The land of Fire & Ice, the Republic of Iceland is filled with geothermal hot springs, powerful geysers, active volcanoes, ancient lava fields, towering glaciers and stunning waterfalls. Though it is the most volcanically active country in the world, Iceland is also home to a densely-urban population, most of whom live near the capital city of Reykjavik. Set on a bay, surrounded by mountains and heated by geothermal hot springs, it is a city that combines old-world wooden architecture with modern buildings. From whale watching to skiing, there's something in Iceland for you.

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Mud Baths in Iceland

For Christmas, our family decided to give each other experiences. When my husband and I opened the card from our son, we discovered that his gift to us was mud baths! We laughed, appreciating his attempt to revitalize the family for I was still recovering from pneumonia and my husband had been working way too hard. Our laughter changed to amazement when D'Arcy explained that the mud baths were at a hot springs spa in volcanic Iceland! We chose to go in spring, booked a house in the mountains not far from picturesque Reykjavik and rented a car. The numerous hot springs did prove fabulously relaxing, the air was incredibly pure, the people friendly, but what made us want to return was the awareness gained of our planet as a living, breathing organism. We saw fissures and fault lines where tectonic plates collide, walked on lava fields of the still forming land, watched sulphurous hot pools bubble, and saw steaming geysers erupt. The earth was alive beneath us! The scenery was breathtaking - waterfalls and rainbows, snowcapped mountains and glaciers, surging surf on black beaches, vast lava plains reclaimed by mosses and wildflowers. We came home, definitely invigorated and extremely grateful.

Submitted by:
Paulette S., Toronto