Before we say anything else, we want you to have a wonderful time in Iceland. We want you to feel the invigorating wind and experience the awesome, raw nature. We want Iceland to move you, deeply.. This post should point you in the right direction of being a responsible tourist in Iceland.
As the number of visitors to iceland continues to grow, it is important that we draw people’s attention to some things that they may not have thought about, issues which are not issues back home, or common practices when travelling that quite simply don’t apply to Iceland.
The Leave No Trace Centre for Outdoor Ethics put forward Seven Principles which serve guide people to navigate their way in the outdoors in an environmentally friendly manner. However, because Iceland is a special and different place, we took the seven principles and modified them slightly (even adding an eigth) to make them better suited to Iceland.
1. Travel on Designated Paths
The outdoors are meant to be enjoyed. Any human footprint in the outdoors is likely to bring about some damage to fragile landscapes. Establishing a designated walking trail and hiking path strikes a balance between getting people outdoors and containing damage done by many feet.
Even hiking trails need maintenance though, which is why Icelandic Mountain Guides has an Environmental Policy which we abide by and established an Environmental Fund to maintain Iceland’s busiest hiking trail, the Laugavegur between Landmannalaugar and Thorsmork as well as allocating funds to other environmental projects around Iceland.