Iceland is a unique country, in that it did not have a prehistoric population. The island was bare of humans until the Vikings arrived in the 9th century. Up until the 20th century the Icelandic people were farmers and fisherman scattered across the island and even the capital had less than 10,000 people in 1910. Independence was gained in 1918 and due to the Marshall Plan after World War 2 the nation prospered and is now one of the wealthier nations in the world. Of the 333,000 people over 250,000 of them now live in the capital of Reykjavik.
Population – 350,700
Money – Krona (as of Sept 2018 US$1 = kr 109; current rate available at XE.com)
Language – Icelandic, English
Religion – 78.8% Christian
When to go – June-August are the warmest and busiest, winter not as cold as expected
World Heritage Sites – 2 – Þingvellir, Surtsey
Country formed – Denmark recognized full independence on 1 Dec 1918
Iceland sits on the conversion site of the North American and European tectonic plates just south of the Arctic Circle. Due to the tectonic plates Iceland is continuously threatened by volcanic activity. The good news is that due to the warm water of the Gulf Stream flowing just south of the island the weather is much milder than you would expect given its location.
In 2015 I had a two hour layover in Iceland and found out Iceland Air and WOW will let you have a layover of up to seven days at no additional cost, so you can tour the island. With this in mind, I returned in 2016 with my buddy to drive around the island. It turns out I was able to go cheaper with a one-way ticket to and away from Iceland and that allowed me to stay for 10 days. We rented a car and drove all the way around the island during our tour.
Likes, Dislikes, and Recommendations
I feel confident saying that I will never find a country as beautiful as Iceland from a nature point of view and we saw over 125 different waterfalls. On top of that we walked in lava tubes, sat in hot springs, climbed glaciers, saw icebergs, watched puffins, and slept under the stars with very short nights during our 10 days.
I feel like the itinerary we set out with was perfectly timed and showed us almost everything this phenomenal land had to show. I recommend you read and follow each blog if you are looking to visit and do not know where to begin.
You can get even more helpful hints by watching the two travel videos I made for Iceland. Also, you can read what all I did during my 10 days in Iceland in my blog posts below the videos.
All Blogs From Iceland
Of course what do you expect when it runs straight off a glacier? Everywhere I looked it seemed like all you needed was sunlight to make the streams just “pop”…
After Eric and I had completed a trip around the entire island of Iceland we had one more day and we both descided what we really wanted to see was…
It is not what I expected. We had a wonderful time up here on a glacier in Snaefellsjokull NP, but I am sure you knew that from the blog yesterday about…
Yesterday I told you about the seals that were swimming among the icebergs that had calfed off the glacier and were sitting in Jokulsarlon, or Iceberg Lagoon. Well here is my…
What do you think? I wrote about this waterfall yesterday. Did I exaggerate how amazing it was? now remember this was at 10:30 at night. You have got to love…
Tomorrow you will read about this world renown tourist attaction and some helpful hints surrounding it. But for today why don’t you sit and enjoy the unbelievable color with me.