Iceland Facts – Surprising Things About Iceland Country

Iceland is considered one of the most beautiful countries in the entire world. It’s an island isolated from the other parts of Europe, famous from the amazing nature, awesome landscapes and (since recently) a place where the Game of Thrones was filmed. In this post we have gathered interesting Iceland facts to give you some insights about this amazing country.

These pieces of information about Iceland country are mainly connected with the culture and geography of Iceland. Hopefully, they will be useful not only for the travellers visiting Iceland but also for everyone who is interested in getting to know new facts about the world. We’ll also make sure to point out some of the best points of interest in Iceland. If you’re traveling to Iceland with kids, we’ll add a few interesting things for you too!

Current time in Iceland:

Iceland interesting facts #1

Iceland should be named Greenland…

… and Greenland should be named Iceland. Due to the strong influence of the Atlantic Ocean, the climate in Iceland is quite mild. Only about 11% of its total area is covered in ice.

Fun facts about Iceland & Greenland
Fun facts about Iceland & Greenland

Interesting Iceland facts #2

Iceland has one of the most beautiful nature in the world

It’s very easy to find a travel guide to Iceland on the internet. No wonder why: this country is considered one of the most beautiful in the world. It’s called the land of ice and fire. With so many points of interest in Iceland, the scenery is absolutely breathtaking.

You already know about the ice, so let’s talk about the fire! Iceland has many volcanos: Grímsvötn is the most active of them. The other result of the heat inside the earth are the hot springs. The most famous geothermal spa (and also the most often visited points of interest in Iceland) is a Blue Lagoon.

What’s interesting about Iceland country, there are almost no forests over there!

The most beautiful natural phenomenon that you can see in this country is Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). It can be seen in the sky for almost 75% time of the year!

If you’re heading to Iceland with kids, make sure they are ready to play outside while experiencing something unique!

Interesting facts on Iceland: the nature | northern-lights-iceland
Interesting facts on Iceland: nature

Iceland interesting facts #3

It was the first country in the world that elected the woman president

The first female president in the world was elected in Iceland in 1980. Even though women were the leaders of some countries (Argentina, Bolivia and China) in the past, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir was the first one that won in the democratic elections.

She is more than 80 years old now but she still serves the people as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.

Photo credit: BBC

Interesting Iceland facts #4

There’s a story behind Iceland’s flag

Everything that you need to know about Icelandic nature is hidden in the flag of this country. Red color symbolises the active volcanos, white: the snow and ice, blue: Atlantic Ocean on which the island is located.

Iceland interesting facts: the flag
Iceland interesting facts: the flag

Iceland interesting facts #5

Reykjavik is the northernmost capital of the world

There are no other capitals north of Reykjavik. This relatively small city located in Western Iceland is home to almost 40% of the Icelandic population.

What’s interesting about Iceland country, it’s one of the few European capitals that has NO Starbucks or McDonald’s!

Photo credit:

Interesting Iceland facts #6

Icelandic food is very unique

Iceland is an island, so the main ingredients of the country’s cuisine are fish and seafood.

Some of the traditional Icelandic food is very shocking for the foreigners. Let’s take Hákarl as an example: it’s a fermented shark that (supposedly) taste the best if you bury it in the ground and then urinate on it. Sounds pretty disgusting, huh? If you’re traveling in Iceland with kids, you might have to prepare them for these unusual meals.

If you want to get snacks from all over the world directly to your home—> click here.

See also: Eating fried insects in Thailand

Interesting facts of Iceland: the food
Interesting facts of Iceland: the food

Iceland interesting facts #7

Icelanders don’t have surnames

That’s probably the craziest fact about Iceland- people don’t have family names in this country!

The last name of every boy is the name of his father + son. The last name of every girl is the name of his father + dottir.

Let’s take Jon as an example. His son’s surname would be Jonsson and his daughter name would be Jonsdottir.

If you want to read more about Icelandic names, check out this post.

Photo credit:

Interesting Iceland facts #8

There is no army in Iceland

Iceland is among 22 countries in the world that don’t have armed forces. It has, however, non-police military force and is a member of NATO. It also has an agreement with United States that is supposed to support Iceland when needed.

Interesting facts Iceland: no army
Interesting facts Iceland: no army

Iceland interesting facts #9

There are no trains in Iceland

Iceland is a very small land with great road infrastructure. Most people travel there by cars, that is why there are no trains in this country!

What’s interesting, there are more countries in the world with no railway. Some of them are Malta, Cyprus, Qatar, Yemen and Mauritius.

Interesting facts about Iceland: no trains
Interesting facts about Iceland: no trains

Interesting Iceland facts #10

Poles are the largest minority group in Iceland

Last but not least- the minority groups. The second biggest population in Iceland is Polish. We were born and raised in Poland, that’s why this fact is the most interesting for us.

Iceland currently has 325,000 residents. 302,000 are Icelanders and 23,000 are citizens of other countries including Poland (~10,000), Lithuania (~1,700), Denmark (~900), Germany (~900), Latvia (~700), UK (~600), US (~600), Philippines (~550), Thailand (~550), Portugal (~500).

Fun fact of Iceland: Many Polish people live in this country.
Fun fact of Iceland: Many Polish people live in this country.

Iceland Interesting Facts #11

The weather fluctuates a lot in Iceland

Traveling in Iceland is always a different experience depending on the season/month you’re going. Let’s see how it can fluctuate in terms of sunshine and weather.

  • Iceland in January is cold but not as cold as we could imagine. You can expect a temperature of around -10 degrees. Going in January guarantees the highest possibilities to admire the northern lights.
  • Iceland in February is a great option to see the northern lights, but you can expect temperature around -2 degrees.
  • Iceland in March is also a good timing to admire the northern lights.
  • In April, Iceland offers a spring weather which is better for outdoor activities. You could also be lucky enough to spot the northern lights if you’re planning to visit Iceland in April.
  • Iceland in May means cheaper travels! It’s not too cold, not too warm and is a wise choice if you’re traveling on a budget.
  • Iceland in June means that it’s the beginning of the summer, but it’s not at its warmest point yet.
  • Iceland in August is a good idea when you decide to visit Iceland. Did you know that in August, Iceland weather is considered warm? You can expect an average of 20 degrees, but a short sunshine period during the day (5-6 hours).
  • Iceland in September is the beginning of the northern lights season. Not too cold, it’s a great period to see the magical sky.
  • Iceland in October is also a great timing to see the northern lights.
  • Iceland in November promises to be a lot colder with an average of 4 degrees.
  • Iceland in December is really cold but still great to visit, especially during Christmas time.
Fun fact of Iceland: it's beautifly all year long.
Fun fact of Iceland: it’s beautiful all year long.

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Interesting Iceland facts #12

Iceland is known for its famous and unique hotels

The most dreamy and famous place to stay in Iceland is the five million star hotel. We’ve all seen them on social media at some points and it promises a unique northern light experience. Check out the latest prices for—> Buubble.

If you’re after a luxurious experience with a modern twist, you could stay at Ion Luxury Adventure Hotel which guarantees epic lake views. Check out the latest prices for—> Ion Luxury Adventure Hotel.

If you’d rather experience something a bit different, check out the Viking Village Hotel. Elegant and rustic at the same time, this village promises fun experiences! Check out the latest prices for—> Viking Village Hotel.

Did you know these facts about Iceland? Do you know one interesting fact about Iceland that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!

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19 Responses

  1. Believe it or not I’ve ALWAYS wanted to visit Iceland. I’ll admit I didn’t know much about it before reading this post, but now that I know a lot more about it, it makes me want to go even more! So interesting that people there don’t have surnames!!

  2. I would love to visit Iceland. I talk to my husband about visiting all the time because he is a part-time nature photographer and it would be a dream to shoot the scenery!

  3. OMG! I am going to bookmark this one because ever since I had to learn countries and their capitals when I was in the 5th grade, I have always wanted to go to Reykjavik. Thanks for sharing these cool tips!

  4. Oh wow I didn’t know many of these facts and it’s a top country on my visit list! So neat they elected the first woman president!

  5. I remember learning about the Ice and Greenland thing at school always stuck with me as well. I would absolutely love to go and see the northern lights one day fingers crossed

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