"Iceland" Top 5 Page for this destination Reykjavík Region by Marionbcn

Reykjavík Region Travel Guide: 1,915 reviews and 5,212 photos

The island was settled by the Norse seafarers in the 9th century who established the world's first known republic and parliament in about 930 AD. The original seat of this democratic system may be found at Thingvellir, about an hour's drive from Reykjavik, where the original Viking settlers turned a cliff wall into a natural amphitheatre which was used as an assembly. In the mid-13th century the islanders submitted to the authority of the King of Norway, and when Norway came under the control of Denmark in 1380, Iceland did too. In 1814, Norway became independent, but Iceland remained a Danish territory. In 1840 it was granted its own constitution - effectively allowing internal self-government.
Full independence was granted in 1918, although Iceland continued to recognise the Danish monarch as head of state. It was not until 1944 that Iceland became a fully independent nation with its own head of state. Contemporary Icelandic politics display the customary Western European spectrum of political parties, although a notable feature has been the influence of women within the main parties (Independents, Progressives, Social Democrats). Iceland's most famous political figure of recent times is also a woman, Vigdis Finnbogadottir, who served four consecutive terms as president between 1980 and her resignation in 1996. The Parliament (Althing) has generally been dominated by coalition governments. These were of a broadly centre-right persuasion until the mid-1970s, when the left has dominated.
At the general election in April 1991, the Independence Party (IP) emerged as the largest grouping in the Althing and formed a coalition administration with the smaller SDP. The ex-mayor of Reykjavik, David Oddsson, who had successfully taken over the leadership of the IP, was made Prime Minister. Oddsson was re-elected at the 1995 general election, but a decline in support for the IP later forced Oddsson to form a coalition administration with the Progressive Party (PP). At the most recent poll in May 1999, the same coalition - still under Oddsson - retained overall control of the Althing. Icelandic foreign policy is dominated by two factors: fishing and relations with the Atlantic powers.
Iceland is a member of NATO, the Nordic Council and of the Council of Europe. Ties with NATO have been loosening since before the end of the Cold War - in May 1985, the Althing declared Iceland a 'nuclear-free zone' -and this process has accelerated since the reduction of the large NATO base at Keflavik. Iceland has historically eschewed membership of the European Union, partly because of its Scandinavian links. However, since Sweden, Finland and Denmark have all joined up, it is Iceland's opposition to the EU's fisheries policy of stock management by quotas that is now the decisive influence. Since both the IP and the PP oppose the Common Fisheries Policy, it seems unlikely that Iceland will apply for EU membership in the foreseeable future.
On the issue of whaling, Iceland has been among the few objecting to the International Whaling Commission's (IWC) ban: in 1992, the Government withdrew from the IWC.


Icelandic Krona (Ikr) = 100 aurar. Notes are in denominations of Ikr5000, 2000, 1000, 500 and 100. Coins are in denominations of IKr100, 50, 10, 5 and 1.

Currency exchange
Foreign currencies can be exchanged in all major banks, some of which (such as the Landesbankí at Keflavik airport) are open 24 hours. Most hotels also provide their guests with exchange services. Exchange services are also available from The Change Group, which has offices at Keflavik airport, the Tourist Information Centre and in central Reykjavík (near the MacDonalds restaurant). ATMs are also available throughout Reykjavík.

reykjavík the northest capital

Ive never thought ill end visiting Iceland twic within one year, going there always been my dream, and since ive done it once i've never thought i'll have the chance to return..but it happened,i was talking 2 of my friends about how great Iceland is, and they asked if you could go a trip there...i managed everyhting and we left the march 1st, until the 5th.
This time ive enjoyed much more, the fact of beeing there with my friends make things even nicer, also we got to talk to icelandics, and i didnt get much in touch with the people when i first been there, and they are definitely lovely, and open, and so talktive, much more than any other scandinavians.

  • Last visit to Reykjavík Region: Mar 2004
  • Intro Updated Mar 7, 2004
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Reviews (23)

Comments (27)

  • fabrice's Profile Photo
    Dec 16, 2008 at 12:55 AM

    that could be my next trip but I am afraid of the price of the plane ticket

  • Oct 28, 2006 at 6:28 AM

    Another place to visit.....Blue Lagoon looks very atmospheric. Your picture?

  • almogaver's Profile Photo
    May 22, 2004 at 3:51 PM

    Great!. Molt bo el resum històric.Entenedor i concís. Gràcies!

  • OrlandoBR's Profile Photo
    Sep 19, 2003 at 7:08 PM

    Absolutely beautiful intro picture.

  • Luchonda's Profile Photo
    Sep 13, 2003 at 1:48 AM

    Must be an adventure to discover this country ! Thx for the informative page !

  • mrdarius's Profile Photo
    Sep 11, 2003 at 10:57 AM

    need to add iceland to my list of places to go. very informative page. really, tons of info...where did you get it?

  • littlesam1's Profile Photo
    Sep 10, 2003 at 12:45 PM

    Love the picture on the Reyjanes Pennisula. I have some pictures from there also. Its a really remote and beautiful spot.

  • deeper_blue's Profile Photo
    Sep 7, 2003 at 4:58 PM

    Sounds an excellent destination, good comments and pics!

  • jto's Profile Photo
    Aug 13, 2003 at 4:18 AM

    OH super, Iceland and Reykjavik is a dream. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  • Aug 12, 2003 at 8:41 PM

    Nice home page...beautiful pictures and tips..Many many happy returns of the day.Wishing you a happy birthday.Have a nice party tonight.



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