Curiosities about Iceland: facts that may surprise you

Iceland is a popular tourist destination in Europe. I already presented you with the things to know before visiting the country for the first time, and in this article, I will tell you some fun facts about Iceland.

These are some curiosities about Iceland that can make you smile or even baffle you.

Curiosities about Iceland: facts that may surprise you

More than 60% of the Icelandic population lives in Reykjavik, the capital city

Reykjavik, Iceland

This is definitely quite impressive! The good news is that many popular tourist destinations in Iceland are close to Reykjavik. So, when planning your trip, find a cheap car rental in Iceland so that you can easily go to the other attractions in the country.

One of the Icelandic traditional dishes is fermented shark

Icelandic food is an acquired taste and some of the traditional dishes can challenge most people. Perhaps the most famous such provocative dish is the fermented shark.

Hot springs and geothermal pools in Iceland

Interesting facts about Iceland - Hot springs and geothermal pools in Iceland

There are many hot springs and geothermal pools in Iceland and, in fact, you can bathe all year long. Search in advance for the available hot springs/geothermal pools open when you are visiting Iceland and don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy such an experience.

Beer was banned for nearly 75 years

In fact, on March 1st there is a celebration of lifting this beer ban – in 1989.

Apparently, Iceland was the last place on earth to be settled by humans

The country is said to have been discovered by accident over 1,100 years ago by Vikings from Norway.

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There are 13 Yule Lads in Iceland

While for other people there are the advent days, in Iceland kids are visited by 13 Yule Lads. Depending on the child’s behaviour during the year, each day, each Yule Lad leaves a small gift.

Iceland has one of the oldest democracies

The country’s parliament, the Althing, was established in 930 AD, making it one of the oldest parliamentary institutions in the world.

Iceland is home to the largest man-made ice tunnel

Opened in 2017, Langjökull Glacier is home to the largest man-made ice tunnel – an unmissable attraction in the country for ice lovers.

There are no mosquitoes in Iceland

This is one of the coolest facts about Iceland! If you are like me and have an allergy to mosquito bites, then you will be happy to hear that there are no mosquitoes in Iceland (due to the cold weather.)

Iceland has a unique naming system

In Iceland (with rare exceptions), there are no last names as we know them. Instead, children are given a first name, followed by their father’s first name with the suffix “-son” or “-dóttir.” This means that siblings can have different last names. Fun, right?

Police officers do not carry arms

Another interesting fact about Iceland is about police officers. Due to the low criminality rate, Icelandic police officers carry only extendable batons and pepper spray. They know how to use a firearm, of course, but do not carry one.

One in ten people will publish a book

The next topic on this list of fun facts about Iceland is books! Icelanders love books – there is even the tradition of offering a book on Christmas Eve and spending the evening reading.

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It is also a country with (some of) the most bookstores per capita – and also writers. One in 10 Icelanders it is said to publish a book!

Iceland is home to more than 60% of the world’s entire Atlantic puffin population

Curiosities about Iceland: facts that may surprise you Puffins

If you like puffins, then Iceland is the country to go to admire them!

These are some of the most interesting curiosities about Iceland!

Photo sources: 1, 2, 3


I’m offering public relations, communications and image counseling in everyday life and I have a PR agency – PRwave INTERNATIONAL. I am passionate about reading, blogging (I also have a blog in Romanian) and traveling. Follow me on Twitter - @violetaloredana (Romanian) and @TravelMoments.

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