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Wild holidays in Iceland

If you fancy a walk on the wild side, Iceland is creating the largest natural park in Europe.

The new national park will be the largest protected wilderness in Europe and takes up 13 per cent of Iceland’s total landmass. Included in its boundaries are the existing national parks of Skaftafell and Jökulsárgljúfur, plus the most powerful waterfall in Europe, Dettifoss, and Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull.

The area has great geographical diversity, including volcanoes, lava flows, canyons, sand flats, rivers, lakes and lush vegetation.

The government in Iceland is investing around £8 million in a new network of visitor centres and park rangers work stations. It hopes that by 2012 the new national park could increase the number of visitors to Iceland by up to 7 per cent, adding as many as 42,000 new tourists.

“Visitors are a vital part of Iceland’s rural economy and contribute positively to the protection and sustainability of our magnificent landscape,” says Director General of the Icelandic Tourist Board, Ólöf Ýrr Atladóttir.

“Personally, I see a myriad of possibilities for all sorts of activities opening up such as action tours, eco-recreation, study visits and learning experiences as well as the chance to experience the nurturing silence of Iceland’s highlands,” Atladóttir adds.

Travellers from the UK will be able to take part in conservation holidays in the new national park organised by Iceland Conservation Holidays, which can be booked through and

Written by: Nick Purdom