Iceland: Fire and Ice

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Iceland: Fire and Ice

Destination

Iceland

Current Grades

9th-11th

length

14 Days

view dates and prices
Airports

Arrive: Reykjavik (KEF)
Depart: Reykjavik (KEF)

Discover all of what the Land of Fire and Ice has to offer. Traverse a colorful landscape in the country’s highlands on the Laugavegur Trail, swimming in steaming hot springs along the way. Complete the Golden Circle and visit several of Iceland’s most stunning locales. Sea kayak in a glacial lagoon, and polish off your time in Iceland with a soak in the Blue Lagoon—you’ll have to put on the quintessential silica mud mask!

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Itinerary

DAYS 1-3: WHALE WATCHING, WHITEWATER RAFTING, AND THE GOLDEN CIRCLE

Start your journey out on the sea whale watching in the morning before continuing on a tour of the Golden Circle. Our first stop will be Þingvellir National Park, the first national park in Iceland to be established. This verdant landscape differs from the highlands; bright green moss creeps over the lava fields, and birch and pine forests line the horizon. Ravines are filled with fresh, crystalline water—so clear that this area is popular with avid snorkelers and divers (we’ll get to whitewater raft here!). Fun fact: This stunning landscape is featured in several Game of Thrones episodes.

Next up on our Golden Circle tour is the Geysir Geothermal Area. You’ll see the steam rising from the pools from miles away, and the hilly landscape gets even more colorful due to the earth’s naturally occurring minerals. While the area’s namesake geyser rarely erupts, it is the earliest documented in European history. Its neighbor, however, throws water 20 to 40 meters into the air quite regularly. Our third and final stopover is the Gullfoss Waterfall. On a sunny day, the spray throws up vibrant rainbows, and in the summer, you can take a walkway to the edge of the staircase-shaped falls, close enough to feel the mist on your face. We’ll even have the option for a late-night hot spring river hike to take advantage of the midnight sun!

Accommodation: Camping

DAYS 4-5: SEA KAYAK IN THE JÖKULSÁRLÓN GLACIER LAGOON

Drive along the southern coast to Skaftafell National Park where you’ll visit Seljalandsfoss waterfall, hike along the glaciers, and stop at Reynisfjara to enjoy the black sand beach. The next morning explore Jokulsarlon, an iceberg-filled, 200-meter-deep lagoon offering nonstop photo ops. Melted glacier water comprises the lagoon’s contents, with its mix of fresh and seawater providing a unique blue hue. We’ll make a stop on Diamond Beach, where huge, translucent, naturally-made iceberg sculptures continuously get washed up on the shore. Keep an eye out for skuas, a seabird that makes its nest on the lagoon’s shores. Unlike other folks just visiting the area, we’ll get up close and personal with the otherworldly icebergs.

Accommodation: Camping

Day 6: HIKE IN FJADRARGLJUFUR

We’ll drive back along the coast and spend the morning hiking around the massive Fjadrargljufur canyon, across glaciers and next to crevasses. This canyon has bedrock dating back two million years to the Ice Age! We’ll top off the day with a stop to the spectacular, 60-meter-tall Skogafoss Waterfall, where dazzling rainbows are always present.

Accommodation: Camping

DAYS 7-12: HIKE THE LAUGAVEGUR TRAIL

After arriving we’ll go for a short day hike and take in the awe-inspiring scenery. You’ll then spend the next four magical days hiking Iceland’s most famous trail, where wide-open panoramas await in the southern part of these Nordic highlands. Though trees don’t line the landscape, you’ll be stunned at how colorful the countryside is. You’ll truly understand why this place is called the “Land of Fire and Ice”. While hiking, you’ll pass by steaming hot springs with sparkling glaciers and blue ice caves in the background, all nestled among neon-green valleys, roaring waterfalls, and black volcanic rock. After finishing our trek we’ll explore Thorsmork, named for the Norse god Thor, taking in the sights of the valley that is said to have been created by Thor himself.

Accommodation: Camping

Day 13: Soak in the Blue Lagoon

In the morning, get ready to explore Rauðfeldsgjá, a deep and narrow ravine near the Snæfellsjökull glacier! Bright green moss line the canyon’s walls, and a waterfall is hidden in the gorge. Later, we’ll bask in the famous geothermal spa Blue Lagoon, whose warm, milky-blue waters contrast sharply with the surrounding black volcanic cliffs. Water continually streams into and out of the lagoon, making for clean water with no chemicals—only natural minerals (like silica and sulfur) that are good for your skin!

Accommodation: Hostel

 

*Listed above is Bold Earth’s intended itinerary for this trip. All itineraries are subject to change in order to provide the best possible program quality.

Dates and Prices

Departure 1
  • Departure Day
    06/30/24
  • Return Day
    07/13/24
  • Grade
    9–11
  • Price
    $5,888
  • Availability
    Limited
Departure Day Return Day Grade Price Availability
06/30/24
07/13/24
9–11
$5,888
limited

Accommodations

  • 11 nights of camping. Bold Earth will provide comfortable tents.
  • 2 nights of private hostels.

Activities

Hot springs

Backpacking

Glacier hiking

Sea kayaking

Sightseeing

Whitewater rafting

Reviews

Elaine C, parent from Columbus, OH

A fabulously well designed and executed program. From day one when we signed up to the end of the trip, there was constant communication. The trip leader especially made special efforts to make my vegetarian child have multiple choices of food and also made it very special on his birthday that was during the trip. They allowed the kids to have fun at the same time kept within safely boundaries. It was all in all an amazing learning experience.

Corrie S, parent from Lutherville Timonium, MD

As a parent I can whole heartedly say that Bold Earth changed our son. Traveling to Iceland was his dream and if we had done it as a family, he would have not have experienced it like he did under the guidance of his Bold Earth trip leaders. The intimate knowledge of the area paired with variety of activities along with the mentally and physically challenging trek that most travelers to Iceland skip (though they shouldn’t for its sheer beauty) made it a once in a lifetime experience. His mental, physical and emotional toughness was strengthened and he believes now that he can travel anywhere and comfortably navigate his surroundings. This fortitude will serve him in high school and beyond. His trip leaders were supportive, funny, encouraging and helped make the entire experience one to remember. As parents we were well informed and prepared with all the information about his trip. Communication was top notch and we even had a personal conversation with his trip leaders prior to the trip to answer any questions so that they could ask about Ethan to get to know him a bit. Bold Earth is excellent at what they do and Ethan is excited for his next adventure!

Madhav, student from Mumbai, India

As a person from a completely different country, I felt really accepted into the community and had the best two weeks of my life.

Jennifer W, parent from Jersey City, NJ

Abigail and our whole family are very happy with our experience with Bold Earth this summer! The trip leaders are warm, responsible, and full of heart!

Kelly O, parent from Charlottesville, VA

Bold Earth offers an extremely good combo of adventure and stepping outside one’s comfort zone while staying safe. My son loved the diversity of kids, and I LOVED the no-technology part of the experience. He had very good trip leaders who had a fantastic balance of fun and safety.

Abigail, student from Jersey City, NJ

My favorite part of the Iceland trip was when the whole group ventured into a small canyon, inside which a waterfall was flowing down from above, and where the walls were covered in moss and foliage.