Later this month, 35 students and 4 of their teachers will embark on the school trip of a lifetime to Iceland! And you'll be able to follow the trip as it happens thanks to regular updates on our Facebook and Twitter!
The group from William Edwards School in Grays, Essex, were the winners of our 30th anniversary competition, and will be enjoying their school trip to Iceland at ‘80’s prices!
The students, their parents and their teachers have been telling us how excited they are about their forthcoming trip – for many it will be their first time away from home without their families.
See what they had to say!
Here’s what they’ll be getting up to:
After arriving at Keflavik Airport, the group will head to their accommodation in Reykjavik. On the way, they’ll stop at the Blue Lagoon, where they’ll be able to relax and enjoy the warm, mineral-rich geothermal waters – something which the students in particular are really looking forward to!
Once they’re feeling more relaxed, they’ll continue on to their accommodation, the Hlemmur Square Hostel. They’ll enjoy some much-needed dinner, before diving into some birthday cake to thank them for being a part of Halsbury’s 30th anniversary celebrations!
On their first full day in Iceland, the group will spend the day exploring the wonders of the country’s South Coast.
The drive down to the South Coast will take them through wide plains created by glacial rivers. They’ll pass through Hveragerði – a small village built on a hot spring field that is so famous for its horticulture it’s known as ‘the blossoming town’!
Their journey will take them towards the many majestic mountains that tower over the country’s south coast, including the snow-capped Hekla, one of Iceland’s most active volcanoes), and the infamous Eyjafjallajökull (this is actually the name of the glacier that covers the stratovolcano underneath).
They’ll then stop at two spectacular waterfalls – Seljalandsfoss and Skógarfoss.
Seljalandsfoss is part of the Seljalands river, which has its origins in the Eyjafjallajökull glacier. This waterfall is a popular stop for tourists, as it gives visitors the rare opportunity to walk behind the falls.
Skógarfoss is one of the biggest waterfalls in Iceland, with a width of 25m and a drop of 60m. The spray it produces means that, if it’s a sunny day, the group should see a rainbow above the falls (or a double rainbow, if they’re lucky!).
They’ll then resume their journey, which will take them past Dyrhólaey – a magnificent headland. This promontory is believed to have been created by an underwater volcanic eruption during Iceland’s glacial period, in a similar way to how the island of Surtsey was created in 1963.
The group will then stop in beautiful Vík, Iceland’s southernmost village, for lunch, before heading to the beach to check out its famous black volcanic sand! From the beach, the group will see the basalt sea stacks known as the Reynisdrangar rocks.
After a spot of dinner, the group will head back out into the wilderness on a Northern Lights tour! Let’s hope they’re lucky enough to see them!
The third day of the trip will start with a visit to Thingvellir National Park. Here, the group will have the chance to walk between two tectonic plates, as the park is part of a fissure zone and sits on the tectonic plate boundaries of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
It’s also an important historical and cultural site for Icelanders, as it was the site of their parliament for hundreds of years. Founded in 930, Iceland’s is actually the world’s oldest democratic parliament!
Later, the group will continue on to the Gullfoss and Geysir Geothermal Area.
Gullfoss is probably Iceland’s most famous waterfall. It’s part of the Hvítá river, which is fed by the country’s second largest glacier, Langjökull. The water cascades over 32m down two steps into a narrow canyon.
Just a short drive from Gullfoss is the group’s next stop – Great Geysir. This once active geyser actually gave us the word ‘geyser’, but now lies dormant. However, just 100m away is the new star attraction of the area – Strokkur. This geyser erupts every 10 minutes or so, shooting superheated water and steam up to 30m in the air!
The group will then make their way back to Reykjavik via the Hellisheiði heath – a lava plateau.
After some free time in Reykjavik, the group will head off to the airport, having discovered the geographical wonders of Iceland!
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