Hear glaciers calving, walk through a rift valley and see a volcano let off steam, then experience the potential of geothermal energy and watch the Northern Lights, all in the same trip.
One of the world’s most volcanically active landscapes, and home to Europe’s largest glacier, Iceland sits just outside the Arctic Circle. The settlements along its fjord-indented coastline rely almost entirely on renewable energy, while the uninhabited interior is a wilderness of ice fields and lava deserts, giving Iceland the lowest population density in Europe.
This volcanic laboratory of bubbling mud pools and noisy geysers will blow your students’ minds. Meet the troublesome volcano that caused the 2010 ash cloud and discover why flooding was one of the major impacts of this eruption. Next, compare Eyjafjallajokul to Hekla – one of Iceland’s most active volcanoes.
All this tectonic activity is far too good to simply watch, so bring your group armed with questions about Iceland’s renewable energy, and have them answered at Hellishieldi – the world’s second largest geothermal power plant.
From fire to ice, you’ll experience glistening icebergs and receding glaciers, allowing you to transition between tectonics, glacial processes and climate change all in the same day. Mighty waterfalls add another geographic discipline – wait for jaws to drop when you arrive at Seljalandsfoss, which plunges 60-metres over Iceland’s former coastline.
Reykjavík, the world’s most northerly capital, is both an appealing student base and a fantastic urban case study – set young minds whirring when you ask how this tiny city manages its volatile tectonics alongside sustainable tourism and a successful economy, then examine its everyday services and rebranded harbour.
A Geographer’s dream, prepare to be awestruck by Iceland. To avoid the coldest months and see the best range of attractions and museums, visit between May and September.