In a land where fire and ice coexist, Iceland stands as a unique and beautiful country full of natural wonders. Whilst the Nordic island is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and geothermal marvels, there is one element always beneath the surface: Iceland’s water.
Iceland has a unique hydrological system that produces some of the purest water sources on the planet. Fed by glacial meltwater and filtered through ancient lava fields, the drinking water in Iceland is truly liquid gold.
We’ll be diving deep into the realm of Icelandic water, covering why it’s so pure and why you should drink it. From source to tap, discover why water is such a valued resource in Iceland.
Why Is Iceland’s Water So Clean?
Iceland’s water has exceptional purity due to a combination of environmental and social factors. Here are some of the reasons why the water is so clean.
Glaciers - Home to many glaciers, including Vatnajökull, Iceland’s glaciers act as natural reservoirs that store great amounts of freshwater. As the glaciers slowly melt, they release pristine glacial water that is safe to drink.
Volcanic Filtration - The volcanic nature of the country plays a pivotal role in purifying its water. Water percolates through purpose lava fields, acting as a natural filtration system. This leaves the water clean and enriched with essential minerals.
Environmental Efforts - Iceland has strict environmental regulations in place that are designed to protect its valued water sources. These cover industrial activities, waste management and safe agricultural practices to avoid contamination. Find out more about Sustainability in Iceland.
Low Population Density - With a small population of just below 400,000, Iceland has one of the lowest population densities in Europe. This means that there is far less human impact on the environment with fewer sources of pollution.
Source Protection - With minimal industrial activity in Iceland, the natural water reservoirs remain largely untouched, ensuring the water’s purity.
Can You Drink Tap Water in Iceland?
Yes, it is actually recommended to drink tap water in Iceland as opposed to wasting money on bottled water. Unlike other countries, Icelandic water is free of chlorine, calcium and nitrate, and is incredibly fresh and safe to drink. Tap water in Iceland is regularly tested to ensure it is always of the best quality.
Plastic pollution is on the rise, with most of it ending up in landfills, oceans and rivers. To help prevent single-use plastic pollution, remember to pack a reusable container to give our natural spring water a taste. Large companies selling bottled water in Iceland are promoting false ideologies, as the water in plastic bottles is the same as in the taps. Try not to fall into the tourist trap of purchasing expensive plastic bottles!
If you find yourself on a glacier hike, your guide will likely find a clear stream of water and show you how to taste the purest water. This is an experience we’d definitely recommend!
Does Icelandic Water Smell?
Cold water in Iceland’s taps does not smell. The hot water, however, can sometimes produce a faint sulphuric smell, which you may notice when you take a shower or wash the dishes. When drinking from the tap, try to keep the cold water running for a while before filling up your glass or bottle to prevent any unwanted smells.
If you’re looking to taste the purest water whilst gazing at Iceland’s many natural wonders, we’d recommend hiring a reliable rental car to take you across the country. Take a look at our wide range of vehicles today!