Wonders of Iceland 2021

Volcanoes, Geysers and Glaciers

Trip Scholar: Prof Robert White FRS

Professor of Geophysics, Earth Sciences Department
University of Cambridge

8 day tour
Price from £3,595

Departing 01 July 2021

A land of myth and geological marvel, Iceland is one of the youngest landmasses in the world, formed only 25 million years ago, and its landscape is still in the midst of its geological development. Iceland is constantly being shaped by the mighty forces of its rumbling volcanoes, shifting tectonic plates and its glaciers making their slow but powerful progress through the mountains. Geysers and mudpots spring from the ground, waterfalls rush over precipices and beaches sparkle with black sand. With our esteemed scholar, Cambridge Geophysicist Professor Robert White on hand to interpret the staggering landscape, we shall visit the important geological and cultural sights of the island, from steaming lava fields, mud pots, geysers and volcanoes to iceflows, waterfalls and hot-spring lagoons.

Tour highlights

  • Explore the UNESCO site of Þingvellir, where history and geology collide. One of very few places in the world where two tectonic plates can be seen pulling apart above sea-level, it is also the site of Europe’s first parliament, established in 930.
  • Enjoy the bizarre and beautiful sight of luminous blue icebergs drifting along the Jökulsárlón glacial lake before washing up on a dazzling black sand beach, a favourite movie setting for the likes of A View to a Kill and Batman Begins.
  • Delight in Iceland’s powerful waterfalls, from Skogafoss (one of the biggest) and Seljandsfoss known for its double rainbows, to Svartifoss (Black Falls) where water falls between imposing basalt columns.
  • Walk round the rim of the Crater lake of Kerið and explore the lava fields, hot springs and glaciers of Þórsmörk nature reserve, famous for the 2010 eruption of nearby Eyjafjallajökul volcano which grounded Europe’s air traffic.
  • Geothermal wonders include the active Strokkur geyser which erupts every few minutes, the boiling mud pots, volcanic vents and sulphur springs of Krýsuvik which runs along the mid-Atlantic rift, and a chance to swim in Europe’s most powerful hot spring, Deildartunguhver.
  • Understand Iceland’s Viking history with visits to Skálholt, a centre of learning and culture in the middle ages, Borganes Settlement Centre and the National Museum in Reykjavik as well as the folk museum of Skógar housed in preserved turf-roofed houses.

Itinerary at a glance

Day 1:    Tour starts on arrival in Keflavik at 15:15  |  Visit Viking ship Íslendingur  | Overnight Borgarnes
Day 2:    Drive to Snæfellsnes peninsula | Visit Snæfellsjökull Volcano | Explore lava fields at Arnastapi  |  Overnight Borgarnes
Day 3:    Visit Hraunfossar & Barnfoss waterfalls  |  Deildartunguhver thermal spring & Grábrók crater |  Overnight Borgarnes
Day 4:    National Museum Reykjavik  |  Þingvellir National Park   |  Gullfos waterfall & Geysir  |  Skálholt  |  Overnight Selfoss
Day 5:    Full day Þórsmörk nature reserve  |  Tindfjallajökull and Eyjafjallajökull glaciers, lava fields, desert scenery  |  Overnight Vik
Day 6:    Skaftafell NP  |  Walk to Svartifoss waterfall  |  Visit Jökulsárlón glacial lake with icebergs |  Svínafellsjökull glacier  |  Overnight Vik
Day 7:    Seljalandsfoss & Skógafoss waterfalls  |  Skógar Museum folk art |  Black sand beach and basalt stacks at Reynisfjara  |  Overnight Hella
Day 8:    Reykjanes Peninsula  |  Mid-Atlantic Rift  | Geothermal wonders of Krýsuvik  |  Krýsuvíkurberg Cliffs |  Sandvik Bridge  |  Transfer to airport

Dates and Prices
Prices are in UK£, per person, based on double occupancy

01-08 July 2021
Room TypePriceSingle SupplementOptional Flight from LondonAvailability
Standard Twin/Double£3,595£520£250 return approxAvailable

Twin or double bedroom with a private bathroom, breakfast daily, 7 lunches, 5 dinners, all excursions with local guides including entrance fees, transfers and expert leader.

International flights, breakfast and lunch on Day 1, dinner on Day 3 and 4 and dinner on Day 8, travel insurance, drinks, tips to drivers & local guides, items of a personal nature.

Optional flights
Temple World can arrange flights from London to coordinate with this tour. We have planned the tour to coordinate with the following recommended flights with Icelandair from Heathrow to Reykjavík:

01 July Heathrow to Reykjavik FI 451 departing 13:05 arriving 15:15
08 July Reykjavik to Heathrow FI 454 dearting is at 16:10 arriving 20:20

Tickets currently cost £230 – £250 in economy, return (including taxes) but fares will fluctuate with availability so we advise booking early to secure these rates.  Temple World can hold seats on these flights for anyone who would like us to do so,  without any additional deposit.   We can also book direct Icelandair flights from Manchester, or BA flights from Heathrow.

Booking your own travel
Clients wishing to use airmiles to buy or upgrade flights, those wishing to fly on a low-cost carrier and those joining the tour from outside the UK are advised to book their own flights.  We are always happy to help find appropriate flights for those not travelling from London, and can advise the best way to book them if we are unable to book them on your behalf.  If not asking us for assistance, we recommend that you double-check with us whether your preferred flights will coordinate with the tour joining and finishing times before confirming them as errors are easily made and can be expensive to fix.

Easyjet flies to Reykjavík direct from Luton, Manchester and Edinburgh should these airports be more convenient than Heathrow or Glasgow. We are not able to book these on behalf of clients but as mentioned, will be happy to provide information how to make these work with our tour.

If the arrival or departure times of these alternative flights are not a good match for the tour we would be delighted to quote and book pre or post-tour hotels for those who need to arrive a day before the tour or depart a day later.

We will arrange a group transfer to and from the airport to coincide with the flight/departure time to the Icelandair flight. Private transfers to meet any flight are possible at a supplement but note that as there are excursions on both the arrival and departure days you may find it advisable to arrive a day before the tour and/or depart a day afterwards if booking your own flights.

The start and end point of the tour is Keflavik Airport.

*Very important! Those who plan to book their own flights should not make any binding or non-refundable arrangements until their place has been confirmed in writing on the tour and Temple World has confirmed that it is a guaranteed departure



NHS Fit For Travel advises travellers to Iceland are usually recommended to immunise against: Seasonal Flu.   There may be a requirement to provide a Please seek professional medical advice at least 8 weeks before departure. NHS Fit For Travel Website


Entry Regulations

British citizens can enter and remain in countries in the Schengen area (which includes Iceland) for a maximum of 90 days in every 180 day period without a visa.  Visits to any other Schengen area countries within the 180 days before your date of travel will count against this 90 day limit, so if you’ve travelled to any other Schengen area country in the 6 months leading up to the tour you’ll need to ensure that you still have at least 8 days left of your 90 day limit to be allowed entry to Iceland.  Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Iceland.

Fitness Guideline

We have graded the fitness level required for participation in this tour as Moderate. There is quite a lot of walking in the tour, on uneven paths such as lava flows or in conditions which might be an uneven and rough.  There may not be anywhere to rest or sit down regularly.   During sightseeing walks we might be ‘on the go’ for several hours at a time, without breaks to sit down and rest.  It is important that everyone is able to keep up with the group.  The tour is not suitable for those who require walking aids to get around the house or walking in their local area.  Those used to taking hiking poles for lengthy or hilly walks are welcome to bring them.  Tour participants over 80 will be asked to provide a letter of fitness from their GP. Please contact us for a full fitness briefing.

Trip Scholar
Professor Robert White,  FRS, Professor of Geophysics, University of Cambridge
Professor White is Professor of Geophysics in the Earth Sciences Department, University of Cambridge and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1994. He is Director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion.  Bob White is also a Fellow of St Edmund’s College, Cambridge, prior to which he was a student and Research Fellow at Emmanuel College, Cambridge.  A Fellow of the Geological Society, and a member of the American Geophysical Union and several other professional bodies; he serves on numerous of their committees. He leads a research group investigating the Earth’s dynamic crust.  His work at sea has taken him to the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans and his research group is currently investigating the internal structure of volcanoes in Iceland, New Zealand, the Faroes and the Atlantic margin. His scientific work is published in over 350 papers and articles.  Professor White has been conducting fieldwork in Iceland since 1994, and has a specialism in volcanism and rifting.

Lectures during our tours
All our tours are accompanied by an academic ‘trip scholar’ as well as local guides. The local guide or guides provide the day-to-day guiding on our tours, whilst the trip lecturer will give regular lectures on his/her specialist subject throughout to provide an academic overview. Lectures/talks usually last 30-40 minutes including questions and answers (if applicable). These are generally held in the evenings before dinner and attendance is optional. We don’t usually specify before travel which days the lectures will be given (for operational reasons) but guests can expect them roughly every other day as a minimum, with some lecturers giving some kind of talk or presentation more frequently.

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The trip scholar was brilliant. His preparation and lectures were top-notch, and his creativity—for example, teaching us how to make squeezes, i.e. damp paper impressions of carved inscriptions—was impressive. Pierre & Susan

Congenial Companions

Our small group tours are exclusively available to alumni of Oxford and Cambridge universities and their friends and family, making for a wonderful atmosphere amongst like-minded individuals.

Expert Lecturer

All our small group alumni tours are accompanied by a university lecturer as well as local guides, with illuminating lectures given throughout the tour to enrich understanding of the destination.

To reserve a place on one of our small group alumni tours, contact us for availability then send us a signed booking form and deposit.

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