History of Iceland
Travelling on a holiday to Iceland today is fun and relaxing. Settling on this island in the latter part of the 9th century would have been anything but relaxing. The first permanent settler of Iceland was Ingolfur Arnarson, a Norwegian Viking who in 874 AD made his home where Reykjavik now stands. The Vikings who tried their luck on this uninhabited island would have had to bring with them everything that they needed to make a new life for themselves and their families. They brought livestock and seeds for crops as well as farming equipment, housing material and weapons. Iceland has never been at war with any other country, if we exclude the cod wars with Britain, however it has been known for long-standing and often bloody family feuds. These feuds were the subject matter of the famous Icelandic manuscripts of the 12 century. These describe the settlement of Iceland, the conversion to Christianity and the founding of the Althing, the world's oldest parliament. Here you will find detailed articles with information about the history of Iceland, everything from the settlement of Iceland, to the struggle for independence and to modern Iceland.
Considering the northerly location of Iceland, its climate is much milder than might be expected, especially in winter.
Geologically speaking, Iceland is a very young country; its creation began less than 20 million years ago and is still progressing today. Iceland’s wildlife reflects the youth of the country. There are relatively few insect species and only a handful of wild mammal
Fallout from the Askja volcano of 1875 devastated the Icelandic economy and caused widespread famine. Over the next quarter century, 20% of the island's population emigrated, mostly to Canada and the US.
The Icelandic history starts eleven hundred years ago when the Vikings settled the island. The Icelandic nation has survived the harsh sub-arctic climate and has today become one of the most modern societies in the world.
Situated on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Iceland is a hot spot of volcanic and geothermal activity: 30 post-glacial volcanoes have erupted in the past two centuries. Over the past 500 years, Iceland's volcanoes have erupted a third of the total global lava output.
Large parts of Iceland and the oceans around it have remained relatively untouched science the Viking age settlement. The environment is harsh and unforgiving and the struggle to survive is quite hard but there are not many natural predators in Iceland, the largest being the Arctic Fox. This has created the perfect environment for birdlife to thrive in.