Iceland has so much to offer – great landscapes, wildlife, and incredible geographic magic. Caleb and I have been there 4 times and it hasn’t been on accident. Today, I am sharing some random and unique facts about Iceland that will surprise you!
10 Things That Will Surprise You About Iceland
- It’s not actually that cold – coming from someone who suffers through Wisconsin winters year after year. The temperature typically varies from 28° F to 57° F and is rarely below 17° F or above 62° F. Icelandic summers are short, cool, and mostly cloudy and the winters are long, cold, wet, and windy.
- Most native Icelanders can speak several languages. English + Danish are required in most schools, but most locals can speak 3 or more languages.
- Although they are small, they are mighty …. accepting! Same-sex marriage has been legalized in Iceland since 2010. Iceland’s Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir was the world’s first openly gay head of state, in 2009.
- Whale meat is NOT a popular Icelandic dish for the locals; in fact, virtually no one in Iceland eats it. Do not support the whaling industry. The future of Iceland’s near extinction whales relies on us, the travelers.
- Iceland has an estimated population of 337,780 in 2018. Reykjavik and its surrounding areas account for 64% of Iceland’s total population.
- The sun only sets for about 3 hours during the summer months and during the winter months, there are only about 5 hours of daylight each day.
- The majority of the candy in Iceland contains black licorice. My favorite candy bar is Eitt Sett. The licorice in Iceland has a less sweet, more salty taste to it so that’s why it is commonly covered in chocolate or a hard-candy coating.
- The traditional Icelandic cuisine is quite good, and so is the “foreign food.” One of my favorite traditional dishes to order is Cod with Blistered Tomatoes OR the famous Icelandic Hot Dog with both fried & raw onions! We’ve had some of THE BEST sushi when we were in Reykjavik.
- Their traditional spirit branded with a skull, Brennvin AKA: “Black Death” is actually delicious, and will not kill you. Caleb and I both find it enjoyable! It kinda tastes like you are drinking rye bread. We always make sure to stop by the duty-free store in the airport and bring some home from our friends and family to try.
- The horses are friendly! Hrefna animal behaviorist states, “The Icelandic horse is extremely intelligent and forms close attachments to people and other horses.”