Iceland is closer than you think, only three hours from London and five hours from New York, you’re ready for action as soon as you arrive. There’s also plenty of choice for relaxing indulgence and pampering yourself. The chilliest thing about Iceland is its name! In January, the average temperature in the capital Reykjavik is higher than that in New York. And Iceland’s welcome for tourists is always warm. Almost everyone speaks fluent English and Icelanders aren’t really given to formalities. The telephone directory even lists people by their first name!
Reykjavik is a city where you’ll feel safe to walk the streets. With its colorful houses, friendly people and walkable city center, it’s like being in a big village. But this “village” has a multitude of cultural venues, gourmet restaurants, and stores. It also has the modern conveniences, services and quality of living you would expect from a world-class city.
Even so, it’s still only a 15-minute cab ride between downtown and wild nature, where you’ll feel you’re the only person on earth. When you’re in nature, you can explore geysers, waterfalls, geothermal hot springs, bird sanctuaries and more! Iceland is the ideal place for taking a break and setting foot on a European outpost with an exciting, lively, ancient and thriving culture all of its own. You’ll feel at home – free to walk around, shop, admire, explore. It’s a place you could go on discovering forever.
Iceland is a young country in the midst of its own creation. Our beautiful, bare landscapes highlight the four basic elements—earth, air, fire, and water—in a most dramatic way. Our active volcanoes, bright green valleys, glacier-cut fjords, black sand beaches, and roaring rivers are so accessible yet remain virtually untouched by human civilization. In this fast-paced world of sprawling development, Iceland's pure nature and empty expanses stand out as a luxury.
Our namesake “ice” covers over 10% of the land and represents the largest glaciers left in Europe. It represents the source of our pure water and symbolizes the purity of all Icelandic products. Indeed, nature is our brand and Iceland is dedicated to preserving this natural wealth through responsible conservation.
The Icelandic water
Iceland's water is some of the purest in the world. Clean air, regular precipitation and the natural filtration of volcanic rock lend themselves to a steady reserve of pristine water. Whether you're in Iceland or at home, there are are so many ways to experience Icelandic water. Drink
By far the best drink in Iceland is our water—you get the same pure taste from the tap or out of a fresh mountain stream. Thanks to Icelandic Glacial, our deliciously clean drinking water is available throughout North America. The new and trendy Reyka Vodka is distilled from the same pure glacial liquid and can be found in discerning establishments.
Natural geothermal springs give Iceland an unending supply of hot water and for centuries, Icelanders have relaxed in the soothing, natural hot baths found all over their country. To enjoy the full experience, come soak at the Blue Lagoon, Iceland's world-famous spa that combines the purity of our water with the natural curative properties of our volcanic landscape.
Swimming is a regular part of Icelandic culture and thanks to our many thermal pools, you can swim outdoors all year round, no matter the weather. Iceland features over one hundred public swimming pools nationwide, the highest human-to-swimming pool ratio in the world. Our capital ReykjavÝk is a spa destination that everyone can enjoy.
Sustainable energy in Iceland
While no country has achieved a truly sustainable society, Iceland is the closest to getting there. Currently, 75% of Iceland's total energy consumption is derived from hydro and geothermal sources, making it the cleanest energy consumer in the world. Fast-flowing rivers and volcanic hotspots provide power, heat, and fuel to Icelanders while innovative new technologies are being developed to help other countries. Today, Iceland is making important advances in hydrogen power, while methane-fueled garbage trucks clean the streets of ReykjavÝk.
With global concerns about climate change, world leaders of government and business are looking to Iceland's progressive example of low-impact living and independence from fossil fuels. Some energy-intensive industries have already relocated to Iceland in order to reduce cost and pollution. When it comes to clean and sustainable energy, the rest of the world is learning from Iceland.
The Icelandic wildlife
We love our unique wildlife and love sharing it with others. Iceland is home to the largest population of puffins in the world and devoted birdwatchers flock to our shores to see dozens of rare species up close. Our waters are home to a range of whales and dolphins while arctic fox and reindeer herds roam our hills. We know the importance of healthy wildlife and are dedicated to protecting our flora and fauna.