Islands of Iceland
Iceland has several islands, the most important of which is the island of the same name. The local population prefers to live on this island, on the rest of the land there are miniature towns and fishing villages. Iceland is the second largest island in Europe. The country is located near the Arctic Circle. Cold Greenland is nearby, but Iceland has a milder climate. The islands of Iceland are home to Icelanders who are descendants of the Scandinavians. There are also Danes and Norwegians here. The main financial, business and cultural center of the island state is the city of Reykjavik. It is considered the northernmost capital of the planet..
Iceland's islands are active volcanoes and large glaciers. There is constant volcanic activity on the main island. The Westman Islands are located near the southern coast of the country, in the Atlantic Ocean. The archipelago consists of 15 large islands, several small islets, cliffs and rocks. Among them, only Heimaey Island is inhabited. Its area is 13 sq. km. The only town on this island is the well-maintained and beautiful Westmann. Heimaey has a second name - «Northern Pompeii», since the strongest eruption of the Eldfell volcano, which occurred in 1973, caused metamorphoses - all the buildings of the city were covered with ash, and the population had to be completely evacuated.
The islands of Iceland include a miracle of northern nature - the island of Surtsey, which arose as a result of the activity of an underwater volcano. The island is based on solid rock formed from solidified lava. On the border of the Arctic Circle is the Grimsey Islands. From it you can see such natural phenomena as Polar day and night..
Features of the islands
Icelandic lands are covered with short plants or have no vegetation. The soil is formed by volcanic ash that is blown away by the wind. In Iceland's climate, plants take a long time to settle in mineral soil. In past centuries, there were birch forests on the islands. But the activities of people led to their disappearance. Today, dwarf birch grows in the country, mainly in mountainous areas. Seals and whales are found in coastal waters. The islands are rich in birds. There are 66 bird species in Iceland. Birds from other regions come here for wintering..
Despite the country's geographic location, the climate is mild rather than harsh. The islands of Iceland are strongly influenced by the warm current of the Gulf Stream. But the weather is changeable here, as the close polar air masses oppose the Atlantic. Constant winds are a distinctive feature of the islands. Record strong winds were recorded on the island of Vestmannair.