Trolls are equally elusive members of the Icelandic folklore. Elves, on the other hand, are rather humanoid, smaller in size, and probably much more like the idea we have in other countries of what an elf is. They are joined in Christmas tales by their mean troll parents and their fat Christmas Cat. The Icelandic word troll comes from the verb „Trylla” which has two meanings. It is not about numbers; it is about connecting our world to the magic it has got within. If you really wish to see some, but you are still somewhat scared, go to the South Coast of Iceland. Iceland’s magical landscapes hold all sorts of secrets. Trolls do not exist. I do consider everybody in Iceland love elves! Still, not everyone can see them. There, few of them were turned into stone, and you can now see them as the Reynisdragnar rock formation. In the Elves School of Iceland, there are compiled files about encounters of Icelanders and these creatures. Well, Trolls and Elves in Iceland are the most prominent not- verified unseen creatures out there! And they in turn whisper hushed bedtime fairy tales of the ‘hidden people’ to their own children. Plans to build a new road in Iceland ran into trouble recently when campaigners warned that it would disturb elves living in its path. Decide for yourself – after joining us on a full-scale exploration of trolls in Norway, that is. So it happened with Nessie, who wandered secretly in the cold waters of Loch Ness. I've spent some time in Iceland and hung out with locals there. Trolls thrive in rocky and mountainous terrain around craggy outcrops and lava fields. They like the taste of flesh and are known to lure unsuspecting humans into their caves with spells, magic potions or simply by taking them captive. Trolls in Iceland: where belief in troll folklore still runs strong The magic of Nordic folklore and mythology still runs strong in Iceland, where many people still believe in the existence of mythical beings. Stories of elves, commonly called the Hidden People, are described as beautiful and very powerful. All of this, generation after generation, will preserve and maintain what we are as Scandinavian people. Aside from elves, there is a radically different belief in Iceland, that we may not have heard in other countries. This will only happen if an Iceland road-building project unwittingly strays into an elfish enclave or territory. Island - das Land der Trolle. This is Iceland’s famous, If you are visiting Iceland for more than a few days you should take a trip along, Icelandic Christmas folklore - The Yule Lads, Iceland mythology - Giants, spirits and other tall tales. Elves and trolls in particular are especially present in the lives of Icelandic people. After that, all went smoothly. The culmination of the trip can be a stroll along this incredible beach. Iceland road builders take elves very seriously and since they live in rock outcroppings, consult with an elf expert before routing a new road or highway through rock piles that may be elf habitats. Many residents are so convinced that in addition to an elves school there are also experts who plan to bypass the streets so as not to disturb the mysterious inhabitants. Many trolls lived in the remote mountains of the island and came down to forage for food. Do not mistake them with elves as there is a massive, The famous Iceland trolls at Reynisfjara Beach, Some of the most visited trolls in Iceland are almost certainly the ones at Reynisfjara Beach. If trolls were ugly, nasty and mean, elves are the opposite. Would it be possible those doors allowed trolls and elves in Iceland to mingle with us? They are a big part of what connects the Icelandic people to their land. Famous Icelandic Desserts – Sugar, Butter And Flour! This might be the reason why they have been worshipped for centuries. Stories of elves disrupting construction projects are also commonplace. The first one is to make someone go crazy, and the second to charm someone. They can be bumbling and quite dumb. Well, Trolls and Elves in Iceland are the most prominent not- verified unseen creatures out there! It is not all-mighty battles and drama though. A tale we pass down to our children that represents everything we are as a nation. This manifests in an uncanny series of mishaps, accidents, and set backs for the crew and their project. Iceland is a magical place where trolls roam the mountains and those that have been petrified in the sunlight are scattered across mountainsides and sea shores. So from high drama to the mundane, the magical creatures of Iceland are woven into all aspects of life here. And as many have confirmed, survived the Christianization of the country. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. And the Icelandic people are fiercely proud of their wild places with a desire to protect and preserve them. The wild North Atlantic Ocean batters the coastline here and stormy seas and moody skies are the norm. Quite an unsettling troll indeed and the reason why most children behave well in December. I’m sure a lot of you have heard about the Icelandic elves and that (allegedly) 80% of Iceland’s population believes in them. The most famous trolls of Iceland are the Yule Lads. Reykjavík. The sun came up and the trolls were caught out in the open and turned to stone. Their origins are thought to be from the Bible story of Eve’s dirty children. The folklore story of Dimmuborgir. They were distracted by the effort and didn’t realize the time. If you are visiting Iceland for more than a few days you should take a trip along Iceland's South Coast. So what about our own country? Elves and Trolls in Iceland Elves and trolls are treated very differently in terms of reverence in Iceland. Elves often dwell in rocks, they plant grain, raise livestock, love fishing, among many other things. We’re talking real life trolls. Learn how your comment data is processed. A huge part of the folklore of Nepal that crossed borders. And let’s not forget the Yule Lads, Iceland’s thirteen naughty Santas. Nov 3, 2015 - Explore Iceland Travel Assistance's board "Icelandic elves, trolls and hidden people" on Pinterest. Among the most important Icelandic trolls names, we can distinguish two based on their type. Are trolls real? Besides their family, they brought along their own believes and culture. Of all the mythical creatures in Iceland, The Hidden People are the most respected. It all goes back to the old Viking era, when the first settlers came to the island and made this place their home. There is a wealth of sights to see along this route and it is perfect for a self-drive road trip. In the end, the road crew had to call in an elf expert to run tests. It is a bit unclear what were the purpose of these magical creatures. Go on just about any tour in Iceland, and you'll likely hear at least one story that involves elves or trolls. Some people are in fact dedicated fans of elves. In later Scandinavian folklore, trolls became beings in their own right, where they live far from human habitation, are not Christianized, and are considered dangerous to … So what about our own country? Elves, fairies, gnomes and trolls inhabit the island. In many countries, magical creatures not yet verified have become almost a national symbol. They think they are just a representation of the good (elves) or bad (trolls) that can happen in life. It is they who get to decide who can see them and who cannot. Whether that be supernatural storms or fierce whale-wizards. A huge part of the folklore of Nepal that crossed borders. Years back, equipment continually broke down when workers were laying Folklore tells that the trolls were busy trying to drag a three-mast ship into the bay. The best known in the Icelandic troll folklore is, of course, Gryla, the mother of the thirteen Santas already mentioned above. TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY AGNES VALDIMARSDOTTIRStekkjastaur, or Sheep-Cote Clod, Iceland's first Santa of 13, entertains children at the National Museum of Iceland in Reykjavik on December 13, 2010. Huldufólk are elves or hidden people in Icelandic folklore and Icelanders believe they are everywhere. Your complete travel guide to Iceland. These are land spirits that have long protected Iceland from the perils of the oceans. To such an extent that they will construct perfect miniature houses for them to come and live in. As well as ghouls and ghosts that haunt caves and caverns. The name comes from "Huldu" "secret or hidden" and "Folk" "people". Usually live together in small groups of families. It stayed through medieval Scandinavian and Icelandic literature. ALL OUR PRICES INCLUDE: CDW, TP, GP AND SCDW INSURANCE. They all have characterful names such as door-slammer or bowl-licker. Around Iceland. Icelandic people have a strong oral tradition of telling folklore stories and tales. Icelandic troll folklore is rich in legends and stories about those giants, greedy, but wise creatures. They can cause harm to the human beings but they also have the key and power of healing. People often even build álfhól (tiny wooden elf houses) in their gardens for elves to live in. Elves, however, at least in the Scandinavian mythology, were seen as gorgeous girls who lived with their elve king in the woods. Not only did the Vikings had great stores about their Gods and Goddesses, other magical creatures had their own place too. Forget about getting anything good from them. Costco Iceland: Low prices or fair prices? Nowadays they are mellower creatures and will reward good children with treats all through the Christmas season. Do People Really Believe In Trolls And Elves In Iceland? Iceland might be a small, not too populated country but it bursts with myths, legends and folklore not many people in the country are able to deny. Iceland does not only have its feet well set on the real world, the invisible is also present every single day. As mystical as the nature in Iceland is, the same applied to the inhabitants. In a 2007 study by the University of Iceland 80% of those surveyed refused to deny that elves are real. The Yule Lads come out to play and sometimes create mischief every Christmas season. Hire a camper van or motorhome and make an adventure out of it. The presence of trolls in Iceland is very much woven into the fabric of life on this far-flung Island. And let’s not forget the Yule Lads, Iceland’s thirteen naughty Santas. Where do all these mythical creatures come from then? They have a long life span, and they are easygoing by nature. "The hidden people." In turn, the Icelandic people gain a profound connection to the natural world from an early age. Passionate about Adventure Travel in Iceland. It is nothing to do with volcanoes and erosion of course! Trolls are depicted in a variety of media in modern popular culture. They also have quick tempers and will put curses on people if they do something wrong. For Icelanders, there is another type of creature that is more of a kind of miniature human that dwells and lives among us. The best known in the Icelandic troll folklore is, of course, Gryla, the mother of the thirteen Santas already mentioned above. In Iceland, Santa's job is held by 13 brothers, descended from trolls, who come down from the mountains bearing gifts for the children. We will also take a whistle-stop tour around some of the current homes of the better-known trolls in Iceland. Some of the most visited trolls in Iceland are almost certainly the ones at Reynisfjara Beach. A troll is a being in Scandinavian folklore, including Norse mythology. And on the other hand, women are called Gygur and Skessa. We are Jana & Berglind. Take the Land Wights from the traditional Icelandic Sagas for example. I think it is an important piece of our own legacy, our own history wrapped up in the shape of magical stories. Unlike other folklore, the Hudulfolks are not immortal, but they do have a much longer lifespan than the average human being. Tröll Expeditions is exactly that: your reliable friend and local expert in Iceland. In the Icelandic stories that still exist about trolls, these beings are described just as told in the Nordic myths. Unlike trolls, elves have a kinder description and are far more attractive than trolls. This descriptive name already hints that it has nothing to do with Santa Klaus' helpers or mischievous Irish elves. You have entered an incorrect email address! The sea stacks, craggy outcrops and river boulders you see all over Iceland are actually careless trolls. Children especially should be on their best behavior. Rock formations, rivers, mud pots and hills throughout the country all have a story to tell. In fact, mythical is probably the wrong word to use here. In this article, we’ll explore some of the stories of the elves in Iceland. There was an instance of this happening back in 2015 around the Gálgahraun lava field. Currently there are many people that claim to have seen them. Meet the Yule lads. An important thing to know about trolls in that they are nocturnal beasts. Yule Lads on a billboard inside a state park in Iceland, where they are reputed to live. They are the realm of trolls, elves and the supernatural, a dark place where geological forces have spectacularly left their mark on both the natural world and the human imagination. If you have the chance to travel around Iceland and get to know the stories connected to the places, it will give you a better feeling off the place and the community. This is probably to keep a gate open in case they really do exist. They can only go out at night when the sky is dark. Trolls are imaginary, mythical creatures in Norse mythology and Scandinavian folklore. We know that this is not the case with the Icelandic trolls. Ever wish that you had a friend in every country to show you the secret spots, share the inside stories and venture off-the-beaten-path with? But do not upset them if you do not want them to trick you. The word was initially reserved for evil spirits, but it soon became useful to name those beings we all know as trolls. This is Iceland’s famous black sand beach that lies just outside the town of Vik in southeast Iceland. Trolls. Let’s start with the celebrities. They can come in any size, shape and some can be quite ugly. They located the borders of the enclave and the project was redirected. People … Okay, I know you’re talking about Internet trolls. Elves, trolls and fairies are common conversational topics in Iceland. In the past, they used to live up to their names and try to scare or prank people. In reality it’s more like most of us don’t really BELIEVE believe, we’re just not ready to say they don’t exist (you know, in case they do). A troll is a class of being in Norse mythology and Scandinavian folklore. Check out our articles for travel tips and inspiration for your trip to Iceland. Folklore tales connected to the land are a source of endless interest and intrigue. The first one is to make someone go crazy, and the second to charm someone. Ferry to Iceland: A Different Way of Traveling, Iceland’s Best Luxury Hotels – Exclusive Accommodation, The Ancient Stories Written in The Iceland Viking Sagas, Basic Phrases In Icelandic For First Timers – Let’s Have A…, Sunshine and Daylight Hours in Iceland Per Month, Climate in Iceland: Temperature and Average Monthly Precipitation, Iceland’s Sky Lagoon – The Ultimate Experience, Your Iceland Honeymoon: An Amazing Experience, Hunting Dragons in Iceland – Lake Lagarfljót and Beyond, The Most Beautiful Places to Enjoy Nature In North Iceland. We mentioned these cheeky Santa Clauses before. Icelandic troll folklore is rich in legends and stories about those giants, greedy, but wise creatures. The Icelandic word troll comes from the verb „Trylla” which has two meanings. The moral of the story is to be careful where you build in the wild places of Iceland. Even the government tends to respect their abode out in the nature. Tales of trolls, elves and giants are tied to the land. Stories of elves and the Hidden Folk have been around in Iceland for centuries. Keep your eyes open and you will find trolls in Iceland everywhere. … They are both considered to be taller and stronger than humans in general, dumb and wild and then greedy and ferocious. They will mount an unforgiving campaign on any road crew that infringes on their homes. Icelandic trolls live in rocky mountains, deep in the uninhabitable Icelandic highlands. In Old Norse sources, beings described as trolls dwell in isolated rocks, mountains, or caves, live together in small family units, and are rarely helpful to human beings. Which is the best car rental in Iceland? BBC Earth's Melissa Hogenboom travelled to Iceland to search for trolls. These mythical beings are not just stories to tell on a long winter night. They are not helpful or kind to human beings. The Dimmuborgir lava fields are a place of myth and legend in Iceland. Those fallen boulders in the middle of a field? They are shiny, brilliant and kind creatures usually linked to the Nordic gods. In Icelandic folklore, Gryla is known to eat children! Among them, we could find: They’re cruel and mean creatures, yet incredibly stupid. Over in the Reykjanes Peninsula, there is a sea pool where giants are said to bathe. This fact explains why there are so many unusual rock formations in Iceland. So, is there an answer to the question regarding people believing in trolls and elves in Iceland? Iceland is rich of stories about hidden people and trolls and Icelanders have been telling tales and sagas for centuries and are willing to tell anyone who wants to listen. They used to live in the mountains and hide them to only come up down for food. Icelandic elves are very territorial folk and they don’t like their boundaries crossed. Out in the bay stand three dark rocky sea stacks. or "Huldufolk" in Iceland is a tradition that derives directly from the Viking era. You read that right. If they are caught out and about during the day then they will turn to stone. There are fiery dragons, powerful griffin, and mighty giants too. Mountains, volcanic sea stacks, bubbling mud pots and geysers all have a story to tell. Trolls are known to be quite a bit sillier than the elves. Among the places Melissa visits is Álfhóll (Elf Hill) in the suburb of Kópavogur, which, according to Terry Gunnell, a professor in folkloristics at the National University, is considered an elf settlement. It is no coincidence that these tales often center around the incredible natural phenomena of Iceland. Car Rental Iceland. There are some very mean trolls indeed and the best-known one in the history of Iceland is certainly Gryla. Vikings believe they dwell in the mountains or under the bridges. Instead of Santa Claus, children in Iceland enjoy favors from 13 mischievous troll brothers called the Yule Lads, who have entertained and frightened children for hundreds of years. These tales about magical trolls and elves date back to the 10th B.C. We took some pictures and illustrated them - the trolls are clearly visible now. Males are called jotunn, Risi, or Thun. It seems like the average person there takes it for granted that trolls and fairies are real, and also that the norse gods are/were real. It is an amazing looking place with high basalt cliffs and a huge swathe of black sand. Stories of the hidden people in Icelandic culture are similar to those told in other Scandinavian countries. And nearly all of them are connected to Iceland’s ‘hidden people’. They used to live in the mountains and hide them to only come up down for food. Trolls resemble humans but in a much bigger and more robust version. Visitors to Iceland can learn about elves in Hafnarfjordur, a town just outside Reykjavik that has special tours, an elf spotting map and a dedicated school offering a real elfin education complete with diploma. Full of elves, trolls, and “hidden people,” the folk tales of Iceland are made all the more fascinating because a majority of the population of 300,000 actually believes in them. Although we can’t see them as such they are often sensed. All three are hungry for naughty children! For many people, these elven folk are very real. They seem to have been able to lift their curse of not being able to be out in the sunlight, but that might have happened when they left their trickster and evil ways behind. Iceland Map Explained for Tourists. They don't wear red, and they're not jolly: the 13 Santas who usher in Christmas in Iceland are descendants of trolls and ogres who revel in terrifying young children. We spotted a field strewn with large rocks and at least ten colorful wooden álfhól So watch out if you visit Iceland at this time of year. Iceland Holidays for Seniors – Iceland Tours & Tourism, Campervan Iceland: Ranking Top 5 Campervan Rental Companies in Iceland. In fact, few Icelandic people would be willing to deny that they exist. “There are people who believe that the stone markers along the road used to be giants,” said Swedish writer Olaus Magnus (1544-1557) in his monumental study Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalibus (History of the Northern People, 1555). Find tips, book trips, affordable holidays or a self drive tour. (Photo: Lusinemarg, CC BY-SA 4.0) Not every beloved holiday tradition escapes its native land. Including their surprising impact on the built environment. Yes, we can indeed affirm many people do believe in them nowadays, some do not and some others are right in the middle. The word was initially reserved for evil spirits, but it soon became useful to name those beings we all know as trolls. Elves in Iceland are said to live inside magically enchanted rocks and cliffs designed to be hidden from prying eyes. BBC Earth's Melissa Hogenboom travelled to Iceland to search for trolls and elves – and found them. What is a country without their folklore, music, old time stories and culture? In my opinion, the key is not if we Icelanders believe in trolls and elves or if we do not. The country’s culture has opened tiny doors that from time to time lead us to unravel our wildest imagination. Folk tales and stories of elves are very much woven into the fabric of Iceland. The Icelandic Santa Clauses are trolls. In Old Norse sources, beings described as trolls dwell in isolated rocks, mountains, or caves, live together in small family units, and are rarely helpful to human beings. According to their version of troll folklore, trolls are mainly mountain-dwelling creatures that get around in the night. And probably most of us have also hear about The Yeti, the abominable Snowman. Are Trolls real in Iceland? All Flights to Iceland Itineraries for Iceland Restaurants in Iceland Reykjavík Tips Waterfalls. But there are also other people that do not strictly believe in them as magical creatures. But … See more ideas about elves, iceland, troll. It is something every Icelander has grown up with. And probably most of us have also hear about The Yeti, the abominable Snowman. Do not mistake them with elves as there is a massive difference between trolls and elves. Well, it depends on what kind of troll you’re talking about. These tales nurture a deep respect for nature. Along with elves and trolls, all sorts of other magical creatures roam around Iceland. Even though a vast part of the Icelandic society is not willing to admit they believe in them, it is at the same time hard for them to say they don’t. People can ask for advises and look for guide to what they consider a higher power. May we present to you the famous trolls of Reynisfjara! They live in tiny houses in the rocks. Scandinavian folklore is full of elves, trolls and other mythological characters. She is the mother of 13 Yule Lads who are a type of Santa Claus (more on that later!). 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