Iceland is a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic Ocean and the most sparsely populated country in Europe. The capital and largest city is Reykjavík. Reykjavík and the surrounding areas in the country's southwest are home to over two-thirds of the population. Iceland is the only part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge that rises above sea level, and its central volcanic plateau is erupting almost constantly. Iceland is warmed by the Gulf Stream and has a temperate climate, despite a high latitude outside the Arctic Circle. However, its high latitude and marine influence keep summers chilly, and most of its islands have a polar climate.

Iceland is generally included in Europe for geographical, historical, political, cultural, linguistic, and practical reasons. Geologically, the island includes parts of both continental plates. The closest bodies of land in Europe are the Faroe Islands (420 km); Jan Mayen Island (570 km); Shetland and the Outer Hebrides, both about 740 km; and the Scottish mainland and Orkney, both about 750 km. The nearest part of Continental Europe is mainland Norway, about 970 km away, while mainland North America is 2,070 km away, at the northern tip of Labrador.