Explore Iceland, an island nation formed by volcanoes and settled by intrepid Vikings, and find endless enticements old and new, like an otherworldly landscape of dramatic fjords, titanic glaciers, thunderous waterfalls and steaming hot springs.
Striking views meet your gaze in every direction you look. Go deeper and you’ll encounter a creative, eccentric and friendly people influenced by the country’s natural surroundings and sparse population. From Iceland’s rich literary tradition to its lively music and arts scene, a palpable energy defines every experience here.
Bask in the soothing Blue Lagoon geothermal spa near Reykjavík (it’s pronounced RAYK-yu-vik), and then savor some of the city’s renowned local lamb in one of its hip restaurants. You might wind up toasting hospitable English-speaking locals with Brennivín, a caraway-flavored schnapps.
Deep-sea fishing near the village of Grundarfjörður is popular, as are treks on Iceland’s well-mannered and shaggy little horses, whose smooth gaits are perfect for navigating lava fields. Don’t leave without viewing the towering Gullfoss waterfall, the spurting geyser Strokkur and the mystical, multicolored northern lights, if the timing is right—the lights are most visible between September and mid-April.
Originally published in the Summer 2016 issue of AAA Traveler.
See what makes each region of Iceland drastically different.