Things worth knowing, Tips & Curiosities

Vacation in Iceland

Do you know Glima, the national sport of Iceland? Did you know that scenes of famous Hollywood movies - such as Batman Begins or James Bond (on Jökulsarlon glacier lagoon) - were filmed here? Unlike any other country "swimming pool culture" is so passionately maintained and Iceland even has its own minister for elves!

Put short: Holidays in Iceland mean holidays in one of the world's most scenically and culturally exciting countries. Here is a brief overview of what you should know about this unique island and its inhabitants.

Record Curiosities

Iceland Travel for Beginners

First of all, some facts. Sounds dry but it won’t be. Because: Even here Iceland scores with some curious records! The 103,000 km2 country is the largest volcanic island in the world, the most sparsely populated state and the second largest island in Europe. Reykjavik is the northernmost capital in the world.

The landmass lies partly on the North American and partly on the Eurasian continental plate. Where these two giants meet, a huge gap from northeast to southwest pervades the entire island. This grows by about two centimeters annually.

Also, numerous plant species grow in Iceland, such as blueberry bushes, lupines, Arctic birches, thick moss sponges and much more. Many endemic (i.e. only occurring here) plant species cause countless botanists to travel to Iceland every year.


The unique nature of Iceland is a true paradise for mountain bikers: Selected single trails lead through beautiful, untouched volcanic landscapes!

FeiertagIsländische BezeichnungDatum
EhemanntagBóndadagurzw. 19.-25. Jänner
EhefrautagKonudagur18. Februar
SeemannstagSjómannadagurinn3. Juni
Freier Tag für AngestellteVerslunarmannahelgi1. Montag im August
Isländische Sprache TagDagur íslenskrar tungu16. November
Heiliger Þórlák TagÞorláksmessa23. Dezember
Iceland and the Icelanders

The Icelandic identity

Shaped by the harsh weather below the Arctic Circle, it symbolizes the language that has remained virtually unchanged for more than 1,000 years. The Icelanders are individual people who know their history, celebrate holidays and have adapted themselves perfectly with the circumstances of their homeland.

Accordingly, in place of ancient castle ruins or huge pyramids, there are impressive natural spectacles - and more poets than generals. The famous Icelandic literature and the unique nature go hand in hand. From this symbiosis the very special character of the Icelanders is formed.

Travel to Iceland

The most happy people in the world

They aren’t called the most happy people in the world for nothing. Their life expectancy is exceeded only by that of the Japanese. Politics and society function like a large family - one discusses, sulks, reconciles and finds solutions together. This family atmosphere and the friendly interaction with each other can be felt during vacations in Iceland from the start.

Even in everyday life, the Icelanders - with all progress - have remained down to earth. Tradition and modernity meet in many facets here. While the island nation has the most Internet users in Europe per person, dried fish has remained a popular nibble to this day. The prohibition was lifted only on 01.03.1989. Since then, there is beer, wine and liquor for sale in state shops - called "Vinbudi".

Everyday life in Iceland

Things worth knowing

A special tip for Iceland travelers: The petrol stations on the island have a completely different meaning than on the main land. They provide space for social interaction. Here you get the most important food, clothing, CDs or DVDs as well as gasoline and coffee and the latest gossip.

In addition to petrol stations and pubs, the ubiquitous bathing establishments are among the most popular meeting places for Icelanders. The often natural pools ("HotPots") which are full of steaming water from the seething world under the island have their own (and therefore particularly worth knowing) laws: For example, shoes are placed on a shelf in front of the wardrobe and you have to take a shower before entering the bathroom. If you really want to get to know the country and its people, you shouldn’t miss a visit to the local spa!

Of course, Iceland and Icelanders have much more to tell. But what else awaits you when you travel through the largest volcanic island in the world? Find out yourself with a vacation to Iceland...

Christopher Pier
Get to know Iceland

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