In October half term, our group of GCSE Geography students travelled to Iceland, where we encountered some spectacular scenery and geographic features! We left a miserable and extremely wet Luton airport and began our bumpy flight towards Iceland. We eventually flew out of the bad weather and into an area of high pressure and clear skies. As we approached Keflavik and began our desent, we were blessed with an unbelievable sight of the northern lights from the plane window. This was an unbelievable start to the trip and heightened everyone’s excitement. Upon landing, the guide suggested that we drive away from the city as the northern lights were particularly strong that night, which meant we got to see them for a second time before the trip had even properly begun. We then got to the hotel and settled down to bed as an early start was on the cards.
Day 2 took us on the Golden Circle tour of the island, which included visits to the Hellisheidi Power Plant, Lake Thingvallarvatn and then on to the Great Geyser region and Gulfloss Kafi for some warm chicken soup and light refreshments. We then went on to visit one of Iceland’s most popular waterfalls, Gulfoss. The spectacular natural feature looked even more magical in its half frozen state. We then moved onto Þingvellir National Park, which is the site of Iceland’s ancient parliament and one of only a couple of places in the world where you can see the divide between two tectonic plates. In the evening we had the opportunity to see the northern lights for a third time!
Day 3 was time for the Southern Island Tour and that meant a very early start. We travelled to the southern part of Iceland to see some of the world famous waterfalls and take part in our glacier walk under the supervision of some expert guides. Next it was on to the tiny village of Vik for lunch. Then we headed to Reynisfjara, which is a world-famous black-sand beach found on the South Coast of Iceland. With its enormous basalt stacks and stunning panoramas, Reynisfjara is widely considered to be the most beautiful example of Iceland’s black sand beaches. Next stop was Skógafoss waterfall, with its 60m drop. Finally, after a long, busy day exploring Iceland’s south shore, we paid a visit to Blue Lagoon – a relaxing evening swim in one of the world’s most famous natural hot springs was just what we needed.
Day 4 gave us the chance to explore Reykjavik. We spent the morning testing our ice skating skills at Skautahöllin. An extremely successful trip that was filled with laughter and curiosity, it will hopefully be an experience that the pupils will remember for the rest of their lives.
“I would definitely recommend to any future GCSE Geography students to take part in the trip if you have the opportunity to as it’s something you will never forget!” Amber Smith (Y11 Geography student)