Capital: Reykjavik (the world's most northerly capital)
Language: Icelandic is the national language. English is spoken widely and Danish is the third language taught in schools in Iceland.
Iceland is an island country located in the North Atlantic Ocean. Lying on the constantly active geologic border between North America and Europe, Iceland is a land of vivid contrasts of climate, geography, and culture. Sparkling glaciers, such as Vatna Glacier (Vatnajökull), Europe’s largest, lie across its ruggedly beautiful mountain ranges; abundant hot geysers provide heat for many of the country’s homes and buildings and allow for hothouse agriculture year-round; and the offshore Gulf Stream provides a surprisingly mild climate for what is one of the northernmost inhabited places on the planet. (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2022)
The extreme dark of the Icelandic winter has a few perks. Between September and April, the people in Iceland are treated to a magnificent natural display: the phenomenon of aurora borealis, more commonly called the Northern Lights.
The Aurora Borealis takes its name from the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek word for the north wind, Boreas. From September to April, Iceland is a hotspot for this magnificent light show.
The Aurora Borealis, more commonly referred to as the Northern Lights, is a natural phenomenon created when solar wind particles interact with the Earth's magnetic field. This excites the particles that release energy, causing peculiar luminous green and purple streaks across the skies. Read more on the Visit Iceland Website.
Norway occupies the western half of the Scandinavian peninsula. Nearly half of the inhabitants of the country live in the far south, in the region around Oslo, the capital. About two-thirds of Norway is mountainous, and off its much-indented coastline lie, carved by deep glacial fjords, some 50,000 islands. (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2022)
Norway has thousands of fjords, the most famous of which you will find in Fjord Norway, in the western part of the country. Fjord Norway is also a hiking paradise (but don't worry, you can also cheat and catch a ride to the top in a gondola on some mountains!). Read more on the Visit Norway Website.
Finland has been recognized as the happiest country in the world for several years running.
Finland is one of the world’s most northern and geographically remote countries and is subject to a severe climate. Nearly two-thirds of Finland is blanketed by thick woodlands, making it the most densely forested country in Europe. Finland also forms a symbolic northern border between western and eastern Europe: dense wilderness and Russia to the east, the Gulf of Bothnia and Sweden to the west. (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2023)
Poznań is a delightful city found in the west-central part of the country. As one of Poland’s oldest cities, there is plenty for tourists to discover here, from the ancient to the modern.
Poznań’s Old Market Square is the third-largest in Poland and provides many exciting sights to see, such as the colourful 16th-century merchant houses. You won’t get the full effect of the European market life if you don’t stop for a coffee in one of the cafes here!
Read more on the Visit Poland website.