Just a little fun...
So this post is our light-hearted view of Iceland.
It has some of the interesting stuff, a few trivial facts, and our thoughts on the country.
Let’s start with the Truths about IcelandIceland is a Nordic country located in the North Atlantic Ocean, and yes, it’s chilly even in the summer.
The 3 C's
The first settlers in Iceland were Norse Vikings in around 870 AD, and it has continued to have a profound heritage and culture.
Today Iceland has a population of around 360,000 inhabitants, two-thirds of which live in and around the capital city of Reykjavik. Its closest neighbours are Greenland and the Faroe Islands.
This magnificent country really takes some beating if you are up for a Nordic adventure. With its incredible waterfalls, glaciers, gurgling mud pools and Volcanoes.
Talking of volcanoes, some of you may remember the chaos that Eyjafjallajökull volcano caused when it erupted over the skies of Northern Europe in April 2010.
Iceland is an ideal location for a mini-break, as not only can you discover the colourful city of Reykjavik. You can also embark on day trips from the capital city and tour the Golden Circle.
However, if you’re yearning for more adventure and have additional time on your hands, hire a 4x4 and head off to tour the entire country around its Ring Road. You won’t regret it.
It’s good to talk
Icelandic (English is widely spoken)
International Dialling Code
Icelandic króna (ISK)
Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)
Difference from UTC
So what’s this Trivia then?About Iceland, the nation that still believes in elves.
Did you know?
- Two continents meet in Iceland, and you can even stroll across the bridge which spans them both. The two tectonic plates of Eurasia and North American are just stone’s throw from each other.
- Iceland is renowned for its strong men and has won World’s Strongest Man on nine occasions. Eight of them by just two contestants.
- That 10% of Iceland is covered in glaciers.
- Reykjavik is both Europe’s westernmost and northernmost capital city.
- There are very few surnames or family names in Iceland. Children are named after their father, and depending on if they are male or female, it will be suffixed by -dóttir (-daughter) or -son.
- Iceland doesn’t have an army.
- Beer was illegal across the whole country until 1st March 1989.
- During the summer months you won’t experience darkness, only for a few hours, it will be a hazy nightfall.
It's famous for...
Food and Drink
Not for the faint-hearted
A useful guide to Iceland
If you're tempted to tour the Land of Fire and Ice and would love to discover the whole country, then take a look at this DK Eyewitness book. This Top 10 Pocket Travel Guide is invaluable, I find them extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into searching for more.
You can now grab the revised copy.
See and Do
I appreciate this is a matter of luck and a huge amount of keeping your fingers crossed. However, don’t despair as locals have seen them regularly between October and April. Here are some tips on photographing the Northern Lights.
Tour the Ring Road
Geysers and Geothermal pools
Viewing a Glacier
Movies & Music
Game of Thrones
Die Another Day
More from the Music scene
And our thoughts on Iceland?(Would we return? Is it good value? And did we feel the love?)
We’ve visited Iceland twice, once for a mini-break to Reykjavik in 2007 and then returned to tour the Ring Road in 2018. That’s why it is 80% if I was to answer the same question after our first visit it would have been 100%.
Value for Money
Iceland has a reputation for being expensive, and when it comes to food and drink, it is. Even when you are buying snacks or a sandwich from a supermarket or bakery.
However, regarding visiting the magnificent natural wonders that this country offers everything was free to visit. Other than paying at a couple of locations to park. The jaw-dropping waterfalls, the geysers, glaciers, geothermal pools, lakes and dormant volcanoes were all free of charge.
Behind the wheel - the driving karma
What's it like driving in the country.
Which side of the road do they drive on? They drive on the right.
This is a difficult one - Gary loves driving in Iceland despite the toffee incident (See our Epic Road Trip Failures), but it attracts a lot of tourists who either hire cars, or take tours on the minibuses, oh so popular in the south.
For more on driving in Iceland check out - Driving Iceland's Route One.
Janis's Hi's & Lo's
I’ve longed to see the Northern Lights for years, so the spectacle of watching the Aurora Borealis dance across the night sky was always going to be a struggle to beat. However, in second place was standing metres away from a glacier, it was truly breath-taking.
In terms of scenery, there are none. What I would say is that common sense prevails and always look where you are stepping. Iceland encourages you to enjoy the outdoors and doesn’t always put up barriers.
Gary's Hi's & Lo's
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