Iceland is known for its remarkably pure drinking water. Read our blog to find out everything you need to know about it before you visit.

As an island, Iceland is synonymous with water. When one thinks of the scenery of the land of fire and ice, the image of water is never far - whether it’s the rugged shorelines, majestic waterfalls, still and deep lakes or looming glaciers, water is everywhere in Iceland. 

Drinking water in Iceland

The water in Iceland is famously clear and pure. Whenever you travel to a new place, it’s important that you find out if the tap water is safe to drink. In many countries, the answer is a resounding no, but in Iceland, it’s a definite yes! The water that comes out of Icelandic taps is some of the cleanest and purest in the world, with about 98% of Iceland’s drinking water coming directly from natural springs. 

In fact, many tourists end up spending wasted money on water bottles. We recommend that anyone visiting Iceland bring a reusable water bottle and take advantage of the delicious, clean water that comes straight out of the kitchen tap. The tendency to purchase water bottles frustrates locals, who would prefer that the avoidable use of plastics didn’t occur at all. 

So while the tap water in Iceland comes from already natural sources, the water is thoroughly checked on an ongoing basis to ensure that all water meets standards of safety and purity. It also tastes amazing - the unique mineral content found in Icelandic water goes a long way toward making the water highly drinkable and delicious. 

It’s worth noting, however, that you should always adjust the tap to cold water and leave it to run for a moment before filling up your cup or bottle. Warm water in Iceland can have a slight sulfur taste but is harmless. 

Man holding a glass bottle filled with water against a backdrop of mountains and blue sky.

It’s not only the tap water that’s safe to drink - many of the clear streams and rivers that swathe the ethereal countryside are safe, delicious and cold coming straight from glaciers - ready to be consumed. Most cafes and restaurants will be more than happy to fill up your reusable bottle with their tap water - free of charge. One less thing to spend money on in Iceland, leaving more of your budget available to enjoy the water in other ways - like swimming pools, geothermal rivers, and waterfalls! 

Geothermal Energy in Iceland

Steam rising against a sunset sky at a geothermal plant near Blue Lagoon, Iceland.

Interestingly, Iceland’s wonderful water is good for more than just drinking. Iceland has managed to make leaps and bounds in harnessing geothermal energy to help power people’s homes, businesses and more. 

The way it works is that Iceland makes use of Iceland’s volcanic activity that produces an abundance of geothermal springs below the earth’s surface. The steam created from the natural hot water is then used to make energy. This means that more than 80% of domestic and business heating in and around the Reykjavik area comes from nearby volcanoes generating it! 

In addition to heating, much of the country’s energy comes from hydroelectric power. This not only does a great deal for Iceland’s green initiatives, but it also keeps utilities highly affordable for Iceland’s residents.