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Large sulfur vent
Iceland is one of the world's top travel destinations right now. It is easy to reach from both Europe and North America, making it a great long weekend getaway option. The island has tremendous natural beauty: glacier lagoons, geysers, more waterfalls than anywhere else on earth, deep glacial fjords and other strange geological features. The small population (less than 400,000), means you can get away from people and get way, way off the grid. Iceland is a natural paradise.

Yet when we first went in 2009, the country's tourism infrastructure was still in its infancy. We felt like pioneers visiting an unexplored land. Sure, there were tourists on the Golden Circle route and in Reykjavik, but most of the time we were completely alone during our 10 days in Iceland. Here are our experiences exploring this beautiful island (and taking a dip into each and every hot springs we came across).