The Sights & Sounds of Iceland: A Muslim Traveler's Guide

By Halal Trip | 09, Oct, 2015
The Sights & Sounds of Iceland: A Muslim Traveler's Guide
Located to the west of Norway, higher up north of the United Kingdom, Iceland is home to some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world. Green mountains stand tall, magnificent waterfalls thunder down, and the Northern Lights leave you amazed. Glaciers reflect the northern temperatures, while active volcanoes offer a stark contrast. Although the stunning scenery is what draws in tourists from all over the world, it is not Iceland’s only attraction. .

Things to do and see in Iceland

If you are a fan of golf, this is the place to play the game with a twist. Midnight golf is one of the many things you can do that is unique to the country, with the midnight sun offering a surreal experience. Iceland offers a hot water bath that is a step above the usual with its natural surroundings and modern conveniences. Blue Lagoon might be one of the most crowded places, but it is a must- visit when in Iceland. . It is located between Keflavik International Airport and Reykjavik, but does not have any Halal restaurants or facilities in the vicinity. Be warned that showering before entering the pool might have to be done without a swimsuit for hygiene reasons, and without the comfort of a wall in between the shower heads - the only display of public nudity allowed. Húsavík hosts whales, one of the most popular tourist attractions. Drop by between June and August as it is the best time to see one. It might be the tourist season, but you will have almost a 100% chance of spotting a whale! .

Halal food in Iceland

The attitude towards Muslims in Iceland is similar to that in some parts of Europe thanks to the mainstream media - opposition due to Islamophobia. However, this does not deter tourists from taking in the sights and sounds, and spectacular scenery. Home to one of the smallest Muslim populations in the world, the 0.27% of Muslims has grown since 1627. Made up of diverse origins, their backgrounds range from the Arab world, Albania, Africa, and Iceland itself. Despite the minimal size of this minority, visitors will be able to find Halal food in Iceland. Being a small country with a lot of landscape dedicated to the great outdoors and natural habitat, Iceland offers little in terms of Halal food. Their food culture includes a lot of dairy and fish though, with their close proximity to the sea. Ali Baba, located in Reykjavik, is the only known Halal restaurant in Iceland; offering delicious Syrian and Italian cuisine. Although Halal food in Iceland is not easy to come by, Muslim tourists can dine on seafood and vegetarian options at local restaurants which also serve non-Halal items. Wind-dried fish is still a popular method of preservation, as well as smoking. Most Icelandic chefs place more importance in the quality of available ingredients than the traditional cooking methods, which is why the country offers a number of restaurants that specialize in seafood; which is thus great for those unable to find Halal food in Iceland. While lamb is a staple in most parts of the country, watch out for fresh produce like blueberries, rhubarb, wild mushroom, wild thyme, dried seaweed, as well as a wide range of dairy products. Skyr is popular only in Iceland and cannot be found anywhere else. Resembling yoghurt, it is actually a form of soft cheese that has high amounts of protein and virtually no fat. Be sure to try some by itself or with a meal! .

Mosques in Iceland

Muslim visitors will also only be able to find one mosque in Iceland, which is also located in Rekjavik. Because there are no other prayer facilities in Iceland, tourists will have to plan their excursions around prayer times, or if possible to find a secluded place, they could offer their prayers outdoors. .