Northern Iceland

A geologist’s idea of heaven, Northern Iceland is a mammoth collection of thundering waterfalls, green valleys, ancient mountains, and long fjords that stretch their icy arms towards the Arctic Circle.

For big-city living, check out Akureyri, Iceland’s second largest urban area, and its charming downtown region, which is full of 19th-century wooden houses, golf courses and diverse museums. However, if you are travelling to the north to get off the beaten track, you're in luck. North Iceland’s population, other than in Akureyri, can be found either in small fishing villages that cling to the end of unsealed roads, or located on the offshore islands, where a few hardy locals share their island with seabird colonies.

For the adventurer, whitewater rafting in Skagagjordur valley provides some added adrenaline as you crash through the glacial rivers that carve their way through deep volcanic canyons on their way to the ocean. A walk to the mighty Dettifoss Falls in the Jokulsargljukur National Park also gets the heart pumping with its thundering waters and sheer drops, thinly veiled by clouds of mist.

Visit the remarkable horseshoe-shaped canyon Asbyrgi, believed by the Vikings to be a hoof-print formed by Odin’s flying horse, wallow in the Myvatn Nature Baths, to sooth your mind in the warming waters as you look out over the otherworldly Krafla lava fields, or catch a boat out to sea and watch the 24 species of whale swim, splash and even breach the surface in the beautiful bays off Iceland’s north coast.

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