Akureyri, Iceland

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There are several interesting museums and churches but the most amazing feature of Akureyri is its botanical garden - not surprisingly, the most northerly in the world. That this glorious display of flowers and plants thrives is a tribute to the local microclimate which is remarkably mild for somewhere so close to the Arctic Circle. Less surprising is the range of tours to appeal to nature-lovers from whale watching (18 species from minkes to killers have been spotted) to the spectacular 'Waterfall of the Gods' at Godafoss. Along the way, you will also see age-old glaciers, beautiful lakes, bubbling sulphur mud-pits, hidden caves and coves, dormant volcanoes and lava which has turned into bizarre-shaped sculptures.

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