Landmannalaugar, a hot spring region near the volcano Hekla in the southern highlands, has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Iceland. The number of tourists visiting the site breaks records every week.
The region, which is only accessible in summer, is especially sought after by hikers, Morgunbladid reports.
The most frequently traveled hiking route in the country, Laugavegur, is located in Landmannalaugar. The four-day hike leads across Mount Bláhnjúkur, past natural hot springs, where hikers can bathe, and usually ends in Thórsmörk national park.
According to the ranger in Landmannalaugar, Sólrún Jónsdóttir, the environment has not suffered from increased traffic in the highlands, because most tourists comply with regulations and treat the environment with respect.
Tourists are asked to stay on marked routes and camping areas, as the region, currently labeled as “untouched nature” is sensitive to human interference. Jónsdóttir said people usually don’t make a fuss, but some are dissatisfied with the limited camping areas.
“This is a protected region so people can’t park their cars or put up their tents wherever they like. Many want to plant themselves wherever they please and preferably park their cars next to their tents, but that is just not possible in this region.”