For a country roughly the size of Ohio with a population of 319, 000, Iceland packs a big punch in a relatively small package (you can drive the perimeter of the country in 24 hours if you don’t stop). Dubbed the “land of fire and ice” for its many volcanoes and glaciers, the landscape can quickly change from lava-strewn fields to grassy plains to ice fields in a matter of kilometers.
The capital, Reykjavik, is now one of my favorite European cities, combining a distinctive sense of history with an angst-free hipster feel. Easily explored on foot, a perfect day could consist of wandering from a coffee shop down to the harbor, visiting one of the naturally heated public pools and then enjoying an Icelandic hot dog before a bit of live music. And, of course, there is the beer.