Iceland Cities with Hotels
Iceland (Icelandic, Ísland), island republic, in the North
Atlantic Ocean, about 300 km (about 185 mi) east of Greenland and about 1000 km
(about 620 mi) west of Norway. The country's extreme dimensions are about 305 km
(about 190 mi) from north to south and about 485 km (about 300 mi) from east to
west. Iceland has an area of 103,000 sq km (39,769 sq mi).
Some of the hotels, motels and resorts available for booking
in our reservation network include, Ramada Inn, Marriott Hotels, Super 8 Motels,
Econo Lodge, Holiday Inn & Holiday Inn Express, Travelodge, Hampton Inn,
Sheraton, Hilton, Best Western, Hyatt and Hyatt Regency, Wyndham Inn, Ritz and
Ritz Carlton, Days Inn, Courtyard by Marriott, La Quinta Inns, Comfort Inn and
Comfort Suite, Embassy Suites, Quality Inn, Radisson Inn, Sleep Inn, Numerous
Resorts and Resort Villas throughout the globe, along with Plaza and Plaza
Suites and and array of private and Golf Clubs and Golf Resorts.
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Land and Resources
In shape Iceland is generally elliptic, and the coastline,
with a total length of about 5955 km (about 3700 mi), is deeply indented,
especially in the west and north. Important embayments on the West Coast are
Faxaflói (bay) and Breidhafjördhur (fjord). Projecting northwest between the
latter and Húnaflói (bay), one of the major indentations on the northern
coast, is an irregularly formed peninsula fringed by precipitous cliffs. The
peninsular coastline makes up about 30 percent of the total for the island.
Volcanic in origin, Iceland consists predominantly of uninhabitable lava
tablelands with mountainous outcroppings; the lowlands, situated mainly
along the southwestern coast, occupy about 25 percent of the total area. The
bulk of the Icelandic population lives along the coast, particularly in the
Elevations in the uplands average between about 610 and 915 m
(about 2000 and 3000 ft). Hvannadalshnúkur (2119 m/6952 ft), in the
southeast, is the highest summit. Nearly 15 percent of the surface of the
island is covered by snowfields and glaciers. Vatnajökull, a glacier in the
southeast, has an area of about 8550 sq km (about 3300 sq mi). The island
has more than 120 glaciers and numerous small lakes and swift-flowing
Iceland is remarkable for the number of its volcanoes,
craters, and thermal springs and for the frequency of its earthquakes. More
than 100 volcanoes, including at least 25 that have erupted in historic
times, are situated on the island. Noteworthy among the volcanoes are Mount
Hekla (1491 m/4891 ft), which has erupted many times, including in 1766,
1947, and 1980, and nearby Laki, with about 100 separate craters. Vast lava
fields have been created by volcanoes, and many eruptions have caused
widespread devastation. In 1783, when the only known eruption of Laki
occurred, molten lava, volcanic ashes and gases, and torrential floods
resulting from melting ice and snow led to the deaths of more than 9000
people, ruined large tracts of arable land, and destroyed about 80 percent
of the livestock on the island. In 1963 an ocean-floor volcano erupted off
the southwestern coast of Iceland, creating Surtsey Island. In 1973 a
volcano on Heimaey Island became active, forcing the evacuation of the
island's main town, Vestmannaeyjar.
Thermal springs are common in Iceland. Particularly numerous
in the volcanic areas, the springs occur as geysers, as boiling mud lakes,
and in various other forms. Geysir, generally regarded as the most
spectacular, erupts at irregular intervals (usually from 5 to 36 hr),
ejecting a column of boiling water up to about 60 m (about 200 ft) in
height. Most homes and industrial establishments in the Reykjavik area are
heated by water piped from nearby hot springs.
Iceland has a relatively mild and equable climate, despite
its high altitude and its proximity to the Arctic. Because of oceanic
influences, notably the North Atlantic Drift (a continuation of the Gulf
Stream), climatic conditions are moderate in all sections of the island. The
mean annual temperature at Reykjavík is about 5° C (about 41° F), with a
range from -0.6° C (31° F) in January to 11.1° C (52° F) in July. In the
northwestern, northern, and eastern coastal regions, subject to the effects
of polar currents and drifting ice, temperatures are generally lower.
Windstorms of considerable violence are characteristic during much of the
winter season. Annual precipitation ranges between about 1270 and 2030 mm
(about 50 and 80 in) along the southern coast, and is only about 510 mm
(about 20 in) along the northern coast. The southern slopes of some of
Iceland's interior mountains receive up to about 4570 mm (about 180 in) of
moisture per year.
"Iceland," Microsoft® Encarta® 97 Encyclopedia.
© 1993-1996 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
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October 10, 2008 07:37 PM.