The information below contains geography information for Iceland, including climate, weather,
cities, and area information. You can also check out the
Iceland Country Page for additional
Area: 103,000 sq. km. (39,600 sq. mi.); about the size of Virginia or slightly larger than Ireland.
Cities: Capital--Reykjavik (pop. 111,748). Other towns--Kopavogur (24,950), Hafnarfjordur (20,675), Akureyri (15,840). Terrain: Rugged.
Climate: Maritime temperate.
Highest elevation: Hvannadalshnjukur at Vatnajokull Glacier, at 2,119 meters (6,952 ft.).
Geography of Iceland
Iceland is a volcanic island in the North Atlantic Ocean east of Greenland and immediately south of the Arctic Circle. It lies about 4,200 kilometers (2,600 mi.) from New York and 830 kilometers (520 mi.) from Scotland.
About 79% of Iceland's land area, which is of recent volcanic origin, consists of glaciers, lakes, a mountainous lava desert (highest elevation 2,000 meters--6,590 ft.--above sea level), and other wasteland. About 28% of the land is used for grazing, and 1% is cultivated. The inhabited areas are on the coast, particularly in the southwest where about 60% of the population lives.
Because of the Gulf Stream's moderating influence, the climate is characterized by damp, cool summers and relatively mild but windy winters. In Reykjavik, the average temperature is 11°C (52°F) in July and -1°C (30°F) in January.