Few places manifest the gargantuan forces of the earth quite as dramatically as Iceland. On this remote island in the North Atlantic, tectonic plates flex their powerful muscles, creating spectacular geysers, thundering waterfalls, aquamarine geothermal lagoons and roaring volcanoes. Winter skies shimmer with the iridescent hues of the Northern Lights. The majestic, millennia-old mountains and glacier-cut valleys make man’s place in the world feel somewhat minuscule and you’ll come away feeling humbled, though generously rewarded.
These are cinematic landscapes that inspire individuality and creativity and, indeed, Icelandic tradition is singularly unique and fiercely defended. The sagas chart the early history of the country weaving legend with historic fact to recount the culture, lifestyle and families of the Middle Ages, whilst tales of the huldefólk (hidden people) delight. Music, art, design and cuisine are similarly rich.
The natural bounty of the land and sea produces a cuisine based on simplicity. Free range lamb features highly, as do lobster from the ocean and salmon from crystal clear rivers. The local spirit too, brennivin, is guaranteed to warm the heart.
Iceland is easily reachable – just three hours from London or five hours 45 minutes from New York – and it's of a size which means you’ll easily discover much of it within a relatively short time.
For those with limited time, head to the capital Reykjavik which, though not classically beautiful, boasts a vibrant café culture and a welcoming village atmosphere. Explore too the ‘Golden Circle’ – the tumbling falls at Gullfoss, the original geyser at, naturally, Geysir and the tectonic terrain of Pingvellir where tales of fleeing slaves, drunken sheriffs and witchcraft complement panoramas shaped by the ebb and flow of the earth.
Those with more time on their hands, should explore the Westfjords and the Snaefellnes peninsular, walk the Laugavegur Trail or take an epic road trip on Route 1 which circumnavigates the entire island.
This former sheep farm is an Icelandic playground - with two helipads - that will delight daring snow sport enthusiasts and nature lovers. Its stylish indoor-outdoor geothermal pool is ideal for stargazing.
Set between Reykjavik's Atlantic waterfront and lively city centre, transformed from a 19th-century department store, this hotel delivers modern style, an Icelandic bathhouse and the warmest of welcomes.
The idea for Red Savannah was always based on a clear market need. A small team of the most experienced travel designers, supported by the latest technology and delivered with the lightest touch. In short, a travel company redefined for the 21st century.