Gifts from the Viking
Take home a part of Iceland with you for posterity
The etymology of ‘souvenir’ lies in the similar French word meaning ‘to remember’, ‘to recall’. For almost sixty years, travellers have been buying their gifts and souvenirs from ‘The Viking’.

The Tailor from the North
Sigurður Guðmundsson opened the first store in the ’50s in the northern town of Akureyri. In the beginning, the shop sold souvenirs in the summer and mainly wooden toys in the winter. Sigurður was a tailor and that’s where the tradition of selling local products began, a tradition continuing to the present day. Tinna Berglind Guðmundsdóttir, Sigurður’s granddaughter and shop manager has helped in the store since she was 7 years old.

Symbols of Iceland
Ice, Vikings and volcanoes. Big symbols of Iceland. “We have one of the biggest collections of gifts and souvenirs in Iceland”, says Sigurður Guðmundsson, the shop owner. The six stores around the country offer great gift options to fit everyone’s budget: photo albums or books about Vikings and their sagas; traditional and warm lopapeysa (wool sweaters); Yule lads or troll statues; cool T-shirt designs by ‘The Viking’. For something more fancy, there is the silver and lava stone jewellery or a fine set of wine glasses of Icelandic design. Children would love to play with a puffin stuffed toy. All the products are provided by local producers.

Feel the warmth of Iceland
The traditional knitted sweaters started to become popular in the 1950’s. The yarn used, lopi, is made from 100% natural Icelandic sheep wool, which has the property of keeping you warm, letting your skin breath and being waterproof at the same time. It is believed that the origin of ‘peysa’ comes from the French word ‘paysan’ (peasant). As French sailors arrived in Iceland they pointed at the farmers and said, “Paysan!” and the Icelanders thought they were referring to their wool sweaters.
‘The Viking’ collaborates with local producers and has a big collection of sweaters in different sizes and colours along with the very popular hats and fluffy woollen mittens.

Six locations around the country
Five years ago, the family decided to expand their stores. Now, there are three in Reykjavík at Hafnarstæti 3 and on the city’s main shopping street, Laugavegur 1. A new shop opened at Laugavegur 4 in June, 2012. In their home town, of Akureyri, you can find them again on Hafnarstræti and down by the old harbour and in the West Fjörds, in the town of Ísafjörður.
The family business is making a full circle going back to Akureyri. In the beginning of June 2012, Cafe Björk opened in the one of the most beautiful locations in town, the Botanical Garden. With a terrace and surrounded by flowers, this is a must if you are in Akureyri.

Forget about taxes

Don’t forget to have your taxes refunded at the airport or in the last port where your ship stops in Iceland. You’ll get 15% back. And here’s another tip: you can get discounts with ‘The Viking’ coupons from the Visitor’s Guide handbook!

The Viking
Laugarvegur 1 • 101 Reykjavik
+354 551 1250

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