Iceland was the last country to be settled in Europe, when emigrants from Scandinavia and the British Isles first came to live on the island in the ninth and tenth century. It remains the most sparsely populated country of the continent with less than three inhabitants per square kilometer. Shaped by the unrelenting forces of nature, Iceland's harsh natural environment has bred a resilient nation that has learned to exist under extreme conditions, and harness the natural resources they create for its own prosperity.
Today, Iceland is a progressive, modern society that continuously ranks at the top of measurements for quality of life, such as the United Nations Human Development Index. Iceland is annually considered to be one of greenest countries on the planet, due in large parts to its vast renewable energy resources.
Icelandic customs and traditions are inspired by centuries long insular existence and a curious mixture of pagan influence on a Christian religion. Icelandic folk tales are ripe with mysticism, ghosts and elves and trolls, and further shaped by the natural forces and a taxing environment.