Iceland is one of the most dramatic natural spectacles on the planet. It is a land of dazzling white glaciers and black sands, blue hot springs, rugged lava fields, and green, green valleys. This North Atlantic island offers insight into the ferocious powers of nature, ranging from the still-warm lava from the 1973 Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands) and the 2000 Mt. Hekla volcanic eruptions to the chilling splendor of the Vatnajökull Glacier.
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Things you can't miss
Rent a swimsuit and slip into the warm saltwater of the Blue Lagoon near the Reykjavík airport. It is blue, vast and otherworldly, with steam rising.
Walk a windy path to gasp-inducing Gullfoss (Golden Falls). The tiered, icicled wonder near Reykjavík is on the Golden Circle driving route.
Rent a car in Reykjavik for a day trip or overnight. Watch small icebergs tumble and roll in pristine water, and visit the nearby black-sand beach.
Colin Palmer Photography/Alamy
Before or after bar-hopping in raucous Reykjavík, the must-eat is a meaty dog from no-frills Baejarins Beztu Pylsur stand. Bill Clinton noshed here.
Bike, kayak, snowmobile, ride an ATV or Iceland’s shaggy little horses. Arctic Adventures and other outfitters get your adrenaline pumping.
Robert Harding Picture Library Ltd/Alamy
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