That rate of expansion for so long would make even an ant a giant, and surely enough, that’s what Iceland is: the second largest island in Europe (after Great Britain) and the 18th largest on the planet. And the giant wears many robes.
In the southwest, moss-covered steaming lava fields are the choice outfit for some contrasting Arctic sizzle, while in the northwest, soaring fjords are the pick from the wardrobe for that flowing look. The coveted centre is attired in barren highlands to offset all the razzmatazz, while the terrain generally is bedizened with impressive peaks, plateaux and lowlands.
But the most striking aspect of this accoutrement is the dark hemline, in the form of black-sand beaches on the tortuous 5000 km coastline, striking enough to evoke memories of The Swan Queen and peculiar enough to feel like a scene from medieval fantasy, Game of Thrones, large and impressive parts of which are fittingly filmed here.
And with a sparse population and over 80% of Iceland’s area reeling in joyous desertion, experience pristine seclusion as you set about witnessing a dazzle that’s uniquely Icelandic in its ‘Arcadian rhythms’, and the convergence of elements in all their untamed colours: red, green and violet in the sky, blue and brown underneath — held together with lots of ice and a little fire.