St. Pat’s DC: Iceland South Coast Conservation & Culture Adventure 2022
July 17-24, 2022
Moderate Physical Activity
Scroll Down For The Itinerary
Iceland offers students a massive in-your-face raw landscape to experience and learn about nature’s geological and physical forces, and to interact with a culture over 1,000 years old!
Our Iceland student tour introduces students to the spectacular South Coast of Iceland through fun outdoor adventure activities, cultural interaction, and hands on conservation projects to help students learn about Iceland in a way most student trips to Iceland never do.
The focus on this adventure will be sustainability and conservation tied in with the popular highlights and the off-the-beaten path places of Iceland. The students will be exposed to raw nature and will have a chance to explore natural wonders during the trip. Fun outdoor adventures include hiking, horseback riding, sea kayaking, and glacier trekking. They will also meet locals and will have a chance to ask various questions on history and culture.
Where do we stay?
This adventure takes us south and east along Iceland’s beautiful southern coast. As we get further from the city of Reykjavik, our lodging options become country guest houses and hostels. On this tour, the group will stay in hostels. There will be 4-6 students per room in their own beds, sharing the room only with students of the same gender from their group. The toilet and bathroom facilities are shared. Beds could be twin beds or bunk beds. In cases where linens are not provided, we will provide sleeping bags.
Keep scrolling for trip details and how to sign up.
- Experience Iceland’s popular treasures: The Golden Circle: Strokkur Geyser, Gollfoss Waterfall.
- Learn about Viking history at Þingvellir National Park.
- Don your crampons, grab your ice picks and trek on part of the largest glacier in Iceland.
- Paddle paradise! Go kayaking through marshes into to the Atlantic Ocean.
- See geothermal energy in action, powering the country, and growing food in green houses.
- Relax in the Blue Lagoon, and soak in the geo-thermally heated sea water.
- Meet local farmers to learn about food production and cultural connection of livestock like sheep and horses in Icelandic culture.
- Challenge yourself on a five mile hike through Reykjadalur! You will feel like you are on another planet as you hike over rainbow mountains and cross steamy bridges. Be rewarded with a soak in a geothermal river.
- Make a difference! Work with the forestry department to plant trees to help reforest Iceland and to combat erosion.
- Giddy up! Meet Icelandic horses and take a ride to see the landscape via horseback.
►Day 1: Travel Day
The group will depart Washington Dulles in the evening. Time TBA.
►Day 2: Introduction to Iceland!
Meet your guide at the Keflavik Airport and then off to breakfast at the Viking Museum in Keflavík.
Your first intro to Iceland is Reykjavík! Here, students will explore Hallgrímskirkja Church, Harpa Concert Hall and the Sun Voyage. We‘ll have lunch in Reykjavík before heading out of town. The first stop is at Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National park where the group will walk along the faults and fissures of the area tha made evident the rifting of the Earth‘s crust and hear about the major historic events that have taken place at this UNESCO World Heritage.
Arrive at Skalholtsbudir.
Dinner at Skalholtsbudir.
►Day 3: Golden Circle Wonders – Geothermal Energy – Icelandic Farms
We head out to Geysir geothermal area and witness the spouting spring Strokkur that erupts up to 90 feet, and close by is the majestic Gullfoss Waterfall. Then we have a tomato soup at Friðheimar organic green house farm and restaurant we learn how the farm is using geothermal energy to produce 20% of Iceland’s tomatoes. After lunch we will see a horse show to learn about the Icelandic horse and its special gate called the tolt.
On our way to a local diary farm to have ice icecream, we will visit a local borehole and collect dark rye bread for breakfast that has been baking for 24 hours using heat generated by the volcanic activity of the area.
In the evening, we will have dinner at a family farm and learn about small scale agriculture in Iceland.
Overnight stay at Skalholtsbudir.
►Day 4: Hike In The Mountains & Paddle to The Sea
Breakfast at guesthouse. Pack your own lunch.
On route to a fun hike, we will stop for an educational experience at the Hellisheidi power plant to learn more in depth about how Iceland uses renewable energy to power the country. Then we head to the hills for a fun hike through rainbow mountains and through steaming valleys! The hike is 5 miles round trip and last about 2 hours. The reward is a soak in the hot river with a mountain view.
After the hike, the students will head to a forested area where they will get an introduction to tree-planting and soil conservation. Each student will plant their own trees to help combat erosion and to neutralize their carbon footprint from their trip to Iceland.
The day’s adventure wrap up with a 2 hour guided sea kayaking tour amid the skerries (reefs or rocky islands) and beautiful lagoons along the coast in the town of Stokkseyri. Its shores are home to the seals and an array of seabirds in an incredibly diverse biota. The paddle starts in a calm marsh then meanders through a mosaic of channels which lead to shallow river that flows into the ocean. It is an easy paddle with wonderful scenery and opportunities to photograph and learn about wetland ecology.
Dinner in a local restaurant in Selfoss.
A short introduction to Icelandic language and culture by your local guide.
Overnight stay at Skalholtsbudir.
►Day 5: South Coast Waterfalls, Black Sand Beaches, & The Glacier Lagoon
Breakfast and checkout at Skalholtsbudir.
The students will visit the museum of soil conservation and observe the way Icelanders have turned around soil erosion and changed black sands into green pastures. The group will drive the south coast visiting two popular waterfalls: Seljalandsfoss waterfall where the students can walk behind the waterfall, and Skógarfoss waterfall, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland. Further east, they will visit Reynisfjara, the black sand beach where the basaltic formation of the ocean cliffs tower impressively over the beach and Dirhólaey bird sanctuary. There might a chance of seeing puffins in that area.
The group will have lunch at Vík.
At the end of the day the students will visit the Glacier lagoon by Vatnajökull Glacier, the largest glacier in Iceland. This is one of the marvelous features of this region, a lake scattered with icebergs that break off from the great Breiðamerkurjökull glacier.
Dinner and overnight stay in Skaftafell area.
►Day 6: Skaftafell National Park Hiking & Glacier Trekking
Breakfast at hostel.
The group will spend the day in Skaftafell National Park surrounded by mountains and glaciers of the mightly Vatnajökull Glacier. Vatnajökull is the largest glacier in Iceland and the largest ice cap in Europe. We will take a short hike to the Black Waterfall that is surrounded by black basalt pillars. After lunch, the group will meet with local glacier guides to experience hiking the second largest glacier in Europe.
Dinner and overnight stay at Skaftafell area.
►Day 7: Transfer to Selfoss & Horseback Riding
Breakfast at hostel.
The group will head back east toward Reykjavik with fun stops along the way. The drive is long, but not without beautiful scenery. When the group reaches the village of Eyarbakki, they will check into their accommodations and get ready for horseback riding in the afternoon.
Dinner and overnight near Eyrarbakki.
►Day 8: Blue Lagoon – Return to Airport
Breakfast at the hostel. On the last day the group will visit the magnificent Blue lagoon that has been named one of the natural wonders of the world. On the way, the group will have short stops at some interesting nature sights on Reykjanes peninsula, like Brimketill lava rock pool by the ocean, Gunnuhver hot spring and the bridge between the continents. They will have lunch before departing from Keflavik international airport for their flight home.
** Please note: The activities, lodging, guides, and schedule may change without notice as practical considerations arise during program development or onsite. **
Inclusions & Exclusions
- Airfare to Reykjavik
- English speaking Icelandic driver and guide.
- Round trip group transfer from Keflavik international airport to Reykjavik.
- 6 nights lodging in hostels.
- Ground transportation via a mini bus.
- All activities listed in the itinerary.
- Meals from breakfast on day 2 to lunch on day 8.
- Personal spending money
- Travel insurance
- COVID testing
How to Apply For This Adventure
How Do I Enroll My Child?
Thank you for your interest in this trip. Please contact the trip coordinator from your school to inquire about price & availablity.
Trip Coordinator & Chaperone
Director of Alumni & Parent Programs
Required Travel Documents:
Travel insurance is not included. You are encouraged to purchase travel insurance to protect you and your investment.
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