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Iceland NEWS

NFE/5.0en-USnews-webmaster@google.com2018 Google Inc.Sun, 16 Dec 2018 15:16:24 GMTGoogle News
Will Iceland become destination of the year 2019?  Iceland Monitor

Cruise Iceland have been nominated for the international cruise awards for destination of the year 2019.

Iceland Monitor
Iceland Naturally releases Christmas is Coming video about Iceland's Christmas Yule Lads just in time for the holidays  Santa Fe New Mexican

REYKJAVIK, Iceland—Dec 14, 2018—Get in the holiday spirit with Iceland Naturally, North America's leading source for all things Icelandic, by enjoying a ...

Santa Fe New Mexican
Another storm on its way to Iceland  Iceland Monitor

An area of low pressure is on its way to Iceland bringing wind and rain this afternoon in most parts of the country.

Iceland Monitor
Flight attendant reconnects with Iceland 60 years after emergency landing | Travel News  Travel News | eTurboNews

Mother and daughter experience an emotional reunion with a hospital responsible for an unexpected delivery after an emergency landing.

Travel News | eTurboNews
VIDEO: Uncommon Lightning Smatters Iceland  Reykjavík Grapevine

Lightning, an uncommon phenomenon in Iceland, struck the country 34 times from yesterday afternoon until well into the night.

Reykjavík Grapevine
Iceland Sees Significant Reduction In Phone Driving  Reykjavík Grapevine

Driving while talking on the phone or texting has decreased dramatically in Iceland over the past few years, but a third of Icelanders still do it.

Reykjavík Grapevine
Iceland spark massive debate with frozen £22 Christmas Day meal deal  Birmingham Live

Some have branded it "lazy" - and told people celebrating Christmas to cook themselves.

Birmingham Live
Iceland: Visit The Land Of Fire And Ice Now  Forbes

The glaciers are receding In Iceland, so the time to go is now, for the most incredible 5-star nature on earch.

WOW air lay off 350 staff  Iceland Monitor

WOW air have laid off altogether 350 staff today. These are 111 full time staff and the rest are summer staff and contractors.

Iceland Monitor
The Fifth Yule Lad: Pottaskefill | Christmas in Iceland  Guide to Iceland Now

The days leading up to Christmas were made for indulgence. That one extra drink on a night out loses its taboo; it's fine to go a little over budget to get that ...

Guide to Iceland Now
Iceland frozen Christmas dinner for 6 for £22 hailed as godsend for struggling families… but scrooges brand it  The Sun

A BARGAIN Christmas dinner for six people by Iceland has been hailed as a godsend for some families - but some have blasted it as a meal for "lazy" people.

The Sun
A Decade Later, Iceland Sets Sights on Final Post-Crisis Exit  Bloomberg

Iceland's government is about to say goodbye to a decade of post-crisis emergency measures by opening up for the sale of its remaining stakes in the country's ...

Five Christmas foods to try in Iceland  Iceland Monitor

Here are some of the traditional foods you might encounter in Iceland during the holiday season.

Iceland Monitor
Iceland's frozen £22 Christmas Day meal deal splits public opinion  Cornwall Live

Included in the deal is a boneless turkey breast joint along with pigs in blankets and other tasty treats - but some have expressed their horror at the thought of not ...

Cornwall Live
Twenty-Six Receive Icelandic Citizenship  IcelandReview

Alþingi's Judicial Affairs and Education Committee has submitted a bill to approve citizenship for 26 individuals, RÚV reports. These individuals were among the ...

Storm rages in Reykjavik in the early hours  Iceland Monitor

A storm came back in Reykjavik in the early hours this morning. Drivers are asked to be careful as gusts of wind are strong and rain is heavy.

Iceland Monitor
The Fourth Yule Lad: Þvörusleikir | Christmas in Iceland  Guide to Iceland Now

The reason is Þvörusleikir, the fourth Yule Lad. Known in English as 'Spoon-Licker', this half-troll sets out from the haunting lava fortress of Dimmuborgir in north ...

Guide to Iceland Now
Iceland in Uproar Over Secret Recording of Politicians’ Sexist and Crude Remarks  The New York Times

Many Icelanders are calling for the resignations of a group of politicians who were secretly recorded in a bar using sexist and obscene language about female ...

The New York Times
MP's in recorded bar conversation also made fun of disabled MP  Iceland Monitor

The recorded bar conversation between MP's of the Centre Party and the People's Party that has caused a scandal today in Iceland included derogatory ...

Iceland Monitor
Hidden Iceland: Avoiding the Crowds  Forbes

How do you avoid the crowds in Iceland? Work with a local tour company named Hidden Iceland to get off the well-worn tourist path.

‘Woman At War’: Jodie Foster To Direct & Star In English Version Of Iceland’s Oscar Entry  Deadline

EXCLUSIVE: Two-time Oscar winner Jodie Foster will direct, co-produce and star in an English-language remake of Woman at War, the spirited and eccentric ...

Iceland coach Hallgrimsson hired by Qatari soccer club  The News Tribune

Iceland's coach at the World Cup has been hired by Qatari soccer club Al-Arabi.

The News Tribune
Iceland scandal over MPs' crude and sexist bar talk  BBC News

There are calls for several Icelandic MPs to resign after they were recorded using crude language to describe female colleagues and a disabled activist.

BBC News
The storm hits Iceland at noon today  Iceland Monitor

A yellow weather warning has been issued by the Iceland Met Office, valid from noon today continuing until midnight tomorrow. Transport systems in some parts ...

Iceland Monitor
Warning: Windstorm Hits South Iceland—Be Careful. Plus Bonus Netflix Recco  Reykjavík Grapevine

According to vedur.is, a windstorm is about to hit the southwestern corner of Iceland, which is, somewhat inconveniently for us at the Grapevine, where Reykjavík ...

Reykjavík Grapevine
How to build a paradise for women. A lesson from Iceland  World Economic Forum

Iceland is honoured to be a frontrunner in the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report, and as Prime Minister I am frequently asked about Iceland's ...

World Economic Forum
Orange weather alert for South East Iceland  Iceland Monitor

The Iceland Met Office has issued an orange weather alert instead of the yellow alert for South East Iceland. The area is experiencing strong winds up to 55 ...

Iceland Monitor
Iceland Colder Than A Martian Spring Today  Reykjavík Grapevine

Temperatures in Iceland will get so cold today, the surface of Mars in the early spring would actually be warmer.

Reykjavík Grapevine
Storm in South and West Iceland this afternoon  Iceland Monitor

This afternoon and evening a storm will hit South and West Iceland. A yellow weather warning has been issued for the capital area, Faxaflói, Breiðafjörður and ...

Iceland Monitor
Icelander Sara Nassim nominated for a Grammy award  Iceland Monitor

A thirty year old Icelandic woman, Sara Nassim Valadbeygi has been nominated for a Grammy award as the producer of a music video by Tierra Whack, Mumbo ...

Iceland Monitor
Surprise, Everyone: Another Wind Storm In Iceland, Car Travel Inadvisable  Reykjavík Grapevine

You're not going to believe this, but there's another storm washing over the country.

Reykjavík Grapevine
Lose your mind to Iceland's latest extreme metal masters, Kaleikr  Louder

Iceland's progressive death metallers Kaleikr unveil a stunning new track, The Descent.

Iceland Possibly To Blame For "Worst Year To Be Alive" In World History  Reykjavík Grapevine

A cluster of volcanic eruptions in the 6th century may have been responsible for what is being called " the worst year to be alive" in human history.

Reykjavík Grapevine
'Shopping on ice': Iceland installs in-store ice rink  CampaignLive

Stunt in Stratford store was devised by Taylor Herring.

Extreme winter cold on its way to Iceland  Iceland Monitor

Snowfall is expected in many parts of Iceland, including the capital area tonight but tomorrow temperatures will plunge to well below zero, going up to -18 in ...

Iceland Monitor
Iceland's Labour Leaders Gearing Up For Class War  Reykjavík Grapevine

Three labour leaders sat down with Icelandic public broadcasting to discuss their aims, and what step they are willing to take to achieve them.

Reykjavík Grapevine
A Gravel-Grinding Mission in Iceland  Outside

From filmmaker Sam Needham and bike-parts manufacturer Hope Tech, Elements Iceland features a group of friends on a bikepacking trip through this ...

Part Of Iceland's Route 1 Closed Today Due To Severe Weather  Reykjavík Grapevine

Today is not the day to go driving through South Iceland, as even part of Route 1 has been closed to car traffic due to bad weather.

Reykjavík Grapevine
Iceland's route 1 probably to be closed at 6 pm due to storm  Iceland Monitor

Reynir Gunnarsson, managing director at the Höfn road administration office has told mbl.is that the route no.1 will probably be closed between Jökulsárlón ...

Iceland Monitor
East Iceland LungA School Offering Scholarships  Reykjavík Grapevine

Iceland's cutting-edge art institution is now offering scholarships, and applications are being accepted.

Reykjavík Grapevine
Disturbances to domestic and international flights due to weather  Iceland Monitor

All domestic flights have been down this morning due to the storm and delays have been on international flights at Keflavik International Airport. All flights to and ...

Iceland Monitor
Iceland Christmas dinner for 6 costing just £22 divides shoppers  Daily Mail

A frozen Christmas dinner that will feed six for just £22 from Iceland has divided shoppers, after cruel commenters hit out at 'lazy' people for eating frozen food ...

Daily Mail
Uncommon Whale Species Beaches In Iceland  Reykjavík Grapevine

A species of whale that is very uncommon to Icelandic waters beached itself on the Westman Islands last Sunday.

Reykjavík Grapevine
Iceland's oldest building open on Sovereignty Day, December 1st  Iceland Monitor

Reykjavík City Museum and The Icelandic Handcrafts Association will start the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Iceland's sovereignty on December 1st ...

Iceland Monitor
Inflation In Iceland Highest In Five Years  Reykjavík Grapevine

The rate of inflation for 2018 is the highest it has been since 2013.

Reykjavík Grapevine
Iceland MPs recorded rating the sex potential of female colleagues  NEWS.com.au

A group of Icelandic politicians are under fire after a bar patron secretly recorded them rating their female colleagues as “f**kable” or “non-f**kable”. The six MPs ...

Icelandic oysters cause food poisoning at top notch restaurant  Iceland Monitor

Infected Icelandic oysters caused food poisoning for 48 individuals at Skelfisksmarkaðurinn, a relatively new restaurant owned by succcessful tv chef and ...

Iceland Monitor
Commentary: No locked cell doors, life in an Iceland prison  Channel NewsAsia

Researcher Francis Pakes deliberately sent himself to an open prison in Iceland and shared what he found about this small, unique community that ...

Channel NewsAsia
Reader’s Choice Destination of the Year 2018: Iceland  Travel+Leisure

This year's readers' choice winner for Travel + Leisure's Destination of the Year is Iceland, which earned just over 14.5 percent of the vote in our online survey.

Iceland's Parliament Will Be Open To The Public On December First  Reykjavík Grapevine

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Iceland's sovereignty, Parliament will be open to the general public, where parts of the hallowed halls that only MPs ...

Reykjavík Grapevine
1500 new hotel rooms for Reykjavik in next two years  Iceland Monitor

Around 1500 hotel rooms will be put into use in the space of the next two years. This is the same as 15 average sized city hotels. With each hotel room costing ...

Iceland Monitor
The 13 trolls keeping Santa out of a job in Iceland  Euronews English

Santa Claus may be coming to towns across the world this December, but in Iceland children await not just one Santa Claus, but 13 trolls known as the 'Yule ...

Euronews English
Unusually High Precipitation In Iceland Last Weekend  Reykjavík Grapevine

Last weekend's high winds were unpleasant, but the unusual amount of rain and snow did not go unnoticed by meteorologists.

Reykjavík Grapevine
What are Icelanders' favourite Christmas cookies?  IcelandReview

Q: With the holiday season coming up, could you tell me what Icelanders' favourite Christmas cookie recipe is? —. A: Since the 19th century, baking Christmas ...

Iceland in winter has more to recommend it than you might expect  OregonLive.com

Right about the fifth time our guide, Hepna, promised that we would actually get there, I began to have my doubts. In between, our means of conveyance over ...

Icelandic Chef Team Takes The Gold  Reykjavík Grapevine

The Icelandic national team of chefs won the gold medal in hot food at the Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg this morning.

Reykjavík Grapevine
Iceland's Education Minister Calls Klausturgate MPs "Thugs"  Reykjavík Grapevine

Minister of Education Lilja Alfreðsdóttir spoke candidly on Icelandic public broadcasting last night about her reactions to the Klausturgate recordings, part of ...

Reykjavík Grapevine
WOW air commences direct services to Iceland  Economic Times

The airline said it would operate three weekly flights from New Delhi, connecting passengers to North America and Europe through their hub at Reykjavik, ...

Economic Times
Sushma Swaraj holds talks with counterpart from Iceland  Economic Times

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj Saturday held wide-ranging talks with her counterpart from Iceland Guolaugur Por on ways to deepen bilateral ties in ...

Economic Times
Stunning annual magazine on Icelandic food is out  Iceland Monitor

Annual magazine FÆÐA/FOOD for 2018 is out and as usual, it's full of interviews, photo essays, recipes and articles about Icelandic food culture.

Iceland Monitor
Iceland’s orang-utan sends grim message on TV advertising  Financial Times

The most successful television commercial this Christmas did not appear on television. The No Palm Oil ad from Iceland, the UK supermarket chain, featured a ...

Financial Times
Safe Injection Site Plans Move Forward In Iceland  Reykjavík Grapevine

Plans to open a safe injection site for drug users in Reykjavík are moving forward according to Vísir. Minister of Health Svandís Svavardóttir is drafting legislation ...

Reykjavík Grapevine
Wow Air Launches Direct Flights To Iceland From Delhi  NDTV News

Besides its New Delhi-Reykjavik flight, the airline serves a number of destinations from New Delhi.

Political Storm Rocks Iceland In Wake Of Leaked Recordings Of Parliamentarians  Reykjavík Grapevine

Resignations and investigations are in the cards in the wake of leaked recordings of parliamentarians engaging in abusive and degrading language about their ...

Reykjavík Grapevine
The Christmas Book Flood: Iceland's Literature-Loving Holiday Tradition  Mental Floss

In Iceland, the most popular Christmas gifts aren't the latest iProducts or kitchen gadgets. They're books. Each year, Iceland celebrates what's known as ...

Mental Floss
Ring Road to be Widened in South Iceland  IcelandReview

The first phase of construction in widening the Ring Road (Route 1) between Hveragerði and Selfoss in South Iceland has begun, RÚV reports. The Icelandic ...

FINALLY: Iceland's New Ram Registry Is Out Now  Reykjavík Grapevine

The Ram Registry, an annual catalog of ram's available for breeding, is finally out, much to the delight of Iceland's sheep farmers.

Reykjavík Grapevine
Elisabeth Rohm's Blog: The Real Reason I Took My Daughter on a Road Trip Through Iceland  PEOPLE.com

In her newest blog for PEOPLE, Elisabeth Rohm takes her readers through her adventurous trek through Iceland with daughter Easton, 10.

Powerful Storm To Sweep Over Iceland Tomorrow  Reykjavík Grapevine

Winds up to 50 metres per second will arrive in Iceland tomorrow, with a yellow warning in effect for pretty much the entire country from noon tomorrow onwards.

Reykjavík Grapevine
Iceland releases hotly anticipated list of most eligible rams  CBC.ca

Competition for spots in the Ram Registry are fierce, which is why Snaedis Anna Thorhallsdottir is proud to gave five of her rams featured in the catalogue.

Akureyri covered in over a metre of snow  Iceland Monitor

Snow fell on Akureyri, the largest town in North Iceland last night. The snow was measured this morning at 105 cm by the Iceland Met Office.

Iceland Monitor
Person who made Klaustur bar recording goes public  Iceland Monitor

Newspaper Stundin revealed today the identity of the person who made the recording at Klaustur bar of six MP's that has caused a scandal within Icelandic ...

Iceland Monitor
Thanksgiving Celebrated In Parts Of Iceland  Reykjavík Grapevine

A Thanksgiving dinner for some 800 people was served at the University of Iceland today, with all the trimmings.

Reykjavík Grapevine
New coat color pattern found in Icelandic horse  CNN

Horses have been in Iceland since the time of the Vikings -- and thanks to the country's strict laws, they've been purebred for over 1000 years.

Iceland Signs "Nordic Defence Cooperation Vision" Agreement  Reykjavík Grapevine

Iceland has signed a defence agreement with other Nordic countries, but concerns have been raised about the growing presence of the US military in the ...

Reykjavík Grapevine
Good weather expected in next few days  Iceland Monitor

No storms are in the cards for the moment and towards the weekend the weather is expected to be dry, bright and clear with a little frost in the North but warmer ...

Iceland Monitor
Sexism in Iceland  The Indian Express

But it's a measure of the political power of Iceland's women, that they cannot be mocked without consequences.

The Indian Express
Lanark County turns to Iceland to curb teen substance abuse  CBC.ca

Lanark County is looking to test a program inspired by Iceland's approach to substance abuse, which has helped curb that country's toxic drinking culture among ...

Hera's Here  IcelandReview

It's a rainy afternoon in Vancouver and actor Hera Hilmar has taken time out of her busy schedule to talk to Iceland Review. The young actor began making ...

Custom luxury ‘active’ tours in Iceland, Peru and more  The Washington Post

There are vacations where you just want to lie around and recharge. And there are vacations where you want a challenge and adventure. You can combine ...

The Washington Post
Remains Of Saint Therese Of Lisieux On Tour In Iceland  Reykjavík Grapevine

The remains of Saint Therese of Lisieux, one of the most revered saints of modern times, have just arrived in Iceland and will tour the country.

Reykjavík Grapevine
Big freeze at beautiful lake Mývatn in North Iceland  Iceland Monitor

Yesterday temperatures at Mývatn, a lake in North Iceland were measured at -22°C and in the northern highlands they went down to -22°C.

Iceland Monitor
Iceland freezes Bonus Card accounts after 'illegal access'  MoneySavingExpert

Thousands of Iceland Bonus Card customers have been caught up in a security breach which saw criminals illegally access accounts and a large number of ...

VIDEO: Young Social Democrats Stage Pro-Refugee Demonstration In Iceland  Reykjavík Grapevine

Fed up with seeing anti-refugee flyers and stickers plastered around town, the Young Social Democrats launched countermeasures of their own.

Reykjavík Grapevine
Polish Ambassador Takes Exception With Icelandic Reporting On Far-Right March In Poland  Reykjavík Grapevine

The Polish ambassador to Iceland has sent a letter of complaint to Iceland's political leaders over an Icelandic news story reporting on a far-right march in his ...

Reykjavík Grapevine
Uproar in Iceland as six drunken MPs recorded describing female ministers as 'clapped-out bags'  Daily Mail

The six MPs, including former prime minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson (pictured), decided to go out drinking rather than listen to a debate on the budget.

Daily Mail
What Lanark County is learning from Iceland's approach to reducing teen drinking  Ottawa Citizen

In 2016, Iceland welcomed a Lanark County import by the name of Eliza Reid as the country's first lady after her husband, Gudni Johannesson, was elected ...

Ottawa Citizen
Iceland's banned palm oil advert should have aired, says ITV chief  The Guardian

Carolyn McCall said it was 'ludicrous' advert viewed 65m times online could not run on TV.

The Guardian
Iceland's Appellate Court Upholds Sentencing Of Murderer  Reykjavík Grapevine

The appellate court has upheld the 19-year sentence for Thomas Møller Olsen, the man charged with and convicted of the murder of Birna Brjánsdóttir last year, ...

Reykjavík Grapevine
Malaysia and Indonesia ‘put pressure on UK government’ to intervene over Iceland’s palm oil ban  The Independent

The world's biggest palm oil producing nations, Indonesia and Malaysia, have both reportedly attempted to persuade the British government to take action after ...

The Independent
Iceland's Prime Minister Joins Bernie Sanders' Progressive International  Reykjavík Grapevine

Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Iceland's left-wing Prime Minister, announced on Facebook her support for a new international progressive movement, Stundin reports.

Reykjavík Grapevine
Icelandair Group's acquisition of WOW air cancelled  Iceland Monitor

Icelandair group will not be purchasing WOW air and have cancelled a purchase agreement signed on November 5th. This was a mutual agreement by both ...

Iceland Monitor
Socialist City Councillor Takes Wage Cut to Support Fund for Organisers  IcelandReview

Socialist City Councillor Sanna Magdalena Mörtudóttir has decided to take a monthly pay cut of ISK 158,000 ($1,280/€1,133) and redirect that money to the ...

200 Attend Meeting On Iceland Silicon Plant Future  Reykjavík Grapevine

Many Icelanders who live near the notorious United Silicon plant are trying to come to an agreement about the plant's future in the area, or in the country.

Reykjavík Grapevine
President of Iceland went ‘too far’ threatening to ban pineapple on pizza  WQAD Moline

REYKJAVIK, Iceland -- The president of Iceland issued a statement revising his controversial comments about pineapple on pizza. President Guðni Th.

WQAD Moline
White-Tailed Eagles Multiply in Iceland  IcelandReview

Iceland's white-tailed eagles have had a remarkably successful breeding season, according to wildlife ecologist Kristinn Haukur Skarphéðinsson, Head of ...

A Fresh Frequency: Útvarp 101 Is Changing The Game In Icelandic Radio  Reykjavík Grapevine

They say that video killed the radio star, but a group of young Reykjavík musicians, artists and tastemakers are determined to prove that statement untrue.

Reykjavík Grapevine
Are my grandkids from Iceland?  Sault Star

A couple of my grandkids and I started a new Christmas tradition last Friday. We went shopping for moderately priced toys that kids their age might like.

Sault Star
Sólheimajökull glacier under investigation following reports of sulphur smell  Iceland Monitor

The Iceland Met Office has warned of a strong smell of sulphur at Sólheimajökull glacier and the Jökulsá river in South Iceland. The cause of the odour is still not ...

Iceland Monitor
Iceland, Italy carriers to start IGI operations  Times of India

NEW DELHI: International aerial network to and from Delhi has just got better. There are now more options for flyers between IGI airport and the west with two ...

Times of India

Iceland Videos

Iceland’s Banned TV Christmas Advert... Say hello to Rang-tan. #NoPalmOilChristmas
Iceland’s Banned TV Christmas Advert... Say hello to Rang-tan. #NoPalmOilChristmas
SINGLE'S GUIDE TO ICELAND: First Comes Sex... (PART 1/3)
SINGLE'S GUIDE TO ICELAND: First Comes Sex... (PART 1/3)
Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho: Pinoy halo-halo sa Iceland!
Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho: Pinoy halo-halo sa Iceland!
Iceland Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia
Iceland Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia
आइसलैंड नंगा होना आम बात है // Iceland a amazing country
आइसलैंड नंगा होना आम बात है // Iceland a amazing country
Iceland Travel Guide (No BS) - Best Things to do in Iceland
Iceland Travel Guide (No BS) - Best Things to do in Iceland
Iceland for First-Timers (Top 10 Tips You Need To Know)
Iceland for First-Timers (Top 10 Tips You Need To Know)
Answering your questions about Iceland! + speaking icelandic!
Answering your questions about Iceland! + speaking icelandic!
We Tried Icelandic Foods | How Expensive is Reykjavík?
We Tried Icelandic Foods | How Expensive is Reykjavík?

Iceland Images

Relaxing at Hot Springs in Iceland | Wander The Map
Relaxing at Hot Springs in Iceland | Wander The Map
Kjölur : A Foretaste of Icelandic Highlands — Julien Fumard
Kjölur : A Foretaste of Icelandic Highlands — Julien Fumard
Kerlingarfjöll, Iceland
Kerlingarfjöll, Iceland
Goðafoss - Wikipedia
Goðafoss - Wikipedia
Austurland Page
Austurland Page
Glimpses of Iceland – Vík í Mýrdal
Glimpses of Iceland – Vík í Mýrdal
Iceland Photography
Iceland Photography
The cabins at Ásgarður, Kerlingarfjöll.
The cabins at Ásgarður, Kerlingarfjöll.
Luxury Holiday to Dubai: 5 Nights 5* Hotel incl. Emirates ...
Luxury Holiday to Dubai: 5 Nights 5* Hotel incl. Emirates ...

Iceland WebSites


Iceland Wiki

Iceland (Icelandic: Ísland [ˈistlant]) is a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic, with a population of 348,580 and an area of 103,000 km2 (40,000 sq mi), making it the most sparsely populated country in Europe. The capital and largest city is Reykjavík, with Reykjavík and the surrounding areas in the southwest of the country being home to over two-thirds of the population. Iceland is volcanically and geologically active. The interior consists of a plateau characterised by sand and lava fields, mountains, and glaciers, and many glacial rivers flow to the sea through the lowlands. Iceland is warmed by the Gulf Stream and has a temperate climate, despite a high latitude just outside the Arctic Circle. Its high latitude and marine influence keep summers chilly, with most of the archipelago having a tundra climate.According to the ancient manuscript Landnámabók, the settlement of Iceland began in 874 AD when the Norwegian chieftain Ingólfr Arnarson became the first permanent settler on the island. In the following centuries, Norwegians, and to a lesser extent other Scandinavians, emigrated to Iceland, bringing with them thralls (i.e., slaves or serfs) of Gaelic origin. The island was governed as an independent commonwealth under the Althing, one of the world's oldest functioning legislative assemblies. Following a period of civil strife, Iceland acceded to Norwegian rule in the 13th century. The establishment of the Kalmar Union in 1397 united the kingdoms of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. Iceland thus followed Norway's integration into that union, coming under Danish rule after Sweden's secession from the union in 1523. Although the Danish kingdom introduced Lutheranism forcefully in 1550, Iceland remained a distant semi-colonial territory in which Danish institutions and infrastructures were conspicuous by their absence. In the wake of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, Iceland's struggle for independence took form and culminated in independence in 1918 and the founding of a republic in 1944. Until the 20th century, Iceland relied largely on subsistence fishing and agriculture, and was among the poorest countries in Europe. Industrialisation of the fisheries and Marshall Plan aid following World War II brought prosperity and Iceland became one of the wealthiest and most developed nations in the world. In 1994, it became a part of the European Economic Area, which further diversified the economy into sectors such as finance, biotechnology, and manufacturing.Iceland has a market economy with relatively low taxes, compared to other OECD countries. It maintains a Nordic social welfare system that provides universal health care and tertiary education for its citizens. Iceland ranks high in economic, democratic, social stability, and equality, currently ranking first in the world by median wealth per adult. In 2018, it was ranked as the sixth most developed country in the world by the United Nations' Human Development Index, and it ranks first on the Global Peace Index. Iceland runs almost completely on renewable energy. Hit hard by the worldwide financial crisis, the nation's entire banking system systemically failed in October 2008, leading to a severe depression, substantial political unrest, the Icesave dispute, and the institution of capital controls. Some bankers were jailed. Since then, the economy has made a significant recovery, in large part due to a surge in tourism.Icelandic culture is founded upon the nation's Scandinavian heritage. Most Icelanders are descendants of Norse and Gaelic settlers. Icelandic, a North Germanic language, is descended from Old West Norse and is closely related to Faroese and West Norwegian dialects. The country's cultural heritage includes traditional Icelandic cuisine, Icelandic literature, and medieval sagas. Iceland has the smallest population of any NATO member and is the only one with no standing army, with a lightly armed coast guard.