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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, but most of the time we were completely alone driving the Ring Road – one of the world’s truly great road trips. Here are our experiences exploring this beautiful island (and taking a dip into each and every hot springs we came across).

The Eastern Fjords and Mountain Passes of Eastern Iceland

Icelandic Coastline

Our driving day began early as we headed out into the crummy weather. It was cloudy and rainy most of the day for us – and very, very cold at some points despite it being August. Something about the weather made the already unusual landscape look even more so. This whole area reminded us of the

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The Sandurs and Glacier Lagoon of Southern Iceland

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

After breakfast of sliced meats, cheeses, oatmeal (really bad) and waffles (quite good), at the Country Hotel Höfðabrekka (this was the only place we stayed that did anything inventive like waffles or oatmeal), we headed out from Vik through the wasteland.  Technically, the drive from Vik to Hofn is not a wasteland – it’s a sandur. A sandur is a

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The Waterfalls and Glaciers of Southern Iceland

Skogafoss waterfall in Southern Iceland, our first stop driving Iceland's Ring Road

The flight from Boston to Reykjavik/Keflavik was short (just 4 1/2 hours of actual flying time). But Iceland Air is more of a no-frills airline.  Don’t get me wrong, Iceland Air is not cheap – far from it. They are actually EXTREMELY expensive for such a short flight. My tickets to Dubai were almost half what

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