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IcelandLand of Fire & Ice

Travel abroad this summer on an adventurous middle school program to Iceland, where tectonic plates burst from the earth and glaciers, waterfalls, and volcanoes abound. Experience the green energy infrastructure and climate leadership of Reykjavík, trek across magnificent glaciers, spot whales off the northern coast, and learn about the effects of climate change on Iceland’s landscapes as you road trip around the country’s Ring Road.


July 3–July 16, 2023July 19–August 1, 2023
14 days
$ 7,290 + airfare
Departs from New York
14–16 students, 2 leaders


  • Get up close with Iceland’s glaciers, geysers, and volcanoes 
  • Don crampons and ice picks to traverse a glacier with guides
  • Visit a geothermal power station and head into the field with naturalists
  • Go rock climbing, ride horseback, whale watch, and swim in hot springs

Meet featured leaders


This itinerary represents our best projection of the group’s schedule. However, we may implement changes designed to improve the quality of the program.

  • Departure
  • Travel Day

Meet your fellow middle school student travelers and one or more of your leaders in New York, and fly together to Reykjavík, Iceland. To learn more about how we organize travel, click here.

  • Reykjavík
  • 2 days

Arrive in Reykjavík, Iceland’s bustling capital, for your introduction to island life. Get to know your peers and program leaders during an in-depth group orientation. Soak in the famous Blue Lagoon, explore the ruins of a Viking household excavated beneath the city streets at the Settlement Museum, or stop in at the modern cathedral of Hallgrimskirkja, whose unique architecture was inspired by the natural basalt columns found throughout the country.

  • The Golden Circle
  • 1 day

Set out on the famous Golden Circle and experience some of the country’s most iconic geysers and waterfalls up close. Get a behind-the-scenes perspective of a modern geothermal power station, which generates enormous amounts of clean energy for Reykjavík, then enjoy a traditional Icelandic dinner at a local farmhouse.

  • The Southern Coast
  • 1 day

Travel along Iceland’s southern coast, and experience the stunning waterfall-studded landscape. Stop for a picnic lunch at the famous Seljalandsfoss waterfall, go for a barefoot stroll on a black-sand beach, and take in the towering basalt columns.

  • Höfn & Skaftafell
  • 3 days

Continue east along the idyllic southern coast and spend your days in the field with expert mountain instructors. Hike in Skaftafell National Park, go trekking on Fjallsjökull glacier, and try your hand at rock climbing at Hnappavellir, one of Iceland’s most famous climbing areas. Take in impressive views of Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon and watch glittering ice formations flow through this lunar landscape outside of Höfn. Explore Höfn itself, a historic fishing village perched on a peninsula surveying the outflow of five glaciers, including Vatnajökull glacier, the world’s largest ice cap outside the Arctic and Antarctica. Take a dip in the town’s thermal pool or play a pick-up game of soccer or basketball with local youth at the community center.

  • Mývatn
  • 2 days

Head deep into the volcanic northern landscape to Lake Mývatn. Hike to the rim of a collapsed volcano, explore lava flows, fumaroles, and volcanic steam vents. Explore ancient glacial ice caves with professional guides, then cap the day with a relaxing soak in the Mývatn Nature Baths, known for their blue mineral water and black-sand floors.

  • Akureyri
  • 2 days

Arrive at Akureyri, the bustling northern hub nestled deep in a fjord and bordered by mountains. Take in the modern architecture from our accommodations in the heart of this vibrant city known as the “Reykjavík of the North,” then go horseback riding on a visit to a family farm in the hills overlooking the sea and go whale watching in Eyjafjörður. Share your independent project with your group on your final night in Akureyri.

  • Reykjavík
  • 1 day

Return to Reykjavík for your final day in Iceland, further explore the capital’s picturesque harborside neighborhoods, and enjoy a celebratory dinner with your group.

  • Return
  • Travel Day

Fly from Reykjavík, Iceland, to New York with your group and a leader, then continue on to your final destination. To learn more about how we organize travel for our middle school programs, click here.

“I could not have asked for a better experience and will always remember it and the people I met.”

— Jack G., Riverdale Country School, Bronx, NY

A Day in the Life: Höfn

  • Due to the traveling nature of this summer program abroad, each day is different. Here is a snapshot of a day during our time in Höfn.
  • Enjoy a traditional Icelandic breakfast at your guesthouse
  • Join expert guides for glacier walking in Vatnajökull National Park
  • Picnic lunch in the field with your group
  • Participate in an introductory rock climbing workshop with professional instructors
  • Relax with a late afternoon soak in a natural thermal pool
  • Journal, work on independent projects, or play a pick-up game of frisbee
  • Have dinner with your group at a local restaurant
  • Group activity and meeting to discuss the day and upcoming schedule

View Photo Gallery

What to Expect

  • Independent Project

Pursue an independent project and explore a local topic of particular interest to you—explore Iceland’s approach to green energy (over 85% of the country’s energy comes from renewable sources), become an expert on Viking folklore, create a recipe book filled with local dishes, document the training it takes to become a glacier guide, or interview a fisherman on the ways their livelihood is evolving with the warming waters and changing climates.

  • Physical Activity

This is a physically active summer travel program that includes hiking and glacier trekking. Life in Iceland is best experienced outdoors, and you will be moving about often throughout the program—there’s so much to see! You do not need to be at peak fitness to participate, but it is important that you have a desire to be physically active, and that you are excited about being outside and trying all activities.

  • Accommodations

We stay in comfortable family-run guesthouses, hostels, and small hotels. Leaders reside together with the students throughout the program.

  • Meals

The group mixes picnics with dining out in Icelandic restaurants, along with traditional family-style dinners taken at our accommodations.

Explore the Destination

Next Steps

This program is directed by John Linsley. If you have questions or would like to talk further about this program, please get in touch!

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