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Keflavík facts for kids

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August 2009 aerial view
August 2009 aerial view
Location of the Municipality of Reykjanesbaer
Location of the Municipality of Reykjanesbaer
Country Iceland
Constituency South Constituency
Region Southern Peninsula
Municipality Reykjanesbær Coat.svg Reykjanesbær
 • Total 14,821
Time zone UTC+0 (GMT)

Keflavík (meaning Driftwood Bay) is a town in the Suðurnes region in southwest Iceland. In 2009 its population was at 8,169 people.

In 1995, the town merged with Njarðvík and Hafnir to form the Reykjanesbær municipality. The city has cool summers and moderately cold winters.


The town was founded in the 16th century, possibly by Scottish people. Like many other Icelandic towns, the city grew with the help of the fishing industry. The city then continued to grow from flight operations done at the Keflavík International Airport (which was built by the United States during World War II). The airport used to be an important NATO military base and refueling stop for trans-Atlantic flights. It is now Iceland's main airport.

The airport was also used during the Cold War to monitor marine and submarine traffic from the Atlantic Ocean. The base was officially closed on 30 September 2006, when the United States withdrew the remaining 30 military personnel.

In Iceland, Keflavík was known for being a rich source of musicians during the 1960s and 70s, and is therefore also known as bítlabærinn or "The Beatle Town".


The town is situated on plenty of basalt ruble. On a clear day, one can see Snæfellsjökull (which is about 115 km away).

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