There are lots of different questions that we ask when traveling to a foreign country for the first time. One of the biggest ones is whether or not we can drink water straight from the faucet. It’s an important query that will affect us as we stay hydrated on our trip. Whether or not you can drink Iceland tap water is especially important because of all the outdoor activities you will surely do.
So is the tap water safe to drink in Iceland? And does Iceland tap water really taste or smell like sulphur? Let’s address these questions and find out exactly where these rumors of questionable H20 come from.
Iceland Tap Water: What You Need to Know
First, I want to address the question on everyone’s mind. Iceland tap water: Is it safe to drink or not? I’m happy to report that the answer is an unequivocal yes! Icelandic water is not only safe to drink, it just might be some of the best water you’ll ever taste. Remember, our gorgeous country is covered in glaciers, waterfalls, rivers, and lakes. They all provide an ample supply of fresh water to thirsty travelers and Icelanders alike.
So now the big mystery is solved. Iceland’s drinking water is perfectly safe; in fact, it’s some of the freshest, cleanest, most delicious tap water in the world. Anyone traveling to Iceland can rest easy knowing that they’ll be fine drinking the local water.
Next, I’d like to address the elephant in the room: What about the sulphur? Are people really telling the truth or are they exaggerating when they describe it as smelling like rotten eggs? Well, I’ll be perfectly honest. Icelandic tap water can be a little bit smelly, but not always and it can definitely be avoided. We’ve learned to live with it and so can you.
Iceland Tap Water Sulphur: How Bad Is It?
You may have heard the slightly gross stories about Iceland tap water and sulphur, be it the taste or the smell. Let’s set the record straight. Tap water in Iceland doesn’t taste like sulphur, but under certain circumstances, it may have a bit of a smell. Why is that?
As you’re probably well aware, Iceland is a volcanic island with over 30 active volcano systems. Magma runs deep beneath the ground and heats much of the water geothermally. When you visit a natural spring or a hot spring, the steam rising from the water is the direct result of heat from the Earth. This geothermal energy is also harnessed to power parts of the island.
Even though the water is processed, cleaned, and filtered, there are still some remnants of its volcanic origin when you turn on the faucet. Essentially, it’s perfectly safe to drink (like all treated water) and tastes great. But depending on the temperature of the water, it might smell a little.
When the tap water runs hot, H20 with the slight scent of sulphur might flow out. This can be a bit off-putting, especially if the hot water in your shower is a bit stinky. Will you need to plug your nose while rinsing out your shampoo? I certainly hope not. You’ll notice that the odor is somewhat stronger in Northern Iceland than in the south.
So what should you do if you don’t want to spend the whole trip dealing with stinky water? There’s actually a very simple trick that Icelanders swear by. When you open the tap of the faucet for drinking water, let cold water flow. It’s only the hot water in Iceland that has the scent of sulphur, so with cold water you will be just fine. If the tap was previously running hot, turn it to cold and eventually it will be normal again.
Save Money with Icelandic Tap Water
This is a great money-saving hack for Iceland. In a place where everything is really expensive, one of the places you can save your pennies is to not buy bottled water. Because Icelandic tap water is perfectly fine to drink, you won’t need to keep purchasing plastic. Instead, bring a refillable water bottle and top up at the tap whenever you need to quench your thirst. It’s not only good for the environment, but it’s also great for your wallet.
Can You Drink Tap Water in Iceland?
When it comes to tap water, Iceland has some of the best in the world. Our abundant supply of fresh water means that you can drink up without worrying getting an upset stomach or worse. It’s nice to have one less thing to think about on your trip, right? Just be sure to pack a refillable Nalgene BPA-free water bottle refillable aluminum water bottle. Keep those containers filled and use tap water in Iceland to save money, stay hydrated, and help the planet. Everybody wins.