Finding school trip accommodation as Iceland’s popularity grows

Thursday, 10th August 2023


Getting the most out of a trip to an increasingly popular destination: Iceland

Iceland is renowned for its otherworldly landscapes, natural hot springs, its volcanoes, glaciers and earthquakes. Once, it was an isolated country, only really thought of as a suitable holiday playground for adventurers and leatherneck geologists – an exciting place of natural wonders and awe-inspiring beauty. And while it is still those things, more people want to see the ‘Land of Fire and Ice’, from science and geography school trips to Game of Thrones fans wandering slack-jawed with wonder.

Since Iceland’s jump into the limelight following the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in 2010 – which incidentally coincided with a huge PR push from Icelandic tourist board – Reykjavik and the so-called Golden Circle have become hugely fashionable and Iceland is one of the fastest growing destinations in the world. Tourists are itching to see the northern lights, spot roosting puffins and go whale watching.

iceland george puffins

Photo by George Turner


But what does this mean for your school?

Under any circumstance, finding accommodation for large groups of students is at times a bit of a tricky task. Now that almost 1.5 million people a year visit this country with a population of just 335,000 people, finding a place to stay, especially during the peak holiday times is becoming more of a challenge.

Nevertheless, you and your students shouldn’t miss out on exploring this amazing place. Here’s a few ways to get around the availability issue in Iceland.


iceland akureyri lightbox

Take the road less travelled

Look for seclusion and head up to the north of Iceland – with so much to see off the beaten track, this is becoming an increasingly popular idea for teachers and students trying to escape the sometimes-maddening crowds. You’ll see the wonderful sights of the north, like the whaling-turned-conservation-town of Husavik, or Iceland’s second city Akureyri – a surprisingly hip but important fishing centre at the end of Iceland’s longest fjord. Or visit Lake Myvatn, whose thermal bathing spots are just as beautiful as the famous Blue Lagoon in the south. You will also see mighty waterfalls like Godafoss, spirited Icelandic horses and vast colonies of seabirds clinging to offshore islands. Find out more about our trips to the North and East.

iceland jokulsarlon glacial ice rth

Book even earlier

Normally, schools and groups start comparing prices around one year from their desired departure date, but because Iceland is increasingly popular, this often isn’t early enough. At peak times like school holidays, accommodation may be fully booked and flight providers will have a long list of requests from groups, so you may well not get the deals you’d hoped for. Which means all your efforts of organising a trip will seem a disappointment from the get go. We recommend speaking to one of our Travel Specialists around 18 months before your desired dates, as you can start provisionally booking accommodation and getting on the highly sought-after flights in the peak times.

Plus, our expert Travel Specialists will be able to create a trip fully tailored to your specific needs, providing in-depth advice, unwavering support and great customer service throughout.

iceland southwest Geysir DJI drone view

Find a tour operator with access to exclusive accommodation

As we have been working in Iceland for more than 30 years, we have a great understanding of the country and our strong local partnerships with certain hotels and guesthouses allow for better access to rooms for schools and groups across the country. Discover the World prides itself on having more access to hotels than anyone else, meaning you get a bigger chance of finding better value accommodation in great locations – allowing you to make the most of your time away in Iceland.

iceland vatsholt aurora

Take for instance the quirky and fun Vatnsholt Farm, close by to Selfoss Waterfall on the southern coast of Iceland. Set within 230 acres of lush farmland, your group can enjoy this beautiful isolated landscape in peace, with fantastic views of the Westman Islands and the mighty Eyjafjallajokull volcano. Perfect for large groups, you will share the space with a veritable menagerie of animals – Elvis the dancing goat (really), cats, pigs, rabbits, dogs – including the ugliest dog in Iceland, Fiona – and a raven who has been on Iceland’s Got Talent with the farm’s owner, Johann. Most groups love the farm, and because we have an exclusive relationship with them, only school groups travelling with Discover the World Education have access to this interesting and unusual space.

Iceland is the perfect playground for the budding geographer to explore the earth’s many varied natural wonders. So to make the most of your trip and to stay ahead of the crowd, follow our three simple steps to finding your ideal accommodation.

Talk to our team of travel specialists and start booking your next trip to Iceland with discover the world education


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