10 amazing once-in-a-lifetime experiences to do in Iceland

Thursday August 11, 2016

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A country with a climate like no other, Iceland is a dream school trip destination for science and geography students. Boasting some of the most dramatic and beautiful landscapes on Earth, Iceland’s geothermic activity has resulted in a country bursting with spectacular geysers, epic waterfalls and perfectly formed volcanoes.

Iceland school trips not only allow students to see their study topics first hand, but also provides them with unparalleled opportunities explore Iceland’s incredible landscape. With every inch of this wondrous country proving itself to be utterly unique, we’ve picked out 10 amazing once-in-a-lifetime experiences to do in Iceland.

1. Gaze upon the mesmerising aurora borealis 

Aurora Borealis

Otherwise known as the northern lights, the elusive aurora borealis can make an appearance over Iceland, with the best time to see the lights being between November and March. The natural light display has also been dubbed one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World, providing a fascinating case study for both science and geography students learning about changes in the atmosphere.

2. Bathe in the soothing Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon

A natural spa situated just under an hour outside of Reykjavik, the Blue Lagoon comprises of geothermal water which originates 2,000 metres below the lagoon’s surface. As the water rises, it picks up silica and minerals before reaching the top at a soothing 38˚C. During a school trip to the Blue Lagoon, students can take a relaxing dip in the dazzling blue waters and allow their skin to benefit from the lagoon’s numerous minerals.

3. Catch a glimpse of the spectacular Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon 

Jokulsarlon

From the soothing temperatures of the Blue lagoon to the ice cold waters of Jökulsárlón, the two pools feel poles apart. After taking time to explore Skaftafell National Park, home to Iceland’s tallest mountain, Hvannadalshnjúkur, as well as the dramatic Svartifoss waterfall, head on towards the fascinating Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon. Found at the head of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier, the lagoon formed after the glacier began to melt, quadrupling in size since the 1970s. A brilliant educational trip for science and geography students, pupils can examine the causes of glacial retreat, as well as taking in the magnificent scenery.  

4. Discover the natural wonders of the Golden Circle

Gullfoss Geysir Iceland

One of Iceland’s most popular tourist trails, the Golden Circle comprises some of the country’s most magnificent sites. In a stunning display of nature’s forces, the tour kicks off with a visit to the Strokkur geyser where jets of water shoot into the air around every 4-8 minutes, reaching up to a whopping 30-metres! The tour also includes visits to the awe-inspiring Gullfoss waterfall and Thingvellir National Park.

5. Explore the untouched wilderness of Thingvellir National Park

Thingvellir National Park

An amass of breath-taking landscapes and fascinating geology, Thingvellir National Park has achieved World Heritage status due to its unique location and natural wonders. An icy wilderness in winter, transformed into rolling green hills in summer, the area can be explored by foot, car or horse. Situated on the Silfra fissure, the park’s diverse landscape is a direct result of the area’s geothermic activity, making it a fantastic school trip location.

6. Climb to the top of the beautiful Skogafoss waterfall

Skogafoss Waterfall

The 60-metre high Skogafoss waterfall serves as a brilliant case study for geography students, with the fall’s torrent forging its way through the rugged landscape. Visitors who climb to the top of the magnificent waterfall will be rewarded with stunning views out over lava rocks and of the ocean beyond. Those who don’t fancy the accent won’t be left out however, as the bottom of the falls is also worth exploring, with rainbows regularly appearing in the waterfall’s spray.

7. Hike through the breath-taking terrain in Landmannalaugar

Landmannalaugar

One of the most unusual landscapes on Earth, the scenery in Landmannalaugar is simply breath-taking. Famous for its multi-coloured rhyolite mountains, extensive lava fields, and the home of active volcano, Hekla, the area’s volcanic activity has resulted in a vast lunar landscape. Hiking through the mesmerising region is certainly a unique experience, with the area offering everything from hot springs to glaciers.

8. Enter a whole new world as you explore the Crystal Ice Cave

Skaftafell Ice Cave

If you thought Landmannalaugar was unusual, the Crystal Ice Cave in Skaftafell will transport you to another planet. Located at the foot of the Vatnajökull glacier, the Crystal Cave is a magical blue world of ice; dazzling explorers as they work their way through the cave. A fantastic opportunity for pupils studying glaciers, the ice caves offer an unparalleled insight into the heart of this natural wonder.

9. Witness the force of the epic Gullfoss waterfall

Gullfoss Waterfall

Probably Iceland’s most iconic falls, the epic Gullfoss waterfall is fed by Iceland’s second biggest glacier, Langjökull, and is one of the most popular stops on the Golden Circle tour. Situated in a vast canyon, the water plummets down 32 metres in two stages, casting brilliant rainbows as it cascades. Bask in awe of the area’s outstanding natural beauty, taking in the incredible panoramic views.

10. Spot the elusive whales off the coast of Reykjavik

Whale Watching Iceland

Not only does Iceland boast an amass of beautiful on-land sites and activities, but students can also try to catch a glimpse of one of the 23 different types of whale that can be found off the Icelandic coast. Minke and humpback whales are particularly common, and you could even see dolphins, puffins and a whole host of other marine life during the trip! The best opportunities to spot whales occur between May to September, but you can see them all year round.

With so many once-in-a-lifetime opportunities packed into one school trip, your students certainly won’t be short of things to do in Iceland! If you’re looking to plan a school trip to Iceland, get in touch with one of our specialist team members who will help you design a school tour tailored to your students’ needs.