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.
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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.
21 Strange, Fun and Weird 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.
Save Big on Your Iceland Vacation
Check out the Top Tours & Day Trips from Iceland
Read Reviews of the Best Hotels in Iceland on TripAdvisor
Indispensable Items to Pack for Iceland
Get a good quality mirrorless camera for getting amazing photos of the many beautiful sites in Iceland. I use the Sony Alpha a6000 .
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.
Day Trips from Iceland Top Tours
I love to do a combination of exploring on my own as well as a few organized tours when I travel. I love to learn about the history and culture in a new location and tours with local experts is a great way to do this. I recommend Get Your Guide because you can cancel most bookings for free up to 24 hours before they start and their customer service is available 24/7 in multiple languages.
A few Top Tours in Iceland
Recommended Travel Resources
- Travel Insurance: World Nomads.
- Transport: AirfareWatchDog and Skyscanner (Best Sites to Research Flight Prices)
- Accommodation: Hotels.com and Orbitz
- Top Iceland Hotel Reviews: TripAdvisor
- How to Pack for 2 Weeks in Europe (in one suitcase)
- Cheap Flights to Europe with Condor Airlines
Read More About Iceland
- How to Book Cheap Flights to Iceland
- Iceland’s Hot Golden Circle Tour Including the Secret Lagoon
- Iceland and Scandinavia Travel Tips from the Road
Alexa Meisler is the editorial director of 52 Perfect Days. Born in Paris, France she has since lived in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon. She currently resides in San Diego with her husband and son where they enjoy exploring California and Mexico.
Travel has always been a part of her life; traveling to such places as Morocco, Tangiers and Spain as a young child as well as taking many road trips to Mexico with her grandparents as a young girl. Since then, she has traveled abroad to locations such as Russia, Taiwan and throughout Europe.
Prior to working at 52 Perfect Days she was a freelance travel writer; focusing on family and women’s adventure experiences.