Photo essay: The Icelandic Highlands
The Icelandic Highlands is a wildly diverse, almost entirely uninhabited region that covers the majority of the island nation's interior. Never settled, due to invariably rough terrain and unrelenting, harsh winter conditions, the highlands are the largest undisturbed natural area in all of Europe. Though predominated by expansive desert—where, despite regular precipitation, rain and snow drain so quickly through the region's black, basaltic, volcanic glass sands that vegetation can't take hold—the highlands' bleak expanses of rock and sand are frequently punctuated by Iceland's raw geology, creating some of the most dramatic landscapes found anywhere on earth.
Pocking Iceland's wild interior are enormous glaciers, volcanoes both dormant and active, geothermal hot springs, towering rhyolite peaks, limestone fields and, of course, ancient rivers that paint vibrant green brush strokes on the charcoal landscape and cut dramatic canyons through the volcanic desert ...
See the full photo essay in Hatch Magazine.
Explore the highlands
The Icelandic Highlands
Covering the majority of Iceland is an enormous plateau, rising roughly 500 meters above the seas that lap at the island nation's shores. Sparsely inhabited due to the harsh conditions that prevail there throughout most of the year, the plateau—known as the Icelandic Highlands—is wild and desolate. Though predominantly desert due to how quickly precipitation drains through the volcanic soils and sands, the highlands are veined by ancient rivers, which carve dramatic canyons and draw vibrant green corridors across the plateau's otherwise charcoal landscape.