Iceland Travel Facts

By | April 25, 2022

The island state of Iceland is located in northwestern Europe and is perhaps one of the most exciting countries on earth. Nature-loving travelers will discover many beautiful natural wonders here. Iceland is alive – you can feel that everywhere in this wonderful country.

Capital City Reykjavik
Size 103,125 km²
Resident 353,070
Official Language Icelandic
Currency Icelandic krona
Time Zone UTC+0
Telephone Area Code +354

Source: Destination Explorer

Fast facts to know

  • Iceland is the largest volcanic island in the world and also the most sparsely populated country.
  • Icelanders love their pool culture and hot baths.
  • Many Icelanders believe in elves.
  • The landmass lies partly on the North American and partly on the Eurasian tectonic plate. A huge fissure that grows by 2 cm every year runs through the island.
  • No visa is required for travelers from Germany, a passport or identity card is sufficient.
  • Northern Lights can be seen from September to late March.
  • The earth trembles every day in Iceland.
  • There are 31 active volcanoes in Iceland.
  • In summer, Iceland has 2-3 months of continuous daylight.
  • Road no. 1 goes all the way around Iceland and is easy to drive on.
  • Icelanders see themselves as a nation of writers.
  • Icelandic tap water is very healthy, but often smells of sulphur.
  • Glaciers make up more than eleven percent of the total land area in Iceland.
  • Icelanders are proud of their forests – even if they are barely a man tall.
  • Iceland gets over 50 percent of its energy from geothermal energy sources.
  • Food and groceries are relatively expensive.

Exciting cities in Iceland

  • Reykjavik
  • akranes
  • Borgarnes
  • Siglufjordur
  • Hofn
  • Seydisfjordur
  • Egilsstadir
  • Akureyri
  • Keflavik
  • selfoss
  • Husavik
  • Vik i Myrdal
  • Kirkjubæjarklaustur

History of Iceland

  • Discovered by Swedish Vikings around 870.
  • Settled by emigrants from Norway and Celtic settlers in the 9th and 10th centuries.
  • Early, unique development of an oligarchic social system gives rise to one of the first parliamentary systems in Europe.
  • Subjugated by Norwegians in 1262.
  • from 1380 under Danish rule.
  • 1397 Kalmar Union (ruled with Norway under Danish crown).
  • 1552 Reformation.
  • 1904 Denmark grants autonomy to Iceland.
  • 1915 Women’s suffrage is introduced.
  • 1918 sovereignty.
  • Occupied by the British and US during World War II to prevent German invasion.
  • 1944 Founding of the Republic.
  • 2001 Accession to the Schengen Agreement.

Climate & travel weather in Iceland

  • Oceanic cool (cool summers, mild winters), but surprisingly mild due to the Gulf Stream.
  • Weather very changeable all year round.
  • Winter: Lots of snow in the center and in the north.
  • Recommended travel time:
    • Hiking: July & August.
    • Northern Lights: Autumn (from September) and Winter.
    • Whale Watching: June – August.

Ideas for trips in Iceland

  • Whale Watching.
  • Big geyser.
  • thingvellir.
  • watching the Northern Lights.
  • Swim in the Blue Lagoon.
  • Hallgrim’s Church and Perlan Dome with the Saga Museum in Reykjavik.
  • Lighthouse in Stykkisholmur.
  • Ice caves in Vatnajokull.
  • Navy plane wreck.
  • Basalt rock Hvítserkur.
  • Bird watching on the cliffs of Latrabjarg.
  • Lava cave Rauarholshellir.

Eating & drinking in Iceland

  • Icelandic cuisine is simple and rustic.
  • Fish and meat are often acidified, smoked, dried, salted, or cured in whey to preserve them.
  • Traditionally there is a lot of fish, meat, potatoes, milk and grain products.
  • Vegetables and fruit usually have to be imported.
  • Mostly rich meals, dinner is the most important meal.
  • Lamb, salmon and reindeer are particularly popular specialties.
  • Puffins and seabirds are also on the table.
  • Almost everything is processed by the animal.
  • Mainly used spices: juniper, thyme, chervil, caraway.
  • Icelanders have a fondness for sweets, ice cream and candy counters are almost everywhere.
  • Tap water is of high quality.
  • Coffee is a popular drink, and dinner often includes a good wine or Icelandic beer.
  • Typical dishes:
    • Blóðmór (blood sausage made from sheep’s blood).
    • Hákarl (smoked buried shark).
    • Hangikjöt (smoked lamb).
    • Harðfiskur (dried fish).
    • Lifrarpylsa (liver sausage made from lamb’s liver).
    • Plokkfískur (potato, fish, onion stew).
    • Saltkjöt (salted lamb, eaten cold).
    • Svið (singed lamb’s head).
    • Sviðasulta (brawn).
    • Súrsaðir hrútspungar (mutton testicles pickled in whey).

Particularly scenic

  • Maelifell Volcano
  • Mount Kirkjufell
  • National Parks:
    • Vatnajokull
    • Snaefellsjokull
    • Thingvellir
  • Westman Islands
  • Landmannalaugar
  • Water falls:
    • Skogafoss
    • Seljalandsfoss
    • Dettifoss
    • Glymur
    • Gullfoss
    • Thjofafoss
    • bruarfoss
    • Dynjandi (Fjallfoss)
    • hraunfossar
  • Snaefellsnes Peninsula
  • Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon
  • Asbyrgi Gorge
  • Lake Myvatn
  • Sea cliffs Hornbjarg
  • The Black Beaches at Vík
  • Glacial lake Jokulsarlon

Iceland Travel Facts