Grímsey Island

Dramatic sea cliffs and birdlife dominate this tiny northern island, which straddles the Arctic Circle.  The tiny isle of Grímsey is an utterly pure and separate world from the rest of Iceland, 40km (24.5 miles) off the northern coast. As the country’s remotest (inhabited) offshore island, Grímsey grants the traveller the gift of isolation and…

Mývatn

A pseudocrater at Mývatn © orxy, Shutterstock Soothing natural baths and superb wildlife viewing can be found in the area around Lake Mývatn. The volcanic wonderland of Mývatn is a bright oasis at the edge of Iceland’s desert highlands. Black lava fields give way to young mountains, interesting crater circles, and a flow of inland…

Thórsmörk and Landmannalaugar

Nothing compares to the wild wonderland that is Landmannalaugar © Marten House, Shutterstock Trek through the colourful landscapes of this region along one Iceland’s most popular hiking trails.  ‘Thór’s woods’ is renowned for its stunning nature, a transcendent, hidden valley beneath a romantic breadth of volcanic mountains. Hundreds of glacial streams pour down the mountainsides…

Vatnajökull

Visitors can take guided walking tours on Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Europe © Ollie Taylor, Shutterstock Climb the vast glacier that covers the southeastern region of Iceland.  Vatnajökull is the largest glacier in Europe and the third largest in the world (after the ice caps in Antarctica and Greenland). The glacier’s entire surface area…

Akureyri

An original window from Coventry Cathedral in England decorates the far back wall of Akureyrarkirkja © Pavel Svoboda, Shutterstock Make a trip to the charming Akureyri for its excellent art scene and botanical garden. Akureyri may be the most civilised place in Iceland, insisting on normality despite its Arctic reputation. Nowhere else are gardens planted with such…

East Fjords

Visit the fishing villages, waterfalls and heaths of this stunning part of the east coast. Iceland’s east coast is a rugged fringe of long, V-shaped fjords in between rows of layered, pointy mountains. There are 14 fjords in total (not counting the smaller bays) and each one cut out by the fast-moving glaciers of the…

Hornstrandir

The purest part of Strandir is the ‘horn’ – the final peninsula that juts over the top of the West Fjords. It is a daunting place for its intense beauty and extreme nature. The mountains are pyramid-shaped, sharpened by constant ice and wind. The cliffs stand up like defiant walls against the sea, and the…

Látrabjarg

Black-legged kittiwakes are among the thousands of birds on the Látrabjarg bird cliffs © BMJ, Shutterstock It is impossible to exaggerate the sheer size of these cliffs – or the mind-boggling number of the summer avian population. The great cliffs of Látrabjarg are one of the great natural wonders of Iceland. The vertical wall of layered…

Reykjanes Peninsula

The rugged, rocky coast near the Reykjanes peninsula © TTstudio, Shutterstock Whether you’re on a quick stopover, exploring Iceland in depth, or if you’ve got a spare day at the end of your trip, Reykjanes is a surface worth scratching beneath. Reykjanes may be one of the most interesting, yet overlooked, regions in Iceland. There’s…

Reykjavík

Reykjavík is Iceland’s picturesque capital city © Ragnar Th. Sigurdsson, Visit Reykjavík Explore the museums, coffeehouses and music venues of Iceland’s quirky capital. A stunning backdrop pronounces Iceland’s picturesque capital: on one side of town stand rows of prim coloured rooftops outlined by a silvery, duck- and swan-filled lake. On the other, city streets slope down…