Why You Must Visit Iceland Now

Blessed with a magical landscape that seems to work its way into many a Hollywood movie, Iceland has become a bucket list staple for more than just photographers. The tourism onslaught means that both the attractions and the access to them are changing.

Here are 3 reasons why every photographer should visit Iceland now:

1/ Tourism is up more than 30% every year.

And that is not off a small base. The tourist population of over one million dwarfs the three hundred thousand locals that call Iceland home. This aggressive growth is already started to take its toll on the natural landmarks that have made Iceland a destinations for film makers and holiday seekers alike.

On our recent trip in early 2015, just driving 100 kilometres out of Reykyavik was enough to escape 90% of the tourists and have many of the stunning vistas to ourselves.

Get there before every waterfall feels like Times Square on a Saturday!

Fjadrargljufur, Iceland - Brei (in the distance) over the Fjadrargljufur canyon.
The empty landscapes Iceland is famous for are getting harder to find.

2/ The Glaciers Are Disappearing.

Sadly, this is not an Iceland specific problem. Glacier National Park in the US has, over the last century, been stripped of nearly all its 150 glaciers. This phenomena is laid out in James Balog’s fascinating documentary: Chasing Ice. Soon you won’t have the opportunity to photograph these mighty natural phenomena in person.

Skaftafell, Iceland - Glacial Lake Under a Stormy Sky
We had to walk miles across a deserted landscape where the Skaftafell Glacier once was to get here.

3/ It’s Getting More Expensive Every Year

The Iceland economy rebounded quickly from the Global Financial Crisis, and continues to strengthen against most major currencies. Already a ludicrously expensive place, it’s only going to get worse.

Akureyri, Iceland - Two Icelandic horse running up the mountainside.
Two Icelandic horses running up the mountainside in Akureyri.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on Iceland and how it is changing under the pressure from tourism. Please share this article with your friends.

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