We all heard about Iceland’s magnificent landscapes, with powerful and countless waterfalls, 11% of the land covered with glaciers and around 30 active volcanoes. All the scenery that seemed like a perfect background for an epic movie or a tv show (for example ‘Prometheus’ or ‘Game of Thrones’) is what makes this island a primary destination for so many people all around the world.
And yes, there are countless reasons why you should visit Iceland at least once in your life. But apart from those, we want to show you 5, not so obvious ones, to consider for visiting or revisiting this country in the future. Just in case, if all the other thousand ones aren’t enough ;).
1. Eco-friendly and sustainable country, naturally
Reasons? How about that it’s a global leader in renewable energy, greenhouse gas reduction and pioneer in capturing CO2 and storing it as a rock (read more about project CarbFix https://www.carbfix.com/). Icelandic housing is heated 90% geothermally, 9% with electricity and 1% with oil. Its capital, Reykjavík is the most sustainable city in the world and planning to be carbon neutral by 2040 (https://reykjavik.is/en/reykjavik-and-climate). An important part of vegetables and fruits sold in the country come from greenhouses that are heated geo-thermally and illuminated by hydro-electricity (just like about 80% of the country). How about some applause ;)?
2. Silver medal for the smallest population density
Oh, sweet solitude! Wishing for some ‘one-to-nature’ time? Well firstly, 80% of the country is still uninhabited and if that’s not enough its space is occupied by only 3 people per km2. That’s a second place in the world if we do consider Greenland (that belongs to Denmark). According to statistics, it is much easier to find a sheep or horse in Iceland than an Icelander! Who doesn’t like a little solitude from time to time? 😉
P.S. When entering the true, solitary hub in Icelandic highlands make sure you’ll ask for an experienced guide and driver, in any case, that solitude might be dangerous. Sharing your plans with ICE-SAR and using the 112 Iceland App is always a good idea, even when driving on the main Ring Road.
3. The world is a dark and dangerous place… but not on this island.
Iceland can boast of being one of the safest countries in the world, with a crime rate of approximately 1.8 per 100,000 inhabitants. Today, the police do not carry a gun, since it is not necessary. Nevertheless, it is in use by special units of the national police, called “Víkingasveitin” (The Viking Squad). On records – there has been only one person shot by a policeman. Ever. Ahh right, and it doesn’t have a military and it has fought in only one conflict, with the UK (about exclusive fishing rights to the water that’s approx. 300km within Icelandic shoreline).
4. Gender-equality is this country’s second name.
From the groundbreaking protest of the 24th of October 1975 (when 25 000 women gathered on the streets of Reykjavík and 90% of Iceland’s female population went on a domestic strike or left work in a protest), through then 5 years later, first democratically elected female president Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, to nearly 41% of MPs that are female, Iceland is definitely one of the most modern, open-minded and woman-supporting countries in the world.
5. Iceland helped humans get to the Moon.
Iceland’s geography and landscapes are pretty unique, we all know that. The geological combination of ice, volcanoes and its young land, makes the landscape completely beautiful and… strange at the same time. This perfect mix helped NASA to train 32 astronauts from the APOLLO mission during the years 1965 and 1967. It took place just outside Húsavík, on Iceland’s northern coast. At the end out of the 12 humans who have ever walked on the Moon, nine of them trained in Húsavik – among them Armstrong himself.
At 5elemenTravel we will always make sure that you are aware of these and many other, more or less known, reasons to travel to Iceland. Our sustainable adventures will not only take you to discover those “must-see” places that are behind the main reasons to visit this country. But most importantly you will reach those corners and secluded landscapes that will make your trip an authentic experience, always in the most adventurous but safe and sustainable way (read what’s behind it in our previous article https://5elementravel.com/sustainable-tourism-and-how-to-figure-it-out/). Check our upcoming trips to Iceland to live an experience of a lifetime – HERE.
And remember: the adventure awaits, now more conscious than ever! 😉