The Land of Fire and Ice - Where is Iceland? Skip to content

The Land of Fire and Ice – Where is Iceland?

By Telma

Kirkjufell mountain on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Photo: Photo: Golli. Kirkjufell mountain in West Iceland.

Located in the North Atlantic Ocean you will find a captivating Nordic island known for its breathtaking natural wonders: Iceland. The island boasts a unique geographical location that has captivated travellers worldwide. So where exactly is Iceland?


The geographical location of Iceland

On the world map you will find Iceland northwest of the United Kingdom and southeast of Greenland. It is positioned just below the Arctic Circle at 66°north and is home tho the northernmost capital of the world.

Iceland occupies a unique position bridging the continents of Europe and North America along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. This places it squarely on the dividing line between the Eurasian Plate and the North American Plate, rendering it one of the planet’s most geologically active regions.

For curious travellers, a visit to Þingvellir National Park offers a unique opportunity to stroll amidst the geological marvel of Almannagjá gorge, where the rupture between the two tectonic plates vividly illustrates Iceland’s geological makeup. Here, one can quite literally walk between continents!

For those seeking an even more thrilling adventure, a dive in the Silfra River with its crystal-clear waters, gives the opportunity to explore the landscape beneath the surface. This way adventurers can marvel at the power and beauty of the tectonic plates from an entirely new perspective.


Laugavegur hiking trail in the Icelandic highland
photo by Golli


Iceland’s climate

Despite its name, Iceland’s climate is milder than one might expect. Iceland has a cool, temperate climate with refreshing summers and relatively mild winters due to the warming effects of the Gulf Stream. 

However, its landscapes are anything but temperate. From cascading waterfalls and majestic glaciers to geothermal springs and lunar-like volcanic fields, Iceland is a testament to the powerful forces of nature at work.


Geothermal activity in Iceland

If you´re planning to travel to Iceland you will probably know about Iceland’s most iconic feature: its abundance of geothermal activity. Iceland is home to numerous geothermal hot springs and geysers as well as the majority of homes being geothermally heated. 

The geothermal activity of the country has also shaped its culture and traditions. For centuries locals have not only used geothermal resources for central heating and cooking but it has also fostered a significant spa-like culture, with Icelanding swimming pools and geothermal spa´s being a prominent part of the local culture. 


5 interesting facts about Iceland


Northern lights in Iceland
photo by Golli


1. The Northern Lights in Iceland

Due to Iceland’s position near the Arctic Circle it is an excellent destination for viewing the Northern lights. Make sure you plan your travels during the winter months and you might get lucky to witness the breathtaking phenomenon of the Aurora Borealis dancing over the beautiful, snowy mountain scenery. 

From the midnight sun, where the hot springs flow

Iceland is not only known for its beautiful landscapes, hot springs and glaciers. During the summer in Iceland you will experience the midnight sun as the sun remains visible for 24 hours over the course of a few months. This makes for an excellent opportunity to explore the island’s most famous locations in the middle of the night while still being able to take amazing pictures. Conversely, during the winter months, the sun won’t rise above the horizon for days on end – making the winter months quite dark but cosy.  

Language Preservation

Icelandic is the native language of Iceland. This Norse language has remained mostly unchanged since mediaeval times. Icelanders are very committed to language preservation and even have a yearly celebration to remember the importance of preservation and keeping this unique language alive. 

Unique flora and fauna

Due to the remote location of Iceland the island boasts a relatively isolated ecosystem which has resulted in the evolution of unique flora and fauna. Iceland is home to a variety of plants and animal species that have adapted to its harsh and rugged terrain. 

A highly variable climate

Since Iceland is positioned between the warm waters of the Gulf Stream and the cold currents of the Arctic Ocean it has a highly variable climate as well as having a far milder climate than one might imagine. Temperatures can fluctuate quite dramatically between the seasons and the weather famously changes every five minutes. 


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