Iceland Facts

Interesting Iceland Facts for Kids

Here are some interesting Iceland Facts which were choosen and reseached by kids especially for kids.

Population: 313,000 people live on Iceland (2008)

Capital: Reykjavik, which means “smoky bay”, with 120,000 inhabitants.

Name: Island, Nickname: Land of Fire and Ice

Government: Democracy

Language: Icelandic, English

Religion: mainly Christians (Evangelical Lutheran Church 84%)

Currency: 1 Islandic Krona (ISK)=100ore

Where is Iceland? - Iceland Map

Iceland lies in Northern Europe, 3hrs flight from London/England, 5.5 hrs from New York/USA.

On this map you can see where Iceland is in Northern Europe.

You can click on the plus sign and move with the arrows to the left and make the island bigger, then you see the major cities and if you click satellite on the top right, then you can see the volcanos clearer too.

Iceland History

Iceland was founded by the Vikings. The Scandinavians were the first to settle in Iceland in 870.

Viking boat from Pamela E. Mack at www.clemson.edu

Later Iceland was ruled also by the Norwegians and the Danes.

Iceland became independent from the Kingdom of Denmark in 1918 and is a republic since 1944.

Iceland Geography

Volcano1 by robbieboy1 at sxc.hu

Iceland is covered by ice, glaciers and geysers and has got more than 20 active volcanoes.

The largest volcano is called Vatnajokull and covers 8% of the country.

The country lies on two tectonic plates along which the volcanoes are located: the Eurasian and North American plates.

The lava which came from the volcanoes on the plate borders formed the island. The last addition of islands to Iceland was formed in 1963. This island is called Surtsey and is located 30km off the main island.

iceland waterfalls by mwolfe at sxc.hu

There are also many waterfalls, hot springs, mud pools and geothermal vents, where the heat of the earth comes out from the earth surface.

The energy of the Iceland volcanoes and vents is used by geothermal power stations and supplies the heating to around 85% of all households.

And did you know that the ice of the glaciers is 1,000m thick!

Have a look at the thick icy waterfall in this picture taken by MWolfe.

Iceland Animals

Iceland has got some farmland where you will see many sheep as they are the most common farm animals in Iceland.

Sheep on Iceland by gregi at sxc.hu

You will also see many seabirds like puffins. Puffins are black and white birds with large orange beaks that breed in large colonies on cliffs.

Puffin at Latrabjarg by gregi at sxc.hu

Whale Watching is very popular in Iceland too, you will encounter an enormous sea life in Iceland too.

And have you heard of the Iceland horses, known also as Iceland ponies, they are really big and strong. They are so robust they can stay on the fields during wintertime. Here is a cute picture of two Iceland horses by Sigridur Kristinsdottir.

Islandic horse by siggakr at sxc.hu

Interesting Iceland Language Facts

Icelandic is a Nordic language which is similar to Norwegian which was spoken over 1000 years ago.

Most people speak English as a second language in Iceland. There are also many people speaking Danish or Norwegian.

Iceland People

Most people in Iceland live in the Southwestern Iceland near the capital Reykjavik which is the northernmost capital in Europe. Here is a picture of the capital city Reykjavik by A Kiernan.

Rykevik by akiernan at sxc.hu

Most Icelanders do not have a family name or surname, they take on their father’s name. So if the father is called Jakob, the daughter is given a first name for example Eva and then the father’s name with an added –sdottir and is then called Jakobsdottir (Jakob’s daughter), so we would call her: Eva Jakobsdottir. For sons they just add –sson: which would make the boy called Adam Jakobsson.

The Icelanders do not have to pay school fees as all education is free of charge.

One of the most famous persons is currently Bjoerk, singer and actress, who also played the leading role in "Dancers in the Dark". In 2009 Iceland took second place in the European Song Contest with singer Yohanna.

Iceland Food

The Icelandic main dishes contain: lamb, seafood and dairy products.

The bread you will get in Iceland is mostly dark rye bread or rye flat bread, which is very tasty too and you definitely should try the delicious “Kleina” pastries.

Icelandic Bread from www.icecook.blogspot.com

Reindeer meat is also available in Iceland, but is quite expensive.

Other interesting Island facts regarding typical Icelandic food:

One specialty in Iceland which takes a bit to get used to is "Hakarl" which is rotten shark meat and it smells quite strongly.

• Skyr: yogurt like white cheese a bit like low fat cream cheese or quark

• Dried fish: usually haddock, cod or catfish

• Porrablot: mid winter feast

• Lax: salmon

• Pickled herring

Typical Icelandic food

Iceland Attractions: What is great to visit in Iceland

• Blue Lagoon near Reykjavik

• Skaftafell National Park

• Geysers and Volcanoes

• Reykjavik: Hallgrimskirkja and the National Museum

• Whale watching

Interesting Iceland Facts: Did you know…?

…the water of the geysers has got a temperature of around 100C!


Thanks for your interest:-)

We hope you enjoyed our Iceland Facts for kids and will visit again. More Iceland Facts will be added still.

More countries will be added shortly too.



Image credits on Iceland Facts to: icecook.blogspot.com, clemson.edu and sxc.hu: antoniocrp, peturjos, robbieboy1, siggakr, gregi, mwolfe, akiernan, stefan madder

From Iceland Facts to Kids World Travel Guide