NATURE AND CLIMATE IN ICELAND
THE RIGHT OF PUBLIC ACCESS
What are the rights and obligations of those who travel around Iceland? The Icelandic Nature Conservation Act regulates outdoor activities and standards of conduct. It stipulates that everyone has the right to travel around the country and enjoy its nature as long as the traveller is tidy and careful not to damage or otherwise spoil natural resources.
It is permissible to cross uncultivated private property without seeking any special permission, but landowners may limit routes with signs other marks. State-owned land such as conservation areas and forestry areas are open to everyone with few exceptions. These exceptions include – but are not limited to – access during breeding seasons or during sensitive growth periods.
An area of land may be designated a “conservation area” for a number of reasons. Regulations –for instance those concerning hunting and fishing or traffic – vary from area to area, making it necessary for travellers to acquaint themselves with local situations. Follow the conservation code and heed the requests of Rangers.
Some people look for peace and tranquility in the countryside while others seek adventure and excitement. As the flow of travellers increases so too does the likelihood that the paths of various groups will cross. Be considerate during your journey and be tolerant towards the needs of others in order to avoid needless problems.
WHAT TO WEAR
When travelling in Iceland you should bring along lightweight woollens, a sweater or cardigan, a rainproof (weatherproof) coat and sturdy walking shoes. Travellers who are camping or heading into the interior will need warm underwear and socks, rubber boots and a warm sleeping bag.
In the summer, light clothing is often all you need - but always be prepared for both cold and wet weather at all times of the year. The weather can be extremely changeable. Icelanders often say, "If you don´t like the weather, just wait 15 minutes." And always bring a bathing suit, whatever time of the year you visit.
A favourite pastime is year-round outdoor swimming in countless geothermally heated pools and lagoons, with a typical temperature of 25-28°C.
THE WEATHER IN ICELAND
Thanks to the Gulf Stream, Iceland isn´t as cold as it sounds. Temperatures are moderate year-round. Average July temperatures are around 11°C in Reykjavík - the north and east are often the warmest parts in the summer. Snow is not the orm and only settles intermittetly in Reykjavík but tends to stay longer in the north. Fine winter skiing areas are found on higher ground outside many towns, however. Average January temperatures in Reykjavík, at around zero, are actually higher than those in New York.
NORTHERN LIGHTS-AURORA BORIALIS
Looking up at the winter sky the Northern Lights will be blazing through the sky with it´s beautiful streaks of color. The best way to see the Northern Lights is to find a spot that is not lit up at a cool winters night, look up to the sky and enjoy.
Icelanders are proud of their nature. It boosts of natural characteristics such as heartwarming, rejuvenating, regenerating, welcoming and being full of life, at the same time it can be unforgiving and very hard. There is a sense of balance that the Icelanders live in harmony with and cherish. The nature has had a great part in shaping the Icelanders as they are today, they´re way of life and how they live it.
When Iceland was first settled in the 9th century it is said to have been covered with trees from the shores to the mountain tops. But due to unchecked sheep grazing and logging for fuel and building materials, the forests have all but disappeared. Now there are few small wooded areas, the biggest one being the forest at Hallormsstaður on the east coast, and Vaglaskógur in the north. A resolution was passed on July 27th 1974, allotting a large sum of money to stop the erosion of Iceland and for reclamation of what had been lost already.