Interesting Icelandic Facts

Ambassador to Canada from Iceland Warms up the Crowd at Taste of Iceland; Photo Robert K. Stephen

I attended a Taste of Iceland feast recently in Toronto and had a gut buster of a meal prepared by an Icelandic chef with primarily Icelandic ingredients. There were also a whole host of cocktails made with Reyka Vodka from Iceland.

Pétur Ásgeirsson the Ambassador to Canada from Iceland started off the evening with some interesting facts.

  1. Iceland is 1145 years old.
  2. Iceland is celebrating its 100th anniversary of independence.
  3. Iceland was settled in the ninth century by Norwegians. They formed a republic and established a parliament in 930.
  4. Near the end of the 14th century Iceland fell under Danish rule. That lasted for 521 years.
  5. On December 1, 1918 Iceland became independent but it was not until 1944 that Iceland “severed” formal ties with Denmark.
  6. The biggest concentration of people with Icelandic descent is found in Canada. In fact it is thought there are close to 200,000 people of Icelandic descent in Canada.
  7. On a per capita basis Canadians are the largest group of visitors to Iceland. In 2017 some 100,000 Canadians visited Iceland.
  8. Iceland Air flies to Toronto and Montreal throughout the year and to Halifax, Vancouver and Edmonton in the summertime. WOW Air flies to Toronto and Montreal all year round and to Vancouver in the summer.
  9. There are more flights from Iceland to North America every week than from Oslo, Copenhagen and Stockholm combined.

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If you can’t make it to Iceland at least try the awesome Reyka Vodka!


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About the Author

Robert Stephen (CSW)
Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he loves The Square. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write." Email Robert Stephen