Iceland, one of my favorite countries in Europe, is a breathtaking destination known for its beautiful landscapes, scenic little towns, a pretty and modern capital city and a wide range of natural wonders. I visited three times (my first visit was a road trip around the entire country on Route 1).

The Southern part of the country features lots of sites and attractions including the scenic town of Vik, Solheimajokull and Skatafelljokull glaciers, stunning Jokulsarlon iceberg lagoon and its Diamond Beach, Reynisfjara black sand beach with its interesting rock formations and basalt columns, scenic Dyrholaey nature reserve featuring cute little puffins, Fjadrargljufur Canyon and Svartifoss waterfall. I took a glacier tour on Vatnajokull - Europe's largest icecap and visited an amazing ice cave located on the Katla glacier. The locally-brewed Smidjan beer in Vik was excellent (especially the 11% ABV one).

Driving around the scenic Western Fjords was delightful (though getting attacked by aggressive arctic tern birds on a deserted beach was slightly surreal). In the North I enjoyed Akureyri - the country's second largest city and the Myvatn volcanic area.

Many attractions await closer to Reykjavik as well: the spectacular Thingvellir park, historically significant site of the world's oldest Parliament established in 930 (also check out continental drift in action and take a walk along the rift between the North American and European tectonic plates); the impressive Gulfoss waterfall; the Kerid volcano crater; the small town of Geysir with its geysers (the word itself comes from the name of this town); and the Krysuvik geothermal area. I also hiked to see the active Fagradalsfjall volcano (rather calm when I went, but cool nevertheless) and visited the Raufarhólshellir lava tunnels.

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, visits to the Blue Lagoon and Sky Lagoon geothermal spas are some of the most relaxing experiences in the country after days of hiking.

Climate is cool with an average of 12-14 degrees Celsius in Reykjavik in Summer (when you'll also get to enjoy the midnight sun with long days and just a few hours of almost darkness at night). Traffic is light around the country as the entire population is only 350,000 with roughly two-thirds located in the greater Reykjavik area. Local cuisine includes excellent lamb and fish dishes (more adventurous types might also try the challenging Hakarl). The wide range of locally-produced licorice chocolates were delicious as well.

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

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