The capital of Reykjavik portrays itself as clean and unspoilt but that is far from the truth. Smog is a problem and often goes above alarming limits. PIC RtotheJ

Of course this is exactly what big tourism in Iceland wants you to think. For it makes little sense enticing foreign visitors with ads about dirtiness and pollution.

But the sad, very sad, truth is that the capital of Iceland, Reykjavik city, is very polluted and we have a number of days each year when the pollution meter goes well above healthy limits. Smog is amazingly regular here in spite of almost constant wind.

Even pollution statistics here are not very reliable since the city of Reykjavik only measures pollutants in two places in the whole city. Add to this the fact that measurements are taken not at ground level but four metersĀ above the streets. Thus, measurements are sure to be higher closer to the streets and on the sidewalks where you will be walking. Worse yet, the city only measures PM10 type pollutants which does not measure the very smallest dirt particles that pollute.

Pollution is naturally not limited to Reykjavik city and surroundings but an almost total lack of equipment elsewhere means we have no way of knowing how bad the situation is elsewhere.

But at the very least, take no account of fancy ads promising clean air and unspoiled areas. These simply do not exist in Iceland.

Reykjavik city publishes its pollution findings daily on their website here.