Geysers, hot springs, volcanoes and earthquakes: in this otherworldly land where two tectonic plates meet, Nature’s raw power is let loose on bleak landscapes that recall the Earth’s earliest age. Yet in the midst of endless nights and freezing blizzards of the island’s winters, Icelanders remain enthusiastic and creative, with a sharp sense of humour that is at once cynical and good-hearted. Take a ride across windswept hills on a sturdy Icelandic pony, or venture out at night in search of the Aurora Borealis. The Golden Circle of must-sees for visitors includes the the world’s oldest geyser, which shoots boiling water 60 metres in the air; the falls of Gullfoss, where the vast Hvita river suddenly disappears, plunging into a bottomless crevice; and __ingvellir, a rift valley that is the historical gathering-place of the island’s chieftains since 930. Reykjavik boasts thermal pools whose steaming waters are famously relaxing, fantastic restaurants and art exhibits, and a unique modern architecture including houses made of driftwood and tin or the towering concrete cathedral, Hallgrimskirkja. Visit the capital’s National Gallery or central Austurvöllur Park to get a taste of this truly unique European country.