What is the best way to get a taste of Iceland – without actually being in Iceland? May we turn your attention to these fabulous Grapevine Boxes?
The boxes are made by the newspaper Reykjavik Grapevine. The only newspaper published in English in Iceland. The newspaper, established in 2003, is published once a month between October and April and every two weeks between May and September.
They, of course, have a website as well that is worth checking out. The newspaper also regularly publishes their “Best of Reykjavik” and “Best of Iceland” booklets, which are highly regarded!
But back to those boxes! This is, in our opinion, one of the best ways to get a taste of Iceland – not that the boxes only have something to eat. They have music boxes, book boxes, food and snacks boxes, a history box, Viking box and more! So, you can get a taste of everything from history to food wherever you are in the world!
Here is Your Friend in Reykjavik’s top picks
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The Icelandic Box of Herbs
One of the things we believe makes Icelandic foods so tasty are our herbs. Iceland isn’t really a botanically exotic island. But what we have is really tasty. This Grapevine Box is perfect for that Icelandic Taste!
Included in the Icelandic Box of Herbs:
Icelandic Herbal Tea: Wild Handpicked Icelandic Herbs
Öræfi: Wild Arctic Herbs Tea
Intruders Blend – Flu tea: Wild handpicked Icelandic Herbs
Dorma Calming Herbs: Wild handpicked Icelandic herbs
Valva – Wise Woman tea Blend: Wild handpicked Icelandic Herbs
Birch Tea: Wild handpicked Icelandic herbs.
Taste of Iceland: a cookbook with recipes for everything from seafood to smoked lamb, wild game to traditional pastry and more.
Flowering Plants and Ferns of Iceland: One of the most popular guides to Icelandic flora. It has 465 different species of plants, with descriptions of each plant’s unique features and information about its habitat, distribution, flowering time and size.
All these together cost EUR125 – Get the Icelandic Box of Herbs.
The Geology of Iceland Box
If geology is more your thing, then this box is tailor-made for you! Excellent for both the seasoned geologist as well as the amateur. This box includes three books about the geology of Iceland, a fold-out tectonic map of Iceland and a newly formed volcanic rock from the recent Fagradalsfjall’s eruption. Get this Grapevine Box if you want to know more!
Included in the Geology of Iceland box:
Living Earth – Outline of the Geology of Iceland: A reader’s journey through the geological history of Iceland.
Exploring Iceland’s Geology: Rather than a completely academic account of Iceland’s Geology like Living Earth, this book takes more of a guided approach as it leads you through various destinations in Iceland and tells how these places came to be from a geologists perspective.
Icelandic Rocks and Minerals: This useful book will help identify the interesting and often very beautiful minerals and rocks that are typical of Icelandic geology.
Map of Iceland – Tectonic Map: A large fold-out tectonic map of Iceland gives a new view of the country’s geology.
A small specimen of fresh lava from Fagradalsfjall’s eruption
All these together cost EUR139 – Get the Geology of Iceland box.
The Kid Box
This box is aimed at kids over the age of 8. This Grapevine box is filled with goodies for the children; a board game, two books, sun light and candy!
Included in the Kids Box:
Rúnir: A fun board game for 2-4 players featuring the Icelandic Fuþark runes and magical staves of the Vikings (rules in English)
The Little Sun by artist Ólafur Elíasson: The Little Sun is charged by the sun during the day and will provide light for the night.
A Puffin Called Fido: A beautiful story about a girl who befriends a special puffin called Fido.
Here is Iceland: A beautifully illustrated book about Iceland. Just under 100 pages of interesting facts about Iceland.
Freyju mix: A bag full of candy!
Lindu Buff: Chocolate covered marshmallow deliciousness
Opal: Classic Icelandic candy.
All these together cost EUR110 – Get the Kid Box
The Mitten Knitting Box
Handcrafting lovers, listen up! This Grapevine box gives you everything you need to knit Icelandic mittens. The box includes yarn, a recipe book, candy and tea!
Included in the Mitten Knitting Box
Three colours of Icelandic yarn in the Icelandic sheep colours (brown, black and white)
Icelandic Mittens: 25 Traditional Patterns Made New
Öræfi: Wild Arctic Herbs Tea
Icelandic Milk Chocolate
All these together cost EUR65 – Get the Mitten Knitting Box
The Volcano Visitors Box
As you might know, we had a reasonably large eruption in 2021, which lasted for months. It has stopped for now, but it is still possible to check out the new lava field, and it makes for a great sightseeing tour off the beaten track! The Volcano Visitors Box is created especially for the Fagradalsfjall’s lava field in mind. It includes a beautiful photography book on the eruption, as well as a fold-out map, hot chocolate, a warm hat, lamb jerky for fuel, Icelandic cream biscuits and the Best of Reykjavik 2021 Guide.
Included in the Volcano Visitors Box:
New Earth: Published in December 2021, this beautiful book is filled with photographs by Belgian born Jeroen Van Nieuwenhove, who visited the eruption 44 times!
Reykjanes Fold-out map: You heard it here first; fold-out maps are making a comeback! It can be hard to plan out trips and understand vast areas on a small phone screen.
Hot Chocolate: Just add water!
Workman’s Cap from 66° North: You will need a hat.
Lamp Jerky: Rich in protein and energy and very light to bring with you on the hike
Kremkex: These vanilla cream biscuits are loved by all Icelanders. They’re exceptionally good with hot chocolate.
Best of Reykjavik 2021 Guide: Where to stay, eat, drink and dance!
All these together cost EUR99 – Get the Volcano Visitors Box.
The Halloween Box of Iceland
Halloween hasn’t been celebrated for a long time in Iceland (although there are sources on Viking celebrations around this time, similar to Samhain). But that doesn’t mean you can’t get into the Icelandic spooky spirit! Icelanders love candy and ghosts, the undead and any other kind of spooky creatures.
Included in the Halloween Box of Iceland:
The Haunting of Reykjavik: A book with famous cases of hauntings in Reykjavik.
25 Ghost stories: 25 folklore stories about ghosts in Iceland.
Museum of Hidden Beings: A picture book by Arngrímur Sigurðsson where he reaches into the vast fantasy world of Icelandic monsters and other hidden beings.
Fisher Incense: A box with handmade Icelandic incense, perfect to set the mood before reading.
Liquorice bombs: Icelandic liquorice candy covered in chocolate.
Freyju mix: A bag full of candy.
All these together for EUR99 – Get the Halloween Box of Iceland
Icelandic History Box
If the history of ghosts and hidden creatures of Iceland isn’t enough for you, then we recommend this Grapevine Box of Icelandic history. The Grapevine box includes books, candy and dried fish.
Included in the Icelandic History Box:
History of Iceland – An Ancient Culture’s Route to the Modern Age: A lively and absorbing description of the development of the Icelandic nation.
The Icelandic Heritage Series: Two books with photographs of how Icelanders looked and lived just over a century ago.
Nói Suðusúkkulaði: The original Icelandic chocolate bar, generations have grown up eating this from their parents’ baking pantries.
Harðfiskur: This is possibly the most Icelandic food you will be able to get. Dried fish was Iceland’s version of bread for centuries!
All these together for EUR85 – Get the Icelandic History Box
The New Aurora Box
Iceland is known for the Northern Lights. The Northern Lights can be seen for 9 months out of the year. The other three months gives you the Midnight Sun! But no matter when you visit our beautiful country, this Aurora box is fun! There are three photography books with info on the mysterious lights and how to photograph them, a chocolate bar, a winter hat, and hot chocolate.
Included in the New Aurora Box:
Aurora – Lights of the Northern Sky: This book has 120 photographs of the lights and facts and myths about the lights.
Capturing The Northern Lights – A Photo Guide: A the name suggests, how to photograph the lights. This is done through photographs, and each one explains settings and whatever you need to know for capturing the Aurora.
Heavenly Stuff: A small, beautiful book with great Aurora photographs.
Chocolate with Raisins and Nuts: It can get cold when looking for the Northern Lights. This chocolate will keep your energy levels up!
Hot Chocolate: Just add water! It is also a good idea to bring a hot beverage!
Workman’s Cap from 66° North: As we said, it can get cold. Don’t forget the hat!
All these together for EUR115 – Get the New Aurora Box
Icelandic Viking Box
Iceland was settled by Vikings, who then went abroad to do more Viking stuff. This box is a great way to get to know these warriors of a millennium ago – and how to become one! The Grapevine box includes books, dried fish, dulce and a magical stave!
Included in the Icelandic Viking Box:
The Icelandic Sagas – Quotes and Passages: This book includes about 1000 quotes and passages from the famous Icelandic Sagas.
The Vikings Guide to Good Business: Contrary to common belief, the Vikings weren’t all raiders and pillagers. Many were shrewd businessmen who sailed almost all over the world.
Harðfiskur: Dried fish, very rich in protein and stable in Iceland since the settlement! Enjoy with salty butter!
Dulse – Snack like a Viking: Dulse has provided a source of nourishment for Icelanders for centuries. Research shows that the Vikings also collected dulse!
Wall Sticker Rune (Ægishjálmur/Helm of Awe): This magical stave is one of the most recognizable, and its purpose is to protect you from the wrath of others.
All these together for EUR75 – Get the Icelandic Viking Box
Box of Winter Darkness
There’s no denying it: Icelandic winters are dark. In December, for example, there are only about 4 hours of daylight! But the best thing to do about the darkness is to just accept it and try to live with it. This Grapevine box is filled with darkness; dark chocolate, a black winter hat, a photography book filled with darkness, light and shadow, black salt, black soap, lozenges (black!), and just to brighten the day a bit, the Best of Reykjavik Winter 2021-2022.
Included in the Box of Winter Darkness:
Classic Fisherman’s Cap from 66° North in Black: There’s no need to be cold just because it’s dark outside!
Somewhere in Iceland: A beautiful photography book by Páll Stefánsson. The cover is shot at noon on the shortest day of the year.
Black Lava Salt: Fanstatic crispy crunch with a mild taste of coal. It is excellent with fried and barbecued food.
Stormur – Handmade Black Winter Soap: This Icelandic Luxury soap is chemical-free with a beautiful scent of wood, tobacco, charcoal and flowers.
Winter Collection – Dark Chocolate from Omnom: Three bars of the best chocolates Omnom produces.
Voxis – Sugarfree with Liquorice: Icelanders love their liquorice, and now they’ve added to lozenges! Great for a sore throat, with liquorice taste and sugar-free? Doesn’t get better than that.
Best of Reykjavik Winter 2021 – 2022: It can’t all be doom and gloom. Check out the guide to the best restaurants, bars, cafés, sights, galleries and many other things!
All these together for EUR99 – Get the Box of Winter Darkness
Best Sellers Box of 2021
If you can’t choose which box you would like, then the Best Sellers Box is just the one for you!
Included in the Best Sellers Box of 2021:
On Fire: The best-selling photo book. A detailed account of Iceland’s latest eruption. Both educational and beautifully photographed!
The Sagas and Shit: The best-selling textbook. A book that makes the Icelandic Sagas sound so much more fun!
Djúpur & Hraun: The best-selling candy.
Coffee+Milk Chocolate: The best-selling Omnom chocolate.
Stone Soap with Volcanic Sand: The best-selling cosmetic. The soap was top-rated during the eruption, but customers who love the scrubbing sensation bought it as well. Sustainably made by hand from all-natural ingredients.
Pylsusinnep: The best-selling condiment. The Icelandic hotdog mustard is a must-have when having an Icelandic hot dog. It’s been made the same way for over 60 years.
Skyr Snacks with Banana and Strawberry flavour: The best-selling snack. This crunchy and super healthy skyr snack has found its way to people’s hearts.
All these together for EUR99 – Get the Best Sellers Box of 2021