Volcanoes, geysers, glaciers, breathtaking waterfalls … Iceland itself is so unique that just by visiting it, you will discover the most amazing landscapes and experiences one can have. Yet, there are still many exciting places or aspects of this mystical island that are waiting to be revealed. That is why we chose 5 Unique things in Iceland! This way can have the best guide right before you set a foot in Iceland.
Iceland is all about awakening the senses with its beautiful and dramatic scenery. Its 103 kilometers of untamed land is full of contrasts and splendor. Located in the North Atlantic Ocean, right in the middle of a ridge, its uniqueness does not only apply to the land itself, but also to its culture. Being a remote, isolated island in North Europe, colonized by the Vikings, gives Iceland an identity that cannot be found anywhere else. If you want to experience such identity and peculiarity, here you have our Top 5 Unique Things in Iceland:
Visit a heathen temple:
As we said before, the first settlers of Iceland were the Vikings. Seafarers that came all the way from Norway and brought their Nordic religion to the island. Their tradition and beliefs were alive in the daily life of the Icelanders before the Christianization. And even nowadays, there are vestiges of the pagan era in modern Iceland: elves, Trolls, and Ásatrú.
Ásatrú is an official religion in Iceland that is based on the revival of the ancient pagan traditions, they consider to be the real cultural heritage that belongs to the Icelanders. So if you love the Viking culture and want to live a unique experience in Iceland, you can visit a Norse God’s temple! There are currently two temples, one in Öskjuhlíð, Reykjavík and another one in Skagafjörður. This is definitely one of those unique Things in Iceland you can experience!
Eat a whole boiled sheep’s head:
The Vikings did not only worship Odin, they also had banquets and feasted like kings! An important festivity in Iceland in the Þorrablót, which literally translate to “feat in honor of Thor” and it is a midwinter festival. Among the main dishes of this celebration, we can find the Svið, a boiled sheep’s head. It is cut in half, the brain is removed and then boiled and served with mashed potatoes and turnips. If you are not visiting Iceland during the Þorrablót when this dish is served, you can still have a taste of it at Fljótt og Gott, a cafeteria at the Reykjavik’s Bus Station.
Have a taste of rotten shark meat:
If a boiled sheep’s head was not unique enough for you, then why tasting some fermented shark meat? Does it taste good, you may be asking yourself…well, what is delicious, is questionable, our job here is to offer unique experiences. What I can state, is that Háerkarl or fermented shark is surely not for everyone…
Visit a Volcano Caldera:
If you are stuffed with these Icelandic delicacies, hiking may aid digestion. But we are going beyond the ordinary, we will be hiking in a volcano caldera and crater! Askja is in the North of Iceland and can easily be described as an otherworldly place that formed at the end of the Ice age. The views and scenery are just amazing, a once in a lifetime experience!
Although this is not exclusive to Iceland, it is not a common activity either. You can have the unique experience of walking through the walls of the biggest glacier in Iceland: Vatnajökull.
Top 5 Unique Things in Iceland You Can Experience
Bear in mind you will need help from expert guides who know everything about the area you will be visiting. The amazing formations, tunnels, and caves are impressive. And so is the blue shade of this old giant.
Do not miss the opportunity of visiting the land of ice and fire, there is a surprise waiting for you in every corner!