15 Jul

Drink the tap water

Photo: Hörður JónassonMore guests are visiting Iceland than ever before. When you walk around central Reykjavík during the summertime  you hardly hear an Icelandic word. Each time I visit my homeland ten new hotels have been built and there are far too many ‘puffin shops’ downtown already. That’s what the locals call the tourist shops due to the popularity of the puffin as a souvenir.

Lonely Planet has published an article with 14 dos and don’ts when visiting Iceland. It’s pretty good and most of it is useful. You definitely should drink the tap water, wash properly with soap before taking a dip, stick to appropriate roads and take the weather seriously.

Generalisations about the nation always make me smile. Don’t take it seriously although there may be a grain of truth in it.

‘Icelanders are a generally hardy and open-minded group with a dry but vibrant sense of humour. They tend to speak impeccable English, and are game for a chat, or to tell you about their favourite places to go. Respecting local etiquette and laws (along with not whingeing about the weather, or how hard it is to get to the natural wonders) will go a long way in endearing you to them, and open opportunities for local connections.’