Iceland is home to 
Reykjavík, the ultimate city of extremes. The world’s northern-most capital city isn’t really a city at all: it’s a collection of Lego-coloured houses thrown together beside a whale-filled bay under 
the watchful gaze of the ever-changing Mount Esja. Walk around 
it in half a day and watch children feeding geese at the town 
pond, discover Viking longhouses under the streets and shop 
in achingly hip minimalist shops. 
Drive just half an hour outside the city and watch the Northern 
Lights play across the sky in winter. 

Further afield, you can walk the 
fault line in Þingvellir National Park, underneath which the 
American and Eurasian tectonic plates are pulling apart, and 
dive into a freshwater lake right above the rift. Take a tour of 
an empty volcano – the only one in the world – or walk up 
to the world’s most unpronounceable one, which stopped 
world air traffic in its tracks in 2010. Skidoo on a glacier, ride 
an Icelandic pony on the lava fields, meet a stuffed polar bear 
and watch icebergs dance on an inland lake. 
Retreat to an iconic isolated hotel under the shadow of ancient 
volcanoes where seals play by the shore and a cone-shaped 
glacier nearby is said to have mystical powers. Watch puffins – 
or eat them for dinner. Try the New Nordic cuisine, Iceland-style. 
Or dare yourself to eat the reviled dish of rotten shark. Drink in 
the midnight sun and party till the morning. Swim in thermal 
pools, buy a lopipeysa and take the best photographs of your life. 
Only in Iceland.
This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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