When traveling to any foreign country, there are always certain questions you have to ask. From thinking about lodging and accommodation to exchanging money, you always inevitably end up asking the same things. Drinking water is one of these fundamental inquiries. So can you drink tap water in Iceland or do you need to buy bottled water during your entire trip? Let’s find out.
I’ve got great news for you: Icelandic water is some of the freshest and tastiest in the world. While you may have heard rumors about Iceland tap water and sulphur, rest assured. You won’t be drinking sulphur-infused water (bleck!) during your Iceland vacation. Let’s talk about where these rumors come from and why the water in Iceland is so delicious.
Iceland Tap Water: Sulphur Smell or Taste?
So the first thing I want to point out is that tap water in Iceland can sometimes smell like sulfur. There’s no getting around this fact, I won’t try to deny it, and it’s important to clear up. We are a volcanic island heated by geothermal energy, so this is a completely normal thing. You’ll probably also experience this phenomenon when you visit a hot spring or go to a geothermal area like Hverir.
But the important thing to note is that the taste of tap water is not related to the smell. Our water runs our precious glaciers, and it tastes like it is fresh from a natural spring. It’s the purest, cleanest type of water you can drink; even fresher than the H2O from water bottles. And if you’re looking to quench your thirst, there are also some things you can do to cut down on the sulfur smell.
Tips For Iceland Tap Water
So just to prepare you, here are some important things to know. Hot water smells like sulphur, and if for some reason you choose to fill your glass with hot water, it might taste like it a little but usually, it won’t. Cold water neither smells nor tastes like sulphur. If you’ve been using hot water, close the tap, then want cold water, the mixture may have a slight taste of sulphur.
To remedy this, the solution is quite simple. You can either start the water running on cold or just let it run for a little bit in order to not have a mixture before pouring your drinking water into the glass. And it will be extremely tasty, I promise!
The sulphur smell also varies by region. When taking a shower in the North, for example, you might notice a stronger odor than down south in Reykjavik or along the South Coast. Again, it’s all completely normal, even if it’s not what you’re used to. Just think of it as a way of getting back to nature.
Can You Drink Tap Water in Iceland?
So if you’re wondering is the tap water safe to drink in Iceland, the answer is a resounding yes. You just have to remember that if you want to avoid an unusual odor, it’s better to have cold water that has been running for a little bit. That is the freshest, best-tasting, option. If you’re looking for good tap water, Iceland is the place to go.
Why Icelandic Water is Great For Tourists
As we all know, Iceland is an expensive place. In a country where a sandwich will set you back $15, anyone traveling here will look to cut corners any way they can. Well, luckily, the drinking water here is one way to do that. Our bodies need around 2 liters a day of water (those 6-8 glasses that doctors always recommend). Otherwise, we can easily become dehydrated.
It’s especially important to stay hydrated during all of the glacier hikes and scaling of waterfalls that you’ll be doing. As a visitor, Iceland is all about outdoor activities and being physical. You’re going to lose a lot of fluids just through sweating alone.
You’ll save a ton of money because you won’t be spending it on plastic water bottles, which are also bad for the planet. Just come armed with a reusable aluminum, stainless steel or Nalgene BPA-free water bottle, and you’ll be ready to go. You can also use it to grab water on your hikes from natural springs in the area.
Tap Water in Iceland
So I hope I’ve answered all of your questions about Iceland tap water. Yes, it can smell like sulphur. No, it doesn’t taste like sulphur, especially when it comes out of the tap cold. Yes, you can absolutely drink tap water in Iceland. It’s 100% safe (despite the sometimes funny smell) and its some the best water you will ever drink. And who knows; maybe after a 7-day itinerary around Iceland’s Ring Road, you won’t even notice it anymore! Bottoms up.
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