Investigating geography in Iceland

Walking for health

Iceland is a healthy country with fresh air and landscapes that will make your heart beat just that little bit faster. This tour is designed for those who are not wanting lengthy hikes and have perhaps been prescribed some walking to improve their health. At the same time participants will experience some of the best that Iceland has to offer. A walk will be included in each day’s itinerary and no walk will exceed 7km (usually be much less) and will be taken at a comfortable pace. On more challenging days an option will be provided. Your health and safety is paramount to us.

Contact us for more details – info@trex.is

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Field Studies

Iceland is a living textbook for so many aspects of Geographical Studies and we at Trex have considerable experience in providing the facilities for educational trips for A-Level or GCSE whether carrying out field studies or seeking some ‚awe & wonder‘ experiences – and Iceland provides plenty of those!  We can offer a variety of field study days as well as a number of optional activities (e.g. glacier walking, iecap travel, visit to Heimaey, various musems etc).

We can provide itineraries for school visits running from 3 – 7 days and can adjust the content of your field trip to suit the needs of your curriculum.

The cost will vary according to numbers and would include:  All transport ex Keflavík airport; full board accommodation; all entry fees incl. the Blue Lagoon; English speaking guide.  Two members of staff would travel free with a group of e.g. 20 students.

Please enquire. 

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Sample Itinerary

DAY 1: SETTING THE SCENE

This is a summary of our basic 5-Day programme, which can be amended to suit your school’s requirements. In this model the accommodation is based on the Youth Hostel at Laugarvatn but please note that the location and rate will depend upon the availability at the time of booking. Optional days/locations will require re-costing.

Route: KeflavíkAirport – Blue Lagoon – Hveragerði -Laugavatn

Itinerary:  (subject to flight arrival times): Fly from UK to Keflavík, SW Iceland. Get off to a novel start with a swim in the geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon (1) just 20 minutes from the airport. Alternatively you can drive through a very volcanic stretch of landscape to see lava flows, craters and rifts on your way to the solfataras and mud springs near Krýsuvík (2) Then transfer to your accommodation for your evening meal.

DAY 2: SEA FLOOR SPREADING AND GEOTHERMAL ENERGY

Route: Sólheimajökull – Vík – Hjörleifshöfði – Reynisfjara

Topics covered: plate tectonics and sea floor spreading; earthquakes; geothermal energy and its uses; rift valley formation;

Itinerary:  Drive to Thingvellir (3a/b) to experience the formation of a rift valley and examine the surface effects of sea floor spreading. Discover also how it influenced the first ever democratic parliament. Proceed to Nesjavellir (4) to witness the surreal effects of geothermal activity. This visit will involve a short, but stiff walk requiring suitable footwear and clothing. If time allows we will continue to Hveragerdi (5) to examine the impact of recent tectonics and geothermal energy on both landscape and economic activities. Return to the accommodation for supper.

DAY 3: WIND AND WATER

Route: Alviðra – Irafoss – Hagavík – Geysir – Gullfoss

Topics covered: changes in sea level; weathering and erosion; wind and water erosion; the water cycle and geothermal activity; waterfall evolution; hydro-electric power.

Itinerary:  Drive to Alviðra (6a/b) to consider changes in sea level and the effect thatweathering & erosion can have on soils. Visit the Irafoss (7) hydro-electric plant buried in the rocks and continue towards Hagavík (8) to examine the effects of soil erosion by wind and water and the impact of people. Return back to drive to Geysir (9) to witness the effect of geothermal heat on groundwater followed by a visit to the powerful Gullfoss (10) waterfall to consider the water cycle. Return to the accommodation for supper.

DAY 4: GLACIERS AND VOLCANIC ACTIVITY

Route: Hlíðarendi – Seljalandsfoss – Thorvaldseyri – Sólheimajökull

Toipics covered: changes in sea level, isostasy; climate change; volcanic activity; natural hazard management; glacial erosion and deposition; river/glacier functions.

Itinerary:  Make a brief stop at Strandasiki or Hróarslækur (11) to link back to yesterday’s topics and to look ahead to the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull. Continue to Fljótshlíð to visitHlíðarendi (12) for a view of the Markárfljót outwash plain and the Eyjafjallajökull volcano.Cross the valley to the point where the 2010 eruption damaged the main highway (13). Make a brief stop at the Seljalandsfoss (14) waterfall, which you can sometimes walk behind and continue to the farm Thorvaldseyri (15), which was most affected by the eruption. Here we will study the farm and consider how it manages to survive in the lee of an active volcano. What does hazard management entail? Visit the Sólheimajökull (16a/b) glacier snout to study the effects of glacial erosion & deposition and to reconsider the effects of climate change. Return to the accommodation for supper.

DAY 5: URBAN CONTRASTS

Route: Reykjavík – Keflavík

Topics covered: settlement location; urban growth; CBD; conurbation; conflict for space; container port

Itinerary: Drive to Reykjavík (17a – e) to look at aspects of urban growth and to see how it might compare with your home town. Specific field sites can include the port, the old harbour, the old town and modern CBD, and the city overlook at Perlan (17b) (The Pearl) situated on a hill atop several hot water tanks. The content of this day is very flexible and the opportunity can be provided to have free time in this very safe city. The group will reassemble to drive toKeflavík for the flight home. Some groups take in the Blue Lagoon on this day rather than on arrival (see Day1).

Optional Add Ons

OPTION DAY A*: COASTAL PROCESSES

Route: Hjörleifshöfði – Laufskálavarða – Vík – Reynisfjara – Dyrhólaey

Topics covered: glacier bursts (jökulhlaup); coastal deposition and erosion; coastal protection; nature conservation

Itinerary:  Drive to Hjörleifshöfði (23a/b) to see how a coastline can be dramatically changed (glacier bursts; aerial seeding). Visit Laufskálavarða (22) to consider approaches to land reclamation. Return to the village of Vík (20) and walk from the churchyard to the shore noting the need for coastal protection. Study the beach here to compare with that at the next stop,Reynisfjara (19), which also has some superb columnar basalt structures. Continue to the cliffcoastline of erosion at Dyrhólaey (18a/b/c). Return to the accommodation for supper.

OPTION DAY B*: VOLCANIC LANDSCAPES (subject to road conditions)

Route: Selfoss – Vegamót – Leirubakki – Landmannalaugar

Topics covered: Volcanic eruptions; lava types, rhyolitic centres, explosion craters, reforestation

Itinerary:  A long day but well worth the effort. The first main stop will be the Volcano exhibition at Leirubakki (26) to learn about the volcano Hekla (25). You will then drive further into the barren interior across pumice plains (27), through lava flows and melt streams to the stunning Landmannalaugar (28 & 29a/b/c/) area. On the way you will observe tectonic rifts, an explosion crater. On arrival you will do a circular walk across through the lavas to a geothermal area and back for a soak in a naturally hot stream before heading back for supper at the accommodation.

OPTION DAY C*: VOLCANIC LANDSCAPES (subject to road conditions)

Route: Selfoss – Vegamót – Leirubakki – Háifoss – Gjáin – Stöng

Topics covered: Volcanic eruptions; lava types, reforestation, waterfalls

Itinerary:  Another long day but well worth the effort. The first main stop will be the Volcano exhibition at Leirubakki (26) to learn about the volcano Hekla (25). and the largestreafforestation programme in Europe. You will then drive further into the barren interior acrosspumice plains (27), across an amazing man-made hydro-electric chasm (30) to one of Iceland’s highest and most stunning waterfalls, Háifoss (31). You then descend to another of Iceland’s gems, the beautiful rocky dell, Gjáin (32), from which you walk for 30 mins down valley to the excavated Viking longhouse at Stöng (33) before heading back for supper at the accommodation.

OPTION DAY D*: GLACIAL LANDSCAPES (subject to road conditions)

Route: Hlíðarendi – Selfoss – Hvolsvöllur – Þórsmörk

Toipics covered: glacial & fluvio-glacial landforms; volcanic eruptions; gorges

Itinerary:  A full day heading first to the site of the former pro-glacial lake at Gígjökull (39), which was infilled durng the recent eruption of Eyjafjallajökull. This is where the huge volumes of melt water discharged from the crater above. Braided channels and push moraines are visible here. The route takes you deeper into the valley through several streams until you reach the magnificent area of Þórsmörk (40) surrounded by the ice from Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull icecaps. From herer you will walk to the top of Valahnjúkur (41) for a 360° view of this wonderful landscape. Decending you rejoin the bus to go back down the valley to the mouth of Stakkholtsgjá (43), a steep sided gorge with a suprising endind. Then it´s time to head back to your accommodation and supper.

OPTION DAY E*: GLACIAL LANDSCAPES (only feasible from a base near Vík)

Route: Mýrdalssandur – Kirkjubæjarklaustur – Skaftafell – (Jökulsárlón)

Topics covered: Jökulhlaups; eruptions; changes in sea level; glacial and pro-glacial landforms; pro-glacial lakes; glacial damming; national parks; conservation

Itinerary: Another long day but well worth the effort. Stops will depend upon the group’s interests and not all sites may be accessible at one time owing to weather conditions. Initially you would drive to a magnificent chasm, Fjaðrargljúfur (34), created by glacial flood flow. Then directly to the impressive pro-glacial lake Jökulsárlón (35) to witness the icebergstrapped in the shallow waters at the edge of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier tongue. You will then retrace your steps to the Skaftafell National Park (36) headquarters to take a 2hrs round trip walk to the columnar basalt waterfall of Svartifoss (37). Hardy groups may also trek across the heath to view the details of the Skaftafellsjökull (38) from above. You then return across the mighty Skeiðarársandur outwash plain to your accommodation and supper.

OPTION DAY F*: Westmann Islands (weather permitting)

Route: Selfoss – Landeyarhöfn – ferry – Vestmannaeyjar

Topics covered: Volcanic eruptions; mid-ocean ridges; geothermal energy; tourism.

Itinerary: Drive to the ferry harbour on the south coast to take the short crossing to theWestmann Islands. On arrival you will spend the day walking across the island and up to the top of the volcano that erupted in 1973. On the way you will be able to see the line of thefissure and some of the effects of the ash deposits. From the cone you will have a good view of the line of former volcanoes from Surtsey (1963) to the mainland’s Eyjafjallajökull (2010). Having seen the volcano on the ground you will descend to visit Café Kró for refreshment and a viewing of film of the eruption. It is sometimes possible to undertake a boat tour around the island. Depending upon ferry times it may be possible to swim at the island pool before returning to the hotel for supper.

OTHER OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES * = additional cost involved

Activity
Available on:
SkógarFolkMuseum* –
Sólheimar village* –
Thorvaldseyri Farm* –
National Horticultural College* –
Swimming Pools* –
Icecap Travel* –
Amphibious vehicle trip* –
Key Cards

We have prepared material for every site written by a specialist geographer.  These take the form of KEY CARDS containing photographic images and pertinent questions that might usefully be asked by students. They will also serve as revision cards or even as a souvenir booklet to answer the inevitable post-visit question: „What did you do in Iceland?“

Please click here to view Key Card Map indicating field study locations for the sample itinerary.

The numbers on the map correspond with those in brackets in the Sample Itinerary.

Expiditions

For many years TREX has provided transport for tailor made school and university expeditions and field study visits to Iceland. We have a variety of vehicles to reach even the most inaccessible places and are happy to provide quotations for your visit.

Please click here to view some of our vehicles.

Terms & conditions

Validity of prices:  All rates quoted are based on current prices and are subject to change without notice in the event of currency fluctuations, impositions of or increase in taxes due to any cost increase not under the direct influence of TREX.

Payments (only for flight):   75% of the payment has to reach TREX 4 weeks prior to departure. The final payment made within 30 days after receipt of a detailed invoice from TREX.

Cancellations (only for flight):  All cancellations on behalf of individuals or groups have to be made in writing (fax or e-mail). There is no cancellation fee if cancellation is received not later than 5 weeks prior to arrival. We apply, according to business practices within the Icelandic Travel Industry, the following cancellation fees if service is cancelled:

2 weeks to 5 weeks before arrival    20% of net price
3 days to 2 weeks before arrival    50% of net price
Less than 3 days before arrival    100% of net price

Please note: TREX does not accept responsibility for any loss, damage, accidents and changes in itineraries due to weather, strikes or other irregularities caused by forces or events outside the direct control of TREX. We also reserve the right to alter routes and departure times due to road or weather conditions without prior notice. We strongly advice travellers to purchase health and accident insurance in time, before going on the tour.

Your safety is our primary concern – please observe SAFETRAVEL.IS:

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