School Trips to Iceland

 

Schools trips to Iceland offer a wonderfully unique experience for students that often goes overlooked. Few other countries offer such amazing diversity: think sprawling waterfalls, geothermal pools, geysers, glaciers and, of course, the Northern Lights. It’s the perfect place to learn about so many forms of natural phenomena.

And beyond the environment, Icelanders are well-known for their easygoing culture and incredibly fresh cuisine, whilst cities such as Reykjavik are considered to be among the safest and most eco-friendly in the world. It might not a typical tourist destination but you can guarantee a school tour to Iceland will be an unforgettable learning experience for students of all ages.

We organise Iceland school trips tailored to suit the needs of your school or class – get in touch today to find out how we can help plan your perfect trip.

Browse our curriculum-linked school trips in Iceland

Geography trips

From spouting geysers to the northern lights, a geography trip to Iceland is a spectacular experience for pupils and teachers alike.

Science trips

The ‘Land of Fire and Ice’ is a fitting nickname for Iceland and there a few better places to develop a practical understanding of ongoing scientific research.


Experience the excitement of Iceland in our short video

Iceland trip highlights - our groups love...

Blue Lagoon

Witness and experience the effects of geothermal activity! Take a soak in the steamy 40°C waters of the Blue Lagoon which are fed from a nearby geothermal power plant, rich in minerals such as silica and sulphur, and renowned for their healing properties. An ideal first or final day activity.

The Golden Circle Adventure Day

Study geothermal activity at truly spectacular locations! Visit the Hellisheidi geothermal power plant or the Ljosafoss hydroelectric power plant for a guided tour. Appreciate the interaction between tectonic and glacial influences at the spectacular Gullfoss waterfall, which greatly contrasts those waterfalls seen on our South Shore Adventure. Witness Strokkur (the most famous and active geyser in Iceland) in action, before a visit to Thingvellir National Park to walk through its dramatic canyon. This is the only place in the world where the Mid Atlantic Ridge can be observed above sea level.

South Shore Adventure Day

Visit the 200ft high Skógafoss waterfall then continue on to Seljalandsfoss waterfall to compare differing formations. Study coastal processes and wave characteristics along the black volcanic beaches and basalt-columned cliffs of the Dyrhólaey coast. Then take the rare opportunity to see Sólheimajökull, a glacier tongue extending south from the Mýrdalsjökull Glacier, study the outwash plain, and witness glacial processes in action. A walk on the glacier with an expert guide is available at an extra charge.

Westman Islands

The Westman Islands were formed by submarine volcanic eruptions and remain a very volcanically active area. Volcano Eldfell erupted in January 1973 creating a 700-foot-high mountain and causing the island’s 5,000 inhabitants to be temporarily evacuated. Groups can now take a 30 minute ferry from the brand new harbour to the largest island (Heimaey) to explore the features and perhaps see the puffins in their habitat. We also provide a coach on Heimaey for you to explore the island. (May to September only)

Reykjavik

Explore the city centre and harbour area. Visit the Perlan Centre, a striking visitor centre which holds the city’s geothermal heated water supply in six huge tanks and offers excellent views over Reykjavik itself.

Thórsmörk Valley

At Thórsmörk, students will witness glacial landforms of varying scales, on which glacial retreat and environmental change are strongly evident. You will be transported across the rugged valley and proglacial streams in a purpose built off-road bus where you will see the infamous Eyjafjallajökull volcano that erupted in 2010. Visits will include a stop at Gigjokull to view the outlet glacier, the spectacular ribbon Seljalandsfoss waterfall and the rift canyon at Stakkholtsgja. (April to September only)

Thjorsa Valley

The beautiful Thjorsa Valley is in the shadow of Mount Hekla, one of Iceland’s most active volcanoes. Visit the reconstructed Saga Age Farm and excavations at Stong, and some delightful waterfalls and gorges in the area. You will head east of Hekla and drive through the lava fields, pseudo craters and agricultural areas, following Thjorsa - Iceland’s longest river. (June and July only)

Skaftafell, Jökulsárlón & South Shore

An ideal extension to your itinerary, this remote area showcases some fantastically preserved fragile features. Take a walking tour in Skaftafell National Park which lies below Europe’s largest glacier, culminating at the impressive Svartifoss black waterfall and its basalt formations. Then on to the truly spectacular Jökulsárlón, a proglacial lagoon clustered with ice flows. You’ll stay overnight in a popular Skaftafell hotel and return the next day along the south coast to see the Mýrdalsjökull, Iceland’s fourth largest glacier. Then stop off at Sólheimajökull, an 8km long 2km wide glacier tongue. Overnight stay in Skaftafell required.

Volcano House

Watch two excellent 20-minute documentaries shown in an in-house cinema in Reykjavik, featuring two of Iceland’s most well known eruptions: the 1973 eruption in the Westman Islands and the very recent 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull. Hands-on geology displays of various types of volcanic rock can be seen, as well as a large collection of beautiful semi-precious stones from all over Iceland.

Reykjavik Boat Tours

Whale Watching
Catch sight of whales, dolphins, porpoises and seabirds from the fantastic viewing areas aboard your luxury ship during this 3 hour tour (April to October only)

Northern Lights  
Sail away from the coastline of Reykjavik and see the Aurora Borealis out on the North Atlantic Ocean with beautiful mountains and the city lights in the background. A truly memorable experience (September to March only) 

Aurora Borealis by Coach

For groups visiting during September through to February, you may be lucky enough to see this wondrous phenomenon. We can provide coaching in the evening to take you to the best sites to observe this.

Lava Tubing - NEW!

This is a walking cave trip inside the lava tube system at Leidarendi - the ‘cave of the lamb’ named after the dead sheep found in it! It is a short walk of approximately 400 metres across an old lava field to the entrance to the cave. Groups will then descend underground and begin the experience. During this visit, groups will witness the effects of volcanic action and lava flows, and will see interesting forms of lava stalactites and different rock formations. This unique underground caving experience is one your students will never forget!

Geothermal Greenhouses - NEW!

Visitors gain an insight into the processes of greenhouse horticulture, with a short and informative talk on the subject. It is quite remarkable that it should be possible to grow vegetables in this cold climate! See how it's done by creating warm Mediterranean conditions, all year round, through the long dark winter. The Atrium also includes an exhibition about the use of geothermal heating in Icelandic horticulture.

Reykjanes Peninsula

Visit Lake Kleifvatn before stopping in the Seltun geothermal area, then make a stop at Graenavatn explosion crater before visiting Litli Eldborg.

Dairy Farm

On your Golden Circle Day, take the opportunity to visit an Icelandic Dairy Farm to see how the animals are reared and how the dairy products are made. The visit also includes a tasting of some of the produce.

Lava Centre - NEW!

An interactive, high-tech educational exhibition depicting volcanic activity, earthquakes and the creation of Iceland over millions of years.

Perlan – Wonders of Iceland

Volcanoes, glaciers, geothermal marvels and more come alive through cutting-edge technology and ground-breaking science. Students can see, feel, and live Iceland’s many natural wonders all in one place. The Glaciers and Ice Cave exhibition is included in this unique nature exhibition. Also, on the fourth floor of Perlan is the large observation deck, on the top of the hot water tanks, encircling the entire dome giving amazing 360° views of Reykjavík and the surrounding area.

Glacier walk

What better way to learn about glaciers than to walk on one! This once in a lifetime visit provides groups with an utterly memorable and exhilarating experience, with spectacular views and learning opportunities.

Ice Caves

Visit the Ice Caves and walk INSIDE a glacier! Exploring the inside of a glacier is an incredible experience and offers a unique perspective to study glacial landscapes and processes, as well as witnessing first-hand the effects and consequences of global warming. 

Secret Lagoon

 

Experience the steamy hot waters of the Secret Lagoon. These natural hot springs provide a traditional and unique Icelandic experience that will leave you relaxed and rejuvenated, and ready to continue your Icelandic adventure!

FlyOver Iceland

FlyOver Iceland uses state-of-the-art technology to reveal some of Iceland’s most awe-inspiring and picturesque landscapes and destinations. Guests will hang suspended, feet dangling, while the ride film whisks them away on an exhilarating journey across Iceland! Special effects, including wind, mist and scents combine with the ride’s motion to create a unique and memorable experience.

Perlan Planetarium

This world-class Planetarium is the first one of its kind in Iceland, built inside one of the Perlan’s hot water tanks. You will virtually travel around Iceland and discover the magic of Icelandic nature. Áróra is the first ever 8K northern lights Planetarium show. A piece of art that brought together Iceland’s best known writers, musician, and photographers. It’s a journey, through the unique landscape of Iceland, to observe Northern lights as you’ve never seen them. Taking you across time and space, to understand the science behind the mystery, and the stories we believed for millenniums. Way beyond the traditional planetarium experience.

UNESCO Global Geopark Visitor Centre

The Reykjanes Peninsula is a UNESCO Global Geopark. Groups can receive a 30-minute presentation about the Geopark, and also visit the Visitor Centre. The visitors' centre has an exhibition on the geology of the Reykjanes Peninsula and its unique geology. 

Explore Iceland with our Field Studies Guides...

Equipped with first-hand knowledge of Icelandic culture, climate, history and subject knowledge of geography and geology, our expert guides will assist with programme delivery, tailoring your group’s experience to suit your specific learning needs.

Your guide will contact you ahead of your geography trip for a pre-tour discussion, assist with teaching, guiding, and practical investigation, whilst also providing advice, support and assistance with on-tour logistics.

NST is a certified Iceland specialist. We're proud to be a certified Inspired by Iceland specialist, which means that we have been accredited as a tour operator with extensive knowledge and experience when it comes to planning a trip to Iceland.

Planning your first school trip?

If you're planning your first school trip, our essential guide will take you through each step of the process...

  • Choosing your destination
  • Gaining approval from your Local Authority and/or your Head
  • Promoting your tour in school
  • Confirming your booking
  • Tailor-make your tour
  • Completing your risk assessments (including a sample risk assessment)
  • Quick reference timeline
  • Pre-tour checklist

Additional support, resources & information

FREE classroom resources

We've created a range of free geography resources and educational posters to brighten up your classroom! 

Take a look at our downloadable posters here.

Risk assessment support including preview visits

Risk assessment plays a vitally important part in the planning and organisation on any school tour. 

Our risk assessment guide aims to help you understand more about your obligations and how you can more effectively manage group safety on your next educational visit and provide you with risk assessments for your trip. 

Plus, we can provide you with specific risk assessment templates for geography tours to Iceland – helping to make planning your trip easier for you.

Planning your first school trip

Organising your first school trip can appear to be a daunting process. 

If you're planning your first school trip, our guide will help to take you through each step of the planning process, answering frequently asked questions and providing tips and support along the way. 

Our helpful guide covers the following: 

- Choosing your destination 
- Gaining approval from your Local Authority and/or your Head 
- Promoting your tour in school 
- Confirming your booking 
- Tailor-make your tour 
- Completing your risk assessments (including a sample risk assessment) 
- Quick reference timeline 
- Pre-tour checklist 

View our essential guide to a successful school trip here.

Get live updates on your group's tour location

NST's new trip tracker, Locate My Trip, is the easy, convenient way for your school to follow your group's location whilst on tour. 

Our app has been specifically designed to provide reassurance to both parents and teachers. 

Watch our short Locate My Trip video here.

Your online school trip organiser - My Tour Manager

Save time and stay on track with your school trip admin with our online orgnaniser - designed to help busy teachers like you. 

With My Tour Manager, you'll be able to download FREE resources and access trip paperwork online and in one place. Your personalised checklist details what you need to do and by when, plus you'll receive fortnightly reminders too. 

What's more, you can take all your trip documents on the go whilst on your tour with our app, My Tour Manager-On-the-Go. 

Find out more and watch out short My Tour Manager video here.

FREE school trip promotion pack

We’ll support you and provide everything you need to advertise your school trip around school and to parents. Our free school trip promotion pack consists of: 

- Parents’ letter & permission slip template for you to complete A3 posters to promote your trip around school 
- PowerPoint presentation templates which you can tailor to your own needs 
- Parents’ leaflets covering how NST manage safety, financial protection and details of our travel insurance 
- Online parents’ video which showcases the benefits of taking a school trip 

For selected destinations, we’ll provide a trip launch web page using video footage and imagery. This web page is provided by a weblink and can be shared with pupils and parents in many ways.

Why choose NST...

  • Unrivalled knowledge
    Your dedicated tour co-ordinator will use their unrivalled local knowledge and expertise to create a tailor-made, curriculum-linked itinerary to meet your group’s exact needs.

  • Making it easier for you
    With our school trip organisertravel appsuggested kit lists for students travelling to the Iceland, FREE classroom posters and geography trip launch resources to support in-school promotion.

  • Risk assessment guidance
    Our risk assessment guidance will help you to manage group safety on your next educational trip. 

  • FREE group leader inspection visits
    Our risk assessment guidance will help you to manage group safety on your next educational trip. Plus, we can provide you with specific risk assessment templates for geography tours to Iceland.
     
  • Support from our Field Studies Guides
    Equipped with first-hand knowledge of Icelandic culture, climate, history and subject knowledge of geography, NST’s team of specialist geography Field Studies Guides can assist with programme delivery to ensure your students have the best possible learning experience.
  • Value for money

We’re committed to bringing you the best possible value trips to help make every penny count.

  • Peace of mind

Your group’s location can be followed with our trip tracking device - Locate My Trip - plus you’ll have 24/7 support from us whilst you’re away.

  • More than 50 years’ experience

With over 50 years’ experience, with NST you can rest assured that your group is in safe hands.

  • NST is a certified Iceland specialist

We're proud to be a certified Inspired by Iceland specialist, which means that we have been accredited as a tour operator with extensive knowledge and experience when it comes to planning a trip to Iceland.

Looking for protection on your next school trip? 

Booking with a school travel company is the best way for you to protect parents’ money and give yourself peace of mind.  

 

Don’t forget – if your school arranges transport, accommodation and other services directly, you’ll be liable under the Package Travel Regulations – meaning you’ll have all the responsibilities of a travel company, both legal and financial. 

 

Financial protection from the moment you book

NST are fully bonded:

  • ABTA
  • ATOL
  • IATA

Managing safety on school trips

For your protection, NST's independently audited Safety Management System covers:

  • 24-hour emergency cover
  • Audited accommodation & transport
  • Excursions & school visit assessment
  • Group leader preview visits to assist with risk assessment planning

We are LOtC Council’s Quality Badge assured

The Department for Education advising schools to always to look for the LOtC Quality Badge when finding a school travel provider.