The Dazzling Lights and Sights of Iceland

Getting acquainted with Iceland’s natural wonders is a little bit like travelling to another galaxy. Not only will the country’s otherworldly landscapes blow you away but the Northern Lights will dazzle you. Welcome to a fairytale world, where the water is invariably clean, fresh and delicious.

Fjords, glaciers, geysers, volcanoes, waterfalls. The numerous geological phenomena within Iceland’s “realm of fire and ice” make up a virtual world exposition of natural wonders. No doubt that’s why twice as many tourists are now travelling to Iceland. There’s also been an explosion of beautiful photos of the country on social media. Thus far, global tourism has not tainted Iceland – the country remains a magical, supernatural experience.


The population of Iceland is only 330,000 (yes, you read it right!). The capital, Reykjavík, is the world’s northernmost capital city.

This mural in Reykjavík is a piece of an international project called “wall poetry”. The concept of the project was to integrate sound and vision: musicians were asked to provide street artists with a song or poetry, then street artists were provided with a surface to create their interpretation of the song.
  • Ice covers 10% of the country’s surface, and Iceland has 140 volcanoes, 26 of which are still active. This paradox gives its fitting name, the “Land of Fire and Ice.”
  • Iceland possesses one of the youngest islands in the world, the barely 50-year-old piece of land called Surtsey. A volcanic eruption 130 meters under the sea created the island. At present, biologists there are studying how a desolate island becomes populated with different species.
  • Iceland is where Europe meets America, as the tectonic plates in North America and Eurasia meet there exactly. The two tectonic plates are drifting apart at a rate of about 2 centimeters a year. Due to their slow movement, the island’s surface is constantly growing.

Beliefs and misbeliefs

The Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) are a common phenomenon in Iceland. According to the locals, it is a misconception that this ethereal light play is linked to a season or a lucky period; in fact, if the sky is clear, it’s dark enough and you’re still awake, you can see them.

It is worth getting to know the island’s legends and myths, as they add a lot to the visual experience of being there. Myths are an integral part of Icelandic culture. Local people truly believe in the existence of mythical beings, fairies, dwarves and trolls; let us respect their beliefs!

Legend goes that this troll, called Hvitserkur, failed to make it to the shore before sunrise and turned to stone.

Where almost nothing comes cheap

Iceland may be gorgeous, but it is not cheap. Almost everything is expensive there, from accommodation to food. And, it’s not for everyone. Water, however, is free, which may provide some consolation: tap water is of high quality everywhere and you can drink as much of it as you want without any worry.  It’s a mystery why Iceland’s consumption of cola per capita is the highest in the world. Cheers!

Yet another highlight among the numerous facts about Iceland : Icelandic water is so clean that any swiftly-moving body of water is safe to drink. While I was a bit leery about drinking out of streams, I tried it and the water was quite tasty! 

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