson, a Norwegian Viking who settled in A.D. 874 and named his home Reykjavik ('Smoky bay') after the steam rising from the surrounding countryside.
In 930, Icelanders founded Althingi, which still functions as the legislative body, making it the worlds's oldest parliament. Iceland lost its independence to Norway in 1262 but came under Denmark in 1380. On 17th of June 1944, Iceland became independent of Denmark.
The country is governed by Althingi (parliament), which sits in Reykjavik. The president is elected every four years. The president now is 'Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson'.
The language spoken in Iceland is icelandic, close to that of literature (the Sagas) in the 12th century. Most people can also speak English and Scandinavian. Icelanders maintain a patronymic naming system, meaning that the first name is followed by the name of the father (or mother in rare cases) with the suffix 'son' or 'dóttir' (daughter). For example: Anna Kjartansdóttir is Anna the daughter of Kjartan.
Time Iceland follows Greenwich Mean Time all year round.
Main export in Iceland is fishing, fisheries products and aluminum. Less than one percent of the land is arable. Iceland produces vegetables, meat, fish and dairy, but imports many foodstuffs. Iceland's currency is the Icelandic Króna (ISK).