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The space we call the highland of Iceland used to be a mecca for solitude but is turning rapidly into just another place overrun by tourists. PIC Stjiin

The best things in life are free they say and one thing that falls into this category is most certainly travelling the wilderness of the Icelandic highland. That used to be as empty of people as the moon after Armstrong left but that has changed dramatically.

It is becoming the reality, with massive influx of foreign tourists, that one cannot nowadays wander around the wilderness for long without running into somebody somewhere. Indeed, longtime local lovers of the highland complain bitterly about too many people and with more people come more problems. Like decades old hiking trails turning to disgusting muddy fields from groups after groups of people.[blockquote type=”blockquote_line” align=”right”]It is really only possible to visit in high summer months[/blockquote]

But with record numbers of visitors in past years and record number of tour operators all eager for a quick buck this trend will continue no matter what. As always, nature loses out.

Team Total Iceland is pretty torn. Should we advise you to come now before it all goes finally to hell and there is still a spot or two untouched or should we implore you not to go hiking in the highland if and when you come here?

Problem is that unlike the rest of Iceland the highland area is more or less closed to visitors all winter. It is really only possible to visit in high summer months and with no limits on the number of tourists naturally all want in at the same time.

In any case, you have been warned; unless you like mall-like crowds the highland charm is wearing pretty thin in Iceland.

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