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Geography Trips for Schools to Iceland

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Located on the remote Arctic edge of Europe, this land of extremes is one of the most unique and stimulating environments out there. Truly unmatched in its natural splendour, Iceland boasts a superb set of unpolluted landscapes and a variety of geographical features close at hand – think boiling mud pools, erupting geysers, cascading waterfalls, ash deserts and impressive lava flows – and that’s just the beginning.

Whether you choose to hike through diverse volcanic and geothermal landscapes, go snorkelling through the Silfra fissure or head underground for lava tube caving, you’re guaranteed to witness some of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders.


“It was the best experience of my (and the pupils) lives!”

Mrs Couchman, July 2016 - Iceland

“I loved all the moments where they experience the awe and wonder of geography first hand.”

Miss D Burren, April 2015 - Iceland

“As always we had a fabulous time thanks to all the hard work and support with the planning and delivery from Rayburn.”

Ms Robertson, Saints Peter & Paul Catholic High School, December 2016 - Iceland

“A magical once in a lifetime trip that brings the wonders of physical and human geography to life”

Carolyn Robertson, Saints Peter & Paul Catholic High School - Iceland

“Everything we could have hoped for and more - a thoroughly well planned and exciting trip which underpinned the 'awe and wonder' with high quality Geographical knowledge!”

Mr Will Trent, April 2015 - Iceland


Snorkelling through the Silfra Fissure
Experience the Mid Atlantic Ridge from a truly unique perspective with an underwater discovery through the Silfra fissure. You’ll get up close to the continental plates, while the crystal clear water and colourful marine plants will leave you mesmerised.
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The Secret Lagoon
If you’re looking to offer your students a truly authentic, unique bathing experience then a dip in the lesser known Secret Lagoon is a must. Located in the small village of Fludir, this natural hot spring is amongst the oldest in Iceland and has retained its magical charm.
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Our quick, online quote form allows our specialists to provide you with a bespoke quotation for a trip tailor-made to your group’s individual requirements.

Iceland Fact File

Perfect for:
All ages and stages of secondary education

Transport options:

Nearest Airport:
Keflavík International Airport

Flight duration from UK:
Approx. 2 hours 30 minutes – 3 hours

Best time to visit:
All year round

Curriculum Links:

  • Changing Places
  • Climate Change
  • Coastal Systems & Landscapes
  • Cold Environments
  • Ecosystems & Biodiversity
  • Geographical Skills
  • Glacial Systems & Landscapes
  • Globalisation & Global Systems
  • Natural Hazards
    Plate Tectonics
  • Population
  • Water Resources
  • Energy Resources
  • Food Resources
  • River Systems & Landscapes
  • Rocks, Weathering & Soil
  • Rural Environments
  • Tourism
  • Urban Environment
  • Water Cycles
  • Carbon Cycles
  • Weather & Climate

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Recommended Visits

Iceland Geography Study Visits

Iceland’s diverse geographical landscapes make it the ideal destination to enhance your student’s understanding of a range of topics on the Geography syllabus. Discover just some of the geographical excursions we can build into your bespoke school trip itinerary.

Eyjafjallajökull Erupts: Visitors' Centre Visit Eyjafjallajökull Eruption Geothermal Energy: Greenhouse Cultivation Geothermal Energy: Hellisheiði Power Plant Glacier Walk Heimaey: Living with Natural Hazards Heimaey: Surtsey Exhibition Into the Glacier Katla-Clysmic: A Glacial Flood Role Play Scenario Landmannalaugar: Volcanic Landscapes Lava Tube Caving Managing Landscapes: Seljalandsfoss Waterfall Mount Hekla: Natural Hazard Management Reykjadalur Hike Reykjanes Peninsula: Landscapes of a Plate Boundary Snorkelling through the Silfra Fissure South Iceland Coast Landscapes: Fluvial, Glacial and Coastal Stóra Dímon: Landscape Vantage Viewpoint Super Jeep Adventures in Katla GeoPark The Blue Lagoon The Secret Lagoon Thingvellir National Park: On the Mid Atlantic Ridge Vatnajökull National Park: Glacio-Volcanic Landscapes Western Volcanic Zone: Volcanic and Geothermal Landscapes West Coast Landscapes: Fluvial, Geothermal, Glacial
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Study Resources

Bespoke Geography Trip Student and Teacher Resources

Our multi award-winning study handbooks comprise a student handbook and its corresponding teacher guide made up of destination specific study units, all of which are in full colour and contain a mixture of maps, diagrams and text. The student handbook offers a variety of pre- and post-visit activities as well as interactive on-site tasks.

There are a range of Study Units available to choose from to create your group's bespoke Iceland study handbook, all of which have been written to match the various UK Geography syllabuses. Each study unit provides students with the opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of the geographical landscapes in which they find themselves.

Iceland Study Resource
Geographical Association Scottish Association of Geography Teachers

Iceland Study Handbook Ratings:

Usefulness of Teacher Resource:

Usefulness of Student Guide:

Content relevance:

Overall Rating:

How does it work?

Your study handbooks will be custom-made to match your itinerary, containing a selection of the units available.

  • Delving Deeper: Discussion and Decision Making
  • Eyjafjallajökull Eruption
  • Eyjafjallajökull Erupts: Visitors' Centre
  • Geothermal Energy: Greenhouse Cultivation
  • Geothermal Energy: Hellisheidi Power Plant
  • Globalisation
  • Heimaey: It's a Disaster: Volcanic Role Play
  • Heimaey: Living with Natural Hazards
  • Heimaey: Self Guided Walk (for the TG only)
  • Iceland New Energy
  • Katla-Clysmic: A Glacial Flood Role Play Scenario
  • Land Degradation: Causes and Conservation
  • Landmannalaugar: Volcanic Landscapes
  • Managing Landscapes: Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
  • Mount Hekla: Natural Hazard Management
  • Reykjanes Peninsula
  • Saving Iceland: Conflicts and Challenges
  • South Coast Landscapes
  • Stóra Dímon: Landscape Vantage Viewpoint
  • Super Jeep Adventure
  • The Blue Lagoon
  • The Hekla Centre
  • Þingvellir National Park
  • Vatnajokull National Park: Glacio-Volcanic Landscapes
  • Vatnajokull National Park: OPTION: Fieldsketches
  • Vatnajokull National Park: OPTION: Footpath Erosion
  • Vatnajokull National Park: OPTION: Visitor Survey (Abridged)
  • Vatnajokull National Park: OPTION: Visitor Survey (Full)
  • Vatnajokull National Park: OPTION: Visitors' Centre
  • Volcanic and Geothermal Landscapes
  • West Coast Landscapes
  • Reykjadalur Hike

The handbook has been designed to give you ultimate flexibility as to how and when you use it. Some teachers will use it on the coach whilst en-route to a site, whilst others may allocate some time at the end of the day. However most find the handbooks are of great use whilst on-site at particular visits to help your students relate what they see before them to particular aspects of the curriculum.

Sample Pages
Iceland Handbook Sample Page 1 Iceland Handbook Sample Page 2 Iceland Handbook Sample Page 3 Iceland Handbook Sample Page 4 Iceland Handbook Sample Page 5 Iceland Handbook Sample Page 6 Iceland Handbook Sample Page 7 Iceland Handbook Sample Page 8 Iceland Handbook Sample Page 9 Iceland Handbook Sample Page 10
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Iceland Sample Itineraries

Your bespoke itinerary will include the appropriate balance of educational visits and leisure excursions to fill your chosen duration and meet your aims and objectives. Your dedicated School Tour Coordinator will offer advice and recommendations with the sole aim of creating the perfect itinerary for your group, but just to get you inspired, we have outlined the itineraries created for two of our clients below.

Blue Lagoon

6 days,
5 nights

Dates: 2nd – 7th July 

Departure airport: London Gatwick

Passengers: 93 students and 8 teachers

Accommodation: Skálinn Centre

Board Basis: Full Board

Overview of visits: Þingvellir Rift Valley, Geysir, Gullfoss, Secret Lagoon, Heimaey, Skógafoss, Stóra-Dímon, Dyrhólaey, Vík, Reynishverfi Coast, Seljalandsfoss, Skaftafellsjökull and Jökulsárlón

View the full day-by-day itinerary

Day 1:

Touching down in Iceland mid-afternoon, the group headed on to their accommodation centre spending the evening at leisure taking in the striking surroundings.

Day 2:

It was an early start but a buzz of excitement was in the air as the group departed for Þingvellir Rift Valley to explore the landscape of the Mid Atlantic Ridge. The afternoon was no less spectacular with a visit to Geysir, where the main attraction of the erupting Strokkur Geyser didn’t fail to impress, and a visit to Iceland’s most famous waterfall, Gullfoss. From here, it was straight on to the coaches and off to the Secret Lagoon – a much needed relaxation in the 38°C mineral rich hot spring.

Day 3:

A more modest start this morning as the group were set to spend the day on Heimaey Island. A spectacular itinerary awaited them including a Viking boat trip around the island, the guided Eldfell Volcano hike and a trip down to the harbour area which was threatened with closure after the 1973 fissure eruption.

Day 4:

The day kicked off with a climb to the top of Stóra-Dímon and a visit to Seljalandsfoss, the only waterfall of its kind where it‘s possible to walk behind its waters. Following a trip to the Eyjafjallajökull Visitors’ Centre to learn about dramatic impacts of the infamous Eyjafjallajökull eruption, the afternoon was filled with the incredible sights of Skógafoss, Dyrhólaey, Reynishverfi and the southerly village of Vík. The day ended with a relaxing stay in the new accommodation in Kirkjubæjarklaustur.

Day 5:

The final full day meant a 9am departure for Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon, where icebergs of all shapes and sizes could be seen with a boat ride across the lagoon. The afternoon was spent at the Skaftafell Visitors‘ Centre which allowed for the group to explore the centre‘s exhibition centre, venture close to the snout of Skaftafellsjökull, a giant spilling glacier from the enormous Vatnajökull Ice Cap, and enjoy a breath-taking guided glacier walk on Svinafellsjökull to marvel at its impressive natural wonders.

Day 6:

Time to return home to the UK after an action-packed few days.

Bespoke Quotation
 Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

5 days,
4 nights

Dates: 30th March - 3rd April 

Departure airport: London Gatwick

Passengers: 40 students and 5 teachers

Accommodation: Skálinn Centre

Board Basis: Full Board

Overview of visits: Hveragerði, Geysir, Secret Lagoon, Gullfoss Sólheimajökull, Skógafoss, Dyrhólaey, Vík, Deildartunga Hot Springs and Hraunfoss and Barnafoss

View the full day-by-day itinerary

Day 1:

After flying in to Reykjavík-Keflavík Airport the group headed on to their accommodation centre to spend the evening at leisure, settling in to their new surroundings.

Day 2:

Breakfast eaten, packed lunch collected and it was off to explore the town of Hveragerði before combining geography and geology in a visit to Kerið crater which dates back over 6000 years. All of the senses were brought to life in the afternoon with visits to Geysir, where the main attraction of the erupting Strokkur Geysir didn't fail to impress, and a visit to Iceland's most famous waterfall, Gullfoss. A jam-packed geographical day was rounded off with a dip in the Secret Lagoon – a much needed relaxation in the 38°C mineral rich hot spring.

Day 3:

After a morning at Deildartunga Hot Springs, considered as the most powerful hot spring in Iceland, the group explored the contrasting waters of Hraunfoss and Barnafoss. Next was the exhilarating ‘Into the Glacier’ experience where the group were able to venture deep into the glacier for a unique view from beneath the surface of the ice. Finally the day ended with a trip to the Hvalfjörður, the perfect study of a glaciated landform.

Day 4:

Water was the running theme of the day’s visits as the group stopped at Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss, the ‘Black Glacier’, Sólheimajökull, and the most southerly village and the only seaside settlement in Iceland, Vik. After a visit to Dyrhólaey a 120-metre high promontory, the group rounded off their time in Iceland with a swim at the Hvolsvöllur Swimming Pool.

Day 5:

It was time to return to the UK after an action-packed few days.

Bespoke Quotation

4 days,
3 nights

Dates: 7th - 10th April

Departure airport: London Gatwick

Passengers: 74 students and 7 teachers

Accommodation: Skálinn Centre

Board Basis: Full Board

Overview of visits: Blue Lagoon, Hellisheidi Power Plant, Thingvellir National Park, Geysir Geothermal Area, Gullfoss, Solheimajokull, Vik, Reynisdrangar Black Basalt Beach, Skogafoss, Eyjafjallajokull Visitors’ Centre, Seljalandsfoss, Reykjavik

View the full day-by-day itinerary

Day 1:

After arriving in Iceland, the group board their two coaches and head to the Bridge Between the Continents, followed by a pizza buffet at the Bruin Restaurant in Grindavik. They later enjoy a trip to the Blue Lagoon for a relaxing dip in its warm waters – the perfect way to unwind after a morning of travel. Suitably refreshed, they make their way to the accommodation centre.

Day 2:

The day begins with a visit to the Hellisheidi Power Plant to explore its fascinating Geothermal Energy Exhibition, providing a state-of-the-art look into the harnessing of geothermal energy in Iceland. They then journey to Thingvellir National Park to discover some of the country’s most beautiful and rugged landscape and learn about both its historical and geographical significance.

Afterwards, they depart for the Geysir Geothermal Area where the group are able to see the incredible Strokkur Geysir and Great Geysir. They finish their day with a visit to Gullfoss, Iceland’s most famous and spectacular waterfall.

Day 3:

Today the group arrive at the Solheimajokull, also known as the ‘Black Glacier’, where they meet their Icelandic Mountain Guide and embark on an exciting Blue Ice Adventure glacier walk. They then depart for Vik, Iceland’s most southerly and charming village, followed by a trip to Reynisdrangar black basalt beach where they can admire the columnar basalt on the cliff faces.

Later, they make their way to Skogafoss, an impressive 60 metre-high waterfall which often displays a beautiful rainbow due to the huge amount of spray. Next it’s the Eyjafjallajokull Visitors’ Centre to learn more about the 2010 eruption. The day ends with a trip to Seljalandsfoss, the only known waterfall of its kind where it’s possible to walk behind it!

The order of visits for the second coach are as follows: Seljalandsfoss, Eyjafjallajokull Visitors’ Centre, Reynisdrangar black basalt beach, Vik, Solheimajokull ‘Black Glacier’, Skogafoss.

Day 4:

As the final day, the group enjoy free time in Reykjavik to visit the Perlan, one of Reykjavik’s most recognisable landmarks, and the water tower for a free 360° view. They also covered Tjorn, the city pond, and Hallgrimskirkja Church, truly spectacular in its architecture. The group then board their flight home for the UK.

Bespoke Quotation


Iceland Accommodation

Two of our Icelandic accommodation centres have worked exclusively with Rayburn Tours for over a decade and as a result, not only do the managers, Guðny and Jana, know our clients and their expectations well, it also means that we can ensure that the needs of your group are always met. Many of our groups quote the warmth of their welcome and quality of their home-cooked food as one of the reasons they return year after year.

To make your Geography Study Trip to Iceland even more comprehensive, Rayburn Tours keeps a supply of geography field equipment in Iceland, which you can use free of charge throughout your stay with Guðny and Jana.

Skálinn Centre

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Accommodating up to 100 people, Skálinn has plenty of vast open space which can be safely used for leisure activities. Inside the centre, there is a large lounge with a TV, a study/ dining area with a DVD player; a digital projector is also available upon request. There is also a large conservatory that's ideal for quiet time.

“Food and staff were excellent. Lounge and other facilities really helped the pupils keep occupied.”

Mr Nick Trkulja, Reigate School

Skálinn offers exceptional value for money and the comfortable surroundings, excellent location and home cooking allow your students to experience a taste of real Iceland.

Skalinn Centre
Skalinn Centre Skalinn Centre

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Húsið Guesthouse

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Húsið, Icelandic for 'The House', is a very comfortable guest house set within its own grounds and has recently been converted to accommodate up to 45 people spread over two houses. Both can be used independently for two smaller groups.

“Very warm, comfortable, plenty of tasty food which the students ate enthusiastically”

Mrs Bronagh Thompson, Gumley House School.

The dining and study areas at Húsið are cosy and there is a range of games to keep students occupied in the evenings. Húsið is within easy reach of Hvolsvöllur swimming pool, which naturally has its own hot pot - the perfect way to end the day in the Icelandic way!

Husid Guesthouse
Husid Guesthouse Husid Guesthouse Husid Guesthouse

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B&B Selfoss

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This modern and newly renovated hostel has 27 rooms where students can be accommodated in single, double or family rooms with 3-4 beds, with shared bathroom facilities.

“The accommodation at B&B Selfoss was exceptional - never before have we enjoyed such wonderful home cooking.”

Celina Viner, Faringdon Academy of Schools

The hostel has a 24-hour reception service along with a café and breakfast lounge, free internet access and a common room with TV. Within walking distance are a number of shops, restaurants and a local swimming pool.

B&B Selfoss
B&B Selfoss B&B Selfoss B&B Selfoss B&B Selfoss B&B Selfoss

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Hotel Örk

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Located 45km east of Reykjavík in the health retreat of Hveragerdi, Hotel Örk has 85 spacious and well-furnished rooms which all come with a private bath, telephone and television.

“The Hotel Ork was outstanding, great leisure activities, brilliant food, the most helpful and accommodating staff, lovely high standard rooms. The geothermal pool was a big hit!”

Richard Brewster, Stamford School

The bathrooms are spacious and all come equipped with both shower and bathtub. The hotels gourmet restaurant serves typical healthy and wholesome Icelandic food, some of which is grown next door to the hotel in geothermal heated greenhouses and are served by the hotel's team of friendly staff. To keep the students entertained the hotel has an outdoor swimming pool with waterslide, children's pool, hot tubs and a geothermal sauna. Inside, the hotel offers a number of conference rooms that can be used for an evening quiz or study time. There is also a pool table, ping pong table and golf course.

Hotel Ork
Hotel Ork Hotel Ork Hotel Ork Hotel Ork

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Hotel Cabin

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Located along Faxafloi’ Bay’s scenic waterfront promenade, Hotel Cabin offers great value for money and is just a 20-minute coastal walk or short bus ride away from downtown Reykjavik. Its comfortable rooms all feature a TV and private bathroom and guests can enjoy the hotel’s buffet-style salad bar for lunch or dinner or a drink in the bar. To keep groups entertained, the geothermal Laugardalslaug swimming pool is just a 5-minute walk away – a popular local hangout.

Hotel Cabin
Hotel Cabin Hotel Cabin Hotel Cabin Hotel Cabin Hotel Cabin

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