Iceland is Europe’s westernmost country, and occupies a strategic location in the North Atlantic, straddling the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, on the edge of the Arctic Circle. One of the coldest countries in the world, it is also one of the world’s most volcanically active hotspots. Iceland is known today for its mix of glaciers, bubbly hot springs, rugged fjords and fiery volcanoes.
Iceland can give you a truly unique diving experience you can’t get anywhere else: diving between two tectonic plates, astride the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the fault line where two of the Earth’s tectonic plates are drifting apart. It is not only unique, but it is also exclusive – only few people have dared to try the experience. To get to the diving site, you first have to drive deep into geo-thermal territory and tectonic plate activity. If you’re not yet thrilled enough, you can drive the next day to its glaciers in the south and race snowmobiles.
The country is the most sparsely populated in Europe, with just 283,000 people living in an area the size of England or the US state of Kentucky. Over half of the population lives down in its southwestern corner, around Reykjavik, the small but cosmopolitan capital. The other decent-sized population center is Akureyri, up on the north coast.
What Else to Do
All long-distance buses and domestic planes begin their trips from Reykjavik. You can visit Geysir, the original geyser from which all other gushing hot springs get their name, and the spectacular waterfalls at Gullfoss. The country’s only international airport at Keflavik is on the Reykjanes Peninsula, an area teeming with birdlife and whales.
Outside Reykjavik and the populated southwestern corner, the wilder side of Iceland meets your eye