Capital | Reykjavik
Population | 308,910 (July 2010 est.)
Area | 103,000 SQ KM
Official Language | Icelandic
Holidays | Independence Day, 17 June (1944 – from Denmark)
Currency | Icelandic kronur (ISK)
Time Zone | UTC +0
Best Time to Visit | June to August, when the country defrosts
Connecting with the Culture | Enjoying Reykjavik’s uninhibited nightlife. Swimming in the piping –hot waters of the geothermal field at Nesjavellir. Checking out Vatnajokull-Europe’s biggest icecap. Dogsledding on the icecaps at Myrdalsjokull.
Read | Independent People by Halldor Laxness, Nobel Prize winner.
Listen | to Bjork, Quarashi and Sigur Ros
Watch | Children of Nature directed by Fridrik Thor Frioriksson, which tells the story of an elderly couple forced into a retirement home in Reykjavik.
Eat | harofikur (haddock), which is cleaned and dried in the open air until dehydrated and brittle.
Drink | Kaffi (coffee), Icelandic beer or the traditional Icelandic brew brennivin, a sort of schnapps made from potatoes and flavored caraway.
In a Word | Ska! (cheers!)
Characteristics | Fire and ice, Bjork, fish, volcanoes, the aurora borealis, beer, hot springs.
Surprises | During the weekends the whole of Reykjavik joins in the great Icelandic pub-crawl, which goes on till dawn. It is forbidden for parents to bestow non-Icelandic or foreign-sounding names on their children.