Iceland is the home of two conflicting natural elements; fire and ice. Glacial rivers flow through the country’s valleys and snow lines many of the mountain tops, but this land has a far more volatile side to it as well. Due to its position on the Mid-Atlantic ridge, where the North Atlantic Ocean meets the Arctic Ocean, there is a large amount of volcanic activity. Lava and ash spewing from volcanos such as Eyjafjallajökull and water gushing from hot springs are somewhat common; producing many dramatic spectacles for nature lovers.
The name, however, may be slightly misleading to people that have never visited this remarkable place, as only a small part of Iceland is actually covered in ice. There is even a saying amongst geographers which states that 'Iceland is green and Greenland is ice'. This European island actually has quite a temperate climate, helped by the Gulf Stream, and has plenty of lush areas of natural beauty.
The capital, Reykjavik, is where the majority of our Iceland expeditions start, and whilst some go on to circumnavigate the country, others will also include parts of Norway and Greenland as part of a journey that tracks the movements of the Vikings.
Reykjavik is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city that shows off yet another side of this multi-faceted country. Almost two thirds of Iceland’s limited population is concentrated in the capital and around the south-western area, and this means there is plenty going on for all to enjoy. Other areas that may form part of your trip include Akureyri in the north, Seydisfjordur to the east, and the islands of Surtsey and Heimaey in the south.
As well as its fiery nature, Iceland also has a mystical side to its character. Stories of elves and trolls are a major and magical part of the folk heritage, whilst tales from the Saga Age live on in the imaginations of the locals. Anyone keen to discover the mysterious and supernatural face of this nation will also enjoy getting caught up in this world of tales.
If vociferous volcanoes, gushing geysers and glistening glaciers aren’t enough for you then there is still so much more to experience on the Icelandic leg of your Arctic expedition. There are numerous waterfalls to feast your eyes on, bubbling mud baths to cake yourself in and a constant supply of fresh, clean air to help keep you going. If you are a fan of active pastimes then why not enjoy a horse ride with a difference. These four-legged friends are specifically bred to deal with the rough terrains that Iceland offers and will provide a breath-taking way to see as much of the natural landscape as possible.