When it comes to unique adventures Iceland comes up trumps, with awe-inspiring opportunities to get up close to its glistening glaciers, mighty volcanoes, steaming hot springs and wonderful wildlife!
Here we’ve put together our recommendations for the top 9 unforgettable experiences, that’ll ensure the trip of a lifetime for you and your students as you visit to the world’s best geography classroom!
1.Into the Glacier
One small step for students, one giant leap for your school group! Venture into Iceland’s second largest glacier, where ice tunnels shine blue as you make your way into the heart of the glacier itself. Situated on Iceland’s West Highlands, your group will travel by modified glacier vehicles across the icy landscape, settling at the top of the ice cap. Once there you’ll experience a guided tour unlike any other, moving between the thick ice walls – with some areas up to 580 metres thick!
Step into a cave where Lava once flowed and discover how these ancient natural structures were created. Formed during the Leitahraun eruption which occurred around 5200 years ago groups will don hard hats (and crampons if it’s icy!) to traverse the 1.4km tunnel. Learn about how the caves were created by low-viscosity lava flow and the minerals that light up the walls with wonderful colours!
3.Snorkelling through the Silfra Fissure
After appearing in 1789 after a major earthquake, the Silfra fissure is the only place in the world where you are able to swim, snorkel and dive between two continental plates. Situated between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates within the Thingvellir National park, the fissure is filled with what is known to be the clearest water in the world, derived from the nearby Langjökull glacier. Snorkelling through various widths of the fissure, the group will be able to see both continental plates up close and personal through the glass like water.
Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean – one of the world’s largest eco systems – Iceland is perfectly placed for students to witness the wonderful creatures of the underwater world. With common sightings of minke whales, humpback whales, white-beaked dolphins and harbour porpoises and even some rare sightings of killer whales, your students will be wowed as they witness these majestic animals in their natural environment! You’re most likely to catch a sighting of these creatures in the summer when krill surfaces near the shore.
Icelandic horses can be traced all the way back to the late 9th century when they played a huge part in the Norse settlement of the country. Fast forward to today and there are 80 thousand horses in Iceland, with more and more adventurers travelling the country on horseback!
Give your students a cultural and educational experience as you swap the bus for a four legged friend to trail the wilderness of Iceland. You’ll venture off the beaten track witnessing Lava fields and Hot Springs from a whole new perspective.
6.Super Jeep Adventure
Embark on a Super Jeep Journey into the remote wilderness of southern Iceland’s Thórsmörk Valley. Travelling in 4×4s with Iceland’s Rescue Team drivers, this is a must for all adventure-loving, thrill-seekers out there. Enjoy the ride!
After a long and busy day of exploring the rugged landscape of Iceland, what better way to unwind than at the geothermal baths and spa of Fontana Spa? Weary from your travels, windswept from your treks – it’s time to enjoy the selection of relaxing pools and steam baths on offer.
Open until late, the group can enjoy the naturally heated steam baths that are heated by Lake Laugarvatn which can be heard bubbling below. Groups can choose from several mineral baths of varying sizes and temperatures whilst taking in the clean Icelandic air and views, if brave enough you can even take a dip in the lake to cool down!
8.Day on Heimaey Island
‘Home Island’ or Heimaey is the largest of the Westerman Islands, populated by people and puffins! A fascinating adventure for students to cross the sea, giving them a chance to witness Orcas and Fin Whales in their natural habitat, as well as learning about the Eldfell volcano eruption in 1973 at the Eldheimar Volcano Museum. Take the opportunity to get up close to the Eldfell to visualise where the 1973 eruption took place and understand how this affected inhabitants and how it shaped the landscape.
The Reykjanes Geopark or Reykjanes Peninsula is a UNESCO recognised mega-geosite that lies on the Mid-Atlantic ridge, making it a hot bed of geothermal and volcanic activity! As one of the only places in the world where groups can actually see the ridge (above water), several geographical features such as fissures and volcanoes can be studied. Made up of 55 geosites the Rekjanes Peninsula offers key stops such as Gunnuhver Hot Springs and Krýsuvík Mud Puddles.