Iceland, known as the land of fire and ice, is a tiny island in the North Atlantic just under the article circle. The country is small with a population of roughly 330,000 but it is steeped in history and natural beauty.
And the good news, it's not as far as you'd think. A direct flight from Seattle is only 7 hours!
Iceland is famous for Northern Lights and the Blue Lagoon, but there is so much more to discover. We've put together a list of what surprised us the most about this fascinating country.
1. Drink The Tap Water, Even in Gas Station Bathrooms
Not kidding. The drinking water is tapped from glaciers and natural springs, making it some of the purest water in the world. It is the best water we've ever had! There is no need to buy bottled water, you won't be disappointed. Fiji water has nothing on this!
2. There are very few insects in Iceland
The country is stunning and has a ton of awesome hikes. And while your hiking the only thing you need to worry about is soaking in all the Icelandic beauty because this country has very few insects. No snakes, mosquitos or ants.
3. You Can Brunch Until 5PM
There are no words, except this is a lifelong dream come true. Since the party on Friday and Saturday nights lasts until morning, brunch happens much, much later. Never fear about sleeping in an missing eggs & champagne.
4. Order Fresh Cod or Lamb at the Gas Station
This is not a joke. You can buy a delicious, fresh caught meat or fish at the gas station. Iceland is sparcley populated outside of Reykjavik and resturants are hard to come by when you're driving the ring road. Don't be afraid of gas stations meals.
5. All Electricity is Sustainable.
All power is sustainably harvested through geothermal energy. In addition to energy, food is substainably grown. Fridheimar Farms grows tomatoes in their greenhouse year round despite dark, harsh winters. The system they created supplies CO2 to the greenhouse and they import thousands of bees a week to pollinate their crops. The best part of Fridheimar, you can have lunch in the middle of the greenhouse. On the menu, bottomless tomato soup and a wide selection of Bloody Mary's.
6. Iceland Has Some of the Lowest Marriage Rates in the World
There are more children born out of wedlock than any other country in the world since people are not as inclined to put a ring on it.
7. Get the Gravel & Sand Car Insurance
If you are renting a car - buy the gravel and sand insurance. If you explore anything off the beaten path, which you will definitely want to do, the roads are gravel. When you pass another car, they will kick up rock. Regular insurance won't cover this! And sand storms are a pretty regular occurrence.