Posted: 22 March 2023

Our Iceland Adventure!

Zoe, Gaynor, Laura and Delphine all had a fantastic Icelandic adventure – here, Zoe tells us what they got up to. 

Where did you go and why did you go there?

We spent 4 nights in Iceland, taking in the city of Reykjavik, along with visits to key geographical features out in the Icelandic countryside. This was for our hotel team to inspect properties and for members of our education team to learn more about Iceland as a destination for geography and science school trips. 

What were your impressions of the destination?

Iceland sells itself when it comes to geography and science school trips. There is nowhere else where you can walk in between tectonic plates, see geysers erupting and waterfalls flowing, as well as see lava fields, volcanoes and glaciers all within a relatively short distance. The natural beauty of the place is truly breathtaking and if you are lucky enough to also see the Northern Lights then there really is no other option to choose. 

Did you visit any of the sights or take part in any of the activities that school groups are able to?

Yes, we did many of the main sights in the city and on the South Shore and Golden Circle routes. Some key visits are always included, such as waterfalls, geysers and Thingvellir National Park but we also added in some extras. 

We visited the Perlan in Reykjavik, a great option as a first or last stop on your tour. The Ice Cave is great fun and the Northern Lights show is a great visual experience. Add in all the exhibits also available and you can easily spend a couple of hours here. 

We experienced the Power Plant Exhibition at Hellisheidi. This is an amazing visit for any groups interested in sustainability and geothermal power. We were truly impressed by the small scale of the plant and its minimal staffing requirements for such a huge output of power. 

Our highlight was the glacier walk at Solheimajökull. Our guided walk was approximately 3-3.5 hours with our equipment fitting and safety briefings. This is an easy level, steady walk on to the glacier tongue which can be enjoyed by all. The guide was so informative and we all came away impressed by the experience and the scenery. I would really recommend this option to school groups, as you feel much more connected to the surroundings than a quick hop off the bus for a photo stop. 

Did you stay in or inspect any hotels? What were your impressions?

We did a mix of properties and stayed at a different property each night. 

Our first was the Dalur Hostel in Reykjavik. This is a good base for smaller groups as they have a number of 4-bedded bunk rooms with private bathrooms. It’s ideal for those who like to have some outside space, as they have a field out the back and it’s next to a large public swimming pool that you can use as an extra evening activity at minimal cost. 

We headed out into the countryside then, where our first stay was at the Hotel Ork. This hotel is around 45 minutes from Reykjavik and is a great base if you don’t want to stay in the city at all. The hotel is very large with an outdoor pool and hot tubs and, given its distance from the city, gives you a better chance of seeing the Northern Lights (which we did!). 

On the third night, we stayed in Hellisholar at the Hotel Eyjafjallajökull. Set along the South Shore route, Hellisholar has two property options, in either the hotels or the cabins. The cabins are spread over the farmland and sleep up to 6 students with a small kitchen area. These are a lovely option for older groups who like their space. The hotel has 36 rooms and is just a 2-minute walk to the main restaurant building. This option is great for Northern Lights spotting as it’s far from any city or village lights. And the welcome here is very warm and the food very good. 

On our last night, we returned to the city to visit the Hotel Cabin. This is one of our main properties, due to the good value for money it offers our school groups. The hotel is well located, within walking distance to the city centre, if you have some free time. They provide a buffet salad bar with a soup and hot meal option each evening that is very cost-effective, so many groups choose this option. You can also mix this with a meal out one night – the local Hamburger Factory restaurant is a good choice, as it’s just a 10-minute walk away. 

Now you’ve visited this location, why do you think it’s a good destination for a school trip?

The curriculum links are clear in Iceland and you won’t experience anything like it anywhere else on the planet. We can’t recommend Iceland highly enough for geography and science groups. For the best prices and availability, we recommend travelling during term time where possible, as the availability can be very tight during the holidays, due to its popularity. 

Iceland can be done cheaply if you stick to the basics and are flexible on your travel dates. If you have the budget you can do so many extra interesting things, like the glacier walk, lava tunnels, whale watching, Fly Over Iceland or one of the Lagoons.

Just talk to our team of experts to see what works best for you!

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