Imagine the place full of desolate and strange looking landscapes, where you can swim in unreal Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, while wild white horses are running free, surrounded by amazing violet lavender fields, glaciers, waterfalls, volcanic mountains, black sand beaches and when you look at the sky you see colorful Aurora Borealis and spectacular Northern lights…
That place really exists – Iceland!
Iceland, one of the Wowest places on Earth – mysterious island full of beautiful, desolate and strange looking landscapes, strange animals called puffins, the black sand beaches, amazing glaciers, Icelandic turf houses, unreal violet lavender fields, The Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, colorful Aurora Borealis, white wild horses – still kept in semi wild conditions, living in pasture all year round, 130 volcanic mountains, of which 18 have erupted since the settlement of Iceland, circa 900 CE…
…and, that is not all.
CNN Travel once wrote: “Iceland. Home to around 320,000 Icelanders and an undetermined number of elves, dwarfs, fairies and trolls. With its eerie landscape of frozen lava fields, smoking geysers and barely dormant volcanoes, Iceland certainly seems the sort of place the latter group would inhabit. This alternative population is known locally as Huldufólk, which translates as Hidden Folk or Hidden People. Ask Icelanders if they believe in them and the answers are as elusive as their name suggests. “
1. Sunset Over Beautiful Landscape Of Iceland
Photo By Max Rive
2. Iceland, land of the puffins.
Photo by: Christian Schweiger
3. The black sand beaches of Iceland.
Photo by: Segey Rumyantsev
4. Langjokull glacier, Iceland.
Photo by: Tyler Stableford
5. Icelandic turf houses.
6. Colorful Aurora Borealis over Iceland
7. White wild horses. Many horses in Iceland are still kept in semi wild conditions, living in pasture all year round.
8. The Blue Lagoon geothermal spa is one of the most visited attractions in Iceland.
Drinks blend with the landscape during a summer solstice midnight party in Iceland’s Blue Lagoon. Marking the beginning of the season, the summer solstice is the longest day of the year, falling on June 20 or 21.
Photograph by Agnieszka Rayss, Anzenberger/Redu
9. Northern lights Jökulsárlón lake, Iceland.
Photo by: Stephane Vetter
10.Three colored lake
The volcano contains three striking summit crater lakes of varying colors.
11. Iceland is an island located in Atlantic Ocean between America and Europe
The mountainous nation of Iceland is actually an island located in Atlantic Ocean between America and Europe. A significant portion of the country has glaciers cover but there are also numerous geothermal hot- spots in Iceland which is also spelt as Island in English. This stunningly beautiful nation has rather desolate and strange looking landscapes. Being very close to Arctic Circle, Iceland has a dramatic variation in daylight amount depending on season. Travelling to this nation is best during summer otherwise there are times when the country experiences almost 20 darkness hours.
12. Capital city of Reykjavik
The largest city is Reykjavik which is also the capital city. Egilsstaoir city boasts of having a great weather and Hofn town is one of the best sites in the world for whale watching. Iceland International Airport is located in the interesting town of Keflavik while Selfoss town is a majorly agricultural region.
Most of the people in Iceland live in Southwest Iceland which also houses the capital city of Reykjavik. West Fjords region has a rugged geography which explains why it is very sparsely populated. West Iceland has most of the glaciers while North Iceland is home to turbulent waterfalls and great lava fields. Glaciated mountains are mostly found at the interior while most of the tourist attractions are located in South Iceland.
13. Iceland is home to several National Parks
starting with Pingvellir National Park which is listed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Known as the ‘parliamentary site’, this national park sits where the longest world running parliament was located. The Vatnajokull National Park is one of most recent national parks in Iceland but largest park in Europe. It boasts of housing the highest mountain in Iceland, largest waterfall in Europe and the largest glacier. Other attractions include the Blue Lagoon which houses a spa comprising of surreal milky blue water in the lava field. Myvatn lake region gives an unearthly kind of experience resulting from the special volcanic craters found here.
14. Iceland – the land of glaciers, waterfalls and geothermal hotspots
The most beautiful and dramatic waterfall in Iceland is Gullfoss which attracts a large number of tourists as well as the majestic Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon and geothermal hotspot of Geysir. Most tourists travel to Iceland in order to enjoy the momentous hiking opportunities and even though the country is not a popular skiing area, Akureyri town offers relatively big ski opportunities. The numerous glaciers and frozen waterfalls of world class glacier hiking experience as well as incredible sight seeing and whale watching.
15. Lavender fields
16. This stunningly beautiful nation has rather desolate and strange looking landscapes.
17. Iceland has about 130 volcanic mountains, of which 18 have erupted since the settlement of Iceland, circa 900 CE.
18. Huldufólk – elves in Icelandic folklore
Building projects in Iceland are sometimes altered to prevent damaging the rocks where they are believed to live. According to these Icelandic folk beliefs, one should never throw stones because of the possibility of hitting the huldufólk.
In 2004, Alcoa had to have a government expert certify that their chosen building site was free of archaeological sites, including ones related to huldufólk folklore, before they could build an aluminum smelter in Iceland.
In 2011, elves/huldufólk were believed by some to be responsible for an incident in Bolungarvík where rocks rained down on residential streets.
Icelandic gardens often feature tiny wooden álfhól (elf houses) for elves/hidden people to live in. Some Icelanders have also built tiny churches to convert elves to Christianity. President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson has explained the existence of huldufólk tales by saying: “Icelanders are few in number, so in the old times we doubled our population with tales of elves and fairies.” Hidden people often appear in the dreams of Icelanders. They are usually described as wearing 19th-century Icelandic clothing, and are often described as wearing green.
19. Four Icelandic Elf Holidays
There are four Icelandic holidays considered to have a special connection with hidden people: New Year’s Eve, Twelfth Night(January 6), Midsummer Night and Christmas night. Elf bonfires (álfabrennur) are a common part of the holiday festivities on Twelfth Night (January 6). There are many Icelandic folktales about elves and hidden people invading Icelandic farmhouses during Christmas and holding wild parties. It is customary in Iceland to clean the house before Christmas, and to leave food for the huldufólk on Christmas. On New Year’s Eve, it is believed that the elves move to new locations, and Icelanders leave candles to help them find their way. On Midsummer Night, folklore states that if you sit at a crossroads, elves will attempt to seduce you with food and gifts; there are grave consequences for being seduced by their offers, but great rewards for resisting.
20. Reykjavik‘s Elf School.
CNN Travel once wrote: Iceland. Home to around 320,000 Icelanders and an undetermined number of elves, dwarfs, fairies and trolls. With its eerie landscape of frozen lava fields, smoking geysers and barely dormant volcanoes, Iceland certainly seems the sort of place the latter group would inhabit. This alternative population is known locally as Huldufólk, which translates as Hidden Folk or Hidden People. Ask Icelanders if they believe in them and the answers are as elusive as their name suggests. To find out more about these hidden peeps, I enrol in a crash course on all things elvish at Reykjavik‘s Elf School.