Iceland, European Free Trade Association

Iceland, European Free Trade Association


When fire and ice collide, something special happens. Fantastical landscapes are carved and frozen over, while under the surface bubbles natural heat to serve as an antidote to the harsh climate above. Beauty meets brutality in the most epic way and, if you think we're exaggerating, then you've clearly never been to Iceland.

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Forged by volcanic flame, ash and the freezing temperatures of northernmost Europe, this country really is an otherworldly place. Vast glaciers and snow-capped mountains dominate the skyline, while majestic waterfalls, such as Gullfoss, Skógafoss and Hraunfossar, thunder and geysers surge from below. Even the beaches here are like nothing you've seen – Reynisfjara is an alluring stretch of black sand punctuated by towering basalt stacks. And then there are the Northern Lights, as if things weren't dreamlike enough already.

The beauty of the land comes directly from its harshness – there's a reason those vistas are undisturbed by skyscrapers and the grumble of traffic. Seeing the most spectacular sights requires a bit of an adventurous spirit, but the rewards make it worthwhile. And to soften the blow, Mother Nature offers geothermal water, which not only acts as a valuable sustainable power source, but also as a warm, soothing blanket for weary travellers. Thanks to countless hot springs and volcanic lagoons, rich in mineral content, the wellness culture in Iceland is unparalleled.

So how to tackle this hardy landscape? The best way is on Culture Trip's five-day itinerary that starts in the capital Reykjavik and journeys deep into the island, while also illuminating the fascinating culture born from it. You'll see all the sights, both known and unknown, snowmobile across glaciers, and sample local delicacies, before a well-earned dip in the Blue Lagoon.

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Discover what makes this city so unique