History and Heritage
The country was settled by Norsemen from Scandinavia and Celts from the British Isles in the 9th and 10th centuries, who established the world's first parliament.
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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.
For centuries, the interior of Iceland was virtually inaccessible, for years at a time playing host only to outlaws in hiding. Via the mountain roads Kjölur and Sprengisandur, the untouched wilderness of Iceland's mountainous centre is now open to the general public—for cautious exploration by foot or 4x4 vehicles—in the summer months.