Iceland | Geological Wonders

Iceland | Geological Wonders

About this trip

Iceland’s rich geologic history and northern latitude is an earth scientist’s dream — a land of arctic desert, towering mountains, hot springs, erupting volcanoes, and midnight sun. Embark on Iceland’s famous “Golden Circle” and see its most renowned landmarks: Geysir, Þingvellir National Park, and Gullfoss Waterfall. Along the way, this customizable itinerary includes opportunities to study a number of topics, including plate tectonics, volcanic systems, rock formation, geological history, glaciation, deposition, geothermal power, hydrology, natural history, Viking history, human geography, environmental science, and conservation.

Highlights

  • Study Iceland’s dramatic and varied geology including towering waterfalls, bursting geysers, massive glaciers, and volcanoes.
  • Examine the social and environmental impact of volcanic eruptions and other environmental events.
  • Stand at the rift between the European and North American tectonic plates at Þingvellir.
  • Go on a glacier walk at Sólheimajökull and discuss the effects of climate change on the glaciers in Iceland.
  • Visit the Saga Museum for a closer look at the people and events that shaped the country’s history.

 

8 Travelers

$4,210

Land Cost

Group size

Book 7 travelers and 1 group
leader travels for free

16 Travelers

$3,315

Land Cost

Group size

Book 14 travelers and 2 group
leaders travel for free

24 Travelers

$2,985

Land Cost

Group size

Book 21 travelers and 3 group
leaders travel for free

Day 1

Depart United States.

Vatnsholt

Day 2

Upon arrival at Keflavík International Airport, you will be met by your guide. After breakfast, drive around the peninsula, with stops at the Blue Lagoon and Orkuverið Jörðin, Power Plant Earth. Span continents as you step onto the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the boundary of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plate margins. Also take a detour to look at some pillow lavas that were extruded when this part of the Reykjanes Peninsula was submerged in the late Pleistocene. Visit the cliffs by Reykjanes Lighthouse, which offer breathtaking views across the North Atlantic and to Eldey Island, the "island of fire" that emerged from the ocean in the most recent sub-oceanic eruption in the area. Then continue further to the Krísuvík geothermal field before arriving at your accommodations.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Vatnsholt Farm

Vatnsholt

Day 3

Today visit the famous natural sights of Iceland's "Golden Circle": Þingvellir, Geysir, and Gullfoss. Þingvellir is one of the most interesting historical and geological places in Iceland; here you can witness the rift of the European and North American tectonic plates. Then visit Friðheimar farm to learn how geothermal energy is used for greenhouse heating and to observe a horse show with the unique Icelandic horse. After lunch at the greenhouse, continue on to Geysir, located in Haukadalur. It is the most famous spouting hot spring in the world and the origin of the international word geyser. Geysir's bowl stretches 59 feet across and when it erupted regularly would spout to heights of up to 196 feet. Today it does not erupt without human intervention, but a nearby hot spring, Strokkur, spouts about every 10 minutes. Gullfoss, in the Hvítá River, is Iceland's most famous waterfall, and has long been regarded as one of the most beautiful in the world.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Vatnsholt Farm

Þórsmörk

Day 4

Spend the morning horseback riding (at additional cost) or hiking to the geothermal river in Reykjadalur. Next visit the Saga Museum in Hvolsvöllur, where you will learn about interesting historical figures and events that took place in the area. On the way to Þórsmörk Glacier Valley, drive through the Saga areas. Þórsmörk is a unique wooded valley that lies sheltered between two glaciers, Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull. It is a place of extraordinary natural beauty and stunning contrasts of gentle woodlands and rugged glaciers. Great care must be taken when entering þórsmörk, especially when crossing the fast-flowing glacial rivers. In the valley you can enjoy moderate hikes and arrive in the afternoon at a remote and cozy mountain hut where you will spend the night.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Volcano Huts, cottages (shared facilities)

Þórsmörk

Day 5

Spend the day in the beautiful surroundings of Þórsmörk Valley, hiking to explore the area's caves, mountains with stunning views from the top, and a beautiful gorge.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Volcano Huts, cottages (shared facilities)

Reykjavík

Day 6

After breakfast at the hut, drive back out of the valley. Then drive along the south shore, where your first stop will be at Skógafoss waterfall. At 200 feet high, it is counted among the most breathtaking sights in the country. Stop next at Reynisfjara black sand beach. Later pass Sólheimajökull, a glacier tongue about 5 miles long and 7.5 miles wide, coming from the southwest of the glacier Mýrdalsjökull. There you get to try out a glacier walk with all glacier gear provided. Your last stop will be at the new Lava Centre in Hvolsvöllur to learn about the volcanic activity and lava systems in the area. Continue to Reykjavík, where you will spend your last night in Iceland.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Hotel Cabin

Departure

Day 7

Enjoy free time in the city this morning before transferring to the airport for your flight home.

Breakfast- included