This is the first international student trip to be offered by the Appalachian Center for Environmental Education (ACEE). The mission of ACEE is to provide field and classroom experience in all aspects of environmental education. It is hoped that the international experience gained from this trip will inspire some of the participants to seek careers with an international theme.
     The trip is based on a 2004 Geological Society of America excursion that was led by Jim Reynolds and Þráinn Friðriksson. It will take us all around the wild, nearly uninhabited subarctic island of Iceland. For some it may be the first international experience. Iceland will provide a magnificent gateway to the geology of the world.
It is a place that every geologist should experience.
     Iceland is a beautiful and fascinating part of the planet. Spectacular scenery awaits around every turn. Glaciers, volcanoes of every type imaginable, the mid-Atlantic Rift, hot springs, lakes, coastlines, and waterfalls are only part of the variety Iceland has to offer. After only a couple of days you will have no problem understanding why the Vikings imagined there to be trolls and faeries living all around them in this magical land.

  Trip Leaders:     Dr. Jim Reynolds, Division of Science & Mathematics
Brevard College, Brevard, NC 28712
reynoljh@brevard.edu 
Phone: 828-884-8377

Dr. Þráinn Friðriksson, Iceland Geological Survey
Reykjavík, Iceland
thf@isor.is

Download Application Form

See fotos from earlier trips.

Updates

See the Map at the bottom of this page.

There may be updates to the itinerary as the departure date draws near. Check back here often! 

Here's the plan!

Date
Day
From
To
Activities
Night
8-Jul-07
1
Gateway City
Somewhere over the North Atlantic
The group will meet at Keflavík Airport in Iceland. This will allow you to fly directly to Iceland from the city nearest you that is serviced by IcelandAir. Iceland is on Greenwich Mean Time so the time change is more extreme than it should be. Get as much sleep as you can.
In Flight
9-Jul-07
2
Keflavík
Reykjavík
Jim Reynolds and Þráinn Friðriksson will meet the group at Keflavík. (By the way Þráinn Friðriksson is pronounced Throw' in [with the ow as in now] Freeth' rick son.) We transfer to the Reykjavík municipal campground at Laugardalur in the city center. After setting up camp, participants are encouraged to either take the bus downtown or relax in the spas and the sauna in the municipal pool next door to the campground. In the evening we'll have our first camp-cooked meal and begin to get to know each other.
Reykjavík Municipal Campground
10-Jul-07
3
Reykjavík
Hveravellir
Our first destination will be Þingvellir, the site of the world's first Parliament, situated on the mid-Atlantic Rift. On the way there we will visit Nesjavellir geothermal field where hot water is extracted for electrical generation. Then, on to Gullfoss and Geysir and Strokkur geysers. We'll camp at the Hveravellir geothermal area, enjoying the hot springs with views of the ice sheets on nearby mountains.
Hveravellir Campground
11-Jul-07
4
Hveravellir
Reykjahlið
This will be our longest drive (300 km). We'll cross part of the Central Iceland Desert with views of several ice caps and numerous volcanic and glacial features. We'll restock our supplies in Akureyri and make one final stop at Goðafoss before heading to the campsite near Reykjahlið at Mývatn. This will be our northernmost campsite, less than 1º south of the Arctic Circle.
Bjarg Campground on the shore of Mývatn
12-Jul-07
5
Reykjahlið
Reykjahlið
In the morning we'll drive around Mývatn to see the products of the Mývatn Fires and the wide variety of volcano types. We'll walk through the rootless craters at Skutustaðir to see some of them close up. After lunch we'll walk through Dimmuborgir and climb to the top of Hverfell tuff cone with excellent views of the rift. Those who wish can follow the trail back to camp and inspect the very hot water at Grotgjá.
Bjarg Campground
13-Jul-07
6
Reykjahlið
Reykjahlið
In the morning, we'll drive to the Namasfjall geothermal area, on the Eurasian Plate, and walk among the geysers and the bubbling pools. Then we'll enter Krafla caldera. After a brief visit to the Viti lake, we'll hike across the patterned ground of the tundra to the rift, the locus of the 1975-1980 Krafla Fires. The remainder of the day will be spent exploring the features of the rift. After dinner we'll drive out to Mývatn's Blue Lagoon and soak in the warm water that was used by the near by geothermal power plant.
Bjarg Campground
14-Jul-07
7
Reykjahlið
Reykjahlið
We will go by bus towards Húsavík, possible stops include, Theistareykir geothermal area, Tjörnes sediments (these record the changes in the sea shell fauna at the end of the Tertiary and the beginning of the Pleistocene and also places where Tertiary brown coal was mined during WWI), Skjálftavatn lake in Öxarfjördur that formed as a result of the Krafla events in the 70's, about 80 km from the volcano, and of course Ásbyrgi that formed during a catastrophic glacial outburst flood at the end of the last glaciation. At the end of the day we will drive by Dettifoss and head back to camp at Mývatn.
Bjarg Campground
15-Jul-07
8
Reykjahlið
Egilsstaðir
We'll leave the Myvatn area and drive southward across the Central Iceland Desert toward the Vatnajökull. We'll pass close to the Heatherbreid Table Mountain and may have time for a quick hike to its base. Then, we'll drive toward the East Iceland coast , restocking our supplies and camping in Egilsstaðir.
Egilsstaðir
Campground
16-Jul-07
9
Egilsstaðir
Skaftafell
National Park
Much of this day will be spent weaving in and out of the beautiful fjords of East Iceland. If time permits, we may visit several zeolite localities. We'll pass by numerous valley glaciers descending from the Vatnajökull ice sheet. Just before we arrive at Skaftafell National Park, we'll stop at Jökulsárlón, the iceberg lake. Those who want to may take a boat ride back to the glacial front. The campground is in a broad field not far from the Skaftafell glacier.
Skaftafell
National Park Campground
17-Jul-07
10
Skaftafell
National Park
Skaftafell
National Park
This will be a free day to explore the trails of the national park. We'll start of by visiting the columnar joints at Swartifoss and then hike to the Skaftafellsjökull overlook from there, groups can hike the trail(s) of their choice.
Skaftafell
National Park Campground
18-Jul-07
11
Skaftafell
National Park
Kirkjubaejarklaustur
We will travel the short distance to Kirkjubaejarklaustur and set up camp. In the afternoon, we will climb Laki volcano for a view of Lakigígar, the site of the 1783 fissure eruption. We will also have views of the western side of the Vatnajökull.
Kirkjubaejarklaustur Campground
19-Jul-07
12
Kirkjubaejarklaustur
Landmannalaugar
In the morning we'll visit the beautiful Eldgjá valley and falls. Then we will continue on to Landmannalaugar and its famous geothermal water emanating from beneath an historic obsidian flow.
Landmannalaugar
Campground
20-Jul-07
13
Landmannalaugar
Landmannalaugar
This will be another free day for exploration and/or relaxation. There is a fairly long hike along the large obsidian flow, through several geothermal areas, to an ice tunnel, hikes up various mountains around the valley, Icelandic pony excursions, and of course, the hot spring.
Landmannalaugar Campground
21--Jul-07
14
Landmannalaugar
Reykjavík
In the morning we will drive by Hekla volcano. We will return to Reykjavík's municipal campground in the afternoon. There will be time for shopping and tourism. In the evening, we'll have our farewell dinner in one of the local restaurants.
Reykjavík Municipal Campground
22-Jul-07
15
Reykjavík
Home
We will make one final stop on our way to the airport at the Blue Lagoon. This is where the geothermal water used for heating in Reykjavík is released into the ocean. In the afternoon, we'll catch our planes and return to our home countries.
Home

The numbers on the map correspond with the day numbers in the itinerary and
locate where the night will be spent.