DTWE Team Visit Iceland

Monday, 3rd June 2019

Francesca Willis

edu iceland team trip solheimajokull group silly

In April 2019 the Education team flew over to our home away from home, Iceland, for a short tour. The team visited some of the most popular sites, attractions and hotels to reacquaint ourselves with why the land of fire and ice is still the number one destination for school groups.

After returning home from this whirlwind visit the team shared some of their best bits…

Views from Skogafoss

I loved the sound of the Skogafoss waterfall, seeing the rainbows and watching everyone getting soaked from the spray. Also walking up to the top which I had never done before. Well worth it. – Trudi

While in Iceland, I braved the (nearly) 500 stairs to reach the top of Skógafoss waterfall. It was an exhilarating experience to see the waterfall from above and hear the power of the water going rushing over the edge. The moment was made even more perfect by a rainbow forming in the mist! – Sue

Seeing the vast landscapes from the top of Skógafoss. I normally visit Iceland in the snowy winter months so it was amazing to see how green everything was. It is also always wonderful to fill up our water bottles from the natural fresh Icelandic water from river Skóga. Water has never tasted better! – Lucy

Quiet evening walks by River Rangá

One of my favourite memories of the trip was watching the sunset on an evening walk along river Rangá outside Árhús cottages. It makes you realise what a simply beautiful and wondrous country Iceland is with its fierce nature and mesmerising otherworldly landscapes. – Aggie

The real disappearing glacier

I particularly enjoyed revisiting Sólheimajökull – it was incredible to see how much it has changed and receded since my last visit in 2017. It was also great to have a geographical explanation about the changes from our colleague and teacher tour leader, Karen Southall. – Nicola

Due to the effects of climate change, you no longer have to go all the way to Jökulsárlón to see a glacial lagoon! The stripy icebergs floating in the icy waters at Sólheimajökull tell their own unique stories. Each stripe is a layer of ash, compressed into the ice following an eruption from a volcano in Iceland. You can even test the ash deposits and ice to trace each volcanic eruption. – Kat

My outstanding memory was the approach to Sólheimajökull glacial tongue – I joined DTWE in October 2012 and joined a school trip in February 2013.  This school trip was a fantastic introduction to a country that had never been on my radar and I experienced a lot of firsts including the magnificence of Sólheimajökull.  What stands out more than ever, on so many levels, was the fact that the last time I was at Sólheimajökulll it took 5 minutes to alight from the coach, don hard hats and crampons, and actually step onto the glacier.  Today there is a huge lagoon in front of the glacier and it took us a 15-20 minute walk to reach a point where we could admire and take photos of the glacier – this, in itself is gob-smacking and I was transported back to my very first sight of Sólheimajökull 6 years ago – a simply stunning and breathtaking scene. – Helen

Our most popular activity (in the world!)

I enjoyed the Lava Centre which was amazing with different rooms offering a sensory experience enabling you to understand the volcanic landscape and elements that contribute to Iceland’s history. – Emma

The Lava Tunnel

The Lava Tunnel at Raufarhólshellir was my particular highlight. The colours are amazing and the peculiar ‘icemites’ and distant sound of dripping were very atmospheric. – Jan

On our visit to the Lava Tunnel at Raufarhólshellir, our friendly guide, Magnus, turned off all the lights so we were plunged into true darkness. We could hear the water dripping and imagine what the lava tunnel had been like for thousands of years – a once in a lifetime experience! #SeeItToBelieveIt – Francesca

Behind the water curtain

I was apprehensive to get drenched from the waterfall spray in the fresh Icelandic spring air but it was a real rush! My favourite memory was walking behind Seljalandsfoss, and seeing all the rainbows that were formed in the sunlight – Beatrice

edu iceland team trip seljalandsfoss rainbow

Black Beaches

edu iceland team trip reynishfjara group basalt columns

One of my best moments was walking on the black beaches at Reynisfjara. We had beautiful sunshine and our ex-geography teacher colleagues were fantastic at explaining the geology of the basalt columns and the dramatic coastal formations. It helped me appreciate the magic that students experience when they first visit Iceland. – Megan

As a teacher tour leader, I am familiar with the many sights of Iceland but it was a joy to introduce some of my colleagues to some of these places for the first time and demonstrate why geographers like me fall in love with this island and keep coming back year on year. – Karen Southall

Between continents

Visiting Thingvellir National Park and walking along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, marking the divide between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, was a pretty sobering experience. It really encapsulates the power of nature and creates an incredibly strong visual representation of the geography that has shaped our planet. #seeittobelieveit – Richard

edu iceland team trip thingvellir

Real lava

Before the Icelandic Lava Show began we had time to eat their delicious lava soup served in bread bowls. Miraculously, we were able to sit outside in the sunshine under bright blue Icelandic skies, feeling warmed inside and out! – Daniella

The Icelandic Lava Show was a real highlight for me. We have been in contact with the owners Julius and Ragga for several years, when Icelandic Lava Show was just an idea. Their story is very inspiring, where the husband and wife owners, with three young children had many barriers to overcome before opening. People thought that they were crazy trying to melt real molten lava, safely in front of a room full of people, particularly as there was nothing else in the world like it. It was impressive to not only see this incredible spectacle of real molten lava but also to know how they reached this point. – Dan

The Icelandic Lava Show was a new experience for me! After hearing great reviews, I’d been intrigued to see the show for myself and it was even better than I expected. It was amazing to put into perspective what it is really like for local people to live so close to so many volcanoes. But of course the highlight was seeing the bright lava burst and bubble over the ice just metres away. – Rebecca

Sneak peek of future attractions

As the Education Product Manager and former teacher tour leader and ex-geography teacher, I’ve been around the block when it comes to Iceland but there is always something new to explore!

This time it was exciting to head to the site where FlyOver Iceland is being built. The FlyOver team are so excited to have our school groups experience this brand new attraction and it was incredible to see what they are building and have a sneak peek at what our groups can expect. – Simon

edu iceland team trip fly over iceland

Kerid

edu iceland team trip kerid

Our visit to Kerid crater was framed by picture perfect blue sky, descending down into the crater and standing at the edge of the lake there was complete silence and stillness. I could have sat for hours taking in the deep blue colours of the lake and the red volcanic rock of the crater’s steep slopes. Sarah

 

If you’d like to receive a quote from us for your own Iceland trip simply fill in our enquiry form and a member of our team will be happy to help.

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