Iceland is known for some of the most beautiful scenery on earth. Its stunning green vistas, hot water springs, and active volcanoes provide a landscape like few others on the planet. Iceland’s stunning environment needs protection, as the building of roads and infrastructure can cause damage to the natural flow of water and lava. However, the natural order of the land isn’t the only aspect of Iceland’s environment that needs protecting. Apparently, elves need to be protected too, which is why the MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4 took to unpaved roads to traverse the stunning environment.

Of course, I have to mention the pointy-eared elephant in the room. In Iceland, most people stopped believing in mythical beings in the 19th century. However, there are still small groups of people that believe elves and other magical beings live hidden in Iceland’s beautiful, untouched landscape. Partly due to that, some of Iceland’s environment is off-limits for the building of roads, so as to not upset the elves. There are legitimate legal protections for hidden elf habitats. Please don’t let the American bigfoot people hear about this. I’m looking at you, LeBlanc…

But I digress. In this new photo gallery, the MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4 heads through some of Iceland’s protected and genuinely breathtaking land, its four-cylinder engine humming quietly along, as to not disturb the wildlife. Admittedly, I can’t for the life of me figure out why MINI didn’t use the plug-in hybrid version for this promotional photoshoot, being that its hybrid powertrain can operate silently and is better for the environment. Seems like a missed opportunity.

Still, the Countryman ALL4 is a great vehicle for exploring such an environment. Its 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is punchy enough to help the not-so-mini MINI traverse rough terrain, thanks to its 189 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque. Its eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive help, too.

It’s also available with some very cool gear that can be optioned, to make traversing such terrain even easier. For instance, the roof-mounted tent — made by the Italian manufacturer Autohome — only adds 58 kg of weight but provides a very comfortable and convenient place to sleep. Simply unlock the box and gas struts pop the top up, revealing a comfy place to sleep, with enclosure from the outside, clever mesh pockets for your stuff, and even an LED light.

The MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4 is a very useful vehicle for camping, exploring, and even having a bit of fun once the dirt road turns to tarmac. Especially when you’re using it to explore a place as jaw-dropping as Iceland.