24 Interesting Facts about Iceland
- Iceland is a Nordic island located in north west Europe.
- Its nearest countries are Greenland to the north west, Norway to the east and the Faroe Islands, Ireland and the United Kingdom to the south east.
- It has an area of 39,769 square miles (103,001 square kilometres).
- The coordinates for this chilly country are 65.0000° N, 18.0000°
- Iceland’s population was 360,390 in 2019.
- Reykjavik is the capital city; it has an area of 106 square miles (274.5 square kilometres) and a population of 122,853 (2016).
- The terrain here is mostly flat with stunning mountain peaks and icefields, surrounded by a coastline scattered with bays, incredible black sand beaches and fjords. Trust us, it’s absolutely stunning!
Flag of Iceland
- Amazingly, there is no public railway system in Iceland!
- If you lived here, you’d enjoy a temperate climate with mild, windy winters and damp, cool summers. Expect to experience average lows of -3°C and highs of 13°C, however, it has been known to reach as cold as -39.7°C and as warm as 30.5°C!
- Having been founded in 930 AD, Iceland’s parliament is the oldest extant parliamentary institution in the world! We don’t know about you, but we certainly wouldn’t have guessed this!
- Whilst visiting Iceland you will probably want to experience their incredible naturally hot springs, but be warned, it is customary to shower in the open before you go in to the springs, and swimming costumes are not allowed! Crikey!
- Handball is considered the national sport of Iceland and can be a very fast paced and oftentimes brutal sport!
- Amazingly, beer was banned here until 1989!
- The average life expectancy here is a healthy 82.47 years (2016).
- Skyr is eaten regularly in Iceland but it’s relatively unheard of outside of this stunning country. It’s a low fat, high protein soft cheese which is very similar to yoghurt and can be eaten as a snack or as a side dish.
- Iceland is one of the best places to visit if you want to see the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis.
- On your ventures across the world-wide-web, you can visit the Islendingabok (the book of Icelanders) to see how Icelanders are related to each other (because apparently everyone is related somehow)!
- Being a country plagued with volcanic activity, Iceland has found an eco-friendly way to turn this natural energy into a highly prized commodity – geothermal energy makes up more than half of the country’s renewable energy and is used to both heat water and generate electricity. Top marks, Iceland!
- The currency of Iceland is the Icelandic Krona.
- During the months of June and July, the Sun never fully sets in Iceland, so residents take full advantage of this by, wait for it… playing midnight golf! As you do!
- Iceland’s official languages are Icelandic, a North German language derived from Old Norse, and English!
- They grow potatoes and green vegetables, rear chicken, pigs, cattle and sheep, catch fish and produce dairy products here.
- The country’s industry consists of fish processing (rather unsurprisingly, given the location!), aluminium smelting, ferrosilicon production, geothermal power, hydropower and tourism.
- Iceland exports fish and fish products, aluminium, animal products, ferrosilicon and diatomite.
- Want to call family or friends in Iceland? You’ll need to use the international dialling code +354.
Know any good facts about Iceland we’ve not mentioned? Let us know in the comments section below!
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