Iceland Regions

East Iceland

east

Its area is 22,721 square kilometres (8,773 sq mi). The largest town in the region is Egilsstaðir, the oldest municipality is Seyðisfjörður, established in 1895.

The east coast of Iceland is home to the country’s largest forest, lush farmlands and a range of small fjords and islands. Thanks to the East’s many natural harbors, a variety of fishing villages, and small seaside communities border the coast. In the summer months, the east of Iceland becomes a creative hub for artists and young people from around Iceland and abroad, as a variety of music and art festivals have been popping up and expanding steadily in recent years.

Local folklore is filled with legends of hidden elves and there are several interesting museums in the region worth visiting including the Wartime Museum and Petra’s Mineral Collection. The East enjoys some of the sunniest weather in the country and visitors enjoy spending time hiking, horseback riding, sea angling and taking boat rides among the many grassy islands off shore.

West Iceland
West Iceland

West Iceland is one of Iceland’s most geologically diverse regions. Its natural wonders are a nearly exhaustive sampling of all that Iceland has to offer, ranging from slumbering volcanos and majestic waterfalls to a variety of flora and wildlife. The biggest town in the region is Akranes.

The shore abounds in bizarre rock formations and bird life, and a number of towns snuggle in bays along the north coast. From the largest town, Stykkisholmur, travelers can take cruises or a ferry across Breidafjordur Bay with its countless islands. The ferry calls at Flatey Island with period piece houses that testify to its old status as a major cultural center.

Westfjords

Westfjords

Its area is 8,599 mi².

The Westfjords or West Fjords is the name of a large peninsula in northwestern Iceland and an administrative district. It lies on the Denmark Strait, facing the east coast of Greenland. It is connected to the rest of Iceland by a 7 km wide isthmus between Gilsfjörður and Bitrufjörður. The Westfjords are very mountainous; the coastline is heavily indented by dozens of fjords surrounded by steep hills. These indentations make roads very circuitous and communications by land difficult. In addition many of the roads are closed by ice and snow for several months of the year. Everything here is extreme – from the Table Mountains that dominate the landscape, plunging precipitously into the Atlantic, to the ferocious storms that have gnawed the coastline into countless craggy inlets.  Life up here, on the edge of the Arctic Circle, is tough – even in summer, temperatures seldom rise above 10°C, and drifting pack ice is never far from the north coast.

South

south

The biggest town in the region is Selfoss. Iceland’s south coast is home to some of the country’s most visited tourist attractions. The coastline itself is renowned for its beauty, and the towns along the coast are famous for their fresh seafood. From wonderful waterfalls, to great glaciers, the South has it all. With the Golden Circle route, connecting Þingvellir, Gullfoss and Geysir, located in the area, it is a very popular destination for visitors. Further east along the shore, you will find Skógafoss Waterfall, Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon, Vatnajökull Glacier, and several other natural wonders.

The South is rich in history and culture. Events from the Sagas are remembered in many ways along the coast, and several museums in the area celebrate Icelandic customs and heritage. With much of the country’s agricultural products coming from the area, the South is also a fine testimony to Icelandic restaurant culture.

Reykjanes

Reykjanes

Reykjanesskagi, Southern Peninsula or Reykjanes is a peninsula situated at the southwestern end of Iceland, near the capital of Reykjavík. It was named after Reykjanes, the southwestern tip Reykjanesskagiother.

The peninsula is marked by active volcanism under its surface, and large lava fields, allowing little vegetation. There are numerous hot springs and sulphur springs in the southern half of the peninsula, around the Kleifarvatn Lake and the Krýsuvík geothermal area. There is also a geothermal power station at Svartsengi. Near the power station a swimming pool has been installed using the hot and mineralized water coming down from the power station; it is known as the “Blue Lagoon” (Bláa Lónið).

The Leif the Lucky (or Miðlína) Bridge spans the Álfagjá rift valley (60 feet wide and 20 feet (6.1 m) deep) near Grindavik, which marks the boundary of the Eurasian and North American continental tectonic plates. It was built in 2002 and named in honor of Icelandic explorer Leif Eriksson who traveled from Europe to America 500 years before Columbus.

Reykjavik

Reykjavik

Reykjavik, Iceland’s coastal capital, is renowned for the late-night clubs and bars in its compact center. Its home to the National and Saga museums, tracing Iceland’s Viking history. The striking concrete Hallgrimskirkja church and rotating Perlan glass dome offer sweeping views of the sea and nearby hills. Exemplifying the island’s dramatic landscape is the volcanic setting of the geothermal Blue Lagoon spa.

Highlands

highlands

The Highlands of Iceland cover most of the interior of Iceland. They are situated above 400–500 metres and are mostly an uninhabitable volcanic desert, because the water precipitating as rain or snow infiltrates so quickly into the ground that it is unavailable for plant growth. This results largely in a surface of grey, black or brown earth, lava and volcanic ashes. A few oasis-like areas, such as Herðubreiðarlindir near Askja, are found only in proximity to rivers. 

Surrounded by obsidian and colorful rhyolite mountains, visitors can bathe in natural hot rivers in the geothermal area of Landmannalaugar. From there, the Laugavegur trail leads to the woodland nature reserve Þórsmörk—a hidden valley surrounded by mountains, glaciers and glacial rivers—that serves as a popular base camp for hikers who intend to reach the surrounding highland mountains.

North Iceland

north

The north of Iceland truly is a land of contrasts. Its long valleys and peninsulas are interspersed with mountains, lava fields and smooth hills carved out by rivers. The deep and numerous indentations in the coast of the North are at times lush with vegetation, at others barren. As one nears the Arctic Circle in the northern latitudes, the midnight sun is invariably awe-inspiring.

The North is home to Iceland’s second largest urban area, Akureyri, located in Iceland’s longest fjord, the mild-weathered Eyjafjörður. Akureyri, rich in culture and history, has a charming downtown full of late nineteenth century wooden houses. In summer, golfers can take advantage of the midnight sun at the Arctic Open.

Many towns of the North are dedicated to marine life. The Húsavík Whale Museum and the Seal Center in Hvammstangi are two options for visitors. Close by in the northern reaches of the Vatnajökull National Park is the impressive Ásbyrgi Canyon, as well as the Dettifoss Waterfall—the most powerful in Europe. The nearby Lake Mývatn and its surrounding wetlands has an exceptional variety of waterbirds and rock formations.

Education in Spain
The Spanish state school system is generally considered good, although academic standards vary between cities, neighborhoods, and individual schools. The public education system in Spain is free for all children residing in Spain. It is mandatory for all kids and teens to attend school between the ages of six and sixteen. Most parents send their children to preschool and kindergarten as well, once their kids are three years old.

Spanish schools are divided by age groups into three, possibly four, types. There’s the primary school (colegio) teaching children from the ages of six to twelve, and the secondary school (instituto), which twelve to sixteen-year-olds attend, is followed by the bachillerato. The latter is no longer compulsory, but it gives adolescents the chance to get a degree equivalent to that of the British A-Levels or the American high school diploma. Some schools also offer an educación infantíl for toddlers and children between the ages of three and six.

Food:

The Spanish food tradition has varied ancestry, though most Spanish dishes have rather humble origins and are the result, over time, of ingredients put together by poor peasants, farmers or shepherd families; many times using leftovers, or at the very least products from their own farms and orchards.

So how come Spanish cuisine is so diverse? The answer is simple, and it’s all related to history and location. First of all we must consider that being in central Europe Spain had great Roman and Greek influence; think only of olive oil and wine, then the Moorish influence in the Spanish cooking tradition produced marvels such as gazpacho and nougats and the Jewish gastronomic tradition contributed to the preparation of stews known as olla (pot).

However it was Christians who began with the tradition of one of Spain’s most notorious and sought after products: Spanish ham, which is not only consumed as tapas in bars, but also accompanies many dishes. Unquestionably pork is par excellence the favorite Spanish meat: everything is used, nothing is wasted. However, the Spanish like to make use of all of the ingredients they can and often include a number of different meats in the same dish.

Of course there are many other meats served in Spanish tables including lamb, beef and chicken. But Spaniards are not exclusively carnivorous, there are many vegetarian stews and other dishes that are enjoyed from North to South, from East to West. Vegetables are grown throughout the country, and the varied climates and terrains in Spain mean that a variety of different vegetables are grown. As a result, the vegetable dishes in Spain tend to vary from place to place.

Political System
In its present democratic form, the Spanish political system is very new, dating from the death of the dictator General Francisco Franco in 1975. The current Spanish Constitution was approved in 1978. The name chosen for the new two-chamber Spanish Parliament – the Cortes Generales (literally General Courts but rarely translated as such) – reflects the use of the term Cortes since Medieval Times and the addition of the word General signals the nationwide character of the Parliament as the legislatures of some autonomous communities are also labeled “Cortes”.

For four decades, the political institutions of Spain have been fought over by two major parties that reflected the Centre-Right/Centre-Left divisions in so much of European politics – a system known in Spain as “bipartidismo”. But chronic corruption in the political system and the economic crisis of recent years, which saw a double dip recesssion and unemployment peaking at 26%, has led to the perceived failure of the two establishment parties and given rise to tumultuous electoral change that is still working its way through the system.

Spain is a constitutional monarchy with a hereditary monarch, currently King Felipe VI. For all practical purposes, however, the head of the executive is the Prime Minister , literally President of the Government). The current Acting Prime Minister is Mariano Rajoy of the People’s Party but, in the general election of December 2015, his party lost its overall majority and he now has to attempt to put together a coalition of parties that will have a combined majority in the Cortes.

The Prime Minister chairs the Council of Ministers which is a collegiate body composed of the President (Prime Minister), Vice Presidents when existing, and the various. Ministers. The Council meets on weekly basis, usually Fridays in the morning at Moncloa Palace.

In the Spanish political system, the executive has to power to make decree laws, but the Congress of Deputies can ratify or reject these.

Smoking
Smokers in Spain have been banned from lighting up in bars and cafes as the country introduces a tough new anti-smoking legislation. The move has been criticized by hospitality industry representatives.
A cigarette in an ashtray, previous rules allowed bar owners to decide on any ban
Smokers in Spain are no longer allowed to light up a cigarette in bars and cafes after new anti-smoking legislation came into effect on Sunday, January 2.
The new law replaces one of Europe’s most relaxed anti-smoking legislation with one of the strictest.
The measures completely prohibit smoking in enclosed public spaces such as bars, cafes and restaurants, as well as outdoor areas such as children’s playgrounds and hospital grounds.
Spain introduced anti-smoking legislation in January 2006, but this gave many bar owners the opportunity to decide whether to allow smoking or not.

Transport


Air
Travelling by plane is also a good choice, the main cities are communicated by plane and it will save you a lot of time if you need to cover long distances.

Road
Travelling by car is highly recommended if you intend to visit different cities. Highways and good roads communicate the centre of the country -and thus the capital, Madrid- with the main Spanish cities, however it can be a bit more difficult to reach less popular cities or villages which may not have such good communications.

Bus
Transportation by bus is very popular in the country coaches reach places where trains do not go to, coaches will also offer you better schedules and destinations than trains. There are different coach companies working in the country depending on the destination.



 

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