Tundra Travel

Destinations

IcelandTundra Travel

Fourteen species of whale can be seen in Icelandic waters. Blue, Fin, Sei, Minke and Humpback Whales are regularly seen.

Iceland

General information.

 

Iceland is situated in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, about 800 kilometres north of Scotland and only 280 kilometres from Greenland. Although the vast majority of Iceland is located below the Arctic Circle, a small island, Grímsey, is crossed by it.

The island is geologically very young; it was created only 16 to 17 million years ago on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge by the movement of the American and Eurasian tectonic plates. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge is still visible at Þingvellir (Thingvellir). There is a lot of geothermal activity in Iceland, with about 800 hot springs including geysers.

 

The first people that probably set foot on Iceland were monks from Ireland that settled in the 8th century. Around 870 the first Norseman, settlers from Norway, arrived and drove away the monks. Over the centuries more settlers arrived from Norway. Nowadays Iceland is a modern, technologically advanced country within 5 hours of the east coast of the United States. It is the ideal place for taking a break and for visiting a European outpost with an exciting, lively, and ancient - but living - culture all of its own.

 

 

Climate.

 

Thanks to the Gulf Stream, Iceland enjoys a maritime sub-Arctic climate, cool and temperate. The winters are mild and windy while the summers are damp and cool with mean temperatures around 11ºC (52ºF). The annual precipitation (in Reykjavik) is around 800 mm, much of which comes down as snow in winter.

 

 

Flora & Fauna.

 

The wild terrestrial mammals are Arctic Fox, Mink and reindeer, the last two having been introduced or escaped.

 

Marine mammal species are more abundant. Two seal species, the Grey and Common (or Harbour) Seal are very common around the island.

 

Fourteen species of whale can be seen in Icelandic waters. Blue, Fin, Sei, Minke and Humpback Whales are regularly seen, and there are regular sightings of Sperm Whales, Killer Whales, and Belugas, as well as White-beaked, Risso´s and Atlantic White-sided Dolphins and Harbour Porpoises.

 

For bird lovers Iceland is a real paradise. About 73 species of birds breed regularly on the islands. Seabirds form an important part of Iceland´s bird life with puffins, skuas, and kittiwakes finding great nesting places on the huge sea cliffs.

Corporate image:Xavier Marlí

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