When we arrived in Iceland, we didn’t know too much about the country, its history or its traditions and understandably so. Reykjavik sits over 10,000 miles away from our home in Melbourne and has always been an exotic destination for many Australians.
But thanks to our various tour guides possessing extensive knowledge of their homeland, we compiled a long list of interesting facts about the island located between Europe and North America.
23 Random Facts About Iceland
Before the Global Financial Crisis, Iceland was one of the richest countries in the world with 1 Euro = 80 Icelandic Krona. Today, 1 Euro = 158 Icelandic Krona.
Iceland is warmer than most European capital cities in Winter with an average temperature of zero degrees celsius.
The longest day in Iceland happens in June where the sun rises before 3am and sets at midnight – over 21 hours of daylight!
The shortest day in Iceland is December 21st with the country only receiving 3-4 hours of sunlight.
There are 200 volcanoes in Iceland, 120 of which are still active. All of them rest of tectonic plates.
There is a volcanic eruption every 4 years on average.
Lava covers 11% of Iceland which is one-third of all lava in the world.
Reykjavik is the only capital city in the world that has a salmon river running right through it.
There are no mosquitoes in Iceland!
There is no pollution in Iceland and you can drink water straight from the tap. It’s honestly better than bottled water!
There are 5000 different species of moss growing in Iceland.
You will find the best sheep’s head in Reykjavik at the BSI Bus Terminal. We can’t confirm whether this is true but will take our tour guide’s word for it.
Icelanders drink more Coca-Cola per capita than any other nation.
Iceland is the second biggest island in Europe.
Icelanders still believe in hidden people (elves and trolls). They even build roads around rocks believed to be inhabited by elves instead of destroying them which is why some of their roads are windy.
11% of Iceland consists of glaciers. 20% is farming and 8% is housing.
Iceland runs on nearly 100% sustainable green energy. Approximately 75% of the nation’s electricity is generated by hydroelectric power and 25% comes from geothermal energy. Just 0.1% comes from fossil fuels.
The average monthly household electricity bill in Iceland is $20 – $30. This includes heating and water.
The majority of Icelandic houses are heated by geothermal water.
Iceland’s streets are heated by geothermal water so they do not become slippery in winter.
Icelanders pay 37-46% income tax. However they do not have to pay for things such as healthcare and education.
The average work week in Iceland is 46 hours.
Iceland’s parliament was formed in 930 AD, making it the oldest parliament in the world.
Which of these facts did you find the most interesting?