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  • Glymur: Iceland's tallest waterfall is nimble and graceful: Streamlets descend like ribbons of a maypole into a fathomless canyon mantled in bird nests and lush mosses. The hike there is somewhat treacherous, but those who brave it are rewarded with enchanting scenery -- and possibly total solitude -- all within easy range of Reykjavik.

  • Gullfoss: This astounding waterfall crowns and climaxes the "Golden Circle," Iceland's most popular day tour from the capital. Gullfoss looks almost too perfectly landscaped to be real: The Hvita river hurtles over a low tier, turns 90 degrees, plunges into a cloud of spray, and shimmies offstage through a picturesque gorge. Clear skies guarantee a rainbow.

  • Blue Lagoon: The central activity at this spa -- Iceland's top tourist attraction -- is bathing in a shallow, opaque, blue-green lagoon amid a jet-black lava field and smearing white silica mud all over yourself. The lagoon was artificially created from pumped-in seawater and runoff from a geothermal power plant -- not exactly a natural wonder, but it could make you feel like one.

  • Raufarholshellir: With the right preparations and precautions, anyone can just saunter right into this lava-tube cave and wander more than a kilometer (3/4 mile) to its darkest depths, past eerie ice candles and tortured lava formations.

  • Latrabjarg: These colossal sea cliffs at Iceland's westernmost point prove that the "ends of the earth" come with a bang, not a whimper. The sheer volume of birds is unbelievable, and the puffins are particularly willing to have their picture taken.

  • Hornbjarg: These sea cliffs in Iceland's far northwest aren't easy to reach, but pilgrims are treated to the most arresting sight on the country's entire coastline. An undulating, razor-backed ridge is etched against the sky: On its inland side, a steep slope scoops down to a meadowed plateau; on its opposite side is a sheer 534m (1,752-ft.) drop to the sea.

  • Aldeyjarfoss: In northwest Iceland, at the doorstep of the desolate highlands, these pummeling falls crash into a bizarre theater of columnar basalt. If you saw it in a science fiction movie, you might think they were overdoing it.

  • Hverfell: Of all the monuments to Iceland's volcanism, this tephra explosion crater near Myvatn is the most monolithic: a jet-black bowl of humbling proportions, with a stark, elemental authority.

  • Leirhnjukur: In a country with no shortage of primordial, surreal landscapes, this lava field in the Krafla caldera of northeast Iceland out-weirds them all. An easy trail wends its way among steaming clefts, each revealing a prismatic netherworld of mosses and minerals.

  • Dettifoss: Europe's mightiest waterfall, located in northeast Iceland's Jokulsargljufur National Park, is a massive curtain of milky-gray glacial water thundering over a 44m (144-ft.) precipice. To stand next to it is as mesmerizing as it is bone rattling.

  • Fja?rargljufur: Iceland has several dramatic gorges, but this one's spiky crags and vertiginous ledges virtually summon the mystics and landscape painters. Fja?rargljufur is close to the Ring Road, near the village of Kirkjub?jarklaustur in south Iceland, and the trail along the rim is a breeze.

  • Laki Craters: This monstrous row of over a hundred craters, lined up along a 25km (16-mile) fissure, is scar tissue from the most catastrophic volcanic eruption in Iceland's history. Velvety coatings of grey-green moss soften Laki's terrible, bleak beauty.

  • Jokulsarlon: Hundreds of sediment-streaked, blue-tinted icebergs, seemingly the work of some mad sculptor, waltz around this surreal glacial lagoon in the southeast, while seals join in the carnival procession.

  • Askja: This staggering whorl of volcanic mountains, circling an 8km-wide (5 mile) bowl formed by collapsed magma chambers, is one of Earth's grandest pockmarks and the most sought-out destination in Iceland's desolate highland interior. Visitors can swim in a warm, opaque blue-green pond at the bottom of a steep crater: a real "if my friends could see me now" moment.

  • Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.