There are few places in the world where you can find yourself wondering if you are still on planet Earth.  A magical place where icebergs meet volcanoes and waterfalls meet deserts awaits you.  Geysers surrounded by colorful hot springs are a stone’s throw away from ice caves resting on black-sand beaches.  This is Iceland.  The sheer beauty in nature that exists in this magnificent country made me realize that I was somewhere special and unspoiled.

The wonderful thing about Iceland is that no matter where you go, there is some natural beauty somewhere in the vicinity.  You are sure to get a spectacular view as you drive along the ring road that circumnavigates the island.  This road will give you the opportunity to conveniently explore all corners of the island without having to drive very far between sites.  Naturally, there is more to see than what lies on the perimeter.  A bit of off-roading will allow you to visit deeper in the heart of Iceland.

I decided to stay 3 weeks in the summer to capture the diverse landscapes from all regions.  Aside from the amazing waterfalls scattered throughout Iceland, there are some wonderful nature spots to explore.  The colorful mineral-enriched mountains of Landmannalaugar, which lie more inland, should be a stop on your Iceland itinerary.  You will need to do some off-roading here or hire a tour company to take you as the terrain is a bit rough.  Visit the glaciers and icebergs of Jökulsárlón, where chunks of ice break off glaciers and flow into the sea only to be swept back by the waves onto a black-sand beach – probably one of my favorite spots on the island.  Check out the mystical Fjadrargljufur Canyon (try pronouncing that one) and the Myvatn geothermal area for outstanding photography opportunities.  And lastly, for wildlife viewing, head over to the Latrabjarg cliffs to observe the puffins that gather in large numbers and rest on the edge of the cliff.  You won’t need a long telephoto lens to see these birds as they are used to visitors and are not easily frightened.

As you can see, there is a little of everything if you are into nature.  Visiting in the summer allows for easy access to almost all the locations on the island.  However, I would like to return in the winter for a completely different experience.  Iceland instantly became one of my favorite countries in the world.  There’s no place like it and if there is, please let me know.