Icelanders

  • Guðmundur Guðmundsson Iceland’s Golden Handball Coach
    Iceland's favorite athlete is Guðmundur Guðmundsson, one of the most victorious handball coaches to come from our tiny island.  Leading the Icelandic team to receive the silver medal at the Summer Olympics in Beijing in 2008 and the bronze medal at the 2010 European Handball Championship in Austria, Guðmundur went on to become the head coach of the German Bundesliga club Rhein-Neckar Löwen until July 2014 when he signed a three-year contract to become the head coach of the Denmark's National...
  • Gísli Víkingsson
    Decadal changes in distribution, abundance and feeding ecology of baleen whales in Icelandic and adjacent waters, was the heading of Gísli Víkingsson’s Ph.D. dissertation from the University of Tromsö, Norway. And who better to present us with educated and unbiased information about the real truth when it comes to whales in Icelandic waters. Gísli has been working as a whale specialist for the Marine Research Institute in Iceland for over three decades and is head of the Whale Research Unit. ...
  • The Icelandic Farm Animals
    Evelyn Ýr, Eydís and Sigrún are three farmers located in Skagafjörður (North Iceland) that started a program together called The Icelandic Farm Animals. The idea behind it is to provide something different than the mainstream touristic attractions by giving visitors a chance to immerse themselves in Icelandic farmlife. “We know that we can achieve much more than separately, by sharing our knowledge and vision of things. We also believe this project can bring more attention to the area, through...
  • Hreinn Friðfinnsson, the Icelandic farmer’s son who became an Internationally renowned Conceptual Artist
    His compositions are lyrical, poetic and ethereal; they are touching the untouchable like the light and the wind through philosophical ponderings; they are a perfect picture of things that don't exist. Through his compositions, Hreinn Friðfinnsson explores the everyday human experience and transcends the mundane materials from which they are made to evoke strong emotions in the viewer. His works have been exhibited all over the world. Observing the Invisible As a young boy, Friðfinnsson had a...
  • The vivacious Eliza Reid is very much her own woman; an entrepreneur, a writer, a mother of four, with a Master’s degree in modern history from Oxford University
    The vivacious Eliza Reid is very much her own woman; an entrepreneur, a writer, a mother of four, with a Master’s degree in modern history from Oxford University – and quite an asset to her husband. As the Icelanders prepare to elect their next president in six weeks time, surveys already show Guðni Th. Jóhannesson to be a clear favorite, with 70% support in a recent poll. A well-grounded, no-nonsense family man with a fantastic sense of humor, it came as little surprise to meet his wife, the...
  • Guðrún now a grandmother herself,  visits the Álftaver and surrounding areas at least once a year .  Photo: Örn Stefánsson
    As a professor of Geography at the University of Iceland, Guðrún Gísladóttir is in a unique position to observe the impact the volatile Icelandic nature has on the inhabitants and the environment. Guðrún studied geography at the University of Iceland before commencing on post-graduate studies at the University of Stockholm where she completed her Ph.D. She is a project leader for NCoE NORDRESS, the Nordic Centre of Excellence studying the impacts of natural hazards on all the Nordic countries,...
  • Ólafur has very fond memories of growing up in Keflavík
    The Icelanders have always found Keflavík a bit odd and the inhabitants different from the other islanders. There might be some truth in it though a very few can pinpoint exactly what makes them different. It used to be a town with a vague identity and hardly anyone’s family was originally from Keflavík. The town started as a fishing hamlet that grew to be a trading centre. As it had favorable port conditions and the distance to good fishing grounds was relatively short people from the rest of...
  • Steinn Jónasson has spent his adult life in Fáskrúðsfjörðu
    East-Iceland is a bit of an enigma even to the Icelanders. None of the major Sagas, with all their important locations, memorable fights, and dramas, are set in this part of the country. They have Hrafnkels Saga Freysgoða, of course – but it is considered a minor Saga. Which is one the reason there is little emphasis on the beautiful eastern fjords in the school system.  There are roads leading to the East fjords, but somehow no roads leading away from there – except back home. Until the last...
  • Participating in the celebration of the 35 anniversaries since Vigdís Finnbogadóttir was elected president of Iceland
    In Iceland, everything you need is short-distance. When you are raising children, it is easy to let them have a try at most anything that sparks their interest. If it is sports, a proper sport-hall is sure to be in your neighborhood. Be it music, and a music school is sure to be connected to their school. In most places, the same goes for dancing and drama, art and handicraft, skiing, hiking, sailing, fishing, hunting. Most Icelandic children have a chance to get acquainted with their field of...
  • Soffía Auður - Photo Þorvarður Árnason
    The concept of distance most certainly has a different meaning in different cultures. A four to five-hour drive in Central Europe or the U.S., let alone China, may not be considered a distance worth mentioning. But, in Iceland it is almost insurmountable. That is to say, if you live in the Reykjavík area. The Icelanders have a somewhat warped sense of distance. More than half the nation lives on the southwest corner and everywhere else is too remote. Those who live outside the Southwest have...
  • Lúðvík Smárason, a fisherman, a teacher, a carpenter and a construction engineer
    In Iceland, the Snæfellsnes Peninsula is considered to be an area of supernatural energy. It oozes from the Snæfellsjökull glacier – the gateway to the centre of the earth according to Jules Verne's novel from 1864, A Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Not that it is affecting the everyday life of those who live on the Peninsula. They go about their daily lives on farms and in villages, minding their own business and enjoying the exquisite nature surrounding them. The Snæfellsnes Peninsula is...
  • Ísólfur Gylfi Pálmason is the Municiipality Director of Rangárþing eystra, the most diverse area in Iceland
    One of the things that might strike you when you get to know the Icelanders is how diverse a career many of them have. When it comes to choosing how to spend their lives, linear thinking and planning is not at all popular. They like circular, square and triangular. Any shape that can take them away from their homestead and be sure to bring them back when they so choose. They want to have it all. They want to live in different areas in Iceland; they want to live abroad. They want to be regular...
  • The Icelandic Highlands never cease to fascinate both locals and their visitors
    You will either love it or hate it. Most love it. Whichever it is, the Icelandic Highlands never cease to fascinate both locals and their visitors. The island is only habitable along the coastlines as the Highlands cover most of the country. And, it is a dangerous place. The Highlands is where the forces of nature are at their most extreme. You get volcanic activity, raging glacial rivers, glacial runs, killer weather. It is a volcanic desert of grey, black or brown earth, lava and volcanic...
  • Mosfellsbær is the town where the psychiatrist Lára Halla Maack finally settled in
    Mosfellsbær is possibly the strangest town in Iceland. Located just north of Reykjavík with a population of approximately 9000, it is a sleepy and quiet community where nothing ever seems to happen. It doesn't have a shopping street, a buzzing centre with restaurants and cafés, nor a vibrant nightlife. But, year after year, it is voted the best place to live in Iceland. Mosfellsbær is the town where the psychiatrist Lára Halla Maack finally settled in a beautiful yellow house with a big,...
  • Unnar Geir was born and raised in Egilsstaðir, Unnar then moved to the capital area for vocal studies. Later he headed to London to study acting and directing. Earlier this year he returned to his hometown after seventeen years away to head the area's Cultural Centre. It was a challenging move for a challenging job. When asked how it felt to return to the small town after years of cosmopolitan life, Unnar says it was quite nice. "I found there were still so many familiar faces in this milieu....
  • At the mere mention of blues in Iceland, one name instantly springs to mind. Halldór Bragason.
    At the mere mention of blues in Iceland, one name instantly springs to mind. Halldór Bragason. Founder of the Reykjavík Blues Festival and now an honorary member of the Icelandic Blues Festival, Halldór has been tireless in introducing and developing this wonderful genre into the Icelandic music scene. A music genre some find a bit outlandish and removed from the Icelandic music traditions. But, then again, the international language of music belongs anywhere. "Those of us who represent the...
  • Growing up on the banks of Lake Mývatn was wonderful
    Lake Mývatn and its surroundings are the most admired area in Iceland. At least by the Icelanders. This beautiful oasis is riddled with contrasts, cradled between volcanic hills at the threshold to the highlands. It is black and white, and full of colour. While being a fertile farming area, it also has the most beautiful lava formations you'll ever find. Being in the north of the country, it can be harsh and menacing. Still it has the most tranquil atmosphere and possesses the most delicate...
  • On the set in the highly acclaimed movie Hrútar
    Three years ago, Jenný Lára graduated as an actress and director from the Kogan Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. Every year quite a number of young Icelanders complete their education in dramatic arts abroad, most often in London. Some choose to stay, some to return home. Jenny Lára chose to return to Iceland immediately after graduating. Back home to an extremely competitive market. Back home, to reap the rewards of her education and harness her creative spirit. But, what was it like...
  • Gerður Kristný, Icelandic poet
    Gerður Kristný is Iceland's best-loved poet today. This beautiful, quiet woman with her legendary and quirky sense of humour has already won most literary prizes awarded in Iceland. Her work has also been nominated for the Nordic Literary Prize. Gerdur's poetry has been translated into numerous languages; all the major Nordic languages, German, French, Dutch, Esperanto and English. But, Gerður's talent is by no means limited to poetry. She has written novels and short stories, theatre plays, a...
  • Oddný and Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, the former primeminister of Iceland and the most respected politician in Iceland
    Garður, the town on the northernmost tip of the Reykjanes Peninsula is a curious place. At first sight, it looks nondescript and lacking in natural wonders. But, don't be fooled. This is where the boundary between land and sea gets a bit blurred; where you can sit by the shoreline with the wind in your hair and the raging ocean at your feet; where you find the most amazing Northern Lights and the most glorious sunsets. Here is where the politician Oddný Harðardóttir MP, was born and raised....