The magical country of Iceland has long been a popular tourist destination. It’s particularly a hit with photographers, nature lovers, schools, and anyone looking for a trip packed with once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
No matter what time of year you visit the ‘Land of Fire and Ice’, a school trip to Iceland is sure to be filled with activities from whale watching to swimming in the popular Blue Lagoon.
Here is our list of the top ten things to see and do in Iceland.
It’s rare that anyone would be tempted to take a dip in outdoor waters in the middle of winter, but Iceland’s Blue Lagoon is hard to resist. The geothermal spa is located in a beautiful lava field in Grindavik, and you’ll be glad to know that is it’s warm and relaxing at any time of year.
Not only can the naturally heated Blue Lagoon provide pupils with a fantastic break, it can also give them a valuable science lesson that’s impossible to recreate in the classroom.
Iceland is one of Europe’s best whale watching destinations. In fact, there are 23 different species of whales and dolphins to see. You may also encounter harbour porpoises and puffins on your adventure.
There are numerous geysers dotted around Iceland, and pupils are sure to love these weird and wonderful pools that intermittently throw bursts of water into the air. Some of the most energetic springs erupt every few minutes, sometimes reaching a height of 40 metres.
Iceland is one of the most dynamic volcanic regions in the world, and as a result, it’s a true paradise for those fascinated by these mountainous giants.
Students on a Geography and Science school trip will also love the ‘Iceland Erupts’ Visitor Centre which opened in 2011, a year after the Eyjafjallajokull eruption. Pupils will watch as graphics, photos and videos explain the volcanic and geologic forces that caused the eruption, and will learn about a family living on a nearby farm.
The South Shore
The south coast of Iceland boasts some of the country’s most majestic natural wonders and is one of the best places to visit. See the stunning Myrdalsjokull glacier, visit Reynisfjara’s black volcanic beach, and have a walk behind the magnificent Seljalandsfoss waterfall.
Overlooking fierce waves, Strandarkirkja is Iceland’s most famous church and is often referred to as the ‘miracle church’ due to the belief that it has profound and divine powers.
Students with exams looming may benefit from a surge in confidence after visiting Strandarkirkja, as many people believing that the church brings success and good luck to those that go inside.
Fakasel Icelandic Horse Park
Did you know that there is only one breed of horse in the whole of Iceland? It’s also the purest breed in the world. At The Icelandic Horse Park in Fakasel, pupils will get the chance to meet the horses and learn about how they are cared for. They’ll also have the opportunity to experience a guided tour through the park’s equestrian facility and view a show in the horse theatre.
The Golden Circle
The Golden Circle is a popular tourist route in Southern Iceland which covers approximately 300km and loops from Reykjavik to central Iceland and back. While there are several variations of the tour, most include a handful of Iceland’s most stunning sights. Pupils could get a chance to see the famous ‘Strokkur’ Geyser shoot columns of water into the air and they will also be able to view the breathtaking Gullfoss waterfall.
Volcano House Cinema and Geology Exhibition
After a trip filled with walking and sightseeing, it’s likely that students will be glad to sit down and watch something on the big screen. The Volcano House Cinema and Geology exhibition is an ideal destination for the last day of the trip. Pupils will get to watch two award winning documentaries that explain the most powerful volcanic eruptions over the last 40 years. There is also a hands-on geology exhibition where everyone can see and touch various pieces of pumice, ash and lava from real Icelandic volcanoes.
A once-in-a-lifetime experience, seeing the Northern Lights really is a great way to top off a trip to Iceland. Unfortunately though, they’re also one of the most unpredictable attractions that the country has to offer.
To see them at their best, it’s widely advised to visit between November and March. While a clear night is preferable, visiting when the moon is small can also help to emphasise the gorgeous colours in the sky.
When it comes to finding a school trip that offers pupils a chance to learn, have fun, and unwind, Iceland really does have it all. In fact, with so many attractions in Iceland, schools will be spoilt for choice. Not only will pupils return home with memories that will last a lifetime, they’ll also learn some valuable lessons that can help their studies back in the classroom.
To learn more about the best places to visit during a school trip to Iceland, please get in touch with the team at WST.