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25 Fun Facts About Iceland

Much of the content we post mentions something about our our company’s homeland, Iceland. Since the recent economic boom driven by tourists, Iceland has been quite the hot topic! We are always asked interesting questions about the Land of Fire and Ice- many of you saying that you want to go soon, which very much excites us!!

This week, we thought it would be fun to compile a list of fun facts that we know/found on the internet which you can use to spark your interest, learn new things, and even guide you in your next trip!

1.) Iceland was founded by Vikings, and settlement began in 874 AD when Ingólfr Arnarson became their first permanent settler.

2.) Iceland is the oldest democracy in the world!

3.) Iceland is the 18th largest island in the world and Europe’s second largest island after Great Britain.

4.) Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital, contains 60% of the country’s population.

5.) If you are visiting Iceland, there’s no better way to be introduced than to tour part of the country! The Golden Circle Tour is one of the highest rated tours in Iceland, and you can learn more here: Golden Circle Tours

6.) North Iceland has dramatic lava fields and hills carved out by rivers with turbulent waterfalls. The small fishing town of Húsavík is the whale watching capital of Europe.

7.) Iceland is known for its many hot springs and geysers. “Geysir”, otherwise known as “The Great Geysir”, is widely considered the largest, but very rarely erupts. However, there are many other, smaller geysers around it that go off regularly (some every 8-10 minutes).

8.) Iceland has 30+ active volcanoes today, and over a hundred more which have been inactive for over 1,000 years.

9.) Iceland was ranked as the 13th most developed country in the world in 2013 by the U.N.’s Human Development Index.

10.) Iceland is the most eco-friendly country in the world in terms of their energy sources. Thirty percent of their electricity is of geothermal origin (the world’s highest percentage) and the rest is generated by hydro power.

11.) Iceland is at the forefront of sustainable fishing, as it is crucial to their economy and livelihood. There are more Cod off the north shore of Iceland now than there were in the 1930s.

12.) Iceland has a little over 300,000 people in the entire country, roughly equivalent to the population of Wichita, Kansas.

13.) Iceland is the smallest country to ever qualify for the World Cup!

14.) Family names are not used as surnames, but are rather passed down by the father’s first name. Ex: One of our Lysi athletes is named Sara Sigmundsdottir, meaning she was the “dottir” of “Sigmund”, her father.

15.) On the topic of names- If an Icelandic family wants to name their child something that has not been used before, the new name must be approved by the Icelandic Naming Committee 😀

16.) MOSQUITOES DO NOT EXIST IN ICELAND! (no further comment)

17.) Drive 110 miles southeast of Reykjavik, and you can find Reynisfjara, a beautiful beach with all black sand. 

18.) You can book your ticket to The Blue Lagoon in advance, which is the most famous natural hot spring in Iceland. Check it out here: Blue Lagoon Iceland

19.) Húsey is a gorgeous spot located between two glacial rivers, and surrounded by mountains. This is an excellent place to ride Icelandic horses, discover untouched nature, and watch reindeer graze up and down the mountains. Check it out here: Húsey

20.) Iceland’s glaciers showcase some of the most beautiful areas we’ve ever seen called “Ice Caves.” Not much else we can say here- they are amazing! See some of the most famous ones here: Ice Caves

21.) Iceland is one of the world’s best spots from which you can view the Aurora Borealis, or “Northern Lights.” Note: For best viewing, do not expect to watch them from Reykjavik. Plan to travel outside the capital for the best views. 

22.) If you are an adventure seeker, you can visit the Hekla Volcano, which is known as one of the most active volcanos on the island. Check out this beautiful, yet powerful specimen here: Hekla Volcano

23.) The arctic fox is the ONLY mammal native to Iceland.

24.) Iceland has only ever waged 1 war, otherwise known as “The Cod Wars.” This interesting, yet serious-at-the-time incident was a dispute between Great Britain and Iceland over fishing grounds in the 60s and 70s. Read more about Iceland’s victory in this rather odd “war” here: How Iceland Won The Cod Wars 

25.) Iceland’s Lysi, The World’s Leading Producer of Fish Oil, sustainably sources, masterfully refines, and carefully bottles some of the freshest, best tasting Omega-3 supplements on the planet! (Wait, you didn’t think you could read all of this without a Lysi plug, did you??)

Thank you very much for reading! Our goal with this blog is to provide interesting content which combines the beauty of Iceland with the beauty of taking care of yourself.

So tell us, have you been to Iceland? Are you planning a trip? What do you want to see??