As a senior executive for a large multinational corporation, I have been assigned to nine different countries in five different continents over the last 20 years. I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting new people and adapting to new cultures. But perhaps my favourite perk of the job is that it allows me to have my annual vacations in some of the most exotic locations on the planet. My vacation last summer has to count as one of the most surprising and most pleasant of all. It may sound hard to believe, but I really had a grand time spending nearly three weeks in Iceland.
As the name implies, Iceland is constantly covered in ice as more than 11 percent of the country is covered by ice glaciers. I know, that doesn’t sound very cosy, but Iceland’s climate is surprisingly mild and filled with countless geothermal hot spots.
Located in Northern Europe, Iceland is actually a large mountainous island in the North Atlantic that comprises one of the most picturesque places you will ever see. It is never dark in Iceland and nearly the entire landscape is filled with beautiful and colourful wildflowers, especially around the hills that surround the island’s deep fjords. The view of the ocean, mountains and delicate grassy shores is spectacular and breath-taking.
The typical Iceland vacation starts with a cruise from one of the many ports of Europe. You will sail through the country’s beautiful deep natural harbours and witness its quaint farming villages perched delicately on the rocky shores.
Once in Iceland, you will have every opportunity to try their natural hot springs, which are known all over the world and are universally recognized as sort of a native national pastime. Like bears in hibernation, Icelanders enjoy spending most of the winter and much of the summer months blissfully soaking in these springs to pass the long months of night away in relative comfort. It seems like the entire island is filled with these natural hot springs.
Traveling by car around the countryside is a novel experience as well since there is only a single road that traverses the whole rim of the island and affords a majestic view of Iceland’s barren and icy interior.