Iceland exercises the imagination like no other destination. Waterfalls seem to pour over every cliff edge and mountain face, mud pots pop, volcanoes smoke and fume, and a bitter Arctic wind howls across the otherworldly lava fields and fjords. Iceland's built world, too, is a reflection of the island's wild landscapes. Hipster cafes sell bread baked by geothermal heat, designer boutiques are filled with Scandinavian prints and natural fabrics, and public pools spill over with mineral-rich waters.
While Iceland looks like it's floating at the edge of the Earth, it's actually more accessible than ever. It's a short nonstop flight from the East Coast of the United States, and European travelers can even reach its rugged shores by ferry. Depending on when you visit, the Land of Fire and Ice might be drenched in a deep-red midnight sun-or lit by the flickering aurora borealis during otherwise dark winter days.
Whether you're seeking out Iceland's greatest hits (the hot springs at Geysir, Skogafoss, the weathered hull of the plane wreck at Solheimasandur) or eager to retreat deep into Iceland's glaciers, lava fields, and national parks, let Travel + Leisure's guide to Iceland inspire and inform your travels.
Best Time To Go
Travel between June and August tends to be the most popular with visitors. June offers 24 hours of Arctic daylight, while July and August are the warmest months, offering the best chances for good weather. Travel between mid-September and mid-October is perhaps the most ideal, as you'll miss the swell of high-season tourist traffic, sneak in before snowfall blankets the trails, and have a solid chance of seeing the northern lights. Although winter weather can be an impediment, and the narrow window of daylight can shorten your sightseeing, excellent deals can be scored during the off-season.