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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 26 June, 2023
Expert travel writer: Oliver Berry

This traditional Viking midwinter feast – named after the Norse god of thunder, Thor, for whom it was set up to praise – involves consuming a lot of unusual, traditional food.

Many locals feast at home, but for visitors, restaurants run special menus featuring tempting gourmet treats like sheep’s head, rotten shark, whale blubber or seal flipper, enough to test even the most adventurous foodie.

Iceland’s traditional schnapps, brennivin, known affectionately as the ‘Black Death’, is a traditional beverage you’ll also be coming across. It tastes better than it sounds, and is great for washing some of the more ‘interesting’ delicacies.

Many Icelanders dress up in customary style in a lopapeysa – a traditional, colourful hand-knitted jumper.

Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 13+
Frequency: annually
When: Mid-Jan to mid-Feb
Duration: 4 weeks

When to do it

The festival takes place over 4 weeks from mid-January to mid-February each year.

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