Iceland’s Golden Circle is home to many cherished natural landmarks. While traveling this popular tourist route, students will learn about Iceland’s incredible geological history at several of the country’s natural wonders. In Thingvellir National Park, students will visit the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, one of the few places on Earth where you can actually see where two tectonic plates are pulling apart. Students will also see Althingi, the site of Europe’s first parliament, founded in 930.
Further along the Golden Circle, groups will visit the geysers Geysir and Strokkur. Geysir, though currently inactive, was known for centuries to blast hot water into the air as high as 260 feet! Strokkur, its neighbor, still erupts every 10-15 minutes.
Gullfoss waterfall is one of Iceland’s most popular destinations—the rushing water of the falls drops into a canyon 250 feet deep. Students will be stunned by the majesty of this nationally-protected site.
Did You Know?
- Geysir was the first geyser discovered by modern Europeans. Its name is derived from the Icelandic word geysa, “to gush,” and later lent its name to the English word “geyser.”
- There were several attempts in the early 20thcentury to harness the power of Gullfoss for the production of electricity. Eventually, the site was purchased by the Icelandic government, who deemed it a protected area.