10 Things That Will Surprise You About Iceland


Iceland has so much to offer!

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Iceland has so much to offer – extraordinary landscapes, wildlife, and incredible geographic magic. Caleb and I have been there 4 times, and it hasn’t been by accident. So today, I am sharing some random and unique facts about Iceland that will surprise you!

visit iceland

10 Things That Will Surprise You About Iceland


1)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, calm, and mostly cloudy, and the winters are long, cold, wet, and windy.

things to do in Iceland

2) Most native Icelanders can speak several languages. English + Danish are required in most schools, but most locals can speak 3 or more languages.

3) Although they are small, they are mighty …. accepting! Same-sex marriage has been legalized in Iceland since 2010. In addition, Iceland’s Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir was the world’s first openly gay head of state in 2009.

4) Whale meat is NOT a popular Icelandic dish for the locals; 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.

5) Iceland has an estimated population of 345,150 in April of 2022. Reykjavik and its surrounding areas account for 64% of Iceland’s total population.

visit iceland

6) 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.

7) 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, so it is commonly covered in chocolate or a hard-candy coating.

Iceland licorice candy

8) The traditional Icelandic cuisine is quite good, 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! Also, we had some of THE BEST sushi when we were in Reykjavik.

9) Their traditional spirit branded with a skull, Brennvin AKA: “Black Death,” is delicious, and will not kill you. Caleb and I both find it enjoyable! It kind of tastes like you are drinking rye bread. We always make sure to stop by the duty-free store at the airport and bring some home from our friends and family to try. Black Death is a type of Icelandic alcohol that is very strong and has a high alcohol content. It is made from potatoes and caraway seeds, traditionally served in small shots. Black Death is not for the faint of heart and should be enjoyed in moderation! Cheers! Sláinte!

10) The horses are friendly! Hrefna animal behaviorist, states, “The Icelandic horse is brilliant and forms close attachments to people and other horses.”

RELATED: Stress-Free Car Rental in Iceland

Iceland FAQS

Q: How many days should I spend in Iceland?

A: The general rule of thumb is that you need at least three days to explore Iceland. This gives you a day to travel from the airport to your accommodation and two full days of adventuring! Of course, there’s always more to see and do if you have more time.

Q: What’s the best time of year to visit Iceland?

A: The best time of year to visit Iceland depends on what you want to see and do. If you’re hoping to see the Northern Lights, you’ll want to stay in the winter months. However, if you’re looking to hike and explore the outdoors, summer is the best time to visit.

Q: What should I pack for Iceland?

A: Iceland is a very diverse country, so you’ll want to pack accordingly. In the winter months, you’ll need warm clothes and waterproof gear. In the summer months, lighter layers are key. No matter what time of year you visit, always pack your sunscreen!

Q: How much does it cost to visit Iceland?

A: The cost of visiting Iceland can vary greatly depending on the time of year and your activities. You can expect to spend around $100-150 USD per day. This includes accommodation, food, and activities.

Q: What is the best way to get around Iceland?

A: The best way to get around Iceland is by rental car. This gives you the freedom and flexibility to explore at your own pace. You can also take tours from Reykjavik, which is an excellent option if you’re short on time.

Q: What are some must-see places in Iceland?

A: Some must-see places in Iceland include the Blue Lagoon, Reykjavik, Vatnajökull National Park, and the Golden Circle. Of course, there are endless possibilities of things to see and do in Iceland, so make sure to do your research before you go!

Q: What is the best time to see the Northern Lights?

A: The best time of year to see the Northern Lights is from September to April. This is when the nights are longest, and there is less light pollution. Of course, you can still see them during the summer months, but they are much fainter.

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