As more and more Indian travellers set their sights on Iceland as a vacation option, we look at the highlights of this undiscovered country
Putting together a plan to visit the world’s northernmost capital, on an island of waterfalls, glaciers and lava fields, was rather challenging. It is hard to do justice to what the region has to offer in terms of vastness, landscapes, and experiences. But I decided to do this with determination, and I zeroed in on a 72-hour itinerary of Iceland’s highlights. I get off the plane with no expectations — all I know is that Iceland is a country of charming towns and spectacular natural landscapes including The Northern Lights. I discovered that it took me very little time to fall in love with Iceland, a region just below the Arctic Circle. Few places in the world conjure up the mystical isolation of the North Pole, where the summer sees no darkness and the winter no light! I even discovered that Iceland is, in fact, about 90 percent ice-free, so it is indeed a curiously named country.
Out of the five Scandinavian capital cities — Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen and Reykjavik, the last is the most intimate of them all. The capital of Iceland has quietly grown to become an essential Scandinavian detour for business travelers, just a couple of hours away by flight from any of the major European capitals. With its emergence as a bucket list destination for a majority of business travelers during a visit to Scandinavia, what one decides to see and do is completely determined by the time of the year one visits Iceland. The area around Reykjavik and the banks of the supremely photogenic Myvatn, a lake that is surrounded by several tiny villages make up the center of northern Europe’s most relaxed and easy-going capital city. Welcome then to some incredibly rugged landscapes and breathtaking scenery with a mix of glacier-carved canyons and valleys, some extraordinary green grassland and spectacular waterfalls including the thundering Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful. Little wonder then that Jules Verne chose an Icelandic volcano as his gateway for his ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’ Not many may know this but the term ‘geyser’ was coined here named after Geysir, the largest of Iceland’s many hot springs, our guide proudly told us. There are also lava fields, bubbling mud pools, and steam vents. And yes, there is ice as well.
Now the interesting part about Iceland is that its ever-fluctuating weather keeps changing as much as its turbulent volcanic landscape. If you are lucky you may even get to actually experience four seasons in a single day!
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