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Iceland’s Location in Europe and Global Relations

Is Iceland in the Europe? Is Iceland part of the European Union? What continent is Iceland in?

These are just some of the questions I bet you are wondering when you hear people talking about the Land of Fire and Ice.

It is a Nordic country which is located in the northern part of Europe right in the North Atlantic Ocean.

This beautiful country is located south of the Arctic Circle, right between Europe and the United States.

Split by the mid-Atlantic Ridge, the land area has a total surface of 100,000 square kilometers and it is sparsely populated.

After many years of Danish domination, Icelandic nationalism win and the country was declared a republic in 1944.

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Is Iceland part of Europe?

Iceland is among the most beautiful European countries, and yes, it is part of Europe but it is not part of the European Union, nor the Schengen area.

This country is among the wildest from the Old Continent and has a population of only 375.000 inhabitants.

Map of Iceland Volcanoes that erupted since human settlement
Map of Volcanoes that erupted since human settlement

Most of the population is located in the vicinity of Reykjavik, the capital city of the country located in the southwestern part of the country.

The country is home to an impressive number of glaciers, volcanoes, and waterfalls and is the only place on Earth where you can touch with both of your hands at the same time two tectonic plates: the Eurasian tectonic plate and the North American tectonic plate.

Based on historic evidence, the first settlements appeared on the island around 874 AD when a Norwegian ruler and its army became the first permanent residents from the island.

Snaefellsjokull National Park Lava rocks at Djupalonssandur beach on Snaefellsnes peninsula Western Iceland
Snaefellsjokull National Park Lava rocks at Djupalonssandur beach on Snaefellsnes peninsula Western Iceland

In the following years, many Nordic populations migrated to the island, and most of them were established in the southern part of the island.

Iceland is actually the first country where the first parliament was settled in the place known today as Thingvellir National Park.

Is Iceland in the Europe?

Iceland is located right in the middle between North America and Europe and it has tight connections with Europe, but it never has been part of the European Union.

Kirkjufell Iceland Kirkjufellsfoss
Kirkjufell Iceland Kirkjufellsfoss

It is a Scandinavian country very homogenous from ethnicity perspective with welcoming people that are very proud of their culture and traditions and they do their best to preserve its language and traditions.

Even if it is hard to believe, an impressive number of Icelanders still believe in trolls, elves, and other mystical figures.

Is Iceland a part of Europe and the geography of the country

Iceland is located right on the Midatlantic Range right between the North American plate and the Eurasian plate.

So technically speaking Iceland is located half in North America and the other half in Europe if someone asks you what continent is Iceland in.

The good news is that when you visit Iceland you can be in two places at the same time and touch with your hands both tectonic plates.

We choose to book a seat at Silfra Fissure Snorkeling Tour with Underwater Photos, one of the best tours from the area that includes a guided snorkeling tour at the Silfra Fissure, dry suit, and other snorkeling equipment as well as hot drinks and snacks and some amazing photos of the unique experience.

Silfra Fissure Snorkeling Tour with Underwater Photos Guide
Silfra Fissure Snorkeling Tour with Underwater Photos Guide

It is an incredible and unique experience that you definitely don’t have to miss on your trip to Iceland!

As living proof that the Earth is in continuous change is the fact that the plates are constantly moving and they move with about 2 centimeters each year.

Based on numbers, scientists said that Iceland is the second-largest island in Europe and the 18th largest island on Earth and everybody accepts it as an extension of The Old Continent as Europe is called.

Iceland is home to the largest glacier in Europe, the outstanding Vatnajokull Glacier, and to a large variety of landforms including volcanoes, hot springs, and breathtaking waterfalls.

The island has a total surface of 4.800 kilometers or 3,000 miles and is neighboring the Greenland Sea in the north, the Norwegian Sea in the east, the Atlantic Ocean in the west and south, and the Denmark Strait on the northwest.

Is Iceland in Europe and relief of the country

About 13% of the total surface of the country is covered with ice and Vatnajokull National Park is the largest ice surface from the whole island.

Hidden deep beneath the Icelandic ice you can find an impressive number of volcanoes, some of the dormant and others extremely active that shaped the face of Iceland year after year.

Scientists believe that about one-third of the lava that flowed 1,500 years ago was poured out from the Icelandic volcanoes so for many years Iceland was a wild territory.

Ice Cave on Jokulsarlon Glacier Southern Iceland
Ice Cave on Jokulsarlon Glacier Southern Iceland in the Europe

An important volcano eruption happened between November 1963 and June 1967 and the lava that flows created a new island called Surtsey that is located in the southwestern part of Iceland.

The most recent major eruptions happened in March 2010 and then in April and were caused by Eyjafjallajökull volcano, located under the Myrdalsjokull Glacier from Vatnajokull National Park.

The eruption cause the disruption of air traffic in the northern and central part of Europe when for a few days on the raw flight were canceled or recorded massive delays.

Is Iceland in Europe politically speaking

Now that you know where is Iceland located when analyzing it just from the geographical point of view, let’s get deeper into the subject and discover how to treat Iceland from a historical and political perspective.

History perspective

If you want to understand who Iceland is closest to, then you need to look back into Icelandic history.

Everything started when the Norwegian Vikings arrived on the island and established the first permanent settlement here.

An interesting mix of Norwegian and Irish people came to this island for a better life and searching for a place to call home.

So, you should not be surprised that the Icelandic people have many similarities with the Scandinavian countries, although many people don’t refer to Iceland when they say Scandinavian countries.

Kirkjufell Mountain Glacier Iceland
Kirkjufell Mountain Glacier Iceland

From the language perspective, the Icelandic language resembles a lot with the Old Norse and not with the languages spoken in the Scandinavian Peninsula.

So that is why people from Sweden, Norway, and Denmark have difficulties in understanding the Icelandic language.

After a short analyze you will find out that the Icelandic language has many things in common with the language spoken in the Faroe Islands.

Politic perspective

Yes, is Iceland in the Europe and it has very strong relations with many countries from Europe, even though it is not a member of the European Union.

Quite confusing, isn’t it?!

Well, a country can be located on the European continent without being a member of the European Union or Schengen area.

What very people do know about Iceland is that it is part of the European Economic Area (EEA), meaning that Iceland is part of Europe’s single market.

Skaftafell National Park Glacier Is Iceland in the Europe
Skaftafell National Park Glacier is Iceland in the Europe

In other words, from the economic perspective, Iceland is part of Europe but from a political perspective, it is not a part of the European Union.

The main reason why Iceland refuses to be a member of the European Union is to protect its valuable fisheries.

Most people have as their main living source fishing and the very important fishing industry on the island and the Icelandic people don’t want to lose their power to take decisions on this sector so they decline the invitation of being part of the European Union.

Until the early 40’s it was among the poorest countries in the world and people live from farming which was difficult because of weather conditions.

But everything started to change at the moment when they realize the potential of fishing and seafood products.

Their European Economic Area gave them access to the European market but they took care of themselves and don’t let the European Union manage their fisheries.

Icelandic krona

Iceland does have strong relations with Europe and is part of the European Economic Area, but they have their own currency, the Icelandic krona.

Icelandic krona is an independent currency controlled by the Central Bank of Iceland, the institution that is in charge of the monetary policy.

Iceland Currency Money
Iceland Currency Money

The krona appeared in 1885 and it varies depending on the economic and political evolution of the country.

Taking into consideration the size of the Iceland population, we might say that Icelandic krona is a micro-currency as it is used by less than half a million people.

Today the most important exchange rates for krona (ISK) are:

1 ISK= 0.0078 USD
1 ISK= 0.0067 EUR
1 ISK= 0.0057 GBP

Is Iceland in Europe and Eurovision

Eurovision is among the most important musical event from Europe that has been held since 1956.

The year of 1986 market was the moment when Iceland participated for the first time in this contest.

All the European countries together with Australia and Israel participate in this contest year after year.

Unfortunately, Iceland had never won it and the best classification was recorded in 2009 and in 1999 when they got second place.


Although not a member of the European Union, Iceland is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever visited that is part of the European continent.

Kirkjufell Snaefellsjokull National Park Iceland in Europe
Kirkjufell Snaefellsjokull National Park Iceland in Europe

It is a fascinating country located on two tectonic plates: North American and Eurasian tectonic plates that you definitely have to visit at least once in your lifetime.

It might be expensive but definitely worth every dollar or euro you are about to spend there!


Is Iceland in Europe?

Iceland is located at the meeting point of two tectonic plates: the North America plate and the Eurasian plate.

Geographically speaking it is part of both continents: America and Europe, but from a political, cultural, and historical perspectives, the country is considered to be part of Europe.

Is Iceland a country?

Iceland is a country located on an island, the second largest island in Europe and the 18th largest island in the world.

The country of Iceland is an independent country that has its own currency, and political structure and has tight relations with European countries although it is not a member of the European Union.

Is Iceland considered part of Europe?

Iceland is considered to be part of Europe and it has strong economic relations with it, being a member of the European Economic area.

It is not a member of the European Union because Iceland doesn’t want to accept any ideas and changes over their political policy and fishing industry, but they use the European market to export their fish and seafood.

Logistical tips and tricks for your trip

Book your accommodation
We always use as they have the best price-quality ratio and they offer a wide range of hotels, guesthouses, apartments, and villas to choose from.

You will find here all types of accommodations, from the cheapest ones to the most luxurious.

Don't forget travel insurance
We never leave home without HeyMondo Insurance or Safety Wings Insurance as they offer the best services and a good value for money.

When we go for longer trips around the world we get Globelink Insurance as it offers a good cover for an affordable price.

Travel insurance will always protect you against unexpected costs caused by medical events like illness, injury, theft, or travel cancellation.

We never go on any trip without travel insurance and there were many cases when we had to use it.

Renting a car
We like to explore a country on our own and a car gives us the mobility and freedom to do that.

We always rent our car from Discovercars as they have free cancellation 48 hours prior to starting date and a wide range of car rental companies and options to choose from all over the world.

Tours and attractions
When we are looking for some adventure or we simply want to break up the monotony and discover new places, we always use GetYourGuide.

We love it because we always find the most amazing experiences, with free cancellation and a large variety of activities and tours to choose from.

Airplane tickets and holiday packages
Expedia is our ally when searching for the best price for airplane tickets as it works as an aggregator for a huge number of airlines and we always find the best price for our flights.

Travel tip: use Expedia when you are searching for holiday packages as they have many last-minute offers and great discounts for hotels, flights, and even the whole holiday packages.


Thursday 15th of June 2023

Iceland is a part of Schengen though it is not part of EU. Iceland is a member of EFTA and a part of the European Economic Area (EU/EFTA) and Schengen.