We have all heard about the Blue Lagoon, the Northern Lights, and the stunning landscape that Iceland has to offer. But Iceland has so much more to offer than just the visual side. Iceland provides one of the most interesting and astonishing histories. Here we are going to provide 6 interesting facts that you probably didn’t know about Iceland.
- There are no McDonalds in Iceland
For 67 years, Americans have been enjoying the famous Big Mac Burger, chicken nuggets, and greasy – yet functional – fries. But this isn’t everyone’s reality. In fact, Iceland has – to this day – not a single McDonalds restaurant. The chain closed its stores during the financial crisis in 2009 and have never been seen since. But what do they eat instead? When it comes to hamburgers, Iceland has plenty of options. Book your trip with Crystal Travel & Tours and we can happily recommend the best hamburger in Reykjavik, the best hotdog in the entire world, or any other type of food that might tickle your fancy.
- Beer was illegal up until 1989
Before 1989, the Icelandic people couldn’t go to the pub and enjoy a cold, refreshing beer. The country banned all alcoholic drinks a century ago but later in the 1920’s and 30’s the ban on wine and spirits was lifted. However, for some reason, beer was banned in Iceland until 1989. Beer Day [Icelandic: Bjórdagurinn] is now celebrated every year on March 1, honoring the elimination of the 74-year prohibition of beer.
- The national sport of Iceland is handball
Icelanders love sports, including soccer, football, basketball, volleyball, and horseback riding with their national sport being handball. The national team in handball has over the years been more successful than in any other sport, and there are more professionals abroad in handball than in any other sport. Iceland’s men’s league is actually regarded as one of the best in all of Europe, where there are roughly 10,000 persons that regularly play handball in Iceland.
- Many Icelanders believe in elves ♀️
54.4 percent of Icelanders said they believe in the existence of elves. So what are elves then? Elves are said to be a supernatural creature of folk tales, typically represented as a small, elusive figure in human form with pointed ears, magical powers, and a capricious nature. And you might find it strange but a former member of the Icelandic parliament even swore that he was saved in a car accident by a family of elves. His name was Árni Johnsen and in January of 2010, he was in a car accident. His SUV rolled over five times before stopping next to a large stone that was 40 meters from the highway. Árni survived the crash due to the large stone which he believed was a home to elves and it was their home that saved his life.
What do you think: are elves real or not?
- 11% of Iceland is covered in glacier
Glaciers are one of the main attractions in Iceland and there are 269 named glaciers in the country. Iceland is also home to Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajokull [Icelandic: Vatnajökull], that can cover an area of around 7,900 sq km – that’s more than half the size of Connecticut! Vatnajokull is located in the south-east of Iceland and is probably about 2,500 years old. Crystal Travel & Tours have a variety of glacier and ice cave tours so you can make the most of your time in Iceland.
- Iceland is the safest country in the world☘️
According to the global peace index, Iceland is the safest country in the world for the 14th consecutive year. In Iceland you don’t need to worry about violent crimes, in fact, this country has one of the lowest crime rates in the entire world.It’s actually so low that the police doesn’t even carry guns, their SWAT team does carry them but doesn’t need to use them due to the average of murder per year being 0.05%.. Iceland also has very few harmful animals, that means: no mosquitoes, no snakes, no bears, and no poisonous spiders.
☕️Want A Refill?
The Icelandic people have a very special and unique way of asking for a refill. Instead of asking directly for a refill, ask for “10 more drops” or “tíu dropar, takk” – be specific with asking for exactly 10 more drops if you want to chat like a local!