Volcanoes, ice caves, hot springs, Northern Lights, waterfalls, glaciers, spouting geysers. It's hard to imagine all these natural wonders on one island with a population of around 300,000. Iceland's otherworldly landscape is a fitting setting for the Vikings who once inhabited the 'land of ice and fire'. Take a drive around Iceland's ring road in a 4x4 and you'll feel like you're on another planet. One minute you'll be cruising past the tumbling waters of Gullfoss and the next you'll be alongside the eerily beautiful black-sand beach of Vik. Don't leave without taking a dip in a hot spring. If you want to avoid the crowds of the Blue Lagoon, other options include Mývatn in the north and the hot streams of the Reykjadalur valley. The elusive Northern Lights feature on many a bucket list. There's no sure way to see them but it’s more likely during the winter months between September and April. Although it’s a lively city, you can see most of Reykjavik in a couple of days, and it’s secondary to the natural wonders the rest of the island has to offer. Main sights include the towering Hallgrímskirkja Church and the National Museum exhibiting the country's compelling history and culture. As the capital, Reykjavik offers the biggest choice of accommodation with a variety of hostels, hotels and apartments. A number of cosy guesthouses are dotted along the ring road but note that many are closed during the winter months.