Elves have been a part of folklore for centuries, and their place in modern-day pop culture continues to spark the imaginations of people worldwide. However, for some individuals, elves aren’t just entertainment; they are a very real part of life. These people can learn more about the mythical beings in Iceland at the world’s only elf school, called Álfaskólinn.
The school, located in the country’s capital city of Reykjavik, features a complete curriculum to educate students on the 13 varieties of Icelandic elves. Textbooks provide illustrations of these elves for study purposes—and perhaps for identification purposes in case they were encountered in the wild, typically near a large rock or boulder according to believers.
Álfaskólinn also allows students to learn about other mythical creatures such as gnomes, fairies, trolls and dwarves. However, the elves take the focus given that so many Icelanders both believe in and claim to have seen them. Tourists can attend five-hour crash courses that give some background on the lives of elves and other Huldufólk, or Hidden People, of Iceland.