Iceland

Iceland is one of my favorite destination in Europe. The island-nation features stunning scenery and natural wonders everywhere you go.

There's lots of cool stuff to see in Iceland: volcanoes and volcanic landscapes, spectacular waterfalls and lakes, geysers (the word itself comes from Iceland's Geysir town), black sand beaches, glaciers, geothermal baths, steam vents, fjords - Iceland has it all.

Renting a car is a must to enjoy everything the country has to offer (we used Atak). Start in the capital of Reykjavik and drive along Route 1 which circles the entire island (1,339 km).

Admire natural wonders and stop in scenic little towns along the way to relax and enjoy the excellent cuisine: lamb and fish are excellent, and meringue cakes are delicious (more adventurous types might also try the challenging Hakarl). The locally-produced licorice chocolate was delicious as well.

The climate isn't bad with an average of 12-14 C degrees in Reykjavik during Summer (when you'll also get to enjoy the midnight sun - long days and almost no darkness at night). Traffic is very light around the country, as the entire population is only 320,000, with roughly two-thirds located in the greater Reykjavik area.

Drive around the Western Fjords, don't miss Akureyri - the country's second largest city and the spectacular Myvatn volcanic area in the North, and take a glacier tour on Vatnajokull - Europe's largest icecap (also check out the Jokulsarlon Iceberg Lagoon). Getting attacked by aggressive arctic tern birds on a deserted beach was slightly surreal.

Many other attractions await closer to Reykjavik: the spectacular Thingvellir park, historically significant site of the world's oldest Parliament established in 930 (here you can also check out continental drift in action and take a walk along the rift between the North American and European Plates); the impressive Gulfoss waterfall; the Kerid volcano crater; and the small town of Geysir with its geysers are also close by.

Reykjavik is a nice and relaxing capital city. Don't miss Laugavegur, the main shopping street, or the gleaming Sun Voyager sculpture. Go to a choir concert at the Hallgrimskirkja church (Iceland is full of sci-fi looking churches) and discover the country's history at the Settlement Exhibition.

Finally, a visit to the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa is mandatory for one of the most relaxing experiences in Europe.

Additional info:
- country entry on Wikipedia
- country profile on Wikivoyage

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Iceland

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