Iceland seems to have landed on the travel wish list for most everyone in the last few years. I’m no different and have had Iceland on my “Travel To Do List” for the last year. I visited for the first time in June of this year and I’m already hoping for a return visit in winter.
I happened to visit on the longest day of the year and got to experience almost 24 hours of sunlight and I’d love to head back and experience the Northern Lights and the country during days of total darkness.
On my recent trip, I took the Golden Circle Tour, and our guide filled us in on so many historical, fun and odd facts about Iceland, I was compelled to do a little more digging. Below you will find many strange, weird and fun facts about Iceland.
- Iceland sits on two continents; North America and Europe.
- Iceland was formed by by two phenomena: volcanoes and glaciers.
- There are 340,000 people that live in Iceland and 2/3 live in Reykjavík.
- Iceland is expensive, in fact a small pizza can set you back $30 and one beer will average you $12.
- There is no weather in Iceland, only examples of weather.
- Yoko One visits Iceland every year on the anniversary of John Lennon’s birthday and stays until the day of his death.
- The first settlers landed in Iceland in 874.
- Most people who originally came to Iceland were fleeing Norway.
- Beer was prohibited in Iceland until 1989.
- Icelandic people drink more Coca–Cola than any other country.
- The name Reykjavík means Smoke Bay.
- The main Christmas gift given in Iceland is books.
- For a small country Iceland has produced some great bands including Björk and Sigur Rós.
- Althing, in the Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park is the world’s first parliament and was established in the year 930.
- Trees DO grow in Iceland.
- The majority of present-day Icelanders (more than 50%) believe in the existence of fantastical beings such as elves and trolls.
- There are no McDonald’s restaurants in Iceland.
- Iceland is located very close to the Arctic Circle.
- Iceland experiences almost 24 hours of darkness December and almost 24 hours of daylight in June.
- Even though Iceland was settled in the 9th century, it didn’t become independent until 1944.
- Mosquitoes do not exist in Iceland.
Know a strange fact about Iceland? Please leave it in the comments!
If you enjoyed this article about 21 Strange, Fun and Weird Facts About Iceland, you’ll also love How to Book Cheap Flights to Iceland with WOW Air.
Traveling To Iceland Soon? Here are a few tips:
How to get there: Iceland is just a 4-hour flight from the East Coast of the US, an 8-hour flight from the West Coast of the US and about 3 hours from the UK. There are multiple airlines that fly there, with Iceland Air and WOW Air being two of the most popular (and often the most affordable). I recommend WOW Air as I have flown with them to both Iceland and Ireland.
Where to stay: Reykjavik is a great base for an Iceland vacation. I recommend Hotel Odinsve, it’s a great location in the city center, but located on a very quiet street. The hotel rate includes a wonderful breakfast as well. I suggest checking HotelsCombined for the best Iceland hotel rates.
What to pack: The temperatures each season vary greatly, but even in summer it can be cold. I visited in June and the high was 68 °F (20 °C ). Heading out of Reykjavik for the Golden Circle Tour, it was must cooler. I was very happy I brought along fleece lined leggings, a light down jacket, warm socks (I love Ice Breaker), a waterproof outer layer and rain jacket, and some hiking boots (I love Keen). If you are visiting in Winter, you’ll want to bring heavy duty layers.
Check out my complete Iceland packing list for more suggestions!
Indispensable Items to Pack for Iceland
- Pick up the Lonely Planet guide to Iceland or the Lonely Planet Pocket Guide to Reykjavik.
- Get a good quality mirrorless camera for getting amazing photos of the many beautiful sites in Iceland. I use the Sony Alpha a6000 .
- Weather is unpredictable, so bring a lightweight umbrella and rain jacket (even in summer you may find areas chilly and rainy).
- Waterproof hiking boots are a must. I love Keen because they are lightweight and super comfortable.
- A great cross body travel bag. Cross body bags prevent theft and are much easier to access.
Read More About Iceland
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