Updated: Feb 3
Traveling is all about enjoying new experiences and making memories, but sometimes it’s also nice to have a little piece of your trip to take home with you. Fortunately, there are many interesting Icelandic products that fit the bill. Either as a keepsake of your own or as a souvenir gift for friends and family.
Some travelers like to collect location-themed magnets for their fridges, while others get carried away and stock their drinks cabinets with unusual local liqueurs. Then there are those who opt for handicraft products or local foodie delicacies.
Icelandic products you must try!
Whatever your souvenir style is, we’ll have something in our top Iceland product list that ticks just the right boxes. From quirky comedy products to skilled artisan gifts and foodie favorites, here’s what we’ll be covering:
Icelandic foodie gifts
Icelandic wool products
Icelandic skincare products
Unusual Icelandic souvenirs
Cultural Icelandic gifts – art, music and literature
Iceland gifts for the avid foodie
A big part of traveling is experiencing new flavors, cooking cultures, and trying all the local delicacies. After all, enjoying the atmosphere of bars, restaurants and food markets offers a real insight into the place you are visiting.
If you’re traveling around Iceland, this is no different as tantalizing treats and fascinating foodie traditions are lurking around every corner. So, in the first section of our Icelandic products run-down, we are covering the best of Iceland’s foodie gifts!
Typical Icelandic licorice
As in many Nordic countries, the bittersweet flavor of licorice is extremely popular. Icelandic people love it and enjoy it in many forms. You can buy it in any of its shapes and sizes, wrapped in chocolate, molded into ice cream or simply original. Since licorice is a real flavor of Iceland, it makes for a great gift to take back home and share.
Brennivín: Iceland's signature liquor
Brennivín is the go-to Icelandic shot, often enjoyed during festive celebrations or a long night out on the town. It is also taken to counteract the unusual flavor of the traditional Icelandic bar snack: fermented shark. It is a potent, clear alcohol made from fermented grain and flavored with caraway seeds.
Oftentimes, these regional tipples might taste great on location but aren’t quite so popular on home turf. But who knows, there may be one day where you and your friends are in the mood to work through a bottle of Brennivín.
If you do decide to buy some, pick it up in the duty-free shop on your way home as it’s much cheaper to avoid the heavy taxes on alcohol in Iceland.
Who doesn’t love chocolate? Not a whole lot of people, that’s who! In Iceland, Omnom Chocolate reigns supreme, Iceland’s top artisan chocolate brand. They use carefully sourced ingredients to create delicious chocolate bars in all sorts of flavors. Not to mention each is carefully wrapped in creative packaging that boasts everything from unicorns to swans, goats and more.
If you want to take home a real taste of Iceland, then go for their licorice-flavored bar. If you think that’s too far out there for your friends’ taste buds, then there are plenty more to choose from.
You can find these funky bars at the local supermarket or souvenir shop, as well as at the brand’s chocolate factory in Reykjavík.
Herbal Sea Salt
This is the ideal gift for the chef in your life. Sea salt crystals from the North Atlantic are blended with aromatic herbs plucked from the wilds of Iceland. Flavors such as birch, licorice, lava and Arctic thyme are infused into the salt to give it a complex and satisfying flavor. Oh la la!
Arctic Thyme Tea
For friends back home who are fond of a healthy brew, this herbal infusion is the ideal thing to stash in your suitcase. Popular right across Scandinavia, Arctic Thyme is said to have many positive properties. It can help take care of everything from an upset stomach to a cold and flu, or simply aid in boosting your immunity.
Not to mention all that goodness is complemented by a lovely mild alpine scent and flavor.
Dried fish - harðfiskur
This might sound like an odd gift idea, but dried fish or harðfiskur is a very traditional Icelandic food that makes for one of the most genuine presents from the Land of Fire and Ice.
When times were hard in Iceland, its people needed to find ways to preserve food for the leaner months. Drying fish was one such way. Today it makes for a tasty, chewy snack and it’s an interesting one to share with friends back home.
Icelandic wool products
As you drive around Iceland, you’ll notice that there are quite a number of sheep that call the land their home. You might even come across them roaming and moaning across the road in front of your rental camper van. Sheep are very much a fixture of the countryside, so there are more than a few choice wool products up for snagging.
Your friends and family will be excited to say they own a real sheep product all the way from Iceland!
Icelandic wool sweaters
Although on the pricier end of the keepsake scale, pure Icelandic wool sweaters are excellent investments. Made using pure, unspun Icelandic wool, they have extra insulation and water-repellent qualities. Therefore, these stylish sweaters will keep you warm and also, to a certain extent, dry.
The designs and colors are beautiful too, so you won’t have to compromise style for comfort. They are usually made in natural tones with attractive patterns circling the neckline. Just a tip: to make sure that you are buying an authentic product, do check the label for the ‘Made in Iceland’ mark.
Other Icelandic wool products
If you don’t fancy a sweater, then how about another wool product? You can buy lovely soft mittens, scarves or blankets in all sorts of colors and styles. Crafty friends back home might also appreciate a ball or two of authentic Icelandic wool to work with for their upcoming projects.
Icelandic skincare products
There are many exceptional Icelandic beauty products available that make for ideal gifts. From the well-known Blue Lagoon branded products to lesser-known small-scale organic skincare ranges, the options are bountiful.
Blue Lagoon beauty products
Nearly everyone that visits Iceland will want to take a dip in the cleansing waters of the Blue Lagoon, as they are a major tourist gem that only seems to get more popular over the years.
Iceland’s thermal hot springs are well known to have all sorts of health benefits, from soothing tired muscles to healing skin complaints. It only makes sense that a country with such a strong spa culture will have quality products to match.
Products from the Blue Lagoon beauty range are an excellent gift or reminder of your trip - we particularly love their Algae Mask. Once you’re home and settled back into the rush of daily life, you can revisit the calm of Iceland by simply running a bath and donning your Icelandic beauty mask. Talk about some much-needed R&R!
Unusual Icelandic souvenirs
So, here comes the part you’ve probably been wondering about…
Iceland Nature Condoms
Yes, folks, you read that right. This quirky country with its open attitude to both sexuality and sex is the proud inventor of the Icelandic nature condom. It all started back in 2010 when two Icelandic students decided to design a range of comedy condom packs.
The idea was to celebrate some of the more ‘explosive’ natural wonders of Iceland. From erupting volcanoes to spurting geysers, there were quite a few fitting candidates for the project. Nature Condoms have since won design and gift awards and become one of the most popular Icelandic souvenirs among travelers.
Cultural Icelandic gifts
If you’re looking for something a little more unique for the culture vulture in your life, you’re in luck. Iceland is an incredibly creative nation of individuals with all sorts of artistic talents. You’ll very likely be tempted to take some of these gifts home for yourself.
As you roam around Reykjavík visiting its coffee shops and cafés, you’ll notice a lot of art and graffiti. Many independent coffee shops host changing exhibitions of local artists’ work. Most of these will be for sale, so if something grabs your attention, just ask your server and they’ll be glad to wrap it up for you.
Iceland is a highly educated nation of book lovers and writers. There is a real culture of reading amongst all ages. In fact, many Icelandic people have even tried their hand at writing a novel themselves.
You’ll find that the capital especially has many bookshops to peruse. If you’re intimidated at the thought of reading Icelandic, not to worry! Since everyone speaks English in Iceland, there are always some English language options.
Translations of the famous Icelandic Sagas make a great gift, as do translations of some classic Icelandic fiction, such as ‘Independent people’ by Nobel prizewinning author Halldór Laxness.
Reykjavík and Iceland, as a whole, have a truly thriving music scene. The country hosts many large-scale music festivals and on a typical night out in Reykjavík, you’ll almost certainly stumble upon a live band or two in some highly spirited bar.
Many artists are known internationally, such as Sigur Rós and of course Björk. But there are many more sounds to discover as well. Reflecting the Icelandic love of music, Reykjavík has many record shops to explore. If you’re after a musical treat to take home with you, call in and find your next earworm.
So, as you can see, Iceland offers numerous opportunities for one-of-a-kind gifts and mementos to further remember your already unforgettable visit. We hope our guide of Icelandic products helps you pick souvenirs your friends will actually enjoy!
Rent the camper of your choice and head off on a souvenir shopping spree!