When it comes to choosing Christmas presents, know that Iceland produces a range of seasonal gifts that are sure to make your friends and family feel closer to the land of ice and fire than ever before. So if you’re struggling at this late stage to think up a fantastic present, look no further than this list of 5 Best Christmas Gift Ideas from Iceland.
Omnom Chocolate is as delicious and authentically Icelandic as you can get, with this artisan start-up having reached unfounded levels of success since its founding in 2013. Producing a range of tantalising milk, dark and white chocolate products, Omnom flavour profiles range from sea salted Almonds to liquorice and even black and burnt barley.
With their aesthetically designed packaging, this is a snack that transcends what is expected of your traditional Christmas chocolate.
Icelandic Sagas & Books
Another classic trait is a collective love of literature, dating all the way back to the adventurous stories found within the ancient Icelandic Sagas. This passion for the written word has been carried over from generation to generation, meaning that there is now an enormous selection of books written by Icelanders. This means that books and literature are always a fantastic gift choice when buying presents in Iceland.
Since 2011, Reykjavík has been an official UNESCO city of literature, and it is a well-known fact that approximately one in ten Icelanders have written a book. And with the Christmas book flood, known as Jólabókaflóðið, there truly is no better time for your friends and family to catch up on some quality reading time.
Lopapeysa Woollen Sweater
Another excellent gift option is purchasing a lopapeysa, the iconic woollen sweater so popular amongst Icelanders. Characterised by their yoke design, lopapeysas originated in the mid-twentieth century when imports to the island meant that an excess of wool could be used in new and creative ways.
This attire, whilst extremely functional in cold weather, is also considered high fashion in Iceland and has since been considered to be a tangible and recognisable feature of the national identity.
Multi-Day Tour in Iceland
A fourth option could be purchasing a multi-day tour for anyone you know who may be visiting Iceland in the not so distant future. One choice that covers the very best of Iceland’s nature is the 2 Day Ice Cave Tour | South Coast Waterfalls & Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon.
As the name suggests, this epic tour experience takes you along Iceland’s glorious South Coast, making stops along the way to visit some of the country’s most beloved waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss, as well as the beautiful, yet infamous black sand beach, Reynisfjara.
The first day ends at what is colloquially termed “The Crown Jewel of Iceland”, Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, where guests can experience enormous floating icebergs on a tranquil water body, all the while surrounded by the dramatic and unforgettable scenery of Vatnajökull National Park.
On the second day of the tour, participants will partake in one of the most popular wintertime activities available in Iceland; ice caving in the blue, subterranean world that lies beneath Vatnajökull glacier. These caves, while beautiful, are only available to visit during the winter months, making them an absolute must for nature and photography enthusiasts.
Guests will then proceed back toward Reykjavík, keeping their eyes peeled for the dazzling sight of the Northern Lights dancing above. For those in Iceland over the winter period, there truly can be no better chance to explore and discover all that makes Iceland so special.
Brennivín “The Black Death” Snaps
For a final option—one that would be more than welcome for most adults, especially over Christmas—is the Icelandic snaps, Brennivín. Nicknamed “The Black Death”, Brennivín is a historic drink that once took the place of beer, which was illegal in Iceland until the year 1989.
This caraway flavoured spirit is often used to overpower the taste of Hákarl, or fermented shark, a popular food challenge for those visiting Iceland. Understand, however, that bottles of alcohol can only be purchased from the state liquor store, Vínbúðin, or at duty-free, the latter of which will no doubt ease the expense of your Christmas shopping.
Whichever Icelandic product you choose to gift the loved ones in your life, you can be sure that they’ll be happy to have a piece of the land of ice and fire with them on Christmas day. For those spending Christmas in Iceland itself, there can be no better gift than merely absorbing its quaint culture and mesmerizing landscapes… thankfully, both of these come for free.
Which Christmas gifts from Iceland did you purchase this season? Are there gift ideas you feel we left out? Be sure to leave your thoughts and queries in the Facebook comments box below.