Iceland’s packed with so many places to see it can be difficult to know which to choose. So, we’ve put together a list of the most popular places to visit whilst on an Iceland School Trip.
From volcanoes to waterfalls, glaciers to craters, historical cities to national parks, there’s an abundance of colossal features in Iceland ideal for student learning.
The Northern Lights
Let’s start with the majestic and world-renowned Aurora Borealis. Also known as The Northern Lights, they appear in blue, purple, orange, red as well as yellow and are a result of solar wind ions colliding with Earth’s magnetosphere.
Called Nordurlijós in Icelandic, they are stunning but unpredictable. So, speak with one of our team to find out the best time of year to see them.
Inside the popular Golden Circle, the Secret Lagoon is a man-made pool constantly fed by gorgeous, natural hot springs of the nearby geothermal area Hverahólmi.
Close to Gullfoss waterfall and in the village of Flúðir, it’s 38 to 40°C all year round. Plus, the surrounding hot springs and luscious Little Geyser can be accessed easily from a poolside path.
Ideally placed in a lava field with stunning views of the cone-shaped volcanoes and silent landscapes of Reykanes Peninsula, the Blue Lagoon is only 14 miles from Keflavik International Airport and 30 from Reykjavik.
A sprawling, mineral-rich lagoon, it’s geothermally warmed sea-water rests between a comforting 37-39 degrees. Also, suspended white silica gives the liquid an opaque appearance whilst blue-green algae provide that spectacular aquamarine colouration.
One of the most popular places to visit on this list, we can include this enchanting area in your itinerary.
Thingvellir National Park
Iceland sits on a fault-line of tectonic plates known as the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, with some areas on the North American plate and others on the Eurasian. At Thingvellir, it’s the only place on Earth you can see the edges of those colossal shifting landscapes.
Known locally as þingvellir, the national park is an important part of Icelandic culture as for over 800 years ruling chiefs met here to discuss law and the commonwealth.
Overall, there’s a deep list of places to see in this 240 square kilometre terrain, with our snorkelling dive in the Silfra ravine ideal for education on glacial waterflow as the liquid comes from the Langjökull ice cap.
With so many geothermal areas to pick from, we’ve distilled them into a handy school travel list below:
- Geysir Geothermal Area: also, part of the Golden Circle, the main pull is the frequently erupting Strokkur Geysir. Home to hot springs, mud pools and eruptions, the Great Geysir is found there too.
- Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Plant: one of 6 power plants in Iceland, your students will get hands on with a series of interactive exhibits that showcase how the station produces green, sustainable energy.
- Gunnuhver hot spring: located in Reykjanes Peninsula, it has the largest mud pool in Iceland and boasts steam vents, hot springs and a close connection with the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
The Golden Circle
Want to conveniently include several of these impressive geological forces on your trip?
Then look no further than the specifically designed Golden Circle tour. A route including Thingvellir National Park, the Geysir geothermal area and Gullfoss waterfall. And depending on where you stay, you can complete it in a half or full day.
And once you’ve finished with those natural wonders, you’ve easy access to the Secret Lagoon.
With up to 10,000 waterfalls in Iceland alone, we’ve picked the most visited to get you started.
There’s the powerful Gullfoss, movie celebrated Skogafoss, bush tipped Hraunfossar in Borgarfjordur and the most photographed Seljalandsfoss.
Plus, most waterfalls can be included in the same tour – just ask our specialist team.
A terrain full of geothermal features, this UNESCO-recognised area sits on top of six volcanic systems, including Reykjanes and Krýsuvik.
On Reykjavik’s doorstep, the gorgeous green moss spellbindingly contrasts with the deep black lava flows, cliffs and rugged fields. Also, the 2021 eruption of Fagradalsfjall brought a new lava flow to the area.
So, one not to be missed.
The ‘fire’ from ‘land of fire and ice’ refers to Icelands many volcanoes.
And with around 130 magma fuelled colossi sitting within Iceland’s borders, you might see one every corner you turn. However, our tour via the LAVA centre takes in the geothermal area where the stratovolcano Hekla broodily resides.
A list of the most popular places to visit whilst on an Iceland school trip wouldn’t be complete without the capital city, Reykjavik.
Amongst the greenest, safest and cleanest cities in the world, there’s plenty to see and do in this petit metropolis. Attractions include the multi-faceted Perlan, iconic Hallgrimskirkja church, several types of museums, shops, restaurants and family friendly parks like Laugardalur.
And what’s more, you can rest easy in our Hotel Cabin, which is a short stroll from the centre.
There are plenty of quirky things to do in Reykjavik, read more here.
There’s over 269 glaciers in Iceland, with some of them accessible for eye-opening educational visits. Two stunning such areas are the ice cap Langjökull and outlet glacier Sölheimajökull.
Langjökull offers incredible glacial immersion with our Field Study Tutors guiding classes through a thrilling man-made cave. Whereas Sölheimajökull gives unbelievable access to a guided hike, where our Blue Ice Adventure activity provides your group with ice axes and crampons to conquer the wonderfully blue-white terrain.
Want Even More?
Our list comprises some the most popular places but there’s a generous spread of things to do, locations to visits and geological forces to learn about in Iceland.
And with over 55 years experience in organising tailor-made world-class tours, we here at Rayburn Tours have come to know the most popular places to visit whilst on an Iceland school trip.
See you soon! Or as Icelanders would say, ‘Sjáumst fljótlega!’
School Trips to Iceland
Iceland is a haven of unspoiled landscapes and geographical gems. Where hot springs bubble through sulphur-crusted vents, blue-hued glaciers glisten in the midnight sun, volcanoes rise to majestic heights and thundering waterfalls plummet into expansive gorges, a school trip to Iceland is your ticket to some of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders.
The Iceland Series
You can now download a wealth of teaching aids in Unit 1 (Natural Hazards) and Unit 2 (Energy Resources). With individual packs to target both GCSE and A-Level teaching, we’ve got you covered! They’re designed to provide teachers with a wealth of practical aids to deliver Geographical teaching on a range of hot topics, using Iceland as an engaging case study.