First, on Iceland Independence Day, let us say Áfram Ísland!! We really look forward to tomorrow’s European Championships match against Hungary at Stade Vélodrome.

This week’s tied (1-1) #Euro2016 match against Portugal showed that Iceland and Icelanders should never be underestimated.


If you look at the history of Iceland, the small nation (note: not small minds, eh em, Cristiano Ronaldo) of 331,667 people (as of 14 June 2016) has achieved many great successes and serves as a model for how a small group of people can accomplish great things when they band together under a common goal (see what we did there).

Iceland Independence Day


Today is Iceland Independence Day, or Þjóðhátíðardagurinn (Thyoth-how-teeth-ar-daggur-inn). It marks the day in 1944, when Iceland successfully gained independence from Danish rule. To celebrate, we’ve pulled together…

10 fun and interesting Iceland Independence facts:

  1. Iceland has the oldest parliament (Alþingi), established in Thingvellir in 930 A.D.
  2. Revisions to the 1918 Act of Union between Iceland and Denmark were postponed due to the war in 1943, thus delaying Iceland’s independence to 1944.
  3. 17 June was chosen as the official day of Independence to honor the birthday of Icelandic cultural icon Jón Sigurðsson, who was a leader of the Icelandic independence movement.
  4. It almost always rains on June 17th.
  5. The 1st President of Iceland, the office which replaced the Danish Monarch, was Sveinn Björnsson.
  6. Iceland has had only 5 Presidents, including Vigdís Finnbogadóttir,the 1st woman to hold the office of the President in Iceland and Europe (1980-1996).
  7. In 2009, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, became Iceland’s first female Prime Minister and the world’s 1st openly Lesbian head of government in the world in 2009.
  8. The Presidential Residence, Bessastaðir, was completed in 1766.
  9. The original settlement period (landnám) took 60 years, growing from 435 to +20,000 inhabitants.
  10. Viking explorers settled in Iceland as farmers. You can tour Þjóðveldisbærinn,
    a re-creation of a typical Commonwealth-era viking village.

Bonus fact: Iceland’s national anthem, which is in part about a delicate flower, is also extremely difficult to sing. It requires the ability to sing in a diverse vocal range that is generally unattainable for the average person. In lieu of this, Icelanders can often be heard singing the “other national anthem” as witnessed during the European Championships earlier this week.

If you happen to be in Reykjavik today, here’s a schedule (dagskrá) of family-friendly happenings for Iceland Independence Day.

Wow Cyclathon

Team Dohop in WOW Cyclothon

Dohop knows all about being small but mighty, as we scale to reach new customers and travel territories across the world. Adopting the Icelandic “can do” attitude is deep within our company culture, too. Like Team Iceland,  Team Dohop took on a great challenge this week, participating in the WOW Cyclothon and raising funds for Hjolakraftur (“Cycling Energy”), which helps children and teens in need gain access to an active and healthy lifestyle.

If seeing this post makes you curious about exploring the small but mighty nation of Iceland, let Dohop help you get the best prices on flights, hotels and rental cars.

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