A magical island marooned at the top of the world, Iceland is a country of sharp contrasts - where the incredible blue glaciers offset the smouldering volcanoes, where the dark winter’s day is followed by the summer’s midnight sun, and where nature reigns supreme.

With only 20% of the country habitable, the main hub is Iceland’s capital Reykjavik, first settled by Vikings in 874AD. Framed by the dramatically dominating Mount Esja to the north and Faxafloi Bay to the west, Reykjavik not only showcases a tantalising taste of Iceland’s natural beauty, but also hosts celebrated post-rock festivals, countless famed restaurants and a vibrantly varied culture. And you simply can't miss the famous Blue Lagoon - dramatically sited on a lava field in Grindavik on the Reykjanes peninsula, at this beautiful geothermal spa you can luxuriate in natural hot waters, treat your face to a natural mud pack and sip on a cocktail as you take in in the incredible views. 

Aside from Iceland’s cosmopolitan capital, the outlying dwellings towards Snaefellsnes Peninsula and west Iceland are small with fishing hamlets and farming towns nestled along the coastal fringes. The Interior, Iceland’s uninhabited eastern highlands and southern coast, is predominantly covered in lava fields, ash deserts and the frigid vastness of Vatnajokull, the largest ice cap in the country, covering more than 8% of Iceland. Stark, windswept and raw, this barren land is unlike any other with its mind-blowingly cinematic vistas, infinitely grey horizons and geothermal blue lagoons. Perfect for fjord excursions, white water rafting and hiking, north Iceland is also not to be missed, with its colossal collection of powerful waterfalls, glacial rivers, ancient mountains and dramatic volcanic canyons.

A country of fire and ice, Iceland is a combination of beautiful brushstrokes of lime greens, turquoise blues and sunset reds, so whether you want to see the Northern Lights, follow in the footsteps of ancient Vikings on the Golden Circle, bathe in the Blue Lagoon, climb through awe-inspiring glaciers or go hiking under the midnight sun, this Arctic wonderland will leave you mesmerised by its mystical splendour.

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HIGHLIGHTS OF ICELAND

The Northern Lights - this incredible natural phenomenon results in dazzling coloured lights streaking across the vast skies.

For a stunning dip at any time of year, visit the beautiful thermal Blue Lagoon and treat your skin to a mud facial. In the evening have a soak in a hot tub while stargazing.

Reykjavik is one of the liveliest, safest and most modern cities in Europe, with world-renowned culture and nightlife. After taking it all in, hop in the lift to the top of Hallsgrimskirkja church tower for views over the city.

Out in the countryside, see spectacular mountains, waterfalls, glaciers, geysers and hot springs in beautiful volcanic landscapes, alongside pretty villages.

Go whale watching along the coast or enjoy a sailing trip in a traditional schooner.

Þingvellir National Park in the south-west is a historic UNESCO World Heritage Site. Iceland’s parliament was established here around 930AD and today it is a national shrine as well as a showcase of natural beauty. You can hike, fish, horse-ride and dive here - this is one of the best diving spots in Iceland.

HOLIDAYS IN ICELAND HANDPICKED BY EXSUS

PLACES TO STAY IN ICELAND HANDPICKED BY EXSUS

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