Travelling in nature
Icelandic nature is diverse and full of contrasts. It is characterized by volcanos and glaciers, mighty rocks and mossy meadows, black sands and fragile vegetation. This is what makes it so fascinating to travel in Iceland but at the same time this is the reason for why its nature is quite delicate.
Responsible travellers are cautious while exploring the nature and leave all places visited as they were upon arrival. They keep to marked footpaths when requested, avoid stepping on fragile vegetation and do not remove any natural phenomenon from the nature.
Travellers are requested to camp within organized campsites which can be found in all parts of the country. In fact, it is illegal to spend the night in tent trailers, tent campers, caravans, camper vans or similar outside organised campsites or urban areas unless the landowner or rightsholder has given their permission. A traditional camping tent can be camped on uncultivated land for one night, provided there is no campsite in the immediate vicinity and the landowner has not restricted or prohibited access.
There are over 120 protected areas in Iceland. Everyone is welcome to visit them and in many of them a visitor will find helpful rangers, hiking trails and other facilities. Certain rules apply to those sites, regarding everything from activities and traffic within the area to professional filming and use of special equipment like drones within protected areas. For more information, contact the relevant agency responsible for the site in question: the Environment Agency, the Vatnajökull national park or the Þingvellir national park.
Off-road driving in Iceland is prohibited by law and is a subject of considerable fines. This is as Icelandic soil and vegetation is extremely vulnerable. Tire tracks can leave marks for decades.