The island state of Iceland is located in northwestern Europe and is perhaps one of the most exciting countries on earth. Nature-loving travelers will discover many beautiful natural wonders here. Iceland is alive – you can feel that everywhere in this wonderful country. See Andyeducation for education in Iceland.
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Fast facts to know
- Iceland is the largest volcanic island in the world and also the most sparsely populated country.
- Icelanders love their pool culture and hot baths.
- Many Icelanders believe in elves.
- The landmass lies partly on the North American and partly on the Eurasian tectonic plate. A huge fissure that grows by 2 cm every year runs through the island.
- No visa is required for travelers from Germany, a passport or identity card is sufficient.
- Northern Lights can be seen from September to late March.
- The earth trembles every day in Iceland.
- There are 31 active volcanoes in Iceland.
- In summer, Iceland has 2-3 months of continuous daylight.
- Road no. 1 goes all the way around Iceland and is easy to drive on.
- Icelanders see themselves as a nation of writers.
- Icelandic tap water is very healthy, but often smells of sulphur.
- Glaciers make up more than eleven percent of the total land area in Iceland.
- Icelanders are proud of their forests – even if they are barely a man tall.
- Iceland gets over 50 percent of its energy from geothermal energy sources.
- Food and groceries are relatively expensive.
Exciting cities in Iceland
- Vik i Myrdal
History of Iceland
- Discovered by Swedish Vikings around 870.
- Settled by emigrants from Norway and Celtic settlers in the 9th and 10th centuries.
- Early, unique development of an oligarchic social system gives rise to one of the first parliamentary systems in Europe.
- Subjugated by Norwegians in 1262.
- from 1380 under Danish rule.
- 1397 Kalmar Union (ruled with Norway under Danish crown).
- 1552 Reformation.
- 1904 Denmark grants autonomy to Iceland.
- 1915 Women’s suffrage is introduced.
- 1918 sovereignty.
- Occupied by the British and US during World War II to prevent German invasion.
- 1944 Founding of the Republic.
- 2001 Accession to the Schengen Agreement.
Climate & travel weather in Iceland
- Oceanic cool (cool summers, mild winters), but surprisingly mild due to the Gulf Stream.
- Weather very changeable all year round.
- Winter: Lots of snow in the center and in the north.
- Recommended travel time:
- Hiking: July & August.
- Northern Lights: Autumn (from September) and Winter.
- Whale Watching: June – August.
Ideas for trips in Iceland
- Whale Watching.
- Big geyser.
- watching the Northern Lights.
- Swim in the Blue Lagoon.
- Hallgrim’s Church and Perlan Dome with the Saga Museum in Reykjavik.
- Lighthouse in Stykkisholmur.
- Ice caves in Vatnajokull.
- Navy plane wreck.
- Basalt rock Hvítserkur.
- Bird watching on the cliffs of Latrabjarg.
- Lava cave Rauarholshellir.
Eating & drinking in Iceland
- Icelandic cuisine is simple and rustic.
- Fish and meat are often acidified, smoked, dried, salted, or cured in whey to preserve them.
- Traditionally there is a lot of fish, meat, potatoes, milk and grain products.
- Vegetables and fruit usually have to be imported.
- Mostly rich meals, dinner is the most important meal.
- Lamb, salmon and reindeer are particularly popular specialties.
- Puffins and seabirds are also on the table.
- Almost everything is processed by the animal.
- Mainly used spices: juniper, thyme, chervil, caraway.
- Icelanders have a fondness for sweets, ice cream and candy counters are almost everywhere.
- Tap water is of high quality.
- Coffee is a popular drink, and dinner often includes a good wine or Icelandic beer.
- Typical dishes:
- Blóðmór (blood sausage made from sheep’s blood).
- Hákarl (smoked buried shark).
- Hangikjöt (smoked lamb).
- Harðfiskur (dried fish).
- Lifrarpylsa (liver sausage made from lamb’s liver).
- Plokkfískur (potato, fish, onion stew).
- Saltkjöt (salted lamb, eaten cold).
- Svið (singed lamb’s head).
- Sviðasulta (brawn).
- Súrsaðir hrútspungar (mutton testicles pickled in whey).
- Maelifell Volcano
- Mount Kirkjufell
- National Parks:
- Westman Islands
- Water falls:
- Dynjandi (Fjallfoss)
- Snaefellsnes Peninsula
- Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon
- Asbyrgi Gorge
- Lake Myvatn
- Sea cliffs Hornbjarg
- The Black Beaches at Vík
- Glacial lake Jokulsarlon