The worldwide economic crisis hit Iceland particularly hard in 2008, with the national unit of currency, the krona, taking a major beating. However, the island nation's recent economic woes put this normally pricey destination on the hot-travel-deals radar.Now is a great time to take advantage of better currency exchange rates with a trip to the land of fire and ice.
Iceland Fast Facts
- Population: 300,000, over half settled in the capital city of Reykjavik.
- Geography: Iceland is roughly the size of Ohio.
- Currency: The krona (plural: kronur).
- Language: Icelandic (formerly Old Norse) remains essentially unchanged from its Viking ancestry during their settlement here in the ninth century; most citizens also speak English.
- Geology: Glaciers cover over 10% of the country, and its over two dozen active volcanoes keep things interesting, earning Iceland the nickname "The land of fire and ice."
- Health: Icelanders are among the healthiest people on earth, with one of longest life expectancies worldwide.
- Flora and Fauna: The arctic fox is Iceland's only native mammal; its hallmark birch trees are also native to the island; other wild inhabitants and plants were imported from the European mainland. (Travelers will likely appreciate Iceland's lack of mosquitoes).
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