You might have heard this before, but here it is, one more time: Icelandic water is safe to drink, straight from the tap. It will probably even taste better straight from the tap than it does from a bottle since it won’t have spent such a long time in a plastic bottle. This seems too good to be true, so here are some answers to the most common questions.
I know it’s safe, I just don’t like the taste of tap water
Icelandic water is not only safe, it’s also delicious (or as delicious as water can be). It does not have the faint taste of chloride that many associate with tap water, since it’s never chemically purified. It comes straight from sources where the water has filtered through lava and is clean as can be.
Well, if Icelandic water is so good, why do they sell bottled water everywhere?”
It’s for the tourists! Bottled water is a very recent addition to Icelandic shops, gas stations and restaurants and the rise of water bottles in shops has coincided with increased tourism in Iceland.
I want to buy bottled water because I like having a water bottle with me
If that’s the case, then by all means, buy a bottle of water. Even Icelanders do it from time to time if they need a convenient drink. If I were you, however, I wouldn’t throw that bottle away when you’ve emptied it. Refill it with tap water; it’s the same water basically and you’ll minimize waste.
Well, I’ll drink the tap water in the city but I’m going hiking, I need bottled water!
Sure, I’d bring some water along, but not as much as you think you’ll need. Not only is it safe to drink the water straight from the tap, it’s also safe to drink from most lakes, rivers and streams if the water runs clear. Basically, if you’re not drinking mud or seawater, it’s ok to drink.
Oh yeah? I tried the water in Iceland, it tastes and smells like rotten eggs!
No, it doesn’t. Not the cold water at least. The hot water that comes from the taps doesn’t taste very good, I’ll give you that. If you’re having coffee or tea, you need to get cold water and heat it up. If you turned on the cold water and it tasted like eggs, there was probably just some hot water left in the tap since the last time it was used. You need to let it run for a few seconds until it’s completely cold and taste it again. You’ll never want to buy water again.
In conclusion: Icelandic water is delicious and safe to drink. You don’t need to buy water while you’re here!