The Unfrozen North

Who needs sun and surf? With its thermal springs and hopping club scene, Iceland is the hot getaway

It may be the marketing coup of the century: take a frozen lava field on the edge of the Arctic Circle, where the skiing is not great, the food is overpriced and the capital city is a windswept collection of multicolored concrete boxes, and turn it into one of the world's hottest winter vacation spots. How does Iceland do it? By touting its reputation for swinging nightclubs packed with platinum-haired babes and hearty Nordic men, its unspoiled natural wonders and, not least, the low-priced winter deals offered by Icelandair, which enjoys a monopoly on air service to the 40,000-sq.-mi. North Atlantic...

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