ICELAND is located in the North-Atlantic Ocean just south of the Arctic Circle and remains one of the last unspoiled frontiers in the world. Despite its name, Iceland enjoys moderate temperatures due to the Gulf Stream which provides a temperate climate and a habitable environment year-round. The country is a part of Europe, not of North America, though geologically the island is part of both continental plates.

Iceland is the world’s 18th largest island and Europe’s second largest after Great Britain. The mainland is 101,826 km2(39,315 sq mi) but the entire country is 103,000 km2 (39,768.5 sq mi) in size, of which 62.7% is tundra. Lakes and glaciers cover 14.3%; only 23% is vegetated.

The South-West corner of Iceland is the most densely populated region centered around Reykjavík, the northernmost capital in the world. The population of Iceland is approximately 320,000. Based on cultural, economic and linguistic similarities, Iceland is one of the Nordic countries and participates in Nordic cooperation. Icelanders a great importance on independence and self-sufficiency.

The Icelandic economy was hit especially hard by the ongoing late 2000s recession, because of the failure of its banking system and is now recovering from a subsequent economic crisis. Renewable sources geothermal and hhydropowerprovide effectively all of Iceland’s electricity and around 80% of the nation’s total energy.