THE LAND OF FIRE & ICE
Having erupted across the news multiple times due to disruptive volcanic activity and the notorious banking collapse, Iceland is now hitting the headlines for all the right reasons as it emerges as one of the top adventure travel destinations of the year.
Recently lavished with no less than four prestigious travel awards, including National Geographic Traveller’s ‘Best of the World 2012’ and the Sunday Times Travel Magazine’s ‘Best Adventure Travel Destination’, we decided to take a closer look at this strange volcanic world to find out why Iceland is the place to be this summer…
After a long winter of perpetual darkness, Iceland awakes in a blaze of subarctic sunshine between mid-June and early September.
Nestled in the North Atlantic, Iceland is an ever-changing land where the forces of nature are hard at work; amber-red lava flows, roaring waterfalls and calving glaciers constantly shift to shape and sculpt its weird and wonderful landscape.
In the wake of the infamous eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in 2010, new hills have emerged and new trekking routes opened up. Wilderness is never more than a few steps away, and a two-week trekking adventure traversing Iceland’s rugged, untamed terrain will get you under the skin of this tempestuous isle.
In addition to the island’s jaw-dropping landscape, wildlife wonders abound in the wild waters that caress its craggy coast. Look out for crooning whales breaking the surface, frolicking dolphins dancing in the surf and inquisitive seals wallowing in the swells.
Iceland’s inland waters can be just as rewarding too; taking a tranquil dip in one of the bubbling thermal springs is an exhilarating experience not to be missed. Bathe beneath pseudo craters and smouldering lava flows as hot steam rises in wispy curls and the warmth soothes and relaxes – there is no better way to rejuvenate.
Much like the country itself, our Iceland holidays are diverse, adventurous and bold. Circumnavigate the whole island on the epic Grand Tour of Iceland, or explore at a more leisurely pace on our eight-day Icelandic Highlights trip. You can even discover this mysterious world on two wheels on our new Southern Iceland cycling holiday – a trip so good it has been voted one of Wanderlust’s Top 50 Trips for 2012!
There is a plethora of superlatives that can be used to describe this turbulent land of fire and ice, as well as a host of fancy geological terms for good measure, but they do it no justice. Iceland is a destination that simply must be experienced in real time, not in megapixels or Times New Roman.
So avoid the long-haul jet lag and over-crowded beaches this summer; escape mass-market appeal and treat yourself to an Icelandic cocktail of gushing geysers, glistening glaciers and desolate volcanic deserts. Iceland is the place to be this summer.