What springs to mind when you think of Iceland? Well, there is actually a little more than just broken banks, Bjork and volcanoes.
The name also doesn’t really reflect the temperate climate which is moderated by the North Atlantic Current. In the summer it’s virtually one long day where the sun stays in the sky.
On the flip side, winter’s excessive darkness is punctuated by the amazing coloured light shows of the aurora borealis, or Northern Lights. A land of boiling mud pools, spurting geysers, glaciers and waterfalls is also fast becoming a surfing playground for the adventurous.
How to get there: Fly from most major European cities.
Currency: Icelandic Kronur (100 Kronur = £0.51, $0.81, Euro 0.65)
Places not to miss: Blue Lagoon hot spring, Vatnajökull glacier.
Surf: Most of the action centres around a mainly volcanic reef at the Reykjanes peninsula close to Reykjavik in the south west. There is also a black sand beach break at Sandvik worth visiting, while Thorli is another popular choice. But for the most intrepid surfers head towards the Snaefellsness peninsula to the NW of Reykjavik – but these are 4WD access trails only.
Best time to go: September to November can be good months, with manageable air and water temperatures and frequent low pressures.
Water Temp: Summer around 12 degrees, winter as low as 3 degrees.