Although access to Iceland is becoming increasingly easy due to more frequent flights and the emergence of low-cost airlines, the country is still considered to be something of an “once-in-a-lifetime” destination. Anyone who’s travelled to Iceland will tell you that it’s like nowhere else on earth and more often than not, they return singing its praises.
So what are the best reminders to take with you from this very special country? Guest blogger Fiona Hilliard has recently travelled to the island. The following are a few of her recommendations…
big-ashb took the gorgeous image, above, of the Blue Lagoon.
The traditional Lopi woollen jumper is the most popular wool souvenir for tourists, but their price tags can be a little on the expensive side. Farmers Market’s designs are some of the most stylish that you’ll see on the island so are worth the investment, if only to be able go home rocking a jumper that looks like it’s walked straight out of The Killing.
For a tiny country of just 320,000 people, Iceland has produced more than its fair share of musical talent. Sigur Ros, Bjork and Of Monsters and Men are just three of the big names worth snapping up from 12 Tonar independent music shop, located in the heart of Reykjavik at Skolavorordustigur 11.
Don’t dream of travelling to Iceland without packing a camera. It goes without saying that Iceland’s landscapes are beautiful and otherworldly. Take a tour around the Golden Circle on a guided day trip or rent a car with a low-cost company such as ArgusCarHire.com. Icelandic horses, Gullfoss waterfall and Reykjavik street art make for the perfect subjects and the photographs are wonderful souvenirs.
Blue Lagoon beauty products
The silica found naturally at the bottom of the Blue Lagoon is famous for its special properties that are said to heal all sorts of skin conditions. For this reason, when you visit you’ll notice people slathering on the gloopy paste as a beauty mask. Facial washes, lotions, and pots of silica are on sale at most souvenir shops on the island, at the Blue Lagoon, as well as in Keflavik Airport.
Icelanders love their indigenous fast food so much that they haven’t really missed the recent withdrawal of McDonalds and Burger King from the island. In Iceland, hotdogs are the junk food of choice and Reykjavik’s Baejarins Betzu Pylsu is said to be Europe’s best hotdog stand.
A bottle of Icelandic hot-dog sauce is the tastiest culinary souvenir you can take home. Bottles are available in two sizes in supermarkets and are a cheap and delicious memento of your trip to Iceland.
One thing that surprises most visitors is that Iceland has a closed currency. Bank notes cannot be purchased outside of Iceland and must be exchanged at the airport before departing. Keeping a few small coins aside is always a unique souvenir – that’s if you haven’t splashed out on a Lopi jumper, a hotdog, or spent all your spare cash on Viking beer.
Of course, these are just six of my suggestions. Iceland being Iceland, you are certain to stumble upon more weird-and-wonderful souvenirs during your visit. Lava rock jewellery, anyone? Góda Ferd – have a great trip!Oonagh Shiel