Þjórsárver is an extensive, mostly vegetated, part of the central highlands of Iceland, stretching for about 140 km2, mostly on the west side of the River Þjórsá south of Hofsjökull. The area is situated about 600 metres above sea level. The majority of Þjórsárver and the surrounding area (375 km2 in all) was protected in 1981 and the area was designated a Ramsar Site in 1990, mainly for the sake of its bird life. Þjórsárver is one of the largest, most isolated oases in the Icelandic highlands. Its outstanding character and very existence are first and foremost a consequence of the interaction of glaciers, water, soil, climate, vegetation and wildlife. Þjórsárver is part of an impressive landscape that remains largely unspoilt.