Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland with 118,000 inhabitants (2016).
“Greater Reykjavík” is a name used collectively for Reykjavík and six municipalities around it, that is: Reykjavík, Kópavogur, Hafnarfjörður, Garðabær, Mosfellsbær, Seltjarnarnes, and Kjósarhreppur. The total population of Greater Reykjavík is 204,000 inhabitants.
This means that over 60% of the total population of the island actually live in the capital area.
The Parliament “Althing” assembles in Reykjavik. Even though the city is spread over a vast area (242 km²) the distances to reach natural surroundings are short. “Ellidaár”, one of the country’s best salmon rivers, runs right through town and anglers enjoy landing salmon from this clear and unpolluted river under the bridge of a busy motorway.
Iceland’s first settler, the Norwegian explorer Ingólfur Arnarson, made his permanent residence in Reykjavík in the year 874 and the area has been inhabited ever since. Upon arrival, Ingólfur saw steam rising from hot springs near a cove and consequently named the bay “Reykjavik” – The Steamy Cove.
Numerous wells have been sunk and the hot water is pumped directly from the ground into all houses in the capital area providing inexpensive central heating.