Home to extraordinary wildlife and geography, Thingvellir is one of Iceland’s natural and ancient foundations, and a top destination for visitors. It offers a pristine environment for expeditions.
This trip in the historic Viking country of Iceland offers opportunities for school groups to trek across rugged valleys, over glaciers and around volcanoes - an adventurous experience in the land of fire and ice.
The itinerary starts with the stunning geothermal town of Hveragerði, where students will base themselves for their introduction to Iceland. The first adventure is into the world-famous Thingvellir National Park, renowned for its rich history and unique geography, including Silfra Fissure between the tectonic plates of the planet. The group then heads towards the Eyjafjallajökull icecap and volcano to explore stunning valleys, dramatic topographies, glaciers and black sand beaches. Finally, the trip culminates in a visit to the mesmerising solfataras and mudpools in a geothermal valley.
There are few locations that can provide waterfalls, valleys, volcanoes, icecaps, beaches, and cities in such a compact area.
Upon arrival in Iceland, the group will be met and transferred to the geothermal town of Hveragerði to spend two nights at a local hotel. This transfer will be along the Reykjanes Peninsula and, depending on arrival time, there may be some stops en route.
Today you visit some of Iceland´s most beloved sites. The first stop will be at the World Heritage Site of Thingvellir National Park where, in the early 10th century, a national assembly was established in the dramatic landscapes created by the mid Atlantic Ocean ridge which surfaces in this area.
After exploring the area on foot, you continue to the geothermal area of Geysir where the most majestic geysers are to be found, as well as other hot springs. A short drive away is the incredible waterfall of Gulfoss, cascading down into the canyon of the Hvítá River in two stages. Return to the hotel for the night.
Packing up today, the group will set out to the hidden valley of Thórsmörk, a palagonite wonderland located behind the southern ice caps of Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull. Here students will have the full day to explore the magical landscape, which epitomises the Icelandic image of fire and ice.
At the end of the day you will drive to the small town of Hella and spend the next two nights in the riverside cabins of Árhús.
Today you will explore the southern coast, stopping first at the waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss, found in the foothills of the Eyjafjallajökull icecap. Continuing further east, you come to the outlet glacier of Sólheimajökull where there will be a walk across the glacier with fully qualified glacier guides. After some exciting time on the ice, you then head to the beach at Reynisfjara, home to great columnar basalt and endless black sand, before returning to the cabins for the night.
On your last day, you will hike to the top of Reykjadalur, a geothermal valley in the eastern slopes of the volcano Hengill. En route there are opportunities to wonder at the numerous solfataras and mudpools, and perhaps even enjoy a dip in the warm pool fed by the hot springs. The day ends with a drive to Reykjavík for your final overnight in Iceland.
Transfer to Keflavík airport for your flight back to the UK.
- Destination: Iceland
- When to go: Apr to Oct
- Duration: 6 days
- Trip type: Explorer
- Thingvellir National Park
- Accommodation: Hotel and cabins
- Ideal for: Ages 15 to 16
Travellers will need:
- High level of fitness
- Appreciation for outdoor adventure
- Interest in encountering new cultures
The capital of Iceland and biggest settlement, Reykjavik is a small city with a rich past. The downtown area is perfect for experiencing typical Icelandic life and learning about Viking history.
Topped by a dazzling icecap in the south of Iceland, Eyjafjallajökull is a volcano with frequent eruptions in a region famed for its natural beauty and makes a great addition to a school trip.
Named after the Norse god Thor, Thórsmörk is a mountain ridge in the south of Iceland, surrounded by glacial valleys and black sand river beds. It is one of the most popular hiking areas in the region.