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Geographical position Iceland is located in the North Atlantic Ocean. Though Iceland is nearer to Greenland (North America) than mainland Europe, the island is generally included in Europe. Geologically the island is part of both continental plates. The closest bodies of land are Greenland (287 km (178 mi)) and the Faroe Islands (420 km (261 mi)). The closest distance to the mainland of Europe is 970 km (603 mi) (to Norway).
Volcanoes To be sure, one of the main attractions of Iceland is volcanoes. Dressed in glaciers or flaunted by brilliantly colored slopes, they form landscape of almost all country. Famous volcanoes Hekla and colorful Kverkfjoll, dormant and mud volcanoes. Even Jules Verne used Snæfellsjökull volcano in the novel "Journey to the Center of the Earth" as the entrance to the passage underground.
Lava Plateau Another Icelandic miracle is Leirhnjukur. This is a huge area covered with lava. In some places it is smoking. There are tracks tramples through this lava. Tourist path is marked with special pegs.
Geysers Iceland has many geysers, including Geysir, from which the English word is derived, and the famous Strokkur, which erupts every 5–10 minutes. After a phase of inactivity, Geysir started erupting again after a series of earthquakes in 2000. Geysir has since then grown more quiet and does not erupt often.
Lake Myvatn Driving up to Lake Myvatn, everything changed. The world was filled with colors and scents, though not quite normal and quite unpleasant. This is geothermal sources and fields of boiling sulphur Namafjall. Have you ever had to smell the odor of rotten eggs? If yes, then multiply your memories on 10 and add the sweet flavor. It was the smell in this place. If you've never smelled rotten eggs, then believe me - the smell is "unpleasant".
Waterfalls Some of the most beautiful waterfalls are «Waterfall of the gods» The Goðafoss, «Golden Falls» The Gullfoss on the Hvita river, near the Big Geyser, Skógafoss (Forest Falls) and Dettifoss, the most powerful in Europe, on the north of island.
Glaciers Glaciers in Iceland occupy 11.1% of the total land area and have a significant impaction the landscape of the island. There are 13 major glaciers, including the first place is Glacier Vatnayekyudl ("lake" or "River glacier") - the largest glacier of the country, in Europe and third in the world after Antarctica and Greenland. It is located high in the mountains, and descend down its foot.
Crystal cave Some of the magic beauty of glacier ice lies under its outer surface. One either needs to strip the surface layer or go underneath it to see its real beauty. This ice cave is on the edge of the glacier where it enters into a lagoon. Ice caves are in general unstable things and can collapse at any time. We could hear constant cracking sounds inside the cave because the cave was moving along with the glacier itself.
Glacier lagoon Jökulsárlón is a large glacial lagoon in southeast Iceland. Situated at the head of Breiðamerkurjökull, it evolved into a lagoon after the glacier started receding from the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. It is considered as one of the natural wonders of Iceland. The picturesque scene of the Jökulsárlón lagoon and the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier have been part of the James Bond films A View to a Kill (1985) and Die Another Day (2002), as well as Batman Begins (2005) and Beowulf and Grendel (2005).
Central Iceland Central Iceland is the wildest and undeveloped territory. Here is spellbinding landscape: boundless valleys, covered by moss, mountain passes, little streamlets, wet rocks. This fantastic view reminds «lunar landscape». It seems, human’s foot never stepped here. American astronauts trained at those severe places before flight to the Moon.
National birds of Iceland The well-known entertainment in Iceland - Bird watching, especially puffins. These birds are regarded as the national pride of Icelanders.
Icelandic horses Icelandic horses - a unique breed, which is characteristic only for Iceland. Horses are very nice -undersized and stocky, with long manes and gentle eyes. For Icelander insult his mother better than call an animal on which he rides, “Pony”.
Importing horses is prohibited for more than 1000 years, so these "instances" are direct descendants of "horses" Vikings. This beautiful horse was obviously fabulous unicorn in a past life...
Whales Iceland was included in the list of 10 places on the Earth, where you can observe whales by World Wildlife Fund. In Iceland’s Sea live blue whales, rorquals, humpback whales, dolphins. There is first and single museum of whales in the world in the Iceland.
Icelandic cuisine Visitors to Iceland will quickly notice that the food is not what they are used to. Among the special Icelandic dishes is svid, a sheep’s head cut in half and boiled. Imagine looking down at your plate to see half a sheep’s head with teeth and one eye! Many foreigners find it hard to look svid “in the eye.” Fresh fish is always available. One Icelandic specialty is hardfiskur: fish that is filleted and dried. It is eaten uncooked, preferably with some butter. Typically, this fish is hard and has to be beaten to become soft.
Sources of information Серебрянный Л.Р. Исландия: страна – люди – хозяйство. М., 1974 Олгейрссон Э. Исландия в тени империалистической политики. М., 1984 http://www.krugosvet.ru http://dic.academic.ru http://art.thelib.ru http://en.wikipedia.org http://nat.is http://www.seaworld.org http://www.volcanolive.com http://www.lonelyplanet.com http://www.visiticeland.com