Food & Drink Aug 14, 2014

Berry Picking Season in Iceland

Bilberries are ripe for picking on the Icelandic countryside.


Icelanders will soon head to the countryside to pick berries, an activity that’s called berjamór” in Icelandic. Small, flavorful bilberries, or bog berries are low-growing edible berries that are nearly black in color. Though often mistaken by tourists for blueberries, bilberries are smaller, darker and have a fuller taste.

If you’re planning a trip to Iceland sometime soon, you’re welcome to pick and eat berries as you please, as long as you’re on public property. Plus, you can feel free to eat as you pick, since they grow wild and are pesticide-free.

“You can get a hold of good bilberries north of Snæfellsnes and in Dalir,” said Þorvaldur Pálmason, a university professor and berry enthusiast. “But you’ll want to go up Northeast, that’s where the real bilberries are.” According to Iceland Review,  the best berry areas around Reykjavík are in the outdoor recreational area Heidmörk, around Hvalfjördur and Borgarfjördur, in Thingvellir national park, in the slopes of Mt. Esja, the moss-covered lava fields near Hellisheidi, half-way between Reykjavík and Selfoss, or in the summerhouse region Thrastarskógur near Selfoss.

Another small, bluish black berry found in Iceland is the Crowberry. Reykjavik Grapevine notes they are especially delicious when baked into muffins. In total, five types of berries grow wild in Iceland: bilberries, crowberries, blueberries, brambleberries and wild strawberries, though bilberries are the most popular.