Iceland may seem like one of the more remote places on the map, but it is a country that is quickly becoming a popular tourist destination for adventurous travelers. We can guarantee that you will have fun when you are there, and that you will come across all kinds of interesting sights along the way. We can also guarantee that you will be surprised by many of the things that you see, unless of course you do a little advance reading. We have put together 10 interesting facts about Iceland that might help you learn more about this wonderful country.
1. The volcanoes are very active.
To say that Iceland is a volcanic hot spot is putting things rather mildly. On average, a volcanic eruption occurs every 4 years, which isn’t a real surprise given that there are over 125 volcanic mountains in Iceland.
2. Don’t expect a lot of trees.
The harsh climate I Iceland makes it a tough place for things to grow, and while there are green spots, you are not going to run into very many trees. In short, Iceland has no forests to speak of.
3. Legal beer drinking is still quite new.
While we are looking at some fun facts about Iceland, it’s fair to say that beer lovers would have seen the ban on beer drinking as no laughing matter. Beer drinking was officially legalized in 1989.
4. Look out for trolls.
Most of us stop believing in things like elves and trolls when we are still kids, but don’t tell that to the people of Iceland. Roughly half of the population still believe in these magical creatures.
5. Reykjavik is the place to be.
Iceland is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world, but the people who live there seem to be particularly keen on one place: the capital city of Reykjavik. About 60% of the total population make their home there.
6. No golden arches.
Don’t expect to be able to get a Happy Meal on your Iceland trip, as there are currently no McDonalds to be found there. The last one closed in 2009, and the man who bought the last burger there has preserved it and set up a webcam to view it.
7. Strange local foods.
You may not be able to get your hands on a batch of McNuggets, but you can get into some puffin or whale blubber if you are feeling hungry.
8. Iceland is eco-friendly.
Iceland is home to some fantastic hot spas that you can laze in all day, but those geothermal spots also have a practical use, which is to provide energy for a large portion of the country.
9. Ring around the road.
With so many of the top attractions in Iceland being of the natural variety, getting to them could be tricky were it not for the fact that an 800-mile ring road essentially plays connect the dots.
10. Names by approval only.
Parents love to get creative when naming their kids, all in an effort to be unique. This is not the case in Iceland, where a previously unused first name has to be approved before it can be used.