Ah, Iceland, one of the most magical places on Earth and on this side of the Milky Way. The beauty of the country, however, goes deeper than the gorgeous fjords, (sometimes) slumbering volcanoes, and windswept tourists you’ll find on the covers of brochures (though the nature there is truly stunning and a large part of the draw).
Iceland embodies the essence of community, happiness, and health, and we hope to show this to you in this list, compiled by our travel-hungry Bored Panda team. As you’re scrolling down, upvote the Icelandic facts that caught your attention, and let us know what you think of the country in the comments. If you’ve ever been to Iceland yourselves, Pandas, then we’re itching to hear all about your adventures there!
It isn’t an overstatement to say that the Icelandic people are some of the happiest on our planet. The 2021 World Happiness Report ranked Iceland as the fourth happiest country on Earth, right behind Denmark in second place, Switzerland in third, and just ahead of the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden.
Finland was given the number one spot in this year’s World Happiness Report update (its fourth consecutive year!) whereas Afghanistan was ranked as the unhappiest country in the world.
Polar Stratospheric Clouds Over Iceland A Few Days Ago
Without An Address, An Icelandic Tourist Drew This Map Of The Intended Location (Búðardalur) And Surroundings On The Envelope. The Postal Service Delivered
The difference between the overall happiness index in the top few countries is marginal at best, meaning that European, especially Northern European countries are consistently the best places to live. If happiness is your thing that is.
According to the World Population Review and the World Happiness Report, Iceland has the highest feeling of social support in the world, even ahead of such countries as Finland, Norway, and Denmark, which tied for second place in terms of this metric.
Breathtaking Icelandic Landscape
Elephant Rock - Don't Miss Out The Natural Statue Of Gaint Elephant Near Heimaey Island, Iceland
Currently, Iceland has a population of just 371k, according to Encyclopædia Britannica’s latest figures. That means the country is incredibly sparsely populated. Or, as Arctic Adventures puts it, that’s around 3 people per square kilometer (that’s roughly 8 people per square mile for our British and American Pandas).
They might be a small nation, but they’re tight-knit and really do know how to live a high-quality life. The proof is in the pudding, or in this case, the data, but it’s far better to experience the hospitality in person than to read about it or to look at just the stats and figures.
Beautiful Photograph Taken In Iceland Where The Blue Sea, The Black Beach, The Yellow River And The Green Fields Meet In Perfect Harmony
Fun Fact Iceland Is Full Of Rainbows. Their Rainbow Paths Were Created To Show Their Immense Support For Pride, Diversity, And Acceptance
When we talk about Iceland being magical, it’s not all just fantasy and evocative words. According to the Nordic Visitor Blog, around a third of Icelanders believe in the existence of elves. Meanwhile, there are even spokespeople for the elves present when constructions take place in certain lava fields in Iceland.
My Hotel Phone In Iceland Has A Special Button That Will Wake You Up If There Are Northern Lights In The Sky
Iceland Does Not Want To Deal With Your Stupidity - And I Think That’s Beautiful
Some of the reasons why Icelanders are so happy include their strong sense of community, their focus on equality and inclusion, and their high levels of transparency. This means that the Icelandic people have very high levels of trust in their governments while they also boast a low crime rate. Statista notes that there were 167 prisoners in the entire country in 2010. This number fell to 136 in 2018.
Modern Icelandic Houses Are Built With Geothermally Heated Water Pipes Under Their Sidewalks So Icelanders Never Have To Shovel In Winter
Town In Iceland Paints A 3D Pedestrian Crossing To Slow Traffic
The Arctic Fox Is The Only Land Mammal Native To Iceland
Of course, all the natural beauty, stunning settings, and fresh air don’t help your chances of wanting to settle down in Iceland, either. Quite literally everyone that we personally know who’s been to Iceland has expressed their deep love of the country and has promised to go back. Hey, it might be an amateurish scientific study, but the sentiment is real.
Work Signs In Reykjavik, Iceland Feature A Female Worker
Some time ago, Bored Panda spoke about traveling etiquette and the importance of learning local costumes with Professor Christine Vogt from Arizona State University. She said that it’s vital that we do proper background research about the country we’re traveling to before setting out on the adventure itself. Analyze the customs, get to know the language. “More than likely that is what draws a person to visit a certain place. The more local knowledge a traveler has, the more a traveler can feel like a local and fit in," she said.
In Hólavallagarður Cemetery, Iceland, It’s Said Trees Are Planted On Graves As A Old Norse Tradition. You Can Touch The Trees As A Way To Connect With The Deceased
"Local customs can include how a traveler dresses, eats, uses a cell phone, etc. When a traveler is out in a community such as walking in a downtown area or eating in a restaurant, these local customs can come into play. For example, in Buddhist countries, a woman who has not covered her shoulders or legs may not be allowed into temples or even a restaurant. Learn as many local customs as you can and a few key words to enhance your experience," the professor explained to Bored Panda.
My Sister Rented A Flat Here In North Of Iceland For Christmas, This Is Her View
Went To A Beach In Iceland And Took A Full-Color Picture That Looks Entirely Grayscale
Meanwhile, Professor Vogt added that travelers should refrain from taking any historic artifacts home with them as souvenirs. Some of the ways that the locals can make sure nothing gets taken is to set up signs that discourage people from pocketing what they shouldn’t. If that doesn’t work, penalties for stealing and setting up cameras to catch rule-breakers might work. It’s also a good idea to set up a display of all the items that tourists had stolen and then returned later on.