Iceland Mag

4 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag


Plans to establish the central highlands as a national park one step closer to reality

  • Sprengisandur, central highlands Sprengisandur is part of Iceland's interior. Photo/Vilhelm Gunnarsson

Local nature conservation organisations, the Icelandic Travel Industry Association (SAF), and a number of hiking and travel groups have announced their desire to work together in order to turn Iceland’s interior into a national park. The aim is to preserve the area’s delicate flora and fauna for the enjoyment of the general public.

Hopes are that by establishing the central highlands as a national park the area will be left unspoilt for future generations. All expected development (such as hiking huts, sanitary facilities and transportation) must meet strict regulations. The park would include an area 40 thousand square kilometres (15,444 sq miles) in size. 40% of that area is Vatnajökull National Park in Southeast Iceland.  

“Protecting the central highlands is crucial to nature conservation in Iceland. This is a great leap in the right direction,” said Árni Finnsson, chairman of the Icelandic Nature Conservation Organisation.

As Iceland Magazine reported in March 2015, the majority of Icelanders support the idea. A survey conducted by Gallup for the Icelandic Environment Association last year, revealed that 61.4% of Icelanders back the idea. 

Miðhálendið, þjóðgarður, hagsmunaaðilar

Massive in size The national park would cover an area 40 thousand square kilometres (15,444 sq miles) in size.


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