In the past 5 years, the number of foreign visitors in Iceland has increased by over 300%. There’s a reason why this country of just over 300,000 inhabitants attracts more than 2,000,000 annual tourists.

Here are 12 photos taken by Marta Kulesza and Jack Bolshaw from In A Faraway Land that showcase Iceland’s phenomenal natural beauty and will hopefully convince you to visit.

1

The Diamond Beach

Iceland is famous for black-sand beaches and glacial ice but who knew they could both be seen at the same time.

2

Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellfoss

On the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in the west of Iceland, Kirkjufell, which translates to Church Mountain, has been shown in many movies including The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

3

Landmannalaugar

Located in the Icelandic Highlands, Landmannalaugar is a great place to see the colorful rhyolite mountains, as well as enjoy many natural hot springs.

4

Seljalandsfoss

At over 200ft high, this waterfall is only a short drive from Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavik.

5

Jökursárlón

This glacial lagoon has been formed as the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier started to retreat away from the Atlantic Ocean. Glaciers are retreating here (and everywhere else, it seems) at an unprecedented rate.

6

Svartifoss

Adorned with an amphitheatre of hexagonal basalt columns, Svartifoss is incredibly impressive.

7

Skógafoss

Almost 15-meter wide at the top, Skogafoss is famous for creating rainbows on sunny days from the mist produced when the water crashes into the rocks below.

8

Dettifoss

The most powerful waterfall in Europe, Dettifoss has an average flow rate of 193m3 per second.

9

Vestrahorn

A mountain range in the southeast corner of Iceland, The Vestrahorn is otherworldly.

10

Goðafoss

It is said that when Iceland changed from following the Norse Ideology to the Christian Ideology in 1000 AD, the head of legislative assembly decided to destroy all their Norse statues by throwing them in this waterfall. It was then renamed “Waterfall of the Gods”.

11

Puffins

Although Puffin is a delicacy in Iceland, it’s much nicer to watch them in their natural habitats than on a plate.

12

Wild Icelandic Horses

Although mostly only pony-sized, these beautiful creatures have developed thick coats to survive the harsh Icelandic winter.

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