• Reykjavik

    I celand’s natural setting puts on a show: bubbling geysers, erupting volcanoes, hot springs, dizzying waterfalls and the aurora borealis depict strange and spellbinding landscapes of raw beauty, where you can hear the earth’s heartbeat.

    In Iceland, you can immerse yourself in the hot baths which are surrounded entirely by nature and contemplate the sky in a daydream. As if irritated, volcanoes belch from time to time; capricious and tantalizing geysers suddenly burst forth from the depths of the earth and the aurora borealis displays its intense colours and magical beauty.

    Reykjavik, Iceland’s pretty capital, easy to get around and renowned for its friendly atmosphere, offers a mixture of architectural styles, from small houses with coloured, corrugated iron roofs to more contemporary buildings. There’s the Harpa concert hall-cum-conference centre, or the Grimskirkja or Lutheran parish church with its 75-metre spire and facade which evokes Iceland’s incredible mountains and glaciers.

    There are many places to discover, starting with the Golden Circle, a highly touristic area, including the majestic 32-metre Gullfoss waterfall, and the Geysir geothermal field, where the famous Geysir and Strokkur geysers spit out columns of water and steam every five to ten minutes. Other sites that must be visited are Lake Myvatn, the Dettifoss waterfall, Europe’s most powerful, and the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, with its lunar landscape. Off the beaten track, the Westfjords region lets you experience unspoiled nature in a peaceful setting between narrow fjords, beaches, fishing villages and hot springs.

    The Icelandic coastline is also a perfect observatory from which to admire whales and porpoises, while enjoying one of the tours sailing from the ports of Reykjavik, Akureyri and Husavik.

    Take Off magazine, article by Odile Habel