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Scarred by lava flows and ringed by the icy waters of the north Atlantic, Iceland is a living geology lesson. Glaciers break off into icebergs along the shoreline and volcanoes periodically blast up fountains of lava beneath the ice. Even the water in Iceland's taps is heated by geothermal power. In fact, the name Iceland is misleading - the summer weather is fine for camping and even in winter, people swim outdoors in geothermally-heated pools. Once the home of Viking marauders, Iceland is best known today for quirky weekend breaks. The capital, Reykjavik, is a legendary venue for all night pub crawls, particularly in summer under the ...

Scarred by lava flows and ringed by the icy waters of the north Atlantic, Iceland is a living geology lesson. Glaciers break off into icebergs along the shoreline and volcanoes periodically blast up fountains of lava beneath the ice. Even the water in Iceland's taps is heated by geothermal power. In fact, the name Iceland is misleading - the summer weather is fine for camping and even in winter, people swim outdoors in geothermally-heated pools. Once the home of Viking marauders, Iceland is best known today for quirky weekend breaks. The capital, Reykjavik, is a legendary venue for all night pub crawls, particularly in summer under the midnight sun. Aside from Reykjavik, highlights include pristine national parks at Skaftafell and Jokulsargljufur, wilderness trekking at Landmannalaugar, the Strokkur geyser and the mineral pools of the Blue Lagoon. Outdoor activities abound - take your pick from trekking, skiing, snowmobile rides, rafting, sea-kayaking, bird-spotting and whale-watching.

Joe Bindloss
About the Expert

Joe Bindloss has written more than 30 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, Time Out and other publishers, with a focus on Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and island nations.

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Joe Bindloss for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Northern Europe, island between the Greenland Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, northwest of the UK
  • Language: Icelandic, English, Nordic languages, German widely spoken
  • Currency: Icelandic krona (ISK)
  • Research: Iceland | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall