a lava flow between mountains
The Icelandic highlands can only be reached during the summer months. Though they cover almost the entire interior of the island, the roads leading up to them are impassible nearly all of the year. Even so, when you happen to find yourself in Iceland at just the right time of year on the prettiest day of the month, it can still be a treacherously bumpy drive up, accessible only by a sturdy four wheel drive vehicle (ahem, below). However, be forewarned, when you think you've been stuck with the worst tour guide of all time, the voyage into the highlands will seem twice as treacherous once you come to find out it's just because it's his first day on the job.
Rest assured, he will get you there (barely) and it will be absolutely worth it. Anything seems justifiable when you pass through miles of volcanic deserts and blackened lava flows and finally find yourself face to face with those sublime rhyolite mountians. Colors you didn't know existed on a mountainside. And what's more, you get to swim in the natural hot springs dotted around their base. This is Landmannalaugar, "the people's pools."
A point of note here, never underestimate the value of a used swimsuit rental. Pay the five dollars, sort through the box of discarded bathing suits, select a snappy BCBG number, push all thoughts of where it came from and where it may have been out of your pretty little head and strap that baby on. You are, after all, out of other options. Your own bathing suit is stuck in a suitcase somewhere between Pittsburgh and Paris. So, suck it up, call it another "adventure" and get a move on. Those hot springs aren't going to swim in themselves.
(Another tip here, they don't keep very good track of those rentals. So when you're finished if you were to, let's just say, ball it up, shove it in your knapsack and take it back down the mountain with you, they probably won't notice. And you probably won't need to buy another swimsuit while you're in Iceland either.)