Icelandic Souvenirs and Products
Updated: Dec 18, 2020
Iceland is a country full of magic. Around every corner, there is a spectacular wonder of Mother Nature waiting for you. The powerful waterfalls leave you breathless when the massive amounts of water crash against basalt rocks. The Northern Lights make you want to stay all night up just to see at least a bit of the show. Hundreds of people come to Iceland every year just to see the famous geyser that shoots into the air with great power and makes all the observers stand still trying to capture the moment in a picture. Pictures and Icelandic souvenirs can bring a piece of Iceland to your home. Do you want to find out the best traditional Icelandic products out there? then stick around!
No matter how long your stay in Iceland is, you will never have enough of it. There always will be something else and something new to see and visit. Every time you think that you’ve already seen everything, Iceland surprises you and shows how wrong you were.
Best souvenirs from Iceland
Travelling makes your life much more interesting, broadens your horizons and makes you look at the world differently. Each trip, however, has to end one day and you need to go back home. I bet that each of you feel the need to bring something special with you from this trip. Something which will always remind you of the marvelous holidays you had in Iceland. This „something” is called a souvenir, which basically means something you buy or keep that helps you remember your holiday.
Iceland has become a very popular travel destination which resulted in a growing market for tourists. You will find many of those little shops with souvenirs here full of things with Iceland’s flag on them. You do not want to buy just anything that was not even made in Iceland. You would want to get something that has real Icelandic meaning for you right? We decided to help you out so you can go back home with the best possible souvenir and we developed a list of the top souvenirs including the traditional Icelandic products.
Traditional Icelandic souvenirs
Icelandic Woolen Products
On top of this list of the top traditional souvenirs should definitely be products made from Icelandic wool. It is said that we have twice as many sheep as humans. It is worth paying attention to woolen products first. Wool sweaters, hats, ear bands, gloves, and unbelievably warm socks are the main products you should go for. The traditional Icelandic wool sweater is called „lopapeysa”. It is a knitted, 100% woolen sweater made of the wool of the Icelandic sheep. Wool is traditionally not dyed and most of them you will find in black, gray, white or brown. It is distinguished by various geometric patterns that come from the Icelandic sagas. These patterns, usually placed around the neck, are designed to deter bad powers.
You will find plenty of them with different patterns and in different colors on Laugavegur street in Reykjavik. A very nice store with typical Icelandic lopapeysa can also be found next to the parking lot in the Geyser area. You can even purchase one of those souvenirs at some gas stations and at the Keflavik airport or any souvenir shop. Prepare yourself though, or better yet, prepare your budget. This is not a cheap souvenir. For a pair of 100% woolen socks you will have to pay around 2500 ISK (20 USD) whereas, for traditional Icelandic sweaters, you need to pay from 18 900 - 29 900 ISK (154 - 244 USD ).
The other very traditional Icelandic souvenir you should take into consideration is the jewelry made of black lava. You can find rings, necklaces and earrings. Just be aware that not all of the products you will find come from the lava obtained in Iceland. This is because our lava is sometimes too soft to process. Before purchasing the jewelry like that, it is worth asking where the material came from.
In my opinion, every tourist should go back to their country with at least one pack of dry fish, one loaf of lava bread and some chocolate for desert.
These are the most recommendable products you should look for.
Rudbrand is our so-called lava bread because it is made in a big pans by leaving it in the geothermal bakery. The word bakery here means: a hole in the ground made near the hot springs where the temperature reaches close to near 100 ºC ( ºF). This rye bread with a characteristic slightly sweet aftertaste and a firm consistency.
Another good idea for a traditional souvenir from Iceland are products based on Icelandic lichen. It has high medicinal properties. Moss teas, syrups and tinctures are among the most popular.
You should also get some chocolate bars. Here the most common chocolate brands are Omnom Chocolate and Sirius. They both offer licorice-flavored chocolates with sea salt. You need to try one of these.
Hakarl is a dry fish snack, very popular among Icelanders. It is basically fermented shark and it can be bought in all grocery stores, and even at the airport. Just make sure the container does not open because its strong smell will spread all over the place.
Icelandic Cosmetics from the Blue Lagoon
Silica from Blue Lagoon has very beneficial effects on beauty and therefore you should think of buying products with this ingredient. You will be able to get some face masks, body balms, peels and creams containing silica, algae and other minerals. You can buy them at the Blue Lagoon store, some of the souvenir shops in Reykjavik and the airport. Those products are quite expensive but really worth getting.
Icelandic souvenirs ideas
Some people prefer to go for a cheaper souvenir and want to take something from the Icelandic landscape. We see many people picking up stones on the black beach in Reynisfjara or small pieces of colorful lava from the calderas or even some moss. I have to warn you about this! You have probably heard about Icelandic elves? They are here to protect Iceland, which is their natural habitat. You can take one piece of the lava rock but on your own responsibility as they might get annoyed and go after you.
The story says, there was a wealthy man who took stones and pieces of lava from each part of Iceland he visited. He went back from his trip happy that he got a part of our magical island in his own home. Strange things started to happen to him. He lost his job, he didn’t get on well with his friends, he lost his car and almost lost his home. He read about elves and he knew. They were getting revenge. He packed up all the stones and sent them back to Iceland to the geological station begging them to put the stones back in the places he took them from. Fairy tale or cautionary tale? You decide.
Icelandic nature is very fragile, the moss takes hundreds of years to grow on the rough lava rocks. Also imagine that if every tourist coming to Iceland every year took a part of it back with them. Let’s try to leave the island as it is so the others can also enjoy their beauty and instead go for a lopapeysa or hand-made jewelry or a figure of Iceland troll which might bring you luck!