Iceland Mag

-6 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag

Ask the Expert

Is it okay to bring back rocks from Iceland?

By Sara McMahon

  • Teigarhorn is a nature reserve in East Iceland, rich in natural zeolites. It is, however, illegal to remove the stones from the area. Photo/GVA

I always pick up rocks on my travels. Is it okay to bring back rocks from Iceland?

A: There are many beautiful stones and rock formations found in Iceland, but it’s best to leave them where they are.

Stalactites are the only type of protected rock formation in Iceland. Generally stalactites are found hanging from the roof of caves, hot springs, or man-made structures such as mines. Removing or destroying stalactite formations is prohibited by law in Iceland. 

All rocks found within nature reserves are also protected. Earlier this summer, a park ranger caught a family of three mining for natural zeolites, which are found in the Teigarhorn nature reserve in East Iceland. This is against the law and got the family into trouble. 

Before removing any stones or rock formations found on private land, such as farmland, one needs permission from the landowner. 

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