Land of Wonders!
This expedition to Iceland will transform the way travelers see the world, and their place in it.
Iceland is on the front line of climate change as it transforms our planet.
Hands-on exploration is the best way to examine Global Warming and the adaptations it necessitates for our species to survive and thrive.
Dive into traditional culture, engage with Icelandic students & live like a local.
Your journey of discovery & adventure is calling!
I saw this on “Game of Thrones!”
- Experience the rugged beauty of black sand beaches, massive roaring waterfalls, stacked basalt columns & explosive geothermal geysers.
- Awaken your awareness of melting ice on a phenomenal glacier hike.
- Glimpse the wonders of Iceland’s remote night sky at the nation’s premier planetarium.
- Get your blood pumping on a thrilling whitewater rafting adventure.
- Learn about exotic wildlife, like diminutive Icelandic horses & indigenous puffins, the “clowns of the sea!”
- Immerse yourself in distinctive Icelandic culture and rich Viking history.
- View geomorphology in formation and study the effects of global warming.
- Explore the longest lava tube in Iceland & feel the heat at a red-hot “Lava Show!”
All-Inclusive Price: $4,995
Program length: 8 days
Program Departs: June 16th, 2022
Minimum Group: 24 Paying Travelers
Program Priced from Minneapolis (MSP).
Deposit: $500 required at Enrollment.
- Active Itinerary!
- Beluga Whale Sanctuary & Adorable Puffins
- Volcanoes! Waterfalls! Geothermal Hot Springs!
- Whitewater Rafting, The Blue Lagoon & Red-Hot Lava Show
- Glacier Trekking, The Golden Circle & Black Sand Beaches
- Planetarium, Endless Daylight & Intro to the Aurora Borealis
- Immersion in Local Culture, Sustainability & Conservation
- Icelandic Snack-splosion! Taste all the Local Favorites
- Unforgettable Summer Solstice Bonfire Celebration w/ Villagers
- The Bridge Between Two Continents
- Sailing Expedition to the Westman Islands
- Vikings: Democracy, Seafaring & Mayhem!
Intensive Educational Focus
Focus: Geothermal Power Meets 70% of Iceland’s Energy Needs
Focus: Farming, Crops and Food Supplies vs. Inhospitable Conditions
Focus: Global Warming’s Impact on Glaciers, Wildlife and Civilization
Focus: Conservation & Sustainability in Nature and Icelandic Life
Click to ENROLL!
Full Program Itinerary
Day One – Embark!
|Today, your group departs for a phenomenally active & totally unforgettable adventure!
In addition to speaking Icelandic, most Icelanders also speak English. So there’s little language barrier to worry about, but of course you’ll want to learn a little of the native tongue!
How many challenging Icelandic words will be fluent in your vocab by the time you return home?!
Day Two – Reykjavik: Culture & Vibe
|We won’t waste a moment once we arrive in Reykjavik this morning!
Kick things off with an opportunity to eat like a Viking! An informative, delicious & hearty welcome breakfast at Vikingworld captures our imaginations and helps us get to know our Travel Manager and local staff.
Next up, although it’s daytime, we’re in for a fantastic introduction to Iceland’s night skies! It seems unfair that the Aurora Borealis, or “Northern Lights,” cannot be seen in summer. They are an extraordinary, yet common, part of life during Iceland’s long winter months. As one of the most beautiful natural phenomenon on earth, we’ll experience the next best thing. At the Perland “Wonders of Iceland” Planetarium, we’ll experience a new view of this region’s starry skies as well as an impressive “Aurora Show.” It’s visually amazing, tons of fun and very informative.
We’ll head back out into the sunshine for an urban hike. Reykjavik is a relatively small city, best seen, explored and experienced by foot. Hence, the Reykjavik City Walk:
To understand any culture, it’s essential to grasp the fundamental tenants of their civilization:
Public swimming pools are a cultural mainstay and everyday part of life in Iceland, due to the weather and an abundance of hot water. Icelandic kids grow up in swimming pools throughout the year. We’ll dive into “life like a local” at the newly renovated Sundhöll Reykjavikur in the center of the city. Swim, soak, and refresh after your looooong flight!
After we unwind and refresh at the pool, we’ll have a little time to settle in and get ready for a fantastic Icelandic Welcome Dinner!
Day Four – Westman Islands
|Today we’re going way off the beaten path and going where few tourists venture: the Westman Islands.
We begin with a 30-minute ride on the Atlantic aboard the Herjólfur Ferry, from the mainland out to the island of Heimaey, or “Home Island.”
Historically, Heimaey was known as Iceland’s most important fishing port. Today, for various reasons, the fishing industry is not as robust as it once was, but there is still plenty of fishing going on. We’ll learn about the many challenges faced by residents, such as how to survive with only one freshwater well.
But today, what will first capture our attention – and our hearts – is the PUFFIN colony that lives here from April through August!
Vestmannaeyjabær is the main village on Heimaey. In 1973 the eyes of the world were trained on this village of 5,300 when a brand new volcano erupted here, called Eldfell.
Meaningful Community Service is one of the best parts of every Quo program. “Regular” school will be out for the summer when we’re in Iceland, but that doesn’t mean we can’t hang out with our Icelandic peers. While we’re out on the island, we’ll visit local kids at the town’s “Work School.”
We’ll cap the afternoon’s activities with an unforgettable visit to the brand new Beluga Whale Sanctuary!
Day Five – Glaciers, Lagoons & Icebergs, oh my!
|We’ll kick things off today with a South Shore Safari!
As we make our way through the “breadbasket of Iceland” en route to “the gems of the south,” we’ll see the quaint villages and hardworking farms of the southern flatlands, before we arrive at the splendor of the mountain ranges. Today’s other-worldly landscapes are unlike anything we’ve seen before – in clear weather you can see massive glaciers and volcanoes that have erupted 9 times in the last 50 years.
The South Coast of Iceland has everything but city views: waterfalls, glaciers, beaches, volcanoes, beautiful mountains & farms. We’ll be learning about more of Iceland’s unique vegetation, wildlife, geology and sustainable industry. Bring your sharp inquiry and get ready to think like a scientist.
Have you ever seen a black sand beach? Today, you can check that off of your list! Reynisfjara beach, with its backdrop of dramatic mountains and towering basalt column cliffs, is a particular favorite of the south. The crashing waves of the open Atlantic break on this distinctive black sand beach.
In Iceland, waterfalls are like characters in the nation’s story. Each one is beloved in various ways, and you’ve never seen anything quite like this landscape.
Right about now, we’ll start to think of Iceland as something of a waterfall-a-palooza. So. Many. Waterfalls. And no two exactly alike. We’re zeroing in on the most important and memorable examples of this geologic phenomenon.
SPLASH ZONE ALERT: Seljalandsfoss Waterfall is one of the most famous features of Iceland. (A few years ago, this was the dramatic setting for Justin Bieber’s “I’ll Show You” video.) We’ll hike up to and around this waterfall, so we can appreciate it from every angle – including from behind! You’ll get a bit damp, but it’s totally worth it to walk behind this crashing, magnificent waterfall.
After our waterfall treks and science lessons, we’ll up the ante in Vík, a charming town nestled in volcano-strewn Ketla UNESCO Geopark. Vík is home to the exciting new Icelandic Lava Experience!
Next up, let’s grab an ice pick, strap on some crampons, and hike a glacier!
Sólheimajökull glacier is the ideal place to view geomorphology in formation and the effects of global warming on glaciers.
**The things you’ll learn today will fuel papers & research for the rest of your educational career.**
We start with a safety briefing and a short lesson how to use the crampons and the ice pick on the glacier walk.
The glacial landscape is amazing and dynamic, including crevices, sinkholes & small black volcanic sandhills. Sometimes it’s possible to take a look at the small holes or enter the caves. With our expert guides, this setting is a fascinating and informative place to safely explore, learn and feel inspired.
**This glacier has been melting very rapidly in recent years, and we will see how dramatically the ice has receded. We will literally be standing at ground zero for global warming. There is no better place to begin a study of the devastation climate change is waging on our planet.
In front of the glacier is a glacial lagoon where we’ll see many icebergs floating. We may witness the haunting event of new icebergs calving where the glacier meets the sea.
Day Six – Þjórsárdalur Valley, the Hot River & Summer Solstice Bonfire
|It’s always fascinating to explore the items in a foreign grocery store – especially the snack foods! This morning, we’ll stop at a local grocery to buy some snacks for today’s Reykjadalur hike.
Our next stop is at the Iceworld Stables, where we’ll get up close and personal with diminutive Icelandic Horses.
In Hveragerði, we’ll enjoy a typical Icelandic BBQ lunch (weather permitting).
Then we’ll explore the village to learn about the innovative building techniques of this area’s settlers. Because of seismic instability and harsh conditions in this area, a new approach to construction was required.
Hot River Hike: Travel is at its best when you see & do things that only locals know about. This afternoon, we’ll join our local hosts for a very off-the-beaten-path adventure. (We won’t judge you for bragging about this when you get home.)
This day has been amazing, but it’s far from over. After our hot river adventure, we’ll be immersed in local tradition and culture!
The evening kicks off with a dinner at the Ingólfsskáli Viking Cabin.
Tonight, as the Vikings of old did, we’ll attend a Summer Solstice Festival. In a quaint, historical town of 480 citizens, we’ll:
What will your friends back home be doing for the solstice? Yeah, you’re definitely gonna brag about this.
Day Seven – Volcanic Cave & Blue Lagoon
|The pace of the past few days has been intense, so we’ll enjoy a slightly more gentle start to our day today.
We’ll take a little time to enjoy the remote beauty of this isolated village. There will be lots of stories to share at breakfast about the bonfire and the local festival.
Our first stop of the day will be at the famed “Lava Tunnel“ Raufarhólshellir.
When we do board our motor coach, we’ll begin a scenic drive through the lava-scarred Reykjanes Peninsula.
We’ll stop at the geothermal area of Seltún, one of the most desolate areas in Iceland. A bit like Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming or Death Valley in California, Seltún is punctuated with:
With our expert guide, a hike through Seltún is a bit like stepping into another dimension. It’s difficult to describe all the different phenomenon that occur when powerful energy seeps up from within the earth and puts on a show; you just have to see it for yourself.
Another highlight: today you’re on 2 Continents!
The Reykjanes Peninsula is also home to the Bridge Between Continents. This is literally a bridge between Europe and North America!
At long last, we’re off to experience the #1 most popular attraction in Iceland: The Blue Lagoon.
Tonight, we want to look our best. After the powerful bonding and growth experiences of the past week, our big “Farewell, Iceland!” Dinner will be a bittersweet opportunity to reflect and reminisce. It’s hard to imagine that this adventure is already coming to a close!
Day Eight – Við Sjáumst, Reykjavik!
|We’ll awaken this morning to the uniquely captivating beauty of Reykjavik, and feel some remorse as we pack our bags.
It’s an early flight, so we’re off to the airport to board the plane and begin our journey home! Góða ferð!