FACTS about the evolution of TOURISM in Iceland
Iceland in summer has become a victim of its own success. In the inhabited lowlands at its periphery “some of the must-see location” have become real mass tourism attraction. The famous Golden Circle (Thingvellir, Geyser, Gullfoss) is aptly named. On the South Coast in summer and even in other seasons you may have to drive far East from the capital to escape the crowd and the big XL coaches and start to feel again this space and freedom you are looking for.
Following the severe economic crisis that hit the country 10 years ago, Icelanders, with the optimism that characterizes them, began to fully capitalize on tourism and services that have recently rose all around the country, for better or for worse. Do not be fooled by online advertising, its simplistic slogans and beautiful images, not always really honest. Think twice before booking a trip.
FORTUNATELY the vast interior of the country and some distant capes and peninsulas remain totally empty of people, The country is actually much bigger than we think in the first glance, and in fact is protected by its size.
UNFORTUNATELY some particular place like Landmannalaugar sacrificed to the mass tourism and the gregarious spirit of people channeled by the advertising and internet. On the magnificent hiking trail of Laugavegur which runs from Landmannalaugar to Thorsmörk, the countless backpackers and Hikers of Charity treks remind of an ant procession running from saturated refuges to crowded refuges.
BUT FORTUNATELY AGAIN We move away from this trail, and thousands of untouched miles of Wilderness open up to the real adventure and to the few trekking that Fjallabak has lead there for decades with courage and humility
BEFORE HEADING NORTH Before leaving home for a trip in the Great North, you should always ask yourself: Into what kind of adventure am I heading? With how many people? Where will I sleep? And so on. Do you love the simple, rough pleasure of camping, or do you prefer the ‘relative’ comfort of a mountain hut most nights?
It is evidently necessary to ask oneself if a certain trip corresponds to what one is looking for, with ones style, with ones desires and of course if it corresponds with ones physical condition.
AN ADVENTURE TRIP If a journey is to be without discomfort and an expedition is to be with limited risk it does not mean it is necessarily without any surprises. Otherwise it would not be an adventure trip. Nature is an uncertain and uncontrollable feature that has something to say and often it says it very clearly.
Travelling in a group one should always be prepared for the unexpected: the group itself! And you are a part of the group. It is like being a member of a boat crew or a member of an expedition. In a way being a small group of human beings out in Nature, however well-equipped and civilized as we are, we recreate a mind of a tribe, perhaps an ephemeral (fleeting) tribe but a tribe none the less. Such a human experience has as much value in the trip as the land we cross and the elements we face. That is what we call an adventure.
THE SIZE OF THE GROUP In a world becoming more crowded by the minute, it is becoming more difficult to find “virgin” nature and isolated territories that have not been invaded by “tourism”.
A smaller group enables you to get in tune with the land, with the natives and with the other members of the group to discover those special places to have a real connection with Nature. Travelling with fewer individuals makes possible for the guide to pay more sincere attention to each member of the group and to develop that subtle alchemy which is necessary for a beautiful success of the adventure.
Fjallabak’s groups are not colossal in size and we do not guide “tourists”. Above all, we are guiding travellers and friends. Our trips are designed for small groups. This is a principal we stick to except in special cases, such as a bespoke trip for a large trekking club. In our program the maximum number of participants is always clearly indicated for each trip. This number of participants does not apply when children, accompanied by their parents, are involved.
CHOICES, To find out about the types of trips we offer, click on the Our trips heading.