Iceland’s popularity with visitors has a lot to do with its unique natural environment and its rich cultural heritage. But how much do you really know about this North Atlantic island nation? We’ve put together these fun Iceland facts to give you a better insight into this fascinating country as you tour the island in your camper van.
Most surprising facts about Iceland
1. Iceland’s landscape is constantly changing
Iceland has been dubbed the ‘Land of Fire and Ice’ as both elements are responsible for sculpting its landscape. Erosion by ice has created the dramatic mountain scenery you can see from the country’s main route, The Ring Road, and led to unique formations such as Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest glacier. How? Sudden glacial floods called jökulhlaups deposit sediments that alter the topography of the lowlands and meltwater carries glacial till along rivers, turning them a brilliant turquoise.
Iceland is also home to around 130 active volcanoes, some of which are hidden beneath the country’s largest glaciers. From time to time, eruptions of magma and ash transfix and transform the land, leaving behind rugged lava fields stained yellow with sulfur deposits that eventually turn green due to colonizing mosses.
2. The country is a world leader in renewable energy
Considering that Icelandic weather is cold and damp outside of the summer months, you'd be forgiven for thinking that heating an Icelandic home costs an astronomical amount. That’s not the case though, and it’s thanks to the country’s abundant geothermal energy. In Re