Iceland is a volcanic island located in the North Atlantic Ocean, 300 km east of Greenland and 900 km west of Norway. The main island, which lies south of the Arctic Circle, covers an area of 103,000 km, which is roughly the size of the U.S. state of Virginia or slightly bigger than Ireland.
Over 10 percent of Iceland’s territory is covered by glaciers, which includes Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Europe. Due to its volcanic origin, the country’s nature features gushing geysers, natural hot springs, as well as lava fields spreading as far as the eye can see. The volcanic activity of Iceland made international headlines in recent years with the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull volcano in 2010 and the Grimsvötn eruption in 2011. Iceland’s numerous rivers and waterfalls are harnessed to provide cheap and environment-friendly hydroelectric energy.
Iceland’s climate is subpolar oceanic, meaning it has cold winters and cool summers, although the winters are milder than most places of similar latitude thanks to the Gulf Stream, which ensures a more temperate climate to coastal areas all year round.
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