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Facts about Iceland

50 Fun Iceland Facts

Iceland is an island in the North Atlantic ocean with a population of about 350.000 but a fascinating history and quite a few records in the most peculiar categories. There is so much to learn and know about this unique place, its culture and people so we have listed the top 50 fun facts about Iceland for you to enjoy. Bon appetit!


Glacier Hiking on Falljokull glacier


1. Iceland had the first democratically voted female president

2. The Icelandic glacier Vatnajökull is the largest glacier in Europe

3. Iceland has a naming committee which approves or declines names

4. Iceland has more than 30 active volcanic regions

5. Over 10% of Iceland is covered with glaciers

6. Althingi, Iceland’s parliament is one of the oldest parliaments in the world

7. You will find a geothermal swimming pool in almost any town in Iceland

8. Icelanders are obsessed with ice cream and black licorice

9. Icelandic nature is extremely safe, with no snakes, no bears, no mosquitos and no poisonous bugs.

10. There is no railway system in Iceland

11. Iceland has had 4 winners of the Miss World Competition

12. Björk, Kaleo and, Sigur Rós of Monsters and Men are all Icelandic musicians/bands

13. Back in the Viking Age Icelanders had a different month system changing by weather and crops. Some of the months were; Góa, Þorri, Harpa, Ýlir, Skerpla, Sólmánuður and Heyannir.

14. Icelanders publish more books per capita than any other nation in the world

15. There used to be a Mcdonalds in Iceland but it closed

16. The Icelandic flag is white, red and blue

17. Icelanders found Greenland (second to the natives)

18. One of the most popular museums in Iceland is the penis museum

19. Iceland was once ruled by Denmark and Norway

20. The longest word found in Icelandic is: vaðlaheiðarvegavinnuverkfærageymsluskúraútidyralyklakippuhringur

21. From infancy to about 2 years old Icelandic children sleep outside in baby carriages for their noon nap

22. All Icelanders can access a website called Íslendingabók to trace their heritage back to the Vikings and even see how they are related to other Icelanders. The question is not if they are related, it is how much!

23. Látrabarg in the Westfjords is the highest bird cliff in Europe

24. Icelanders always address each other with their first names, even if they might be speaking to the president

25. Icelandic horses have a unique gate, tölt and have not been mixed with other breeds for over 1000 years

group-icelandic-horses-summer

26. Midnight Sun is an annual occurrence taking place from June to July

27. About 50 Icelandic men are or have been named Álfur which is the Icelandic word for an Elf

28. Strip Clubs are banned in Iceland

29. Icelanders learn Danish from a young age but very few speak it

30. Iceland once had the biggest banana plantation in Europe

31. More than ⅔ of Iceland’s population lives in the capital Reykjavík

32. The police in Iceland does not carry guns

33. Iceland is one of the few countries where you can see red Northern Lights

34. Earthquakes and volcanic eruption are common but the locals are trained to react from a young age

35. Iceland’s only native mammal is the Arctic Fox

36. Iceland sits on the meeting of two tectonic plates, one is the North American and the other the Eurasian

37. The only international airport in Iceland sits in the middle of a lava field

38. Iceland has a 99.96% renewable energy supply which is mainly produced with geothermal energy

39. Iceland has so many waterfalls that many of them don’t even have a name

Svartifoss-waterfall-Iceland

40. The Westfjords are the oldest part of Iceland

41. Iceland was one of the last places in the world to be settled

42. Until 1989 beer was illegal in Iceland but today you will find numerous breweries and local beer at every corner

43. You can drink the water in most rivers in Iceland, the further out of the city you are the surer you can be. Enjoy it and fill up a water bottle when exploring the country

44. Iceland has been chosen multiple times as the best place to live as a woman

45. Visiting Iceland in summer and in winter can feel like visiting two different planets!

46. Forsætisráðherra is the word for Prime Minister in Icelandic

47. Deildartunguhver in West Iceland is the most powerful hot spring in Europe

48. Iceland’s Geysir, is the namesake for the phenomenon geyser known worldwide

Strokkur Geysir Iceland

49. Iceland had the first openly gay Prime Minister

50. The most popular sports in Iceland are handball, soccer, horse riding, golf and swimming