Pitcher and glass filled with water, lemon and lime slices and fresh mint.

The exquisite qualities of Icelandic water

If you are from the US, or certain European countries, you might have noticed Icelandic water for sale in the supermarket. In Iceland, you will also probably notice Icelandic water for sale in the supermarket. Of course, bottled water is great in places where water quality is poor but in Iceland you are better off saving your money.
A picture of a glass of water with limes
Icelandic water is among the cleanest and healthiest in the world.

Some of the healthiest water in the world

Icelandic bottled water is exactly the same as the water running through the taps/faucets in our bathrooms and kitchens. Icelanders drink straight from the tap, and often from springs and streams in nature – as they should – since Icelandic water is among the cleanest and healthiest in the world.

What’s more, authorities check Icelandic water sources throughout the year. The water is superior in taste because it never comes into contact with chlorine. In fact, many chemicals in foreign water sources are not in Icelandic water.

A picture of blue water and bubbles
In Iceland, 96% of the water we consume is sourced from groundwater.

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Groundwater is the key

Iceland is rich in groundwater due to porous bedrock and high precipitation. Groundwater moves slowly but surely through geologic formations of soil, sand, and rocks that clean it along the way. In Iceland, the bedrock is mostly made up of basalt, making the water less acidic than in other countries (pH 6,5–9,5) giving it the classification of “soft water” because of low calcium and magnesium levels.

A blue dark picture of Hekla volcano and the moon
The water flows best through volcanic zones where the bedrock is relatively new. Mount Hekla seen from Hótel Rangá.

Geothermal water sources abound in Iceland

The Icelandic water flows best through volcanic zones where the bedrock is relatively new. If it comes into contact with hot igneous rock formations it heats up, rises to the surface, and creates geothermal areas. These geothermal water sources enable us to heat our houses in an environmentally friendly manner. Of course, the geothermal origin also means that our warm water sometimes smells of sulfur. The smell is a bit unique but don’t worry – it is perfectly natural and healthy to bathe in.

In our country, 96% of consumable Icelandic water comes from groundwater. When you turn on the tap in an Icelandic home – or in your Hotel Rangá bathroom – what you see is what you get: clean H2O from the nature around you.

#AskGuðmundur Question: Is stream water drinkable all around Iceland?


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