Iceland is the second largest island in Europe that is also known as “The Island of Fire and Ice”. It is known for the Magical Imagine Peace Tower, appealing northern lights, beautiful beaches, waterfalls and much more. As one of the planet’s youngest landmasses and one of the last locations to see human settlement, Iceland is regarded as one of the world’s youthful landmasses.It is one of the oldest democracies in the world and it is an eco-friendly country.
Location and Population: – Iceland is located between the North Atlantic ocean and the Arctic ocean. Iceland has no land borders but it shares marine borders with Greenland, Jan Mayen fracture zone, Denmark strait and Jan Mayen bridge. The geographical area of Iceland is 103,000 square kilometres.
According to the census conducted in the year 2021, the population of Iceland is 372,520.
Iceland’s History: – The history of Iceland has gone through a lot of foreign rule of Norwegians, Denmark rulers, etc. The Icelanders had to switch to Christianity and during Denmark’s rule in Iceland the rulers came out with the Lutheran religion after the death of Jonsbok. Besides, the people were kidnapped from Iceland by the pirates and they were taken to other countries as slaves. The population was also destroyed due to plague outbreaks and volcanic eruptions. Iceland was also ruled over by the UK and USA but on the 17th, June 1944 Iceland became an independent nation.
Facts you should know about Iceland: – There are various facts that the tourists should know about Iceland before the tourists visit it. They are as follows: –
- Iceland celebrates beer day which marks the end of the ban on beer that happened in the year 1915 and got over in the year 1989. It is celebrated every year in the month of March.
- More than 60 % of the population of Iceland lives in Reykjavík which is the capital of Iceland.
- The tourists can go and swim in any of the thermal springs in Iceland in any season as the waters are heated everyday in the thermal springs.
- Did you know that Iceland has the longest workweeks in Europe as the Icelanders have to work 45 hours in a week which is more than any other European country.
- There are statistics which prove that 11% of the country is covered under glaciers.
- There are three national colours of Iceland which are blue, white and red.
Culture and Food: – The Icelanders have a good sense of humour. They are very close to each other in the family. The locals believe in Elves, trolls, etc. which are said to be some invisible creatures. The religion in Iceland is more of Christianity. There are certain traditions being followed in Iceland such as Husband’s day and Wife’s day wherein they go out for dinner and hang around together.
The Icelandic cuisine is influenced from Scandinavian cuisine and the core of the Icelandic cuisine is lamb meat, dairy and seafood. Some of the popular dishes of this cuisine are Hangikjöt, Atlantic cod, Hakarl, Pylsur, Skyr, Thunder bread, etc.
Things to explore in Iceland: – There are various things for the tourists to explore in Iceland in terms of festivals and adventure activities. They are as follows: –
- Secret Solstice music festival: – The secret solstice festival is one of the biggest festivals that happens in the month of June. It is also known as Midnight Sun music festival. The tourists get to know more about Icelandic music and there are various artists, even the international artists that come and perform in the festival. Some of them are Cypress Hill, Lil Pump, Primal Scream, Regard, GKR, etc.
- Reykjavík International film festival: – The Reykjavík International film festival happens during the last two weeks of September and it lasts until the first week of October. The festival happens for around 11 days and the celebrities come at the festival representing their culture and films along with their stunning dresses for the film festival. There are two main awards at the film festival which are Discovery of the year and Golden Puffin which is decided by the international jury.
- Westman Islands camping festival: – It is celebrated during the weekend either in the month of July or August. The camping festival includes a bonfire, firework display and last is the music concert on the final day of the festival. The tourists would stay in white tents during the festival at the island.
- Paragliding: – The tourists can paraglide in Iceland and witness some of the beautiful breathtaking views of nature such as the waterfalls, greenery, etc.
- Horse riding: – The tourists can take a ride on the Icelandic horses which are found only in Iceland. The horses are calm, cute and friendly with the tourists. Some of the places where the tourists can go for horse riding are Icelandic horseworld, Skjaldarvik tours, Polar hestar, Bakkahestar, etc.
- River Rafting: – The tourists can explore the rivers of Iceland by doing river rafting which is one of the popular water sports in Iceland. The tourists can go to the Hvita river to do river rafting and it is done with proper safety.
Things to buy in Iceland: – There are various things to buy in Iceland in order for the tourists to complete their shopping list. Some of them are Lopapeysa, Omnom chocolates, liquor, chocolate liquors, jewellery, skin care products, traditional artwork of Iceland, sea salt, books, lava rocks, wool yarn, etc.
Best time to visit: – The best time to visit Iceland is during the summer season and fall season between June to October as the temperatures would be bearable and the tourists can explore more outdoor activities. There is no snow during the summer season and it is a peak season in Ireland. There will be little rain during the fall season and little bit of snowfall is expected to happen in Iceland.
Places to visit in Iceland
- Reykjavík: – The city which is the capital and the largest city in Iceland is Reykjavík. The tourists can explore the Hallgrimskirkja which is the largest church in the country and it is known for its architecture especially both the sides of the church building. Besides, they can also visit Perlan which is a museum that talks about the future of Iceland and it educates tourists about the geography of Iceland. It is located at the top of the Öskjuhlíð Hill. There are various exhibits and videos for the tourists to view and this is the only museum that has a 100 metre built ice tunnel. The tourist can go in and spend some time in the tunnel and there is an observation deck at the top of the dome to have a good view of the city and the northern lights. There is one more beautiful place in Reykjavík that is the Sun voyager which is a sculpture that was made by Jón Gunnar Árnason. According to him it is a positive sculpture which is dedicated to the sun god or it is a boat which describes hope and freedom. It is located next to the Sæbraut road in Reykajavík.
- Hafnarfjörður: – The city which is third most populated and it is a port town in Iceland is Hafnarfjörður. In Hafnarfjörður there is a place, the Leiðarendi Lava Cave which is a lava tube that is built from volcanic eruptions and the tourists can explore this lava cave under proper safety kits and a guide who knows everything about the lava cave. The tourists would enjoy lava formations, ice sculptures, etc. but the cave is small and narrow hence they have to be careful while exploring the cave. Next is hovdenak distillery, Spot for Wine lovers, wherein the lovers of wine will get a chance to see the process of wines being made at the distillery and get to know other popular products of the distillery. Lastly, they would explore the viking village which is located at Fjorukrain in the town of Hafnarfjörður. There are restaurants, hotels and most importantly there is a viking festival wherein the vikings sell homemade products and there are live music performances as well as fighting performances that happen with proper training. It happens for four days in the village.
- Akureyri: –Akureyri, the city which is located in the northern part of Iceland and it is the second largest city in Iceland is Akureyri. The tourists would love to cover the Godafoss which is a beautiful waterfall that is located at the main ring road. The water falls from the waterfall over a height of 12 metres and it gives an enchanting view during the sunset. The name Godafoss means waterfall of the gods and the waterfall receives the water from the Skjálfandafljót river. The tourists would visit the peaceful Akureyri botanical garden which is a place for all nature lovers to visit as there are multiple types of shrubs, flowers, plants, etc. It is located in the southern part of Akureyri and has old wooden houses. The garden also has the statue of Jón Rögnvaldsson. The last but not least place to explore is Laufas which is an old farmhouse that contains old turf houses that shows how the Icelandsers used to live in these houses during the 18-19th centuries.
- Kópavogur: – The town of Iceland which is located in the southern part of Reykjavík is Kópavogur. A spot for spa lovers is the sky lagoon which is a geothermal spa that gives good relaxation to the body and has a good panoramic view of the North Atlantic ocean. It is located at the Kársnes Harbour in Kópavogur. The history museum of Kópavogur is a place for all historic lovers to visit and it is divided in two parts. The first part contains exhibits of the rocks and minerals that led to the formation of Iceland and the second part of the museum contains exhibits of the Iceland animals that lived earlier such as birds, fish, etc. Finally, the place to relax and enjoy with family and friends is the Sundlaugin Versolum which is a big swimming pool available for the public and the tourists can go inside the pool and spend a good time with their loved ones. Besides there is a heated pool as well as a cold pool available over there and there are a few water rides in the pool.
- Golden Circle: – The Golden circle is a route which starts from Reykjavík to the southern uplands of the country and then it goes back to Reykjavík. There are three popular marvellous places in the Golden circle which are a must visit for the tourists when they come to Iceland. They are Thingvellir national park which is a park that is between two tectonic plates that is North American and Eurasian. The park is known for its beautiful greenery and view and it has also used to shoot a few scenes of the show Game of Thrones. Next is geothermal park, an interesting place which is a volcanic activity that throws hot water in the air but since 2016 it has stopped erupting but there is another geysir named Strokkur which erupts every 10 min and it throws water above 40 metres height. The tourists need to stand at the safety area in order to avoid getting hurt from the hot water from the geysir. Ultimately a place for all nature lovers to view the charming Gullfoss waterfall which is located at the canyon of the Hvita river and it flows in the form of a three step staircase. It is an amazing waterfall and a good spot for the tourists to click pictures near the waterfall.
How to reach Iceland from India: – The tourists can reach Iceland through flights but there are no direct flights and there would be one or two stops during the travel depending on the airline chosen by the tourists. There are various airlines that fly to Iceland and some of them are Etihad Airways, Lufthansa, Air India, British Airways, Qatar Airways, Turkish airlines, etc. There are no other modes of transportation that can be used to travel to Iceland. Besides, the tourists can also reach through Cruise but the cruise is available from countries near Iceland such as Denmark.
Popular Packages: – These are a list of popular packages to travel to Iceland which also includes packages to travel to other countries including Iceland. They are as follows: –
|Name of the Package||Duration of the Package||Price of the Package (RS)||Countries|
|Best of Iceland with Finland and Estonia||7 nights / 8 days||2,91,990||Finland, Iceland and Estonia|
|Best of Iceland||4 nights / 5 days||73,999||Iceland|
|Best of Iceland with Helsinki||6 nights / 7 days||1,98,000||Helsinki in Finland and Iceland|
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the currency of Iceland?
Ans: The currency of Iceland is Icelandic Króna.
- What is the language spoken in Iceland?
Ans: The language spoken in Iceland is Icelandic but the locals can also speak in English which is their second language.
- What are the eateries that serve Indian food in Iceland?
Ans: A portion of eateries in Iceland that serve Indian food are Gandhi Indian restaurant, Indian curry house, Austur India, Shalimar, etc.
- What is the national sport of Iceland?
Ans: The national sport of Iceland is handball.
- What are things which tourists should carry before visiting Iceland?
Ans: There are certain things which the tourists should carry before going for iceland that are as follows
- Warm clothes for fall season and trekking of glaciers
- Sports shoes
- Hiking shoes
- Umbrella during fall season
- What are the places to shop in Iceland?
Ans: The places where the tourists can go for shopping to complete their shopping list are Kringlan mall, Kolaportið, Rammagerð Ísafjarðar, Thorvaldsens Bazar, Smáralind etc.