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Backpacking Around the Volcanic Vistas of Iceland

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Eyjafjallajokull may have attracted quite a lot of bad press by travellers, tour operators and travel insurance companies in recent months, but the volcanoes of Iceland are responsible for much more than delays and disruptions. This northern European island country is home to an ancient, unique landscape that boasts incredible geology, hot springs, lava flows, black deserts, ice-caps, glaciers and snow covered mountains. Here’s our guide to the key must-see sites.

Bathing in the Blue Lagoon
An absolute must on any visitor’s Icelandic agenda – the geothermal spa is the most visited attraction in the country. Boasting naturally heated water of 40° and rich in minerals, the area has become a Mecca for health and leisure, with all sorts of bars and lounges, treatment areas and clinics.

Whale watching from Husavik
Husavik is the prime location for whale watching in the whole of Europe and visitors can pick up any number of tours and guides to chug out into Skjalfandi Bay. The waters in this region are home to a wide variety of species, including Minke, Humpbacks and Giant Blue, as well as puffins and dolphins. Most trips last about three hours.

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Dettifoss – Europe’s most powerful waterfall
Located within the Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, the Dettifoss falls are 100m wide with a drop of 44m into the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon. It’s pretty much out in the wild, which means visitors will have to trek to view the incredible thunder of water as it tips over the edge of the Jökulsá á Fjöllum River.

Vatnajokull – Europe’s largest ice cap
The best place to view Vatnajokull is within Skaftafell National Park – where visitors can either climb the low hills overlooking the ice or don crampons and strike out onto the cap itself. Iceland’s highest peak, Hvannadalshnúkur, is also located to the south of Vatnajökull, rising to an impressive 2,109.6 meters.

Strokkur Geyser – hot water springs
Iceland is famous for its hot springs and a visit to the country wouldn’t be complete without an excursion to witness boiling water fire into the sky from the rocky plateau. Strokkur Geyser is the most famous of the island springs, with a 30 meter jet that reliably erupts every 5-10 minutes.

The island of Grimsey – visit the Arctic Circle
Grimsey is the only point in Iceland that is actually within the Arctic Circle – visitors can journey by sea or sky to the island, the origins of which are laced with fable and myth that date back to the days of trolls and giants.

This post was provided by The Post Office

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