Wordtravels

Wordtravels

Hidden People

Rock piles for the Hidden People © Jeroen
Rock piles for the Hidden People © Jeroen

Never mind the Vikings, one of Iceland's most interesting cultural drawcards must surely be the Huldufólk, or 'Hidden People'. In Icelandic folklore, the Huldufólk are akin to elves - invisible, non-threatening, magical beings, that can be observed by humans with a talent for communicating with the 'hidden realm' of being. A large proportion of Iceland's population reputedly believe in the Huldufólk and they are an important element of the country's folklore and national identity. Visitors to Iceland will gain a lot of insight into the culture by exploring the concept a little.

Recommended Huldufólk-related activities include a visit to Reykjavik's Hellisgerdi Lava Park (which is supposedly full of elvin homes); a trip to the Museum of Icelandic Wonders in Stokkseyri (just 45 miles/70km from the capital); and, for the really enthusiastic, a half-day course at Magnús Skarphedinsson's Álfaskólinn, the Icelandic Elf School, where you'll learn all about the 'hidden realm', and even receive a diploma to prove it.