Geographers and Environmental Scientists Explore Iceland

Geography & Tourism

On Wednesday 21 March, sixteen Itchen College Geography and Environmental Science students landed in Iceland. The trip enabled us to experience Iceland’s stunning natural beauty in the form of mountains, hot springs, volcanoes, glaciers and waterfalls.

While in Iceland we toured around The Golden Circle and stopped off at many magnificent destinations such as Thingvellir National Park. The Park was the site of parliament in the 10th-18th century and has a rift valley where you can see the separation of the North American Plate and the Eurasian Plate. Our tour guide also took us to a glacier and here we could see the real impacts of climate change as it was melting and decreasing in size due to global warming.

One of my favourite stops was the highly active Geyser. Every few minutes water is exploded into the air and seeing this display made us really aware of how powerful and active Iceland can be. Gullfoss is a waterfall in Iceland and it translates as ‘golden falls’. This waterfall was located southwest of Iceland and is 32m high and its large scale was very apparent. Not only could we see the large volume of water flowing through it but we could also hear the sound of crashing water all the way from where we were standing. We also visited The Secret Lagoon which is a pool heated by natural hot springs. The lagoon had been kept natural and the water temperature stayed between 38-40°C.

After staying in the rural area for two nights, we headed to the capital Reykjavik. The capital was a lot more busy and full of culture. For our evening meal we visited the burger factory and had the most amazing meal. However, the second night did not fail to impress as the pizzas were amazing even though we travelled over an hour to get there. (Let’s not forget the competition to see who could eat the most!)

On the final day we sailed off for a boat trip. We put on warm floatation suits and headed out to sea. It was a very rough journey as we battled the waves out to sea. After an hour we got to see a large pod of dolphins. This experience enabled us to study their behaviours and patterns and see them in their natural habitat.

Overall Iceland was a fantastic trip that I will remember forever. I’ve made so many great memories and been educated out in the field. Seeing things first hand helps me understand and appreciate the natural beauty of Iceland. It is  such an extraordinary country to visit and its use of renewable energy makes it inspirational.

Alice Jetson - Year 2 Geography Student