Velkominn til Íslands!
That is Icelandic and means „Welcome to Iceland“.
Iceland, the land of fire and ice, has become a popular travel destination over the past few years. From the country’s magnificent glaciers, thundering waterfalls and epic natural nighttime displays, it’s easy to see why travellers are escaping to the edge of the world. But these strange and interesting facts about Iceland may surprise you.
- Iceland was the last place on earth to be settled by humans
Iceland is known as one of the youngest landmasses on the planet and was one of the last places on earth to be settled by humans. Surprisingly, over 1,100 years ago Vikings from Norway discovered Iceland by accident.
Renewable energy (hot water)
Ice uses hot water from geysirs as a source to power many different things, compared to the rest of the world. It has been used for renewable sources of energy since early 1970s and it continues to do so for growing plants, powering industries, used for electricity and everyday use of water (tap-water, showers…) in homes.
Iceland is one of the most eco-friendly countries in the world
Iceland was recently ranked one of the eco-friendliest countries in the world and since almost all of the electricity in Iceland is produced using renewable energy sources, it’s easy to see why! The capital city of Reykjavik won the Nordic Nature and Environment Prize in 2014 and is working towards a goal of being a carbon-neutral city by 2040.
Iceland has the longest workweeks in Europe
One of the most interesting facts about Iceland is that the average Icelander works 45 hours a week – longer than in any other European country! Did you know that?
About 11% of Iceland is covered by glaciers
11% of the country of Iceland is covered by glaciers (Gletscher). Glaciers are one of the main attractions in Iceland.Iceland is also home to Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull, which is equivalent to three times the size of Luxembourg or Rhode Island.
The Eyjafjallajökul volcano
There was a famous volcano eruption that happened in 2010, a volcano called „Eyjafjallajökull“, which was considered a small volcano eruption, was devastating regardless. It disrupted the air around Iceland across Western and Northern Europe over an initial period of six days.
One in 10 Icelanders (a person from Iceland) will publish a book
As facts about Iceland go, this one’s pretty awesome. The tradition of reading in Iceland dates back to the 13th century and with one out of ten Icelanders publishing a book in their lifetime, it is clear that Iceland is a very literature-focused country. In case you are looking to add some Icelandic literature to your reading
list, be sure to include some novels written by Halldór Kiljan Laxness, one of the country’s most noted authors, who was awarded a Nobel Prize in Literature.
The Icelandic horses are uniqe and so different from the rest of the horses around the world
The icelandic horses were brought in by the vikings and likely survived unique conditions to develop the body that they have. They are the only breed of horses in the world that are able to perform five gaits (ways of walking), while other horse breeds can only perform 3-4.
The icelandic horses are also unique in the fact, that they are not bred or mixed with other horse races, only with the same exact race (for centuries) and have mostly been separated from the rest of the world, until shipping started at the beginning of the 20th century.