Iceland is a gorgeous country, and it deserves gorgeous words to describe the landscape and people. Whether you’re looking for quotes about Iceland for Instagram captions, to send to a friend, or simply to inspire your own adventure there, here are the most famous Iceland quotes (with images!)
My Favorite Iceland Quotes
In no particular order…
1. I’ve walked a lot in the mountains in Iceland. And as you come to a new valley, as you come to a new landscape, you have a certain view. If you stand still, the landscape doesn’t necessarily tell you how big it is. It doesn’t really tell you what you’re looking at. The moment you start to move the mountain starts to move.
2. The thing about Iceland is that we are trapped there anyway, all of us. We have been trapped there for thousands of years.
3. The most amazing thing about Iceland is not the picturesque landscape or the geo-thermal pools. It is the fact that in Iceland the national dish is cured shark.
4. There’s no one on the island telling them they’re not good enough, so they just go ahead and sing and paint and write.
5. The problem with driving around Iceland is that you’re basically confronted by a new soul-enriching, breath-taking, life-affirming natural sight every five godd*** minutes. It’s totally exhausting.
6. In the bare room under the old library on the hill in the town at the tip of the small peninsula on the cold island so far from everything else, I lived among strangers and birds.
7. There is no more sagacious animal than the Icelandic horse. He is stopped by neither snow, nor storm, nor impassable roads, nor rocks, glaciers, or anything. He is courageous, sober, and surefooted.
8. In Iceland, you can see the contours of the mountains wherever you go, and the swell of the hills, and always beyond that the horizon. And there’s this strange thing: you’re never sort of hidden; you always feel exposed in that landscape. But it makes it very beautiful as well.
9. It’s a pity we don’t whistle at one another, like birds. Words are misleading. I am always trying to forget words. That is why I contemplate the lilies of the field, but in particular the glacier. If one looks at the glacier for long enough, words cease to have any meaning on God’s earth.
10. I have fantasies of going to Iceland, never to return.
11. Throughout the history of Iceland, men have been lost at sea; every family in Iceland is connected to that kind of story.
12. The republic they fashioned was a fine mix of parity and ruthlessness. On the one hand, it was the site of the world’s first democratic parliament, the Althing, established in 930; on the other, those first democrats used to salt the heads of their enemies and carry them around to show off to each other.
13. When I’m in a place like Iceland, I allow myself to take a little more time to divert off onto other paths creatively for a while and see what comes to me.
14. I still don’t know why, exactly, but I do think people can have a spiritual connection to landscape, and I certainly did in Iceland.
15. In Reykjavik, Iceland, where I was born, you are in the middle of nature surrounded by mountains and ocean. But you are still in a capital in Europe. So I have never understood why I have to choose between nature or urban.
16. Because there are places our imaginations can never construct for us, and there are people who we will never meet but we could and we might. It reminds us that there is always reason to begin again.
17. The most amazing thing about Iceland is not the beautiful unspoiled wilderness or the majestic waterfalls. It is the fact the prime minister is listed in the phone book.
18. Three things, according to poets, are considered bliss in Iceland: hot rye cakes, plump girls, and cold buttermilk.
19. That’s the difference between Icelandic women and American women, he insists….’American women are likely to sit there and listen to the crap the male is talking about.’
20. The most amazing thing about Iceland is not the lava fields, the hot springs or the glaciers. It is the fact that there are 13,000 km of roads that will take you into this uncharted wilderness.
21. Iceland, I’m in love with that country, the people are incredible.
22. Depression hangs over me as if I were Iceland.
23. When I was little, my ambition was to grow up to be a book. Not a writer. People can be k**led like ants. Writers are not hard to k**l either. But not books: however systematically you try to destroy them, there is always a chance that a copy will survive and continue to enjoy a shelf-life in some corner on an out-of-the-way library somewhere in Reykjavik, Valladolid or Vancouver.
24. contemporary poetry is a kind of Reykjavik, a place where accessibility and intelligence have been fighting a Cold War by proxy for the last half-century.
25. A good beginning makes a good ending.
26. I swear – swear – swear: by everything which is and has been sacred to this nation from the beginning: Iceland shall not be sold.
27. The most amazing thing about Iceland is not Vatnjaokull, the largest glacier in Europe or that Iceland uses 99% renewable energy. It is the fact that the most popular restaurant in Iceland is a hot dog stand.
28. Thanks to the Jolabokaflod, books still matter in Iceland; they get read and talked about. Excitement fills the air. Every reading is crowded; every print run is sold.
29. Iceland is beautiful. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine living anywhere else.
30. You will reach your destination even though you travel slowly.
5 Things to Bring With You to Iceland
- The Lonely Planet Iceland guidebook or the Rick Steves Iceland guidebook for your trip. It can be kind of a pain to find the major guidebooks once you land, or you’ll find them overpriced. I always like to pick mine up ahead of time.
- Tech-friendly gloves like these and warm wool socks to keep your fingers and toes toasty. Iceland gets cold!
- A Camera since Iceland is super photogenic. I used a mix of my Nikon D810 and my Samsung8 smartphone.
- Sunscreen since you’ll be outside a lot more than back home.
- Travel Insurance Policy information, because things happen on the road. I pay for World Nomads, and I happily recommend them. It’s especially important to get travel insurance if you’re going to be doing any hiking or outdoor activities in Iceland.
Iceland Travel Resources
Here are my resources to help you plan your trip. Start with my Iceland packing list so you know what to bring with you year-round.
Next, check out my guide to Icelandic souvenirs, which also includes some awesome Reykjavik shopping tips.
If you want more travel quotes, check out 250+ Real & Inspirational Travel Quotes (with Images!)
Finally, Don’t Forget Travel Insurance!
While in Iceland, make sure you have a valid Travel Insurance Policy because accidents happen on the road. I pay for World Nomads, and I happily recommend them. It’s especially important to get travel insurance if you’ll be hanging out in cities where tourists can be the victims of pickpockets and in places where you’ll be doing a lot of outdoor activity.
I have been a paying customer of World Nomads for travel insurance for two years, and I happily recommend them. If you get sick, injured, or have your stuff stolen, you’ll be happy to have the ability to pay for your medical bills or replace what’s stolen or broken.