There’s an old saying: “Ísland, best í heimi” AKA “Iceland, best in the world.”
ICYMI, the saying is in Icelandic, spoken by Icelanders. So while this may be a “grain of salt” situation, the small nation of 330,000 has a lot to boast about, like the largest consumption of Coca-Cola per capita, or the percentage of locals who believe in elves (for real).
But it’s not just the elves that make this place magical. That’s why we’re going there, and you can come with us. If you need a little nudge, here are 5 reasons that Iceland just might actually be the best in the world.
1. The Surreal Landscape
Unlike London or Paris, Iceland isn’t about city life or ancient architecture. The island is renowned for its otherworldly landscape of volcanoes, glaciers, fjords, and black-sand beaches. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you’ve seen Iceland playing the roles of “Beyond the Wall” and “The Eyrie”. If not, you’ve seen it in the 9 terabytes’ worth of pictures your former 8th-grade student council president posts every day. Iceland is also only one of two places on earth that you can see the meeting point of tectonic plates above water. Geology rocks!
Combine all of these geological oddities, and the alien-like result is something out of a dream.
2. Ultimate Sustainability
Because of its unique environment and ingenious engineering, Iceland has long harnessed the power of glaciers, rivers, geothermal pools, and powerful winds to power their machines and heat their homes. Almost 100% of Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital, is green-powered (and roughly 85% for the whole country).
3. The People
Known for their laid-back, welcoming attitude, the locals are proud of their little nation, and embrace visitors with open arms.Iceland has been named “The World’s Most Peaceful Country” by the Global Peace index, with low crime, virtually no violence, unarmed police, and zero military presence. It also had the first-ever elected female and openly gay Prime Ministers.
4. Them Crazy Statistics
They’re sort of cheating, but Iceland holds a LOT of “per capita” records. What does that mean exactly? Well, with a nation of 330,000 citizens, it takes only a few people to make a big deal happen. For example, Iceland has the most beer-drinkers, most beautiful people, most happiest people, most movie-watchers and book-readers, in the world—all “per capita”, of course. Meaning that any event of 6,000 people is roughly 2% of the entire population. Even so, Icelanders work hard for their reputation, and it shows. The craziest statistic? There isn’t a single McDonald’s in sight. Let that one sink in.
5. The Activities
Enjoy hiking? Try a glacier. Climbing? Frozen waterfalls might be your cup of tea. The tree-less land is wide open; a sea of stars abound by night, while daytime brings panoramic views of breathtaking proportions. Visitors can relax in thermal baths, whale-watch off the coast, frolic through valleys, roll down volcanoes, find peaceful seclusion in desolate landscapes, or mingle with locals at a cold-weather BBQ or one of many music and arts festivals. Or, you could always pull a JBeibs and sulk around while singing to grass.
Does all of this really make Iceland the “Best in the world”? We’ll let you decide. But if you can find such a combination of peace, love, and pure natural beauty anywhere else, please let us know. We want to go to there.
If you want to check it out for yourself, we can take you there! Join our Iceland: Land of Fire & Ice trip, and get ready for a week of the best the world has to offer.