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Alafoss: Terrific woolen goods
Alafoss is the famous brand of Icelandic woolen goods.
The factory already exists since 1896 has recently opened their online shop.
The factory lies right next to small waterfall - Alafoss (hence the name of the factory) - of which the water power was used to operate the machinery in the early days.
The store is located in the town of Mosfellsbær (greater Reykjavik area).
You can find their products everywhere around Iceland, but it's nice to come here if only for the friendly staff and the huge choice you have here.
They sell handknitted and machine-knitted goods. For the one who feel creative there are so many kinds of Icelandic knitting yarn available, as well as countless patterns to use.
On our first visit I bought a woolen vest and a scarf, but I bought it in a tourist store in Reykjavik.
On visit nr. 2 I wanted to get some more of these goods, so we decided on going to this store directly. I left with another scarf and 2 vests.
They also have some souvenirs on sale.
As for the price: it all looked very reasonable to me. Of course the hand-knitted sweaters are a little more expensive, but still reasonably priced considering the work and the quality.
I have seen the exact same scarfs in the 'tax-free' zone at the airport: the price was higher then what I paid in the store (and I could even get a tax refund on what I bought).
They recently opened an online shop, but I haven't used it yet. Here you can even order a custom-made sweater with pattern, size and colour of your choice.
What to buy: I absolutely love their scarfs ... as well as their vests ...
Icelandair Duty Free Catalogue: Sim Card for Mobile Phones
Not sure where I put the telecom tip on this site.
What to buy: You can get a 2,000 ISK sim card package from the Icelandair duty free catalogue, so you will be able to set up your phone the minute you land. The network is Siminns, which has pretty wide coverage of the country. For the price, you get a sim card and 2,000 ISK in credits to be used on calls and data if you have a smart phone. The phone number lasts 6 months and the credits last 1 month, unless you top up before expiry.
We find the activation process pretty simple, although we did make sure we activated our phone at the car rental office in case we have language issues. Overall, we were pretty glad we had the phone, since we had to contact our tour guides at various times and also look up GPS coordinates and such.
Just be careful when you get the sim card package from the flight attendants. She gave me a nano sim instead of a regular sim initially. I don't think she knew they offer 2 types of sim cards now.
This is a nice Shopping mall , well located and easy to get to full of shops and restaurants and fast food stands. You can also let your kids go playing while you go and spend your money and that is easy there as every where in Iceland.
What to buy: What ever you like
What to pay: Much !!Related to:
- Family Travel
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The VIKING Store: Excellent souvenirs, shirts at Viking Store
Tourists in Iceland will probably get some stuff from The Viking Store, just as I did! I did not know that this store in Hafnarstraeti is actually a famous old building called the Falcon House.
But I did find very friendly service here and some of the items were surprisingly affordable. I got the cap and shirt combination for just about less than $15 I think. They do have high quality outdoor clothing, specifically designed for the harsh climate.
If you walk in the city center of reykjavik, this place is so easy to find….and if you do fly north to Akureyri, there is also a branch there on the main street.
Also, don't forget - you can get your tax refund - so go get that receipt and fill it out...
What to buy: Iceland wool, shirts, gifts
200+ shops, restaurants, bars, hotels, car-hire: Voyager Discount Card
Voyager Card is really great value. It's a discount card which gives you up to 20% hundreds of stores and services in Iceland. The card only costs 16 euros so you save much more than the price of the card if you use it a few times. You can buy it online here: www.nordenvoyager.comRelated to:
- Business Travel
- Budget Travel
BLUE LAGOON: BLUE LAGOON PRODUCTS
BLUE LAGOON is Iceland specialized product, cannot get it any where.
Why ? a place so clean & so pure, you got to have it from that place & no other country will give you the same product.
As a woman who loves to test & buy beauty products all the time, I think the best product is the Moisturizer. The Sicilca Mud Mask is good only if you aim to shrink your pores. I think its good although it feels & taste like salt paste on my face. Buy it if you have enlarge pores problem.
What to buy: Blue Lagoon Sicila mud mask & moisturizer. Look for gift packs & will give you more value.
Remember to get tax refund & also the best place to buy is at the duty free shop at airport.
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Any shop with Tax Free shopping logo: VAT refund ~
VAT is a value added tax which is included in the purchase price. Foreigners can claim this tax back when they leave the country.
When you shop in any of the stores with the Duty Free sign over ISK 4,000, you can ask for a refund form to get up to 15% cash back at airport or at the tourist information office.
If the refund amount of a single cheque exceeds ISK 5.000 you must have a export varification stamp by customs before you check-in your goods. The Refund center in the Tourist Information Center closes at 15:00. At Keflavik Airport, it opens at 5:30 and closes 17:30.
I had many experiences in VAT refund but I think Iceland is the most efficient one !!!
Thumbs up !
What to buy: For a list of shops, please check this
Blue Lagoon: where I bought hair products
The original idea was to experience the Blue Lagoon but Mr. Sweden didn't feel up for it, so we only went as far as their shop. I can honestly say that they don't call it blue for nothing hehe.
What I can vouch for is the shop. The souvenirs have more or less the same price as in Reykjavik, with the exception of the apparel of the brand "Lost in Iceland". Those were more expensive, but then again, you don't go to the Blue Lagoon to buy a t-shirt. No sir, you go for the products! One thing you must have in mind is that if you buy any of their normal size products, you can not have them in your carry-on baggage - and they even have it written by the cashier. Luckily, they have the silica mud, the anti-dandruff shampoo and conditioner and I think a shower gel in 50ml packages.
If you don't wanna buy the products there, they have a shop in Reykjavik, a stand at the souvenir shop by the Tourist information center (in Reykjavik too), a tax free shop at the airport and you can also order online.
What to buy: I bought the dry scalp/anti dandruff shampoo and conditioner. They also have products for psoriasis and well being.
What I wouldn't buy is the t-shirts, fridge magnets, pens etc. that you will find on other souvenir shops.
What to pay: That's not the place to haggle so pay what it costs (I think).Related to:
- Luxury Travel
- Spa and Resort
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Dairy products in Iceland: Buying milk in Iceland.
I have been told that tourists get confused when buying milk here in Iceland, so I am adding here photos of various types of milk and the English translation.
Nýmjólk = whole milk (blue cartons)
Léttmjólk = low-fat milk (yellow cartons)
Undanrenna = skim milk (pink cartons)
Súrmjólk = butter-milk (ymir)
AB-mjólk = milk with acidophyllus (big AB-letters printed on the carton)
Mysa = whey
Fjörmjólk = low-fat milk with A- and D-vitamins added to it.
Þykkmjólk = cultured milk
Rjómi = cream - Þeyttur rjómi = whipped cream - Sýrður rjómi - sour cream (creme fraiche)
Jógúrt = yoghurt
Smjör = butter
Ostur = cheese
And of course SKYR = our speciality which is made out of skim milk and is almost fat-free. Take a look at www.skyr.is (in English)
The official website for the company making dairy products in Iceland is www.ms.is (in Icelandic only) but for this kind of tip I add another website, the website of our Asthma- and allergy association as they have a list of all the dairy products translated into Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, German, English and French.
What to buy: In this case it would be milk :-)
Blue Lagoon: Cosmetics from Blue Lagoon
These products are generally on sale in Icelandic drugstores/pharmacists.
But buying online is also very convenient, friendly and fast. At first I emailed them to ask the best products for psoriasis and if they could send me some testers. Which they did. Your order usually arrives within 4 or 5 days.
What to buy: All products from Blue Lagoon are excellent. I regularly use the Mineral Intensive Cream, Silica Mud Mask, and shower gel. Once per year I order online, also for my friend who has psoriasis. He says it helps him a great deal and I must say there is a huge improvement in his condition.
What to pay: Blue Lagoon products are not cheap, but neither are top brand European brands such as Chanel, Dior or others. I must say there was a price difference between buying in Akureyri or in Reykjavik (up north it was cheaper!). If you buy online (excellent service), and you indicate you have psoriasis, you get an automatic 20% discount. Do remember that you will probably have to pay additional VAT once you receive the package. So that goes on top of the products, postage and package.Related to:
- Spa and Resort
flea market reykjavik: budget shopping heaven
Near the old town ,facing the harbour,behind the iceland tourist shop, is what looks like a corrugated warehouse.It has a few entrances,and leads you into a paradise of shopping!There is a frozen 'fish' area,fresh vegetables [the tiny icelandic potatoes] and chinese 'tack' and lots of 'stalls' with everyyhing you could ever need [clothes,shoes,toys,books,furniture etc] This is the flea market to spend a wet cold day in ,without spending a fortune!!!! You can even buy second hand and new knitted items and they are open to some negotiation!! I got a lovely monsoon top ,marked at 200 krona and offered her 150k what a bargain!!!!There is also a little cafe,if you need refreshment BUT IF YOU ARE AFTER A TREAT,if you are facing away from the harbour ,on the left of the building there is a GREAT hot dog stall ,that has been there for 25 years ,and sometimes has big cues, but is just great for a light snack!!![have everything on it!!!]
What to buy: Pot drinking cups with indentations for your fingers [buy in the airportshop cheaper!!]Scout round all the charity shops for woolly jumpers [fraction of the price ] and you never know what else you might find?!! Go to supermarkets [24/10 in old town ,corner shops]to buy sirius chocolate [like galaxy but even creamier ummmmmm!!!!] and skyr [lovely yoghurt in lots of flavours] Magic cards,stones ,talismans,necklaces etc .Lovely jewelry but you need lots of money!!!
What to pay: In the flea market/charity shops, cheap . In the main tourist areas , expensive [depending on your exchange rate!!!]Related to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Budget Travel
Airport Gift Shop/Hotel Gift Shop: Wool is King!
The "Rammagerdin" Gift Shop at the Loftleidir Hotel had a fine selection of woolens and other items from Iceland.
The small airport in Keflavik had another well-stocked shop and lots of woolen items. Also there was a post office for picking up some great "Island" stamps.
What to buy: Iceland is a great place for buying almost anything woolen. While we were in Iceland, the exchange rate for the dollar was very favorable. Some of the items I picked up were scarves and gloves, a jacket and tam, and a fabulous, 100% woolen throw blanket which we use to this day. The blanket which I chose was a simple but beautiful weave...forest green, and a little brown on a field of offwhite.
For those who collect stamps, Iceland ("Island) has some great ones!!
Veidihornid: Wonderful knives
Very beautiful handcrafted artsy and use-knives are made by the knifemaker Palli Kristjánsson in Mosfellsbær. There is a sales outlet at Hafnarstræti in Reykjavik called Veidihornid. These thing are costly, but excellent as gifts for a big celebration the the person who has just about anything else...
What to buy: I'd go for a small, well crafted knife for some sort of ceremonial use.
What to pay: Lots and lots; these are mostly luxury art items.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Luxury Travel
Duty free stores at the airport: Tax-free shopping on leaving Keflavik
Keflavik has a limited selection of shops intended for departing or transit passengers with money to burn. There is one set of shops just after immigration before you hit the single-pier departure gates section, and one set near the extreme end of the pier. For liquors, perfumes and such international standard airport duty-fee goodies visit the shops right after immigration. For Icelandic goods, from anything in the range of peculiar volcanic rock jewelry to cured, frozen, dried fish and meat and sweaters and cardigans, go to the far end of the pier.
What to buy: The selection of liqours is limited, but reflects Icelanders' taste for high quality red wines, if nothing much else notable, and the ubiqutous Icelandic Brennevin standard hard drink. There are a few Icelandic-made fruit and berry liquors to be found as well.
If you have money to spend, this is an ok place to burn your lats krona on woolens. I stayed true to my empty fridge meeting me upon my return and arrived home with dill marinated salmon, dried cod and frozen lambs meat. And a Kveldsöl and Brennivin, too. Icelandic feast back home anyone?
What to pay: Not sensationally cheap to say the least, but nothing different from standard Nordic prices anyway.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Food and Dining
- Business Travel
Laugavegur Street: Main shopping street
The main shopping street in Reykjavík is lined with sophisticated shops selling anything from funky Icelandic furs and fish-skin clothes to high-street fashion, eyewear and accessories. Iceland has a strong tradition of jewellery making and on Laugavegur alone you will find over 30 goldsmiths and craftsmen.
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