Iceland’s otherworldly landscapes are well established as a draw for adventure travelers, but the country also holds its Nordic roots close to heart. Discover how Iceland’s folklore, history, and culture shaped this beautiful island nation.

Family is a vital part of Icelandic culture. Kids and teens participate in extracurricular activities, and schools often have a relaxed, friendly atmosphere.

Culture & Traditions

The culture of Iceland is rich and varied, and many of its traditions are unique. The country is incredibly proud of its history and does much to keep these cultural roots alive. This is true regarding language, food, music, and art. This sense of heritage is a big part of what makes up Icelandic culture, and it can be seen in many ways in the people who live here today.

The country strongly emphasizes family, one of the most significant parts of their culture. Icelanders are known for being very close to their families and often have many family members per household. They are also incredibly proud of their homeland; many can name the farms, fjords, and hills where their ancestors lived. The country also has a strong hunting tradition, and the nation has one of the highest percentages of hunters in the world.

Icelanders are also very good at sports. Several famous athletes come from the country, including chess grandmasters Fridrik Olafsson, Johann Hjartarson, and Margeir Petursson, and the soccer team is amongst the top 18 in the world. Many locals using the Iceland travel guide also enjoy golf, and ice skating is popular as part of their traveling goals.

Food & Drink

Icelanders are known for their love of good craft beer and a well-rounded cuisine that includes a variety of seafood. They also eat a lot of lamb, which is commonly used in soups and stews, as well as on sandwiches and burgers. Throughout the country, you’ll see sheep grazing on lush green pastures. These animals are a huge part of Icelandic culture, and in September, you can witness a traditional sheep round-up called Rettir. This is a major social event where Icelanders on horseback wander for miles to funnel the sheep into ancient stone pens.

In the past, fish was a significant lifeline for the island nation, and even today, Iceland is a leading seafood producer. A special delicacy is Hakarl, shark meat that has been fermented and dried. The Icelandic spirit Brennivin is often served with this dish, and fermentation can take up to five months.

Icelandic cuisine has its roots in Viking traditions and Nordic culture. The locals have an innate sense of pride in their heritage, which can be seen through the language and folk tales that are still alive and well. Many of these stories combine the old Norse mythology with ghosts, trolls, and other creatures Icelanders like to believe in. While the modern Icelander is a stylish, tech-savvy human, traditions are a vital part of their identity.

Arts & Culture

Icelanders are proud of their unique culture and work hard to keep it alive. They may seem reserved at first, but once you get to know them, they tend to be a friendly and open group of people. They value direct communication and honesty above all else.

Art and music are essential to Icelanders, who work hard to preserve their heritage. The country has several talented artists and designers, from painters to sculptors to glassworkers and jewelers. Many find inspiration for their creations from the beautiful and unique landscape surrounding them.

Literature is another essential aspect of Icelandic culture, and the country is home to several authors who have achieved international acclaim. One such author is Halldor Laxness, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1955. The sagas of Iceland are a unique contribution to Western literature and contain a rich collection of mythological tales. The Njals saga, for example, describes a vicious vendetta that swept the island three centuries earlier and cost dozens of lives.

The country also has a strong tradition of folk dancing and singing. Icelanders have a love of nature, and they work to protect the environment. They are very welcoming of tourists and visitors, and they embrace the diversity of their country.


Icelandic people are rooted in their past and very proud of their heritage. This pride is evident in many ways, including their culture, traditions, and language. It also means that Icelanders are very family-oriented.

A lot of Icelanders are known for their love of nature. They spend a lot of time outdoors, even during the winter. They also enjoy participating in outdoor activities like hiking and swimming. In addition, they are very health-conscious and enjoy eating healthy foods.

Another aspect of Icelandic culture is its rich history of literature and the Jolabokaflod, the country’s national book fair. This event is celebrated in late April and is meant to kick off at the beginning of summer. Icelanders love to read, and their literacy rate is almost 100%!

While Icelanders may seem reserved at first, they are amiable people. They prefer a direct communication style, and honesty is a big priority. They are very empathetic and will help anyone in need, especially foreigners.

One unique aspect of Icelandic culture is its numerous holidays. Icelanders celebrate over a dozen holidays yearly, including Konudagur, Husband’s Day, Bondadagur, or Women’s Day. In addition to these holidays, Icelanders celebrate Beer Day on March 1st to commemorate the end of 74 years of prohibition! They are also known for their love of music, with many Icelandic bands being trendy worldwide.

By Sambit