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Where to go in 2013: Iceland


Why go in 2013? A last chance to beat the crowds

Iceland is a land of strange phenomena – volcanoes spew molten ash, streamers of fluorescence dance in the winter sky and elves are thought to lurk between the fjords. But perhaps the most striking thing is the devotion Iceland inspires among visitors. Ask any tourist, they all develop an unconditional love for the little island, whether it's for the mind-bending scenery, the platefuls of delicious lamb and fish dishes or the local hospitality.

The currency crash, which devalued the krona, also made a trip to Iceland cheaper. But now, as the global economy starts to heal, prices are climbing once more.

The spoils of Iceland are no longer a secret, but in 2013 you'll still be well ahead of the curve.

Life-changing experiences

Tackling the so-called Ring Road is a must: follow the path anticlockwise, taking in the coloured sands and notorious volcanoes of the southern coast before rounding up the east to enjoy fishermen's hamlets and puffin colonies. Check out the marshy plains of the north-east, the mysterious lake at Myvatn and the waterfalls of the north-west, then round back towards the capital, stopping in to see the misty cliffs and hidden cairns along the Snaefellsnes peninsula. If time permits, take a detour to the Westfjords region, which looks like lobster claws clipping at the Arctic Circle – it's here you'll find the country's dramatic, deep bays; the home of resting whales.