Frequent flyers will be used to arriving in a city late at night, ready to sample some of the native delicacies, only to find that every local store is already closed. The Vikings, however, do things a little differently. At Keflavik International Airport travellers are given the opportunity to purchase local products, brands and designer lines within the arrivals lounge itself. Before their luggage has even arrived on the carousal passengers can begin their holiday shopping, enjoying huge discounts on wine, spirits and tobacco products only minutes after they have touched down on Icelandic soil.
Doing it differently
Duty Free Iceland’s arrival store was a huge success with passengers from the moment that it opened in 1970. Since then it has been enlarged as part of the airport’s expansion in 2008, allowing it to accommodate a much wider range of both Icelandic and international brands, and saw the introduction of branded gondolas and a much more visible wine and spirits display in 2013. Today the duty free shop has the largest range of wines, spirits and beers in the country, including a supply of the internationally celebrated Icelandic beer Egils Gull. Cosmetics, confectionary, tobacco products and toys are also available, all at discounted prices, giving travellers the opportunity to pick up any items that they may wish to use throughout the duration of their stay.
Travellers are given the opportunity to purchase local products, brands and designer lines… before their luggage has even arrived on the carousel
Iceland’s shop window
The country that was once known as Europe’s best kept secret has thrown open its doors to visitors in recent years, revealing an innovative culture and stunning, pollution-free landscapes to the rest of the world. Iceland’s musicians, artists and designers have won worldwide acclaim for their quality and style, and annual festivals on the island, such as Airwaves and Design March, draw sizeable crowds year upon year. This exponential growth in tourism has fuelled a demand for Icelandic products all over the world – a demand that Duty Free Iceland is more than happy to accommodate.
Hot shots and sweet teeth
Duty Free Iceland’s selection of Reyka and Katla vodka shots is always a popular attraction to arriving travellers. Customers can also find Brennivín to drink, perfect alongside the local delicacy of fermented shark meat, as well as a variety of beers and flavoured liqueurs that can’t be purchased anywhere else in the world.
In addition to the shop’s vast selection of stuffed animals and traditional toys, Duty Free Iceland also has a confectionary selection to satisfy even the sweetest of teeth. One of the most prominent displays, and one of the most popular, belongs to Haflidi Ragnarsson; Iceland’s master chocolatier. Having recently been listed as one of the 100 best chocolatiers in the world and named as an ambassador of Belgian chocolate, Haflidi Ragnarsson is known for using only the purest cocoa to make his ‘HR’ chocolate and truffles. HR has also created a chocolate phone that is greatly enjoyed by both children and adults – something that goes down perfectly after a long flight alongside chocolate puffin eggs and northern lights candy.
Haflidi Ragnarsson’s chocolate contemporaries Omnom have followed in the footsteps of their Viking predecessors, sourcing their organic cacao beans from the fields of the Caribbean, South America, Asia and Africa. Hand sorted and roasted, these beans are slowly ground to bring out their unique flavour, texture and aroma. Omnom then only add raw cane sugar and, for their milk chocolate, Icelandic milk, resulting in chocolate with a truly unique and wholly regional flavour.
A land of health and herbs
Iceland’s sparse population in the countryside means that, other than the occasional hiker, vegetation can grow without being disturbed or destroyed by human activity. Herbs of many varieties grow in abundance across the Icelandic landscape. A number of companies in different parts of the country have taken advantage of this plentiful supply by creating herbal oils and cosmetics, many of which can be found at Duty Free Iceland sitting alongside a number of well-known international brands. These products are known to offer significant herbal benefits straight from the Icelandic mountains and pristine valleys. Brands that can be found in the airport’s stores include Sóley Organic, Blue Lagoon, Dr Bragi, Zopure, Una and Purity Herbs.
Purity Herbs was founded in 1994 in the northern Icelandic town of Akureyri. After witnessing the results of their first homemade lotion, the company went on to create over 50 natural skin care products for all ages and skin types. This first product, however, is still a bestseller across the country because of its surprising effectiveness: Purity Herbs’ ‘Wonder Cream’ can be purchased at Duty Free Iceland, ensuring that travellers receive a daily spa treatment throughout their stay and long afterwards.
Recent Icelandic scientific breakthroughs, built on 10 years of biotechnological research, have resulted in the creation of the company Bioeffect. Now a worldwide brand, the company’s most popular products can be picked up at the start of any traveller’s holiday upon arrival at Keflavik Airport. The technology behind the skin care range involves using the EGF cellular activator, a protein copied from human cells, which stimulates the skin and encourages it to speed up its renewal process. This has been hailed as a revolutionary creation of the world’s leading biochemistry and dermatology specialists.
Duty Free Iceland at Keflavik Airport is tax-free and open day and night, available to all arriving and departing passengers regardless of their destination. For passengers who are on their way out of the country, the wide range of products will be sure to provide inspiration for a selection of unique and memorable gifts for both family and friends. Travellers who have arrived on Iceland’s soil only minutes before will be welcomed, and intrigued, by the sight of all the local products that they can purchase and take along with them for the remainder of their trip. And, of course, Duty Free Iceland provides connecting travellers with the perfect opportunity to wile away the time before catching their next flight.
What’s more, passengers now have the chance to browse the Duty Free Iceland website and place an order for what items most appeal to them before they have even passed through Keflavik Airport’s doors. By placing the order only a day in advance, customers can arrive at the airport to find their items already waiting for them.
Whether starting a trip at Keflavik Airport or finishing one there, Duty Free Iceland is certain to give passengers a lasting impression of the Land of Fire and Ice.