27 Interesting And Fun Facts About Iceland

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Iceland is one of the top destinations in the world that is on everyone’s bucket list. The country has beautiful landscapes filled with mountains, volcanoes, glaciers, hot springs, and much more. Here are some of the top facts about Iceland that make this country diverse and stunning.

Common Facts About Iceland

Here are some common facts about this beautiful place that everyone must know.

It is One Of The Oldest Democracies Worldwide

Iceland has one of the oldest democracies in the world, after Greece and Rome. It also has the oldest parliament worldwide that exists today. These are Iceland country facts that not many visitors are familiar with.

One Of The Safest Country

The country is perhaps the safest you can live in. It has the lowest crime rate worldwide, which is why it keeps topping the safest countries list. When you visit Iceland, you don’t need to worry too much about crime.

It Was The Last Place For Humans To Settle

Another common fact about Iceland is that it was the last place for humans to settle. The country is young, and the Vikings discovered this land by accident at least a thousand years ago. You can thank the Vikings for making Iceland known to the world.

It Is One Of The Most Eco-Friendly Countries


Iceland is all about sustainability, and the government uses renewable energy sources to produce electricity. Reykjavik also won the prize of Nordic Nature and Environment in 2014. Besides that, the city is also planning to be carbon-neutral by 2040.

The Country Has A Sparse Population

We can’t miss this one in the common facts about Iceland. The country only has a population of over 300,000 people, which is why it is still so beautiful. Due to the small population, the people also have a strong unity bond among themselves. Reykjavik houses at least 1/3rd of the country’s entire population.

Interesting Facts About Iceland And Its Culture

The Icelandic culture says a lot about the lives of the people and what you can expect in the country. Here are some interesting facts about Iceland and its culture to know.

Many People Believe In Elves And Trolls


When you ask Icelanders about elves and trolls, between 30 and 40% of them will not deny their existence of them. The culture and folklore are rich with such stories. These are known to be hidden creatures that live inside the lava fields of the country.

The Perfect First Date Is Ice Cream 


One of the, literally, cool facts about Iceland. Ice cream is the perfect first date and couples will queue for this delicious treat even in a storm. It is an iconic Icelandic dessert in the country. Reykjavik has some of the best ice cream shops you will find.

People Love Books


Bookworms will enjoy visiting Iceland because people here love reading. The country even publishes books at the highest rate per capita worldwide. On Christmas Eve, Icelanders also have a holiday for giving books to one another.

The Work Weeks Are Long

Out of all the places in Europe, Iceland has the longest work week. That is because people here work around forty-five hours a week. People love to follow their passions and work hard while enjoying the landscapes in their leisure time.

The National Sport Is Handball


Another common Icelandic fact is that the national sport is handball. The national team also won a silver medal for this game at the Olympics games in Beijing. Be cautious when competing with an Icelander on handball.

Fun Facts About Iceland For Tourists

As a tourist, you must know the fun things to do in Iceland to make your trip unique. Here are some of the best fun facts about Iceland for travelers.

You Can Swim In Hot Springs All Year


Your trip to Iceland will be incomplete if you don’t take a dip in a hot spring. There are volcanically heated pools everywhere, and these date back to the times of Vikings. Be sure to soak in these naturally healing waters while visiting.

11% Of Iceland Includes Glaciers


Glaciers make up 11% of the country, and there are around three hundred that have been named. The largest glacier in Iceland is Vatnajokull, and it is three times bigger than Rhode Island. This is one of the most famous landmarks in Iceland.

Out of all the Iceland country facts, this one excites us the most.

You Can See The Northern Lights Between September And March


Northern Lights are an experience you don’t want to miss, and it should be on top of your Iceland bucket list. You can see the lights between September and March with the best chances in winter. Book your trip around this time if you want to witness this magical phenomenon. It will be a memory for a lifetime.

You Can See The Split Between Tectonic Plates In Pingvellir National Park


The Pingvellir National Park is one of the two places on Earth where you can view the tectonic plate split. You can even go snorkeling or diving between these plates. All adventurers should do this at least once in their lifetime.

Weird Facts About Iceland You Didn’t Know Before

There are many things that make this country unique. Here are the top weird Iceland facts that make it one-of-a-kind.

There Are Hundred Words For Wind In The Icelandic Language

There are endless ways to describe the weather in Icelandic, which is why the people have a hundred ways to talk about winds.

Keep in mind that the language is difficult to learn, which is why you will not grasp all of them. If you plan on traveling, learn a few to communicate with the locals.

It Doesn’t Have A Standing Army

Iceland is the only member of NATO that doesn’t have a standing army. The country is peaceful and nonviolent. The country does have an ICRU, which is a Crisis Response Unit, but the staff is small, and the employees don’t wear a uniform or carry weapons.

There Is No McDonald’s Here

A weird fact about Iceland, particularly for Americans, is that you will not be able to fulfill your McDonald’s craving while coming here. However, the food is excellent, and you will find endless varieties of seafood here. So, take this opportunity to explore the different flavors through delicious Icelandic food.

The Country Celebrates A Beer Day


Iceland had a long beer ban that lasted for 74 years till 1989. Because of this, there is a national beer day that the country celebrates. It is also one of the most popular alcoholic drinks in the country.

There Are No Mosquitoes Here

Whoever wants to get away from mosquitos can move to Iceland. The best part about this place is that you will not find many threatening insects and animals. These include poisonous bugs, mosquitoes, bears, snakes, and much more.


Iceland Viking Facts

Vikings were the ones that discovered Iceland by accident, which is why it is also important to know some facts about them. Before the Vikings came, the country had a population of Irish monks, as this was where they came for isolation. The Vikings came, and the monks left, which is when the recorded history of this place began.

Here are some of the top Iceland Viking facts you need to know about to understand Iceland better.

Vikings Came From Norway In The 800s For Settling

Vikings came from Norway to Iceland in 800 to settle down. At that time, it was a new country for settlement. Because of this, it was also the last place to be settled by us.

You now know who to thank for introducing Iceland to the world. Since then, it has become a magical destination that everyone wants to visit at least once.

Viking Hobbies Include Many Things


Here are some Iceland Viking facts with regard to their hobbies and pastimes. The Vikings were an active and competitive bunch with a passionate spirit. You can see this a lot in their culture, demeanor, and even hobbies.

These people didn’t let themselves get bored with this new piece of land. Their hobbies include competitive drinking, archery, chess, competitive eating, swimming, and much more. Yes, they even ate and drank for the competition.

Viking Men And Women Loved Jewelry


You may not believe this, but there are archaeological findings that prove that the Vikings wore jewelry. At that time, jewelry was not about gender but how much wealth you had or your status in society. Any wealthy person would wear lots of jewelry to let others know.  

You Can Still Visit Turf Houses That The Vikings Built


Anyone that inhabits a place leaves some remains for the coming generations to witness. One of the top Viking facts about Iceland is that you can visit the turf houses that these people built. The purpose of the house was to keep the Vikings warm as the roof was made of grass.

These houses reflect the heritage and culture of the country. So, don’t forget to witness this aspect when you visit Iceland.

Cool Facts About Iceland Volcanoes

Iceland is known as the land of ice and fire, and rightly so. There are lots of volcanoes all around, and you will find them everywhere. That is why it is crucial to know some important things about these landscapes. Here are the top Iceland volcano facts.

There Are Around 125 Volcanoes Around The Country


There are more than 125 volcanoes in the country that have thirty unique volcanic systems. Most of them haven’t erupted, as only eighteen of them have had an eruption since 871 AD. Keep in mind that the active ones still erupt from time to time.

Iceland is a popular spot for nature photographers looking to get impressive shots of volcanic lava flows that are curiously hypnotic at times.

The Country Experiences A Volcanic Eruption Every Four Years


Iceland experiences a volcano eruption every four or five years. The good thing is that most of the country is not inhabited, which is why no one gets hurt. The volcanoes also don’t directly damage the cities where most of the local population resides in.

On the other hand, a great benefit of these volcanoes is that they offer hot springs, geothermal energy, and beautiful landscapes to the country. Be sure to visit at least one volcano while you are there.

The Country’s Deadliest Volcano Is The Laki System


This is an important fact about Icelandic volcanoes. The Laki system is a system of volcanoes in the south of Iceland. It blows out ash, lava, and smoke and then erupts with a lot of force.

One of the craters of the Laki system erupted in the 18th century. This was devastating because at least a fifth of the population died because of its effects. That is because the eruption led to horrible air quality and famine.

Hekla Volcano Is Known As Hell’s Gateway


Hekla Volcano is known as hell’s gateway, and it is located just a short drive away from the capital. The eruptions tend to be massive, and the last one took place in 2010. However, it was not as large, which is why the damage was small.

While it may sound scary, it is mostly harmless as it does not erupt too often. However, if it does, it can be potentially incredibly dangerous for the entire country. It still doesn’t stop people from living here because the beauty of Iceland is incredible.

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Discovering More Interesting Facts About Iceland

These are some of the fun Iceland facts that reflect the culture, history, and incredible nature. The land of fire and ice should be on everyone’s bucket list, as your trip will be filled with magical moments with nature.

If you want to discover more interesting facts about Iceland, be sure to visit the country and indulge in all it has to offer. Everyone from couples to solo travelers, adventurers, and more can enjoy this beautiful country.

The people are also incredible, which will be the cherry on top of your already great trip. So, be sure to add this country to your bucket list and make the most out of your visit. You will leave with memories of a lifetime.



Book Your Flight

I usually use a combination of 2-3 of the following search engines to find cheap flights: Skyscanner, Momondo, Google Flights

Find Your Accommodation

Booking.com is my usual platform for finding accommodation options as they have one of the largest selections. Hostelworld is great for booking hostels. For more private or long term accommodation, Airbnb is my go-to platform.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is important for to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances. I usually look at a few insurance companies depending on my travel needs.
  • SafetyWings for Travel Health Insurance
  • IMG Global for added Insurance when doing activities outside of usual coverage
Packing for your trip? Check out the packing list for ideas on what to bring

For more travel resources, check out my resources page for best platforms and companies to use when you travel.

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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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