Iceland - a Country of Contrasts
Iceland is a country of intriguing contrasts, whose rugged beauty is a result of extremes. While immense blue-white glaciers continue to carve its landscape, the island's lively geothermal and tectonic life has created a living legacy of hot springs and lava fields born of 30 active volcanoes. Walking by tumbling waterfalls and on black volcanic beaches that line craggy bays it's impossible not to feel the immense conflicting energies at work beneath the Earth's crust.
In fact, feeling dwarfed by the landscape is a bit of a recurring theme. Gullfoss (Golden Falls) Waterfall is a remarkable two-stage fall fed by Iceland's second-largest glacier. Incredibly, were it not for the vision and single-mindedness of the enterprising Sigriour Tomasdottir, this unspoilt vista would have been harnessed for, and lost to, a hydroelectric plant in the early 20th Century.
Both a reminder of Iceland's epic terrain and a respite from the exertions of its exploration, the world-famous Blue Lagoon spa is a sublimely relaxing geothermal spa whose warm soothing waters – packed with skin-loving minerals, silica and algae that give the lagoon its name – will leave you and your skin blissfully re-energised.
Iceland's contrasts don't end with its geography either. Reykjavik, the world's northernmost capital city is compact enough to navigate almost exclusively on foot. It also comes with a safe, neighbourly vibe that feels reassuringly small-town. And yet, culturally, Reykjavik punches well above its weight with world-class music and arts, a cosmopolitan spread of galleries, museums and festivals, and a food scene that encompasses hearty informality and Michelin-starred finesse. Add to that a stirring backdrop of snow-peaked mountains and rolling ocean that never lets you forget that, while mankind has a vibrant tenancy on this island, Mother Nature is, and always will be, the real mistress here.
Every Travelsphere holiday offers exceptional value for money. Included in the price are return scheduled flights/rail travel and internal flights, where applicable, overseas transfers and transportation, carefully chosen hotels, many meals and excursions and the services of a Travelsphere Holiday Director or Local Guide.