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Iceland Geology Tour

EXAMINE many of the magnificent geological features that Iceland is known for. JOURNEY through multiple regions of the island, each with its own distinctive landscape and characteristics. OBSERVE how the ability to thrive on one of the most volcanically active islands in the world is embedded into the Icelandic national identity.

Duration: 8 Days, All Year

Price: Contact us for prices

Highlights

  • Magnificent Geological Features
  • Distinctive Landscape and characteristics
  • Active Volcanic Island

Send request

This tour is part of our Educational Tour Program.  We can tailor it to your specific requirements.

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The Reykjanes Peninsula

REYKJANES This peninsula is a true geological wonderland.  The Bridge Between Continents spans over the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, allowing you to literally walk from the North American tectonic plate over to the Eurasian tectonic plate.  At Gunnuhver, you can tread (carefully!) amongst an impressive collection of boiling mud pools and steaming fumaroles.  Or, take an unforgettable journey inside Þríhnúkagígur, a dormant volcano - all the way from the top crater to the bottom of the magma chamber.  The fishing village of Grindavík is home to a fascinating museum that features an exhibit on geothermal energy in Iceland.  And the colorful hills at the geothermal field Krýsuvík create one of Iceland’s most striking landscapes.

BLÁA LÓNIР Popularly referred to by its English name “the Blue Lagoon,” this geothermal spa is arguably one of Iceland’s most popular attractions.  Although it blends seamlessly with the lava fields that surround it, it’s a man-made lagoon, fed by surplus water from the adjacent Svartsengi Power Station.  The warm water is rich in minerals such as silica and sulphur, and is renowned for its unique healing properties.

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Borgarfjörður

BORGARFJÖRÐUR A region often referred to as “the saga valley of western Iceland” since it served as the stage for many significant events in the literary masterpieces that Iceland is known for.  Home to Hraunfossar, a remarkable series of waterfalls formed by water emerging from a porous lava field, and Barnafoss, a cluster of robust rapids with a tragic story behind their name.

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The North

AKUREYRI  Nicknamed “the capital of the North,” this small, bustling city is nestled in a beautiful fjord just south of the Arctic Circle, and the surrounding region is packed with incredible natural wonders.   Marvel at the magical waterfall, Goðafoss, and Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall.  Explore the volcanic area around Krafla, the spectacular sulphur fields at Námaskarð, the dramatic lava formations at Dimmuborgir, and the pseudo craters at Skútustaðir.

MÝVATN The fourth largest lake in Iceland.  Frequent lava flows have left Mývatn very irregular in shape, and few areas offer such a wide spectrum of geological formations.  The lake lies on an active volcanic belt where eruptions are frequent and intense geothermal activity results in bubbling mud pools, steaming solfataras, and brightly-colored mineral deposits.  Relax in the sublime Jarðböðin við Mývatn, a bathing lagoon filled with mineral-rich, geothermally-heated water.

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The South

JÖKULSÁRLÓN A stunning glacial lagoon filled with icebergs that have calved off the glacier Breiðamerkurjökull and are heading out to sea.  It is abundant with fish that have drifted in from the ocean, and you may catch a glimpse of seals swimming around the lagoon looking to reap the bounty.

SKAFTAFELL NATIONAL PARK  Part of the larger Vatnajökull National Park, Skaftafell is a masterpiece of seemingly impossible contrasts of nature.  The landscape in the park has considerable variety and has been formed over thousands of years by the influences of ice, fire, and water.  The waterfall Svartifoss is one of Skaftafell's best known attractions, mainly for the towering black basalt columns that flank it.

KIRKJUBÆJARKLAUSTUR  Home to Kirkjugólf (“church floor”). A church was, in fact, never situated here, but this natural attraction was formed when lava cooled quickly and contracted, forming hexagonal pillars that look like tiles.  Nearby is Fjaðrárgljúfur, a canyon that, while not particularly impressive in size, is absolutely breathtaking.  The canyon is cut from the volcanic rock palagonite and the walls are blanketed in a vibrant green moss.  Also in the vicinity is the volcanic fissure Lakagígar.  This system erupted in the late 18th century and wreaked havoc around the globe – 6 million people died in the aftermath, making it the deadliest eruption in historical times.

VÍK  The southernmost village in Iceland, renowned for the breathtaking black beaches of Reynisfjara and the basalt columns of Reynisfjall that appear like a stairway to the sky.  Just offshore, three basalt sea stacks known collectively as Reynisdrangar rise up against the unrelenting waves of the North Atlantic. According to local folklore, these formations are not rocks at all, but trolls that were turned to stone at sunrise.  And to the west lies Dýrholaey, a promontory formed by a submarine volanic eruption and known for its large, distinctive archway.

SELJALANDSFOSS  One of the most picturesque waterfalls in all of Iceland.  Here, the river Seljalandsá drops 200 feet over the cliffs of what used to be the island‘s coastline.  If favorable conditions allow (and if you don‘t mind getting a bit wet!), it is possible to walk behind the waterfall.

EYJAFJALLAJÖKULL The Eyjafjallajökull Visitor Centre lies right at the foot of the now world-famous volcano. The center is operated by the family of the Þorvaldseyri farmstead that has thrived in the looming shadow of the glacier and active volcano for generations. A short film shown at the center spotlights the remarkable challenges faced by the family in the wake of the historic eruption in 2010.

HVERAGERÐI A town that plays a central role in Icelandic horticulture thanks to the abundance of geothermal activity in the area that is harnessed for use in greenhouses.  Frequent (but usually minor) earthquakes are the norm here.

VESTMANNAEYJAR An archipelago formed by submarine volcanic eruptions and located a short ferry ride from the southern mainland.  Heimaey is the largest and most populated of the islands and a historical eruption of Eldfell in 1973 nearly rendered it inhabitable.  Although the eruption came without warning, the 5300 residents of the island were evacuated within hours, and seawater was used to slow the lava flow that was threatening to destroy the harbor – the island’s main source of income and livelihood. 



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Golden Circle

ÞINGVELLIR NATIONAL PARK A UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Iceland’s most fascinating places due to both its impressive geological formations and for the significant role it plays in the country's history as the original meeting site of the Icelandic parliament, the oldest existing parliament in the world.

GULLFOSS A majestic double waterfall that tumbles 105 feet into the canyon of Hvítá, one of the longest rivers in Iceland.

GEYSIR Located in the Haukadalur geothermal area, this is the geyser from which the English word is derived. Geysir itself is now dormant, but an adjacent geyser, Strokkur, erupts at 5-10 minute intervals.

Contact us for details about possible departures and prices.  Prices and departure date availability depend on group sizes, on how long in advance you are able to book, and on seasonal factors.  Tour can be arranged any time of the year.

Send request

Views from Iceland Geology Tour

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  • Dyrholaey1.JPG
  • Deildartunguhver.jpg
  • Askja Lake and Viti Crater.jpg
  • Kleifarvatn November 2011.jpg
  • Krisuvik November 2011.jpg
  • hverarond-sumar-2012-101-1.jpg
  • EyjafjallajokullTrip20112_12_13.JPG
  • Myvatn 2.jpg
  • Reykjanes_Peninsula.jpg
  • Hraunfossar Summer2015.jpg
  • Strokkur Geysir 1.jpg
  • Reynisdrangar_winter.JPG
  • Thingvellir AG7.JPG
  • Vatnajokull Glacier - South Iceland.jpg

Highlights

  • Magnificent Geological Features
  • Distinctive Landscape and characteristics
  • Active Volcanic Island

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