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As I take in a deep breath of the cool air, I become aware of the echoing sound of my crampons crunching on the lightly snow covered ice. The beauty of late afternoon sunrays reflecting on the pure white surface draws me into a mindful, appreciative moment. It seems surreal, and I am aware of how lucky I am to be hiking on an actual glacier in the magical country of Iceland.
Iceland, known as the land of fire and ice, is becoming a top destination for the exploring traveler in search of diverse landscapes, dynamic people, and a rich vibrant culture. One of the last European countries to be settled, this Nordic island in the North Atlantic Ocean is home to a population slightly over 300,0000. It has been said at times that there are more tourists than locals in Iceland.
There is never a dull moment in the land of active volcanoes, breathtaking glaciers, spouting geysers, and black sand beaches. Iceland, home to believers of elves and trolls, has something for everyone – from incredible restaurants serving Nordic dishes for foodies in lively Reykjavik, to horseback riding for the animal lover with the famous Icelandic horse through meadows, to chasing the Northern Lights by Jeep for the adventure seeker, to soaking in the natural hot springs for all who enjoy being pampered.
Any time of the year, you will find tourists discovering what Iceland has to offer. Winters are surprisingly mild and the evening sky can be illuminated by the Northern Lights. Warmer days of summer offer the midnight sun allowing the explorer hours of breathtaking views. Short Reykjavik city breaks, self-drive tours on the ring road, and cruises around the island are some of many trip choices offered to the willing traveler.
As I soak in warmth at the famous Blue Lagoon, mesmerized by the contrast of the black rock and clear blue that surrounds, I think, how can one not love a country where bathing in natural hot-springs is an ancient tradition? I am certain this is a reason why Iceland is one of the safest and most peaceful countries in the world.
My name is Ericka Baron. I’m a travel consultant and blogger based in Montreal, Canada. I love exploring new destinations and discovering exciting travel experiences to share with fellow passionate globetrotters. You can follow me on twitter and instagram @ericka_baron