Iceland nature is of high geographic interest. The island is volcanic and still in formation with the oldest mountains only 17 million old, which is very young on the geographic scale. In contrast, Greenland and Norway are thousands of millions years old and started to drift apart roughly 250 million years ago, with Iceland forming between them on the active Atlantic rift that separates the western continents from the eastern ones. Iceland might be described as a seafloor bursting to surface and growing in height with semi-continuous outbursts of flowing lava, forming layer after layer of fresh basaltic rock.

Iceland soon became one of the favourite locations for migrating birds over the Atlantic, nesting without land predators since the end of the last ice age, some 10 thousand years ago. The lowland coastal regions are now mostly grassy and agricultural but the highlands remain a monument of land formation. Some of the most striking examples of the fascinating geography can be found in Northeast Iceland, which covers 22% of the total land area of Iceland, with an exposed rift-zone of about 150 km in length, from Vatnajökull (Vatnajokull) glacier to the Iceland Sea.

Land can be owned by Icelanders and EEA registered parties alike, but much of the highland is already owned by the municipalities and government. Land can be traversed freely but please ask the owner for permission for any land use, such as camping or picking berries – and never do anything to harm nature or resources. A lot of activity is actually on-going to heal and nurture our barren nature.