Heading off on vacation is all about living fully in the moment. But it can also be nice to have a reminder of your trip to look back on when you return home. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best Iceland gifts to pack in your carry on. From Fairtrade products to traditional souvenirs, there will be something to suit everyone’s preferences.
Are you looking for a gift for friends and family back home, or a classic taste of Iceland to serve guests at a holiday photo session? Perhaps something special for yourself that will allow you to reminisce on your incredible adventure. Whatever your priority is, our Iceland gift guide will help you find the ideal keepsake.
We will be delving into the following gift idea sections:
Fairtrade foodie gifts
Iceland's wool products
Unique and unusual Icelandic gifts
Fairtrade food products in Iceland
So, where can you buy fair trade products in Iceland? If you’re looking for the perfect fair trade foodie gift, then opt for anything fully sourced and produced in Iceland. This fact alone will ensure that it is fully fair trade. And because Iceland upholds some of the best working conditions in the world, you’ll rest easy knowing the products were made ethically.
When it comes to companies that source their raw ingredients elsewhere, you will need to pay closer attention. The production off coffee and chocolate are particularly open to exploitation. Therefore, with these products, it is important to read the labels and check out the supply chain more closely.
Coffee and chocolate are both extremely popular in Iceland and make great gifts. So we’ve included a fair trade products list that includes these trickier products.
Chocolate lovers rejoice! Iceland’s own artisan chocolatiers at Omnom create some of the best fair trade products on the block.
First started by a passionate pastry chef and his childhood friend, the pair experimented with a single-origin chocolate-making technique called bean to bar. After some initial success, they set up shop in Reykjavík in a disused gas station and then grew their business from there.
From supermarket shelves to gift shops, you won’t miss this distinctive brand all over Iceland. Omnom prides themselves on customer satisfaction, as they are highly trusted to create super delicious and fair trade chocolate every time.
You won’t see the usual fair trade labels on the Omnom chocolate bars. That’s because the crew here sources all their own ingredients directly from producers around the world. This set up actually goes beyond the official fair trade accreditation, and instead directly to small-scale farmers who pay a fair price for high-quality products.
Omnom chocolate beans are sourced in Nicaragua, Madagascar and Tanzania. While their sugar comes from a sustainable and ethical grower in Brazil, all their milk originates from Icelandic cows. Additionally, the flaky salt used in many of their chocolate creations is produced from Iceland’s own Westfjords.
Omnom is fabulous, right down to its inspired packaging design. There is a fantastic range of flavors to choose from that are all typical from Iceland. Sea salt and caramel are popular, as are liquorice, barley and coffee. Their range of crunchy chocolate balls are also a must-try.
Icelandic people adore coffee, and the country very much runs on it. Those hiring a car or camper for an Iceland road trip might notice something unusual in the mornings. Rather than settling for a cup of joe made with instant coffee, many of your fellow campers will be brewing pots of quality coffee instead.
So, if you’d also call yourself a coffee lover, you can easily join them. Either bring your own pot from home or rent one from a gear shop in Reykjavík. While you’re in the capital, you can also stock up on Reykjavík Roasters coffee.
These artisan roasters are passionate about their coffee blends. They source the best beans from around the world and they are always fairly traded. As well as fueling your Iceland adventure, Reykjavík Roasters beans make great gifts to take home to fellow coffee aficionados.
Herbal Sea Salt
Traditionally sourced from the North Atlantic, Icelandic sea salt makes the perfect present for foodies and budding chefs back home. It is flaky and delicious on its own, but blending it with aromatic Icelandic flavors such as Arctic Thyme, birch or even lava takes it to the next level.
Iceland's wool products
One thing you’ll certainly notice on a road trip around Iceland is the sheep. There are a whole lot of these furry friends in the Land of Fire and Ice. You’ll see them roaming in the open countryside and even straying onto the unfenced roads. So, it follows that there are some excellent fair trade wool products available in Iceland.
Buying local wool products can help to boost local economies and make great Icelandic souvenirs to take home, too. Travelers can either give them as gifts or keep them as special mementos of their trip.
Pure Icelandic wool sweaters
Icelandic wool sweaters or ‘Lopapeysa’ are specially designed and made to stand up to the Icelandic weather. The sheep in Iceland have been adapting to the conditions here for centuries. So, Icelandic wool is particularly good at insulating from the cold as well as repelling water.
The traditional Icelandic sweater comes in a range of natural colors, from cream to soft grays and browns. The design usually incorporates an elaborate pattern around the neckline. But nowadays can get Icelandic sweaters in all sorts of colors and patterns.
If you would like a quality Fairtrade product, then be sure to check the labels. The true Icelandic sweater will be made in Iceland with 100% Icelandic wool. And the price for such quality is not small. For a brand-new high-quality sweater, you are likely to pay well over $100 (USD).
Another option is to go for a high-quality second-hand sweater, often available in vintage shops or markets. You’ll find some beautifully crafted bargains if you don’t mind buying second-hand.
Also, be on the lookout for farmers markets in the smaller towns. You will likely come across handmade Icelandic wool products here and probably get to meet the maker, too!
Other Icelandic wool gift ideas
If you’d like to go for a different Icelandic wool product, then there are plenty of other options. Look out for handmade mittens, gloves and scarves at local markets. These make great gifts and support local artisans.
If you have friends back home who are into knitting, then why not buy them a ball or two of Icelandic wool? You never know! They might like to follow a pattern for the traditional Lopapeysa sweater, too.
Some more unusual Icelandic gifts
For some unique fair trade products from Iceland, think about supporting the country’s cultural offering. Iceland has more than its fair share of artists and musicians, with a unique flair for quirky artistic endeavors.
In Reykjavík, you will often see new artists exhibiting their work in local cafés and bars, which are normally on sale for purchase. If something catches your eye, why not ask about it? The benefits will be twofold- you’ll be supporting a burgeoning artist as well as bagging yourself a unique Icelandic gift.