“They’ll Remember This Forever” Llanishen High School’s Epic Azores Geography Tour

Last updated: Jun 18th, 2024

We simply love crafting tailor-made school geography tours that meet and surpass expectations, and nowhere else quite shows the beauty of Mother Nature to your students than the Azores.

That’s what Llanishen High School and their Geography Teacher Mike Prince recently discovered, with them choosing a full itinerary with exceptional experiences around every corner.

We spoke to Mike about their incredible trip, what he wanted his students to learn and why Rayburn Tours were the perfect people to make it happen. Check it out.


In terms of all the experiences and everything we got, from the accommodation to the people to the places, we would 100% recommend it to other schools – the expectations of the trip went above and beyond!

Mike Prince, Llanishen High School

Vibrant blue and green picture of Sete Cidades two lakes.

Why The Azores?

Mike started with Llanishen in 2022, with one of his first projects organising an educational tour. The aim? To give his students a fresh perspective on geography and the opportunity to learn from real-world experiences.

So, when Mike came to Rayburn with this objective and the destination Iceland in mind, he was pleasantly surprised when we offered the Azores. But why? Simple, really.

We understand deeply how there are loads of lessons to be learnt from these pretty Portuguese islands in the Atlantic Sea. Your students can immerse themselves in the land and ask questions around ancient natural timescales, geothermic processes, physical geography, human geography, migration, farming, and much more.


The Azores just ticked all the boxes in terms of the landscapes we wanted to study. We got the chance to explain how unique features were and that the Azores are quite rare, and that all helped in enhancing our students’ geographical understanding. Some elements were even included in their recent exam – which was fantastic!

Mike Prince, Llanishen High School

Llanishen High School students look out over Furnas Valley on a Geography School Tour to the Azores with Rayburn Tours.


Natural Wonder

When Rayburn Tours plan your Azores educational tour, we focus on the biggest island, Sao Miguel, as it is rich in educational nuggets for your students to discover.

Think volcanism, seismic activity, the Triple Plate Boundary, microclimates, mild weather, and visible volcanic material all opening up lanes of discussion for your school. This is what Llanishen experienced:

Incredibly, there was even more, with Mike and his students particularly enjoying the panoramic views of the caldera lakes of Sete Cidades.


I’d say one of the highlights was Sete. It really gives students an insight into how the submerged volcano broke through the surface of the water to become a stratovolcano, and then became these caldera lakes after an ancient eruption. They understood what happened 50,000 years ago, which helped them connect the dots of their learning.

We also got some amazing photos of our group on the viewpoint above the blue and green lakes. It was incredible.

Mike Prince, Llanishen High School

Students walk around Ponta Delgada on an Azores Geography School Tour organised by Rayburn Tours.

A Packed Island

Fantastic accommodation and welcoming Azoreans adding the cherry to the school’s time, with them based in the capital, Ponta Delgada. A full schedule enhanced the experience even further. Why’s that?

We understand Sao Miguel’s small enough to see almost everything the island has to offer in one trip, but big enough to provide a fantastic base for students to enrich their geographical understanding. Which is what Llanishen experienced in abundance.

“To be able to fit in so much geographic content was amazing. We explored beautiful scenes, learnt about volcanic features, and did so much in a small space of time. It was perfect and the students have taken loads away from it. They’ll remember this forever.” Mike Prince, Llanishen High School

Field Study Tutors – The Gold Standard

Having carefully crafted school geography tours for years, we know researching and talking about the landscape on tour may not be possible when considering your daily responsibilities, which is where our Field Study Tutors come in.

They’re passionate geographers with a robust knowledge of the destination you’re visiting. Most are former teachers who have led school tours, so they fully understand what it takes to lead a group of young people outside the classroom.

Val Vannet is an extraordinary example of what an FST brings, with accolades and well-respected positions part of her 40-year history in the teaching profession. Leading tours with Rayburn since 2011 and with a budding curiosity and passion for the geography of the Azores with every visit, we knew Val was the perfect fit for Llanishen.

“Val is a legend! She was beyond expectations in terms of knowledge of the island and the landscapes we were studying. She was really good with the students and very friendly to all the staff. Of course, we could have talked our class through the features, but she had stats and stories that took students learning to the next level! She made our lives so much easier and added a new depth to the trip.” Mike Prince Llanishen High School.

Llanishen High School students listen to their FST on their Azores based geography trip organised by Rayburn Tours.

Educational Tour Experts

Tours like Llanishen’s can only happen with precision planning and close collaboration with the school to understand the trip objectives and ensure they’re met. Which is what we’ve been doing for years!

Our endless list of successful educational tours to a vast array of destinations means we truly understand what a group needs from their trip. We then take care of every last detail so your school can focus on learning and creating memories.

We’re there before, during, and after your trip, providing a full circle of support to ensure your school’s tour is one to remember.


Right from our first call we were very happy with Rayburn. I had no doubts, and nothing was ever too much to ask. It’s a relationship we’ll definitely continue as it’s a big deal for me how our school tour is managed, and Rayburn has been brilliant in every way.

Mike Prince, Llanishen High School

The Azores Await!

Mike and Llanishen had an unforgettable experience in the Azores, with them now looking ahead to the future with Rayburn in 2026.

If you and your school are looking for an Azorean adventure rich in educational experiences, then call us today and we can start your class’s journey.


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