Traveling to Iceland is on many to-do-lists all over the world. The country’s main attraction
is the nature. Volcanoes, glaciers, mountains and valleys, fjords and bays, waterfall and
rivers, magnificent lava spreads, the contrast between long days in the summer and short
There’s just something mystical about Iceland, something that grabs a hold of our collective
travel souls and refuses to let go. In trying to better understand what makes it so special
though, I uncovered some strange facts about Iceland that I thought I’d share with everyone
1) Per capita Iceland has the highest number of book and magazine publications and 10%
of the country’s population will publish a book in their lifetimes.
2) A majority of Icelanders believe in elves.
3) There are no surnames or family names in Iceland – Icelanders use the traditional
Nordic naming system, which includes a last name that is comprised from their father’s
(or mother’s) first name with the addition of -dóttir (-daughter) or -son.
4) There is a volcanic eruption every 4 years on average.
5) The Icelandic language remains unchanged from ancient Norse. That means 1,000-year-old
texts are still easily read.
6) Iceland is home to one of the world’s oldest democracies; established in 930.
7) Iceland had the first democratically elected female and openly gay Prime Ministers.
8) Roughly 85 percent of Iceland’s energy is from renewable resources, and well over
half of that is geothermal alone.
9) The Icelandic police don’t carry guns. Crime in Iceland is very low and violent
crime is practically nonexistent. Iceland does not have an army, navy or air force.
10) 10.60% of the Icelandic population lives in Reykjavík.