Lake Reynisvatn

Lake Reynisvatn

photo by Trond Eiksund (wikimedia commons)

Iceland Geography

Photo by Remy Osman (wikimedia commons)Eyjafjallajökull Glacier Photo by Remy Osman (wikimedia commons)

Situated very close to the Arctic Circle in the North Atlantic, Iceland is a one of the worlds most volcanically active countries.  Known as ‘the land of ice and fire’, it’s like nowhere else on earth.

Volcano Eruption.
On the 14th April 2010 the volcano at the summit of the Eyjafjallajökull glacier erupted.  The real danger was not from the lava, but from the melt water that cascaded down the mountain and the large clouds of ash which fell.  Much of European airspace was closed due to the ash, but there has been no significant volcanic activity since the beginning of June, and the south of the island is once again considered safe for travel.

Iceland’s population is concentrated around the coastal areas, plains and valleys in the south west, and around the capital Reykjavik.  The central highland area is barren, but incredibly beautiful, with moon like features.  There are also black lava fields, bubbling blue geysers, sulphur vents, glaciers, and then green valleys, bays, fjords, waterfalls and rivers as well as the 43 volcanic sites; but don’t worry, not all these are active!  The other phenomenon which is visible from Iceland is the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights, which appear from the end of August until the spring, which means that from May until August there is almost 24 hours of daylight.  The area may be called Iceland, but snow is not always on the ground especially in Reykjavík.  During the summer lightweight clothing is sufficient with something warmer for the evenings, and something waterproof is always advised.

The county is divided into several different regions, South West Iceland; the home to the only city, Reykjavík, and home to the vast majority of the population.   The Western  Fjords, a very rugged and sparsely populated area, North Iceland, the home of dramatic waterfalls and some fascinating lava fields, the interior glacier mountains, and then East Iceland, which is another Fjord area.

With all these fjords, mountains and great scenery there are some outstanding National parks in Iceland.  The World Heritage site of Þingvellir National Park, the Vatnajökull National Park, home to several of the greats, Hvannadalshnúkur the largest mountain, Vatnajökull, the largest glacier and Dettifoss, Europe's largest waterfall in terms of volume. Snæfellsjökull National Park, home to the ice covered volcanic crater which inspired the book ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’, by Jules Verne.  There are also natural attractions such as the famous Blue lagoon, Myvatn in the lake district of Northern Iceland, home to the ‘gates of hell’, Gullfoss Falls, Geysir, and finally Landmannalaugar; 4x4 country in the interior, so don’t attempt it unless you have a 4x4 Iceland motorhome rental or camper van hire, or you take an excursion!.

If you love being out in the open, discovering something really different and motorhome rental and campervan hire holidays, you won’t be disappointed by Iceland.

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