Recently, the Committee decided to open up to new categories such as cultural landscapes and routes, industrial heritage (for example, this year, Ivrea, the industrial city of the 20th century, in Italy), deserts, marine sites coastal and small island sites, so that the list is more diverse and more representative of World Heritage. The sites proposed for inscription must meet at least one of the ten selection criteria, such as, for example, representing a masterpiece of human creative genius, testifying to an exchange of influences during History, to bear exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a living or extinct civilization, or else to represent natural phenomena of exceptional beauty and aesthetic importance or, of course, to be eminently representative examples of ecological and biological processes …
Italy is the country with the largest number (54), followed by China (53), Spain (47), France (44), Germany (44), and finally, Mexico (35).

China: Fanjingshan, a very rare ecosystem
South Korea: the Sansa, mountain Buddhist monasteries
France: the Chaine des Puys Tectonic High Place – Limagne Fault
Indonesia: Heritage of the Ombilin coal mine in Sawahlunto
Australia: Budj Bim Cultural Landscape
Colombia: Chiribiquete National Park and “The Maloca of the Jaguars”
Czech Republic: Landscape of breeding and training of ceremonial carriage horses in Kladruby nad Labem
China: Archaeological ruins of the city of Liangzhu
Turkey: Göbekli Tepe and its mysterious temple
Laos: Xieng Khouang Megalithic Jar Sites – Plain of Jars
Burkina Faso: Ancient iron metallurgy sites
Denmark: Aasivissuit-Nipisat, Inuit hunting grounds
Azerbaijan: Historic Center of Sheki with the Khan’s Palace
Oman: the ancient city of Qalhat
India: City of Jaipur, Rajasthan
South Africa: the mountains of Barberton Makhonjwa
Bahrain: Tombs of the Dilmun culture
Canada: Writing-on-Stone / Áísínai’pi
Germany: the border archaeological complex of Hedeby and the Danevirke
Japan: Mozu-Furuichi Kofun Set: Ancient Japanese Burial Mounds
Spain: the caliphal city of Medina Azahara
Spain: Cultural Landscape of Risco Caido and the Sacred Mountains of Gran Canaria
Italy: The Prosecco Hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene
Iran: The Sasanian Archaeological Landscape of the Fars Region
Mexico: the Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Valley and its original habitat in Mesoamerica
The 20th Century Architectural Works of Frank Lloyd Wright
Iraq: Babylon
Myanmar: Bagan
United Kingdom: Jodrell Bank Observatory
Czech Republic: Mining region Erzgebirge/Krušnohoří
Poland: Prehistoric striped flint mining region of Krzemionki
Portugal: Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte in Braga
Korea: Seowon, Korean Neo-Confucian Academies
Portugal: Mafra Royal Building – Palace, Basilica, Convent, Cerco Garden and Hunting Park (Tapada)
Russia: Churches of the Pskov School of Architecture
Iceland: Vatnajökull National Park – the dynamic nature of fire and ice
China: Migratory bird sanctuary along the coastline of the Yellow Sea and the Bohai Gulf
France: French Southern Lands and Seas
Brazil: Paraty and Ilha Grande – culture and biodiversity



Iceland Trivia

Icelanders don’t have a nickname, they use a handy system by which they match the son’s name with the father’s in each generation. At the same time, families do not identify themselves by a nickname or family branch, something very different from what we are used to.

There is no private health or education, public services are so good that there are no complaints. More books are bought per inhabitant than in any other country. They invented the Icelandic sagas, the most similar to a novel.

Geyser is one of the few Icelandic words exported to the world through English, which incorporates the ending to refer to the well-known geological phenomenon that occurs on the island and which is almost universally used.

The Icelandic language is only used in Iceland and is very similar to some Scandinavian languages, especially Old Norwegian.

It is not a very populated country, it has 360 000 inhabitants, half of them concentrated in the capital – Reykjavik – being one of the countries with the most concentrated population in the world and the safest.

It is a pioneer country in terms of implementing democracy. Presumably it has the oldest democratic system in the world, founded some 1000 years ago. In 1996 gay marriage was legalized.

In Iceland, water (from rain and nature reserves) is so abundant and uncontaminated that what is consumed reaches homes without any type of treatment. The large number of thermal sources provides an efficient and inexpensive heating system for homes. In Summer there are 24 hours of light.

Winter is not as cold as you might think, due to the relation of its latitude and the moderation of the ocean. The daytime temperature is around 0°C. Volcanic-type underground channels provide free hot water. There are 33 volcanoes and it is the country with the most and largest documented volcanic eruptions.

Iceland is the only NATO country that does not have armed forces, which were abolished in the 13th century. Only a tiny fraction of the country’s 679 police – a crisis unit called The Vikings – use guns. The annual murder rate is less than five and the total amount of the imprisoned population is 118.
Iceland has the highest density of mobile phones per capita in the world. There are more mobile phones than inhabitants, and ¾ of the population has an Internet connection.

Iceland from space
Blue Lagoon fence
Iceland’s blue sky
Blue calcite, close to a geothermal phenomenon.
Cookie Island
Exploring the Valleys Beyond and the Akureyri Fjords


Gullfoss, the Golden Cascade, is a cataract located on the Hvítá River in southeastern Iceland.
It is one of the most popular attractions in the country. It is located on the wide bed of the Hvítá river, which runs to the south and a kilometer from the waterfall turns abruptly to the east, falling in three curved steps. At that moment, the water falls in jumps: 11 and 21 m, in a crack 32 m deep, some 20 m wide and 2,5 km long. The average flow in this cataract is 140 m³/s in Summer and 80 m³/s in Winter. The maximum measured water flow is 2000 m³/s.
When the visitor approaches the waterfall, the crevice hides the view, giving the feeling that the mighty river simply disappears underground.

Jokulsarlon Lagoon
Landmannalaugar or People’s Pools
Mountains and Lake Frostastadavatn in South Highland
Norse Gods in Moonfall
Streets of Reykjavik at sunset.
Abandoned Church in Icelandic Tundra
The Lighthouse. Built in 1939
The Orange Mold at Churchyard Tombstones


Skogaföss is one of Iceland’s largest, most beautiful and impressive waterfalls. According to legend, the first Viking inhabitant buried his treasure in a cave behind this waterfall.

Eruption of Fimmvorduhals
Colored clouds over Iceland
Hunafloi Bay
Northern Iceland. Lights above the gray clouds of the Eyjafjallajokull Volcano


Blue Lagoon is a natural geothermal resort, surrounded by lava fields and sandy beaches. Relaxing in this lagoon, in a vaporous environment, is captivating, providing a pleasant experience. The temperature is 37-39 °C.

The Blue Lagoon is famous for its unique active ingredients and their effects on the mind and body. Salts, silica and sulfur provide well-being. Algae give blue, green and nutrients. White silica, cleansing slime, and massage are highly recommended.


Glaumbær is a town and former parish of the Icelandic community of Skagafjörður.


An amazing journey throughout the beauty, uniqueness and astonishingly Icelandic landscapes…

I do not own any rights on the photographs nor the words… You can find the original presentation here:

Thank you Tobias Jakobsson for sharing this unique voyage into one of the most beautiful places in the World!

Iceland: Land of Fire and Ice

Sitting astride the Mid-Atlantic Ridge
The only place where the Mid-Atlantic Ridge rises above sea level.
The Mid-Atlantic Ridge (Divergent tectonic plate boundary) attracts tourists.

Volcanic Activity

  • Volcanic eruptions are far more frequent on convergent tectonic plate boundaries (Cascade Mountain Range & the Andes) than on divergent tectonic place boundaries (Iceland); however, eruptions do occur along divergent boundaries.  Recently and eruption broke through the icecap in Iceland.

Iceland’s Eruptions

  • Ash and roughly thirty-story-tall lava fountains shoot from a half-mile-long (0.8-kilometer-long) rupture in the icy cap of southern Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull (pronounced AY-uh-full-ay-ho-kul) volcano early Sunday.
  • The geology of Iceland, though, is anything but normal. The volcanic island lies just south of the Arctic Circle atop the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where two tectonic plates are forever pulling apart. Magma from deep inside Earth rushes upward, filling the gaps and fueling Iceland’s volcanic eruptions, which occur about once every five years.
• From a different angle, Eyjafjallajökull’s “lavafall” appears unobstructed by billowing steam, revealing the glowing yellow ribbon cascading down the rocky gorge on March 26, 2010.
• Lava spraying high into the air draws crowds of tourists to Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano on March 27, 2010.

• When the eruption started on March 21, hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes, due to fears of flooding, which could have occurred, had the volcano’s heat melted too much surrounding glacial ice.
Cooling lava flows
Tourists check out the cooling lava


  • These eruptions tend to be much less violent and destructive than those of strato-volcanoes that form near convergent boundaries.
  • 1980 when Mt. St. Helen erupted in the Cascade Mountains, nearly half of the mountain was blown away.
  • In Iceland the magma comes up to fill in a gap created by the separating of the two tectonic plates.
• Not far from Eyjafjallajokull glacier, the much larger Mýrdalsjökull glacier (check the map on the next slide) hides the fiery, gently sloping Katla volcano that lies under the ice.

Eruptions on Iceland

An incandescent basaltic lava flow winds its way downslope from a vent at Krafla volcano in Iceland in 1984. The flow originated from an 8.5-km-long fissure that was initially active along its entire length. The fissure was produced by rifting along the mostly submarine Mid-Atlantic Ridge where it rises above sea level and cuts across the island of Iceland, forming an accessible natural laboratory for studies of episodic eruptions at this oceanic spreading ridge.

Krafla Volcano – Iceland

An incandescent basaltic lava flow winds its way downslope from a vent at Krafla volcano in Iceland in 1984. The flow originated from an 8.5-km-long fissure that was initially active along its entire length. The fissure was produced by rifting along the mostly submarine Mid-Atlantic Ridge where it rises above sea level and cuts across the island of Iceland, forming an accessible natural laboratory for studies of episodic eruptions at this oceanic spreading ridge.

Iceland Info.

  • Area: 103,000 sq km
  • Coastline: 4,970 km
  • Terrain: mostly plateau interspersed with mountain peaks, icefields; coast deeply indented by bays and fiords •Land use: –arable land: 0.07% –permanent crops: 0% –other: 99.93% (2005)
  • Natural resources: fish, hydropower, geothermal power, diatomite


  • Population: 306,694 (July 2009 est.)
  • Age Structure: 0-14 years: 20.7%
  • Population growth rate: 0.741% (2009 est.)
  • Urban population: 92% (2008)
  • Infant mortality rate: 3.23 deaths/1,000 live births
  • Life expectancy at birth: 80.67 years
  • Adult literacy: 99%


  • GDP – per capita (PPP): $39,800 (2009 est.) –$42,800 (2008 est.) –$42,600 (2007 est.)
  • GDP – real growth rate: -6.3% (2009 est.) –1.3% (2008 est.) –5.5% (2007 est.)
  • GDP – composition by sector: –agriculture: 5.2% –industry: 24% –services: 70.8% (2009 est.)

Reykjavik –Capital City

Roundup of Icelandic horses
The Gullfoss (Golden Falls) Waterfall in southern Iceland.
An eruption of the geyser Strokkur.
A river with volcanic black sand banks meanders to the sea through farm fields near the southern coast of Iceland.
Looking across the plate boundary from the European Plate to the N. American.

I am not the author of the words nor the photographs. I give thanks to the person who compiled the info about one of the most beautiful places I’ve had the honour to visit, already!

Iceland is simply magical!