Hitting headlines, topping bucket lists, wooing nature lovers and dazzling increasing numbers of visitors – there seems no end to the talents of this breathtaking northern destination.

Don’t for a minute think it’s all about the great outdoors. The counterpoint to so much natural beauty is found in Iceland’s cultural life, which celebrates a literary legacy that stretches from medieval sagas to contemporary thrillers by way of Nobel Prize winners. Live music is everywhere, as is visual art, handicrafts and locavore cuisine.

It’s the power of Icelandic nature to turn the prosaic into the extraordinary. A dip in a pool becomes a soak in a geothermal lagoon; a casual stroll can transform into a trek across a glittering glacier; and a quiet night of camping may mean front-row seats to the aurora borealis’ curtains of fire, or the soft, pinkish hue of the midnight sun. Why wouldn’t you want to experience all that?

Interesting facts about Iceland:

  • 100% of Iceland’s population has the internet, the only country in the world.
  • In Iceland books are exchanged on Christmas Eve and you spend the rest of the night reading.
  • Icelanders have no family names. Instead, their surname is just their father’s name plus “son” or “dottir”.