Beachcomber Pete Logo

 Beachcomber Pete
World Explorer Map

Beachcomber Pete World Map





 Destination Guides

Travel Photos

Travel Directory



North America

South America




Middle East


South Pacific

August 10th, 2014 

Custom Search

Travel and Explore Iceland



 Iceland, a North Atlantic Island of about 100,000 square kilometers, is the home to about 320,000 people, most of whom live in or near the capital, Reykjavik. It is renowned for its high quality of life as well as the rugged beauty of its natural scenery and its history of producing great works of art and literature, such as the medieval sagas. Despite its name and its location just south of the Arctic Circle, island is warmed by the North Atlantic Current and thus experiences relatively mild temperatures much of the time. Its northerly location also means that aurora borealis, or the Northern Lights, are visible in the winter. The language of Iceland, Icelandic, is related to Scandinavian languages, particularly Norwegian.

 Iceland was uninhabited for most of human history. The earliest known settlers arrived from Scandinavia in the late 800s A.D., led by Ingólfr Arnarson. In its first few centuries, Iceland developed a representative form of government, headed by an elected council call the Althing. In 1262, however, it accepted the lordship of the King of Norway. Later Norway and its possessions, including Iceland, came into personal union with Denmark.

 For many centuries, Iceland was a small, backwater area of Europe, far from the centers of cultural achievement or power. When Norway separated once again from Denmark, Iceland remained in Danish hands. During the nineteenth century, however, a new spirit of national pride began to sweep Iceland as European romanticism spread. A movement for independence began to urge separation from Denmark. Eventually it succeeded, using peaceful means, and Iceland was granted home rule in 1874. In 1918, Iceland became a kingdom in its own right, in personal union with Denmark as its equal. During World War II, as the Germans occupied Denmark, this agreement lapsed and Iceland became completely independent, as it remains to this day.



 Since then, Iceland has developed into one of the world's cleanest, healthiest, and freest countries. Tourism has increased rapidly in recent years. Over half a million tourists visited Iceland in 2008, considerably more than the population of the country. Many visitors enjoy seeing the sights of Reykjavik. The attractions include Hallgrímskirkja, a Lutheran church which is the country's largest house of worship and one of its tallest buildings, with a tower that provides a commanding view of the city and nearby area. Laugavegur is the primary shopping street as well as the center of the city's nightlife. The National Museum and the Center for Icelandic Art are also located in Reykjavik for those interested in the country's rich history and art. To relax, travelers may go to Nauthólsvík, a beach where hot water is piped into the otherwise cold Atlantic; other geothermal-heated pools are also available.

 Other things to do beyond the capital include whale-watching, visiting the national parks, seeing the puffins of Vestmannaeyjar off of Iceland's southwest coast, or going glacial river-rafting. There are also many volcanoes and geysers. In fact, the extinct geyser Geysir in southern Iceland is the source of the English word.

Not what you were looking for?
 Search Google and Beachcomber Pete

Custom Search

Beachcomber Pete Travel Tips

NewspaperPeriodic issues- Free advice and suggestions for making your next travel adventure more enjoyable.
Learn from fellow traveler’s like yourself the secrets at your next Travel destination.


Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter
For Email Marketing you can trust

Who in the World is Checking out ?
Beachcomber Pete


Link to this page from another website, blog or social networking site? The URL of this page is

Copyright 2007-2010  Beachcomber Pete  All Rights reserved.
Linking to Beachcomber Pete web site is allowed and encouraged

Beachcomber Pete Travel Adventures

↑ Grab this Headline Animator


Travel Guide

Looking for more
Beachcomber Pete