Iceland has become an interesting spot for tourists. People come here to see places to visit in Iceland and many things to do in Iceland. Iceland is also called the land of fire and ice due to its incredible features that you will not be able to find anywhere else in the world.
Iceland is an amazing country full of surprises in a lot of ways. Each and every wonder in Iceland needs to be revealed here for all of you who love tourism and love to explore unique things. From Northern lights to Glaciers and volcanoes, everything is just astonishing.
You can visit Iceland at any time but the summer is the peak season to visit Iceland and see incredible places to visit in Iceland and interesting things to do in Iceland. There are many Iceland holiday tour packages are available if you want to visit Iceland in the summer holidays.
There are many unexpected facts about Iceland, here are 20 interesting and surprising facts about Iceland to help excite your curiosity and wish to travel to the wonderful country, Iceland.
In the whole of Europe, Iceland is the first country to have parliament grounds. Back in the year 930 AD, the very first parliament happened in Iceland. It occurred in a place where Þingvellir National Park is situated today. That’s why now this site is known as UNESCO World Heritage. It is due to its historical and cultural significance.
Iceland is one of the two places in the whole world where it is possible to witness the earth tectonic plates meet together on the surface of the earth. This phenomenon can be seen at Þingvellir National park. Here the two plates namely North American and Eurasian plates meet up above the earth ground and are continuously moving apart at the rate of 2 cm each year.
Iceland came into being through some tough and harsh processes such as glaciers and volcanoes. Many parts of Iceland was engraved due to glaciers moving at a slow pace, eating up the territory and craving deep valleys in there.
When Vikings came to Iceland, they started cutting down all the trees and they almost cut down all the native trees in Iceland. But today there are attempts has been done to restore the forestation in Iceland. But you can clearly see the lack of trees and forests in Iceland when you visit there.
Iceland is probably the utmost eco-friendly country in the world. It is because the Icelanders have no need to try hard to survive. As there is a surplus amount of volcanoes and geothermal water in Iceland, people live on using the hydro and geothermal energy to fulfill their requirement.
In fact, more than 80% of the country’s energy requirements are fulfilled from these natural sources. That’s why there is very less need to burn fossil fuels. People also use geothermal water from nearby city or town to heat their homes.
The land of fire and Ice
Iceland is also called “The land of Fire and Ice”. You know why? It is because in Iceland there were hundreds of volcanoes in which many are still active and glaciers topping approximately 10% of Iceland. You will see both fire and Ice in many places to visit in Iceland.
There is an interesting fact about the Icelandic language that it is a very unique language despite its closeness to Danish and Norwegian. In contrast to other languages which have changed hugely, the Icelandic language is still close to its origin. It can be proved from the fact that the Bible first print in the 1500s written in the Icelandic language can still be read by Icelandic people today.
Even Iceland is located very close to Arctic Circle its climate is, in fact, milder and more moderate than estimated. If we talk about winter, the temperature remains 0oC in winter in Iceland and in summer it stays in a range from 10°C to 20°C.
Elves and Trolls
Even today 50% of Icelanders still believe in fantasies like elves and trolls. There are a lot of stories regarding these creatures. It is surprising that Icelanders delay and postpone the construction work if it is assumed that this place was occupied by elves earlier.
It is believed that the fallen rocks are actually frozen trolls and the smell in Iceland is not from Sulphur it is the smell of dirty trolls’ bath water.
Iceland is the home to world’s largest glacier known as Vatnajökull having an area of approx. 8,100 square kilometers. It nearly covers 8% of the land mass of Iceland.
Iceland is one of the few countries that allow commercial whaling till now. The fact is somewhat controversial and is responsible for creating tension among Iceland and other countries.
Geysir is the Icelandic work originated from the English word geyser, which means gusher. Geysirs are one of the most famous places to visit in Iceland. The geyser burst hot steam and water in the air up to 60-80 km high.
The flag of Iceland has many colors and all represent some important features in Iceland. The blue color is for mountains, red for lava and fire, white for glaciers and ice. The color scheme and design of the flag represent the historical link of Iceland with Norway.
Iceland has a very small population of 300,000 people. Due to such a small population, Iceland is a largely rural country. The capital of Iceland is Reykjavik and is like a big small town.
Very little or no crime
In Iceland, there is very little crime you can say there is almost no violent crime. An amazing fact about Iceland police is that their officers don’t carry guns. Iceland doesn’t even have a standing army.
Another surprising fact about Iceland is that it is one and only NATO member country that has no armed forces, navy and air force.
Iceland has a very small bird called puffin or sea parrot. It is black and white in color with large orange beak which is used to eat food. The surprising fact is the heart of puffin is believed as a delicacy.
In Iceland, the beer was banned in 1915 and permitted once again in 1989 on March 1st. That’s why Beer Day is still celebrated on March 1st.
Northern Lights and Midnight Sun
We know that Iceland is situated in close proximity to Arctic Circle, that’s why it experience longer nights in winter and longer days in summer. You can expect 24 hours a long night or dark period in the month of December and 24 hours of the day in the month of June. Due to this, Iceland is a great place to witness the Northern Lights and Midnight sun. The beautiful Aurora is one of the most incredible things to see in Iceland.
One of the most popular sports in Iceland is handball. It is played similar to that of football but instead to feet, hands are used to throw balls.
You will be really surprised to know that in the whole of Iceland, there is literally no railway system. If you want to move across Iceland, you have to take a car.
Visit Iceland in summer holidays using Iceland holiday tour package and see all these wonderful places to visit in Iceland and amazing things to see in Iceland. Share your views that which fact about Iceland really surprises you.