Traveling is inevitably linked to buying souvenirs. We just can’t help it! Although it is true that most of the memories we cherish are not made of material things, we all love having a memento of the country we visited, don’t we? And I totally understand that there is no exception when you come to visit Iceland. So if you are one of those people who loves collecting magnets, snow globes and thingamabobs aplenty, this is your place. Get ready to shop for some souvenirs in Iceland!
We will not provide detailed information on where to get magnets (sorry about that). Because although they are always a last-minute life saver, they are also quite easy to find and you see them a lot. We want to share with you those gift options that perfectly reflect the Icelandic culture and that will delight both your relatives and yourself.
Traditional Lopapeysa Sweaters
I know it is a strange name, but that’s not unusual in Iceland. Just like the Lopapeysa! They are one of the most typical and traditional sweaters in Iceland. To be honest, it’s not a cheap gift, but they are one of those pieces of clothing that lasts a lifetime, we swear.
The word Lopapeysa literally means woolen sweater, and that is precisely what this wrap is made of. Icelandic wool has unique properties as it comes from a particular breed of sheep. They remained in isolation and were not mixed with other breeds for centuries. For coat making, double layers are woven with different types of wool, which makes the coats water-repellent.
They usually have very traditional patterns and are even customizable. As we mentioned before, it’s not the cheapest souvenir you can find in Iceland’s stores, but there are certain places where the price can be cheaper such as Reykjavík’s flea market. Here many highly skilled knitters sell their own creations at a more affordable price. No intermediary required!
Icelandic Volcanic Jewelry
Yep, that’s right. Authentic pieces of jewelry made of Icelandic volcanic stone. If you like things you can’t find anywhere else, this is definitely a great option. Each piece is made individually using volcanic rock, zirconium or Swarovski crystals. Some even say the pieces have supernatural powers. They affect your aura positively and are also supposedly energizing. They seem to give off energy and inspiration to whoever wears them.
It is up to you to decide, but if you want to try them or buy them as a souvenir you can find many shops in Reykjavik, but also in Geysir, Gullfoss, Keflavik and in Akureyri.
Glacial Clay Soap
Sudden temperature changes, which are common in Iceland, whether it be cold, hot or humid, can drastically affect the skin. So, why not take a handmade soap made with glacial clay to replenish it?
These soaps are made by hand in Iceland. Their main ingredients include medicinal plants, essential oils and the clay itself, which provides an exfoliating effect. Some of these soaps contain clay from the Eyjafjallajökul volcano, which erupted in 2010 causing aerial chaos throughout Europe. But be not afraid, it won’t negatively affect your skin!
Brennivin Liquor aka Black Death
If you travel to Spain you would buy a good bottle of wine, but when traveling to Iceland you buy Brennivin, a drink suitable for Vikings!
Brennivin is a beverage with a high alcohol level and it is made with fermented potatoes. Icelanders call it “the black death” so don’t say we didn’t warn you! It’s usually accompanied by some pieces of Hákarl or fermented shark, but that is up to individual taste.
Remember that alcoholic beverages are not sold in any supermarket, so you will have to go to a state-owned shop (Vinbudin) or duty-free.
Souvenir Shopping In Iceland: The Best Things You Can Buy
Also known as arctic thyme, it is a common drink within the Scandinavian countries. In Iceland, it is used as an ancient medicinal remedy for hangovers, so if you ended up buying Brennivin this would be the ideal complement. It is also a highly recommended drink to treat colds. You can find this product in many supermarkets and stores in Reykjavík.
Let us know which of these souvenirs you liked the most or if you know other options worth mentioning on this list!