Iceland sits on an active volcanic ridge at the edge of the Arctic Circle, its interior a wilderness of looming icecaps, solidified lava flows and black-sand deserts. Only birds and foxes inhabited the land when Scandinavian Vikings arrived in the 8th century to found the egalitarian Commonwealth of the heroic Saga Age.  After 1262, when Norway and then Denmark ruled the country, Iceland fell into poverty, and it was not until the 18th century that towns were established.  Today Iceland enjoys a hi-tech infrastructure and most of its 320,000 population live around the capital Reykjavik.

One is simply surrounded by natural beauty in Iceland.

Jokulsarlon is a broad lagoon on the southeastern coast. With the Vatnajokull Glacier, on the horizon, Jokulsarlon is an awe inspiring sight.

Closer to Reykjavik and not to be missed is Gullfoss. The powerful, two-tired waterfalls at Gullfoss on the Hvita present a stunning sight, whether part-frozen in winter, in full flood during the spring melt, or roaring away during the long summer twilight.

The Geysir Hot Springs area lies on the lower slopes of Bjarnafell, a very short distance from Gullfoss and comprises a dozen or more hot water blowholes, including Geysir, the spout that gives its name to the other geysers worldwide.

Reykjavik alone is well worth a visit. This lively buzzing city with its colourful painted houses and narrow streets is brimming with shops, restaurants, bars, museums and galleries.