What Is Iceland Known For?

The Nordic island country of Iceland is frequently known as the “Land of Fire and Ice.” The country earned this moniker because of the extreme variations in its landscape and stark natural beauty. 

Iceland is famous for its volcanoes and glaciers, which is why it’s known as the “Land of Fire and Ice.”

The country is also home to several natural wonders and sights, including the Northern Lights. Finally, it is famous for its Viking heritage and musicians like Björk. 

The volcanoes in Iceland make it an extremely geologically active location, and the country has about 32 active volcanic systems, including a volcano under Europe’s largest glacier. [1] 

Also, see What Is There To Do In Iceland? to learn more.

Iceland tourism
Does Iceland have celebrities? See below

What Famous People Are From Iceland?

Icelandic culture and literature are popular around the world. Most famous people from Iceland are from the spheres of culture, media, and the music industry. 

Björk, the famous singer-songwriter, is from Iceland. Other famous musicians from Iceland include Emiliana Torrini and the bands GusGus and Of Monsters and Men.

Movie and TV producer Sigurjón Sighvatsson is also from Iceland, and Icelandic director Friðrik Þór Friðriksson was nominated for an Oscar. 

Björk Guðmundsdóttir was born and raised in Reykjavík, the capital city of Iceland. Her albums are considered works of genius and have gained her notoriety worldwide.

She is one of the most popular and iconic figures from Iceland. 

Sigurjón Sighvatsson has produced over 50 films and television shows, including classic movies like Wildheart and Candyman and shows like Tales of the City.

Friðrik Þór Friðriksson, also known as Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, directed the feature film Children of Nature, which was nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. 

Also, see How to Move to Iceland to learn more.

Iceland northern lights
What do tourists like to do in Iceland? See below

What Tourist Attractions Does Iceland Have?

Iceland depends heavily on tourism, which is one of the most dependable sources of income in the country’s economy. [2]

Economic growth and growing employment in Iceland can be attributed to its well-developed tourist economy. 

Iceland has tourist attractions like the Northern Lights and Lake Myvatn. Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Europe, is in southeast Iceland.

Other attractions include the Gullfoss waterfalls, the historic geyser Geysir, and the geothermal lake Blue Lagoon. 

As expected of a country known as the “Land of Fire and Ice,” most tourist attractions consist of lava fields, volcanos, geysers, and glaciers.

Tourists visiting Iceland can explore the ice caves of Vatnajökull, carved out by the melted water from the glacier.

These caves, also known as the Crystal Caves, can only be visited in winter. 

Also known as the Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon that occurs from September to April in Iceland.

While the lights can be seen anywhere, the best place to see them is near the Vatnajökull glacier. 

Geysers are found in Iceland’s Golden Circle, a route that covers three main tourist attractions in Iceland.

The main area for geysers in the Golden Circle is the Haukadalur Geothermal Area in the Haukadalur Valley. 

The Geysir geothermal area in the Valley includes the historic Geysir, several hot springs, and the more active geyser Strokkur. [3]

The Gullfoss waterfalls are a part of the Golden Circle, and its name translates to “Golden Falls.”

These waterfalls can be viewed throughout the year and are particularly beautiful with the Northern Lights above them. 

The Blue Lagoon is a manmade geothermal lake in the middle of a lava field.

The water is believed to have many beneficial properties for people with skin conditions like eczema. 

Also, see What Continent Does Iceland Belong To? to learn more.

visiting Iceland
Are Icelanders generally happy people? See below

15 Interesting Facts About Iceland

In addition to its natural beauty, Iceland also has a rich historical and cultural heritage.  

Some interesting facts about Iceland are that it is home to sights like the first known geyser in the world, black sand beaches, and whale watching.

The Icelandic people are also incredible, being descendants of the Vikings, living off renewable energy, and producing a lot of writers. 

Here’s a list of 15 interesting facts about Iceland:

  • Iceland has the oldest legislative assembly. Iceland’s legislative assembly Althingi was established in 930. [4]
  • Most of the population is found in urban centers. 94% of the total population of Iceland is an urban population.
  • Geysir is the first known geyser in the world. The name of this geyser was used for all other geysers because it was the first to be described in a printed source.
  • Icelanders are the descendants of Vikings. The Vikings traveled to Iceland from Scandinavia, and the first Viking Icelandic settler was Ingolfur Arnarson.
  • Iceland is among the happiest countries in the world. [5] In 2019, the World Happiness Report ranked Iceland as the fourth-happiest country in the world.
  • Iceland is a volcanic island. Iceland likely formed due to volcanic eruptions on the ocean floor of the Atlantic Ocean about 18 million years ago.
  • The country has many black sand beaches. Due to all the volcanic activity, the country has several black sand beaches, including the famous Diamond Beach.
  • A lot of movies are filmed in Iceland. Movies like Batman Begins and shows like Game of Thrones have been filmed in Iceland.
  • You can see tectonic plates meet in Iceland. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where the North American and Eurasian plates meet, can be seen in the Thingvellir National Park.
  • Iceland is one of the safest countries in the world. The country has the lowest murder rates in Europe.
  • The country is one of the best places to go whale watching. Visitors to Iceland can observe as many as 11 different whale species if they go whale watching.
  • All the electricity is produced from renewable sources. Most of the electricity in Iceland is produced from hydropower and the rest from geothermal energy.
  • Iceland has no mosquitoes. The changes in climate conditions in Iceland are too rapid for the survival of the mosquitoes.
  • A lot of Icelanders are writers. One in ten Icelanders is expected to publish a book in their lifetime.
  • Beer was banned in Iceland. As part of Prohibition, all alcoholic drinks were banned in the country from 1915 to 1989. 


Iceland is known for its volcanoes, glaciers, geysers, and the Northern Lights. It is also known for its Viking heritage and talented musicians like Björk. 

Also, see What Is the Golden Circle In Iceland? to learn more.

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Christian Christensen

Christian started Scandinavia Facts to explore his family heritage, raise awareness of one of his academic interests as a professor, and civilly promote the region. Please see the About page for details.

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