Unique Iceland (Documentary)

Iceland is a Nordic country located at the crossroads of the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans, with a total population of 329,100 (as of January, 2015) and a total area of 103,000 square kilometres (or 40,000 square miles). Iceland is also the most sparsely populated country in Europe.

Reykjavík, the capital city, is the country’s most populous human settlement and is located in the south-western part of the island, in the proximity of the Faxe Bay and between the peninsulas of Snæfellsnes and Reykjanes. It was founded during the late 9th century, namely in 874, by the Norse explorer Ingólfr Arnarson, being thus the first permanent Norse settler in the island.

Reykjavík is home to approximately 64% of all Icelanders, with a total population within the Capital Region (Icelandic: Höfuðborgarsvæðið) of more than 200,000 inhabitants as of 2015. It is also one of the greenest, safest and cleanest cities globally.

Panoramic view of Reykjavík, Iceland's capital city.

Panoramic view of Reykjavík, Iceland’s capital city.

Geographically speaking, Iceland is a country of extremes, as it is volcanically and geologically active. Its interior comprises sand, lava fields, mountains, glaciers, and glacial rivers. In spite of its geographic location (situated beyond the Arctic Circle), Iceland has mainly a temperate climate, albeit with several tundra climate influences.

Mesmerising Nordic lights (Aurora Borealis) in Iceland.

Mesmerising Icelandic Nordic lights (Aurora Borealis)

The country ranks quite high when it comes to economic, political and social worldwide indicators thanks to its Nordic welfare system and its universal healthcare which is provided for all its citizens. For the period 2007-2008, the country occupied the first place in the global Human Development Index.

The Alþingi (Althing), the Icelandic national parliament, is one of the oldest extant general assemblies in the world alongside the Swedish Jamtamót (nowadays known as ‘Jämtlands läns landsting’) of the Jämtland county. Additionally, Iceland is the only NATO member without a standing army, the national defence being in the charge of the Icelandic coast guard. It is not part of the European Union but is a member of the European Economic Area since 1994.

The official language of the country is the Icelandic language, a North Germanic language descended from Old Norse. Icelandic is also considered very close to Old Norse given its geographic isolation. Furthermore, it shares many common linguistic features with the other North Germanic languages, specifically Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, and Faroese. From all these languages, Icelandic is the most closely related to Faroese and the Western Norwegian dialects.

Below you can watch a 23 minute short documentary on Iceland from Icelandair’s youtube channel. Uploader’s note:

An entertaining and informative documentary about Reykjavik,
its surrounding countryside and the natural gems of Iceland.

Maybe it’s time for you to see now with your own eyes what makes this country different from all other countries. Maybe it is time for you to experience a country that combines modern luxury and pristine nature, natural wonders, extreme forces, and of course, a whole lot of moderation as well.

Documentation sources and external links:


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