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Iceland

With its rugged volcanically-active terrain, few countries showcase the activity of Mother Nature better than the land of fire and ice. And superimposed on this landscape is a resilient culture with rich literary and spiritual traditions. We could easily go into paroxysms of delight to describe Iceland;instead, we'll allow the rather plaintive words of the Icelandic poet Jónas Hallgrímson to do it for us. He wrote in 1835: 'Charming and fair is the land, snow white the peaks of the glaciers. Cloudless and blue is the sky, the ocean shining resplendently bright.' It's a fitting description. The world's interest in Iceland was piqued in 2010 with the will-it-won't- it eruption of Eyjafjallajökull and since then it has become one of our most popular short break destinations;just a three hour flight from the UK, the clean air and breath-taking vistas of Iceland are perfect for a long weekend escape. A final relic from the world's last ice age, its shatteringly beautiful, barren and brutal lunar landscape is truly awe-inspiring. From the capital, Reykjavík, you can drive in any direction and try ice-climbing, quad-biking or hike one of the many trails through this incredible landscape. After all that adventure you can luxuriate in one of its many geothermal pools and you may even be fortunate to capture the natural phenomenon of the Northern Lights. Don't overlook Reykjavik itself, either: taking inspiration from New York, London and Scandinavia, Iceland's capital is cool in both design and temperature.

Iceland with A&K
Iceland delivers a major hit of the surreal and the beautiful. Returning travellers' tales suggest that, for a few wonderful days, normal life is suspended. They recall sitting in hot tubs under the stellar theatrics of the northern lights; a helicopter landing on the lava field next to their lodge - 'we were expecting a helipad, but no, not in Iceland' - and driving onto vast Langjokull Glacier where the feeling of space was 'extraordinary and immense'.

An Icelandic holiday with Abercrombie & Kent could see your already seductive itinerary receiving some spontaneous editing from our super-attentive guides. Guest's letters and emails tell of surprise visits to a fascinating geothermal tomato farm for the freshest soup they've ever tasted; of joining a queue outside ice cream shops in minus 5 degress temperatures (trust us, it's worth it) and descending into cathedral-like Thrihnukagigur Volcano, while contemplating the fact that fewer people have entered its cone than have been into space.

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