No matter how much you hear about the awe-inspiring natural phenomena on this island on the edge of the Arctic circle, nothing can prepare you for the jaw-dropping spectacle that is Iceland. Dubbed “the Land of Fire and Ice”, this small island nation is characterised by contrasts and contradictions. It is a place where steaming geysers burst forth from icy glaciers, where molten hot lava spews out of icy snow-capped peaks, where the astonishing aurora borealis blaze across the night sky and where continuously dark winters are offset by summer’s magnificent midnight sun. With the exception of Reykjavik, l, the country’s population centres are small, with diminutive towns, fishing villages, farms and minute hamlets clustered along the coastal fringes. The interior, meanwhile, remains totally uninhabited. What the Icelanders lack in numbers, they certainly make up for in warmth, quirkiness, and boundless creativity. Add to this one of the highest standards of living on earth and you have, quite simply, one of the world’s most intriguing destinations.