Iceland: A land of ice and fire

Being a land of ice and fire doesn’t necessarily mean being completely covered in ice and snow all year round, with the occasional volcanic outburst - it just means that there are several glaciers and volcanoes in the country (that do indeed occasionally have an outburst!)

Iceland is also situated on top of a ‘hot spot’, where two tectonical plates meet, leading to much geothermal activity that includes hot springs and geysers. And contrary to the name, Iceland isn’t freezing all year round - and in fact it gets much colder in many other European countries and North America during wintertime! The Icelandic Met Office can inform you of the current temperature.

Iceland travel

This melting pot of natural forces means that the country holds some truly breathtaking nature. And since the country is relatively small (you can rent a car and drive around the island in less than 24 hours straight) you can find all of these natural phenomena right next to each other. Glaciers next to ash black sandy beaches, powerful waterfalls, warm hot springs and lush vegetation. For that reason, self drive tours are very popular – and probably your best bet to get the most out of your trip to Iceland. Just minutes out of Reykjavík you’ll be surrounded by nature and feel like you’re the only one in the area. You don’t even need to leave Reykjavík to find a waterfall (there’s one within the city limits) but if you venture a bit further out you’ll reach Gullfoss waterfall, the country’s most famous one. Gullfoss (Golden waterfall) is a part of the Golden Circle, which also includes Geysir geothermal area and Þingvellir, a national park where you can see the two tectonic plates on land. Indeed the most popular tour in the country is the Golden Circle tour.

Iceland travel

If you on the other hand are seeking out what puts the ICE in Iceland, then maybe you should opt for a glacier hiking tour or an ice cave tour on Europe’s biggest glacier. Or you can even go inside a volcano!