Iceland

Destination Overview

Forged by the convergence of glaciers and volcanic flow, Iceland is known as “The Land of Fire & Ice.” This otherworldly landscape brims with natural beauty, history, and culture at every turn. Modernity and tradition meet between the remote, awe-inspiring fjords along the coast and the bustle of city life in the nation’s capital, Reykjavik. Historically, Iceland’s landmass was comprised of nearly 40% forestland – yet deforestation and overdevelopment have taken their toll, reducing the percentage of forestland to approximately 2% of the island. Our work in this magical landscape will assist our partner organizations in the revitalization of Iceland’s fragile ecosystem and give us an understanding of how its people are building a more sustainable future.

As one of the most recently formed landmasses on the planet, Iceland continues to evolve with some of the most active volcanoes in the world. This hotbed of geologic activity produces natural hot springs around the island – perfect for soothing sore legs after a day of hiking fjords long ago formed by retreating glaciers. According to local lore, the Icelandic secret to happiness and good health simmers somewhere in these waters.

Of other natural wonders, Iceland’s northerly latitudes create long summer days with nearly 24 hours of sunlight – conversely plunging the island into near 24-hour darkness during the winter months. Consistently ranked as one of the happiest countries in the world, Iceland is known for its welcoming and friendly residents. The country’s geographic isolation at the edge of the Arctic Circle has long nurtured strong familial ties, an intense love for nature, and a deeply rooted sense of tradition among its people.

Committed to creativity, one in every ten Icelanders is a published author, and the country now hosts a booming art, film, and music scene. Literary tradition abounds in Iceland, with a strong emphasis on preserving Icelandic language and culture through storytelling.

Clean, safe, and environmentally-minded, Iceland easily tops the list of our wish-list destinations to visit.