• Iceland Travel Tips

    November 23, 2013 by Stuart | Category: Travel Etiquette by Country

    When visiting Iceland the major social mistakes made by visitors are usually at the swimming pools! There are a few things to keep in mind when visiting this country that has often been called “Niceland” by travellers.

    Do not enter a pool or sauna without showering first.

    Leave your shoes and socks outside the locker room. Undress completely at your locker and go to showers carrying only your towel and swimsuit. Soap and scrub away everything in the shower before you put on your swimsuit. Many of the shower rooms will have a sign of the human body with problem areas to show people which areas require particular attention!

    Always shake hands before and after meeting.

    If you are visiting someone’s home it is also customary to remove your shoes upon entry.

    Don’t touch the swans.

    Wild Icelandic swans aren’t scared to attack when it’s nesting season to protect their young. It is best to admire then from a distance.

    Discussing the weather is seen as bad form.

    Discussing the weather may be seen as mindless chat and may not be appreciated. Once engaged in a good conversation with Icelanders some travellers have referred to it as a truly stimulating experience.

    Don’t be shocked if someone burps or passes gas.

    Iceland did not have a distinguishable upper class for 700 years, so they aren’t as concerned as other countries regarding such bodily functions. Burping, passing wind or slurping food is considered a natural order of things so don’t make a big deal out of this.

    Don’t complain about their local delicacies.

    Locals may enjoy their local tastes of whale, ram testicles, fermented shark meat, slatur (blood pudding) or sheep’s heads – however this does not mean you will. Remain courteous and remember you are in their country, avoid making gagging noises or turning your nose up at such foods. Simply ask for something else on the menu.

    Enjoy the sights.

    Icelanders are not only obsessed with design, technology, and architecture but their landscape and natural attractions are to be admired.