. Icelandic Geography and Climate | Iceland Tours




Iceland is the second largest island in Europe, with a total area of 103,000 km² (39,768 square miles), situated in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, directly under the Arctic circle (66° N). The coast line is 6,000 km long; the distance between the north and south coasts is c.300 km, between east and west c. 500 km.

The shortest distances to Iceland's nearest neighbors is about 280 km to Greenland, 400 km to the Faroe Islands, 800 km to Scotland and 950 km to Norway. By air, Iceland is about 3 hours from western Europe and 5 hours from North America.

With a population of only 320,000, Iceland is the most lightly populated country in Europe.
Over half of the inhabitants live in the metropolitan area in and around Reykjavik and about 75 % of the land is uninhabited - consisting mostly of sand and stone deserts, lava fields and glaciers.

Total area: 103,000 km²
Inhabited area: c. 25 %
Total population: 320,000
Metropolitan area, population: 170,000
Time: Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) throughout the year.



The climate in Iceland is milder than many people expect. Thanks to the Gulf Stream, Iceland enjoys a cool temperate ocean climate with cool summers and relatively mild winters.
However, the weather is very changeable and one should always be prepared for unexpected changes.

2008 Temperature Averages in Celsius (Centigrade).
Reykjavik  Akureyri
Jan.     -0.2     -1.5
Feb.     -0.2     -0.4
Mar.      0.8     -1.4
April      3.9      1.4
May       8.6      8.0
June      10.6    9.1
July       12.5    12.4
Aug.      11.5    11.5
Sept.      9.4      9.8
Oct.       2.8      1.2
Nov.       2.8      1.1
Dec.       1.1     -0.3

Daylight in Reykjavik (hours):
1 Jan.       4.5
1 Feb.       7.2
1 Mar.       10.2
1 Apr.       13.5
1 May       16.8
1 Jun.       23.2
1 Jul.        23.8
1 Aug.       18.0
1 Sept.       14.6
1 Oct.        11.5
1 Nov.        8.0
1 Dec.        5.0

Travelers in Iceland should always bring along lightweight woolens, a sweater or cardigan, a rainproof coat and sturdy walking shoes. If you are travelling in wintertime or are heading into the interior, you will need warm underwear and socks, rubber boots and a warm sweater (fleece, wool).

For weather information see: www.vedur.is/english

Midnight sun:

Due to the country's location directly under the Arctic circle, the nights are bright in all parts of Iceland during summertime. In the month of June the sun never fully sets in the northern part of the country.



The Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis are a spectacular natural phenomenon, often seen dancing around in fantastic colors across the Icelandic Arctic sky.

The Northern lights are caused by the interaction of particles from the sun with the upper atmosphere near the North Pole. That creates this wonderful light effect, known as the Aurora Borealis. The winter in Iceland brings the chance to see this spectacular phenomenon in the dark northern sky on a cold and clear night.