|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.
- We’ll visit “the hidden waterfall” Gljúfrabúi.
- As we drive along the old sea cliffs we’ll spot the legendary Seljalandsfoss…
- and the distinctively stunning Skógafoss.
- If it’s a windy day, we’ll even see a few of them flow upward!
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!
- This is the only place in the world where you can safely see what real lava looks like.
- We’ll feel the heat from actual flowing lava, in a safe environment, as the scientific guides explain many aspects of this phenomenon.
- Molten lava will actually pour into the specially-equipped demonstration room, providing a completely unique opportunity to safely experience red-hot lava in close proximity.
- You’ll see it flowing, hear it sizzling, and feel the heat that radiates from it.
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.