We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Forests in Iceland. Are there any?

Reykjavik
Level Contributor
156 posts
Save Topic
Forests in Iceland. Are there any?

Despite only 1,3 % of Icelands total area is covered with trees, Iceland has some forest, and couple of them are natural. When the vikings came first to Iceland in the year 874, all of Icelandic lowlands were covered with forest, though only birch, rowan and willow, the forest coverage was around 25-40%. Through the centuries serious deforestration, along with heavy grazing (the sheep eats the young plant that are trying to grow), and countless volcanic eruptions as well as wind erosion has all helped to decrease the forest or tree coverage to almost nothing in the end of 19th century. Since then, natural birch forests that survived have been let alone from grazing, and many millions of trees: spruces, pine, larch, birch, willow, ash, elm, maples, aspens etc. from many places around the world have been planted with great success. These small forests are scattered all around the island, but the biggest is Hallormsstaðaskógur, at the lake of Lögurinn (30 km northwest of Egilsstaðir) in Eastern part of Iceland, around 700 km from Reykjavik). The natural birch forest (the little who remained) was saved in 1905 when the forest was protected by law from the Icelandic parliament. Many foreign trees have been planted, though notably larch and pine, as well as spruce of several species. Larch is well suited to the climate there, which is known for its good mild summers (temp. 10-20 C°, on good day it can reach 25 C°) and Fljótdalshérað region (where this forest is), has continential climate character, with good summers but cold winters. This forest is the largest in Iceland, 15 km long, and around 2000 hectares. It has beautiful surroundings, it is sheltered by mountains and Föhn winds makes this place warm. If you are travelling around Iceland and get little bit annoyed about the lack of trees, you can always stop and camp in one of the countries forests or woodlands, like Hallormsstaðaskogur. To see a map of open forests for visitors: http://www.skogur.is/Pages/60

Here are some pictures from Hallormsstadaskógur.

images.google.is/imgres…

Dorchester, United...
Level Contributor
73 posts
43 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Forests in Iceland. Are there any?

Thanks Johann for the interesting information. When would you say the best time for autumn colour would be in the woodlands, say at Hallormsstadaskógur?

Reykjavik
Level Contributor
156 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Forests in Iceland. Are there any?

Hi Paulsphotos.

The best time to come for the autumn colours is in the middle of September (around 13th)

Regards,

Jóhann

Dorchester, United...
Level Contributor
73 posts
43 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Forests in Iceland. Are there any?

Thanks again Johann - I am in Iceland again between 2-12th September so hopefully there will be some colour in the Eastern woodlands.

Reykjavik
Level Contributor
156 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: Forests in Iceland. Are there any?

Hi again Paulsphotos.

You're welcome.

It would be curious to know if you have some webpage where I could see the photos. I, myself, is a nature lover.

When you go to Hallormsstadaskogur, there is Shell gas station in the middle of it. In the shop at the gas station is available to get maps of good hiking paths around the forest (total 40 kilometers of hiking paths). The forest is well accessible, the hiking paths are very well marked, and there are no dangerous animals (No snakes, bears etc). Quite many types of birds are there.

Dorchester, United...
Level Contributor
73 posts
43 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Forests in Iceland. Are there any?

Johann, I have a very small number of Iceland photos at http://paulsansome.com/iceland.htm but you can explore my website further if you want to see other locations - Thanks, Paul.

6. Re: Forests in Iceland. Are there any?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 12:18 am, December 30, 2009