Wordtravels

Wordtravels

Hidden People

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

One of the most interesting cultural drawcards of Iceland must surely be the Huldufólk ('Hidden People'). In Icelandic folklore, the Huldufólk are magical invisible beings who can appear at will. Also called elves, they can be observed by humans with a talent for communicating with the hidden realm. While not many of Iceland's population believe in the Huldufólk, they remain an important element of the country's folklore and national identity. Visitors to Iceland who learn about the Hidden People will gain a lot of insight into local culture. Recommended Huldufólk-related activities include a visit to Reykjavik's Hellisgerdi Lava Park (which is supposedly full of elven homes); a trip to the Museum of Icelandic Wonders in Stokkseyri (just 37 miles/60km 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 their world and even receive a diploma to prove it.