The term 'Viking' as an ethnic term is wrong; to the Scandinavians it meant specifically a raider, so not all, or even most, Icelanders were Vikings. Practically all were simple farmers. No towns existed in medieval Iceland, and farms were self-sufficient units.
An Icelander was the first to land on Greenland, which was settled by Eirik the Red after he had been outlawed from Iceland, who called it this to make it more attractive to other settlers. It was his son, Leifur, nicknamed Leif the Lucky, who was the first European to set foot on the continent of North America (not Christopher Columbus) around 1000 AD, the year in which Iceland became Christian by democratic vote. Leif christened the area Vinland, after the wild grapes he found there. Nobody has been able to prove the exact location of Vinland.
Geographically, Iceland is mostly volcanic, and large areas of it are covered in lava fields. It has geysers, hot springs and sulphorous jets of steam coming from the ground, as well as active Volcanoes. The amount of geothermal energy at her disposal means that Iceland is a very environmentally green country. However, it also means that all the washing water smells slightly of egg. Iceland also has Europe's most powerful waterfall (Dettafoss) and Europe's largest glacier (Vatnajokull), which did feature in the James Bond film 'Die Another Day'.
Iceland is famous for its medieval literature, which ranks as amongst the finest in the world. These are mostly sagas, the most famous being Egil's Saga, Njal's Saga, Laxdaela Saga and Volsunga Saga, the last of which was a major inspiration for Tolkein and Wagner. However, Iceland also produced histories such as The Book of Icelanders and The Book of Settlements by Ari the Learned, and the most important source on Norse mythology, Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson.
Icelandic has changed relatively little since then, and the system of patrynomics, and sometimes matrymonics is still used. For example if a man called Njal Eiriksson had a son and a daughter, they might be called Ingolfur Njalsson and Gudrun Njalssdottir; they would not have the surname Eiriksson.
In 1262, Iceland came under the control of Norway, and Denmark in 1380, but regained Home Rule in 1874 and became fully independent in 1944. Today, Iceland is most commonly known for musicians Bjork and Sigur Ros, being the most expensive country in Europe, puffins and reindeer, the Northern Lights, and being cold. However, this does not even come close to doing justice to this beautiful, sometimes bleak, truly unique landscape and its rich and fascinating history and mythology.
It was settled last of the contries in Europe but has enjoyed an republic leadership for the longest of any contries in the world
We are not Norwiegian