Global Warming and Climate change adventure tour in Iceland

Global Warming and Climate change adventure tour in Iceland

With a combination of travel and lectures, Geocamp Iceland and Hit Iceland offer a unique opportunity to get a view of and understand how climate change is affecting our planet in the form of a tour.  The trip takes you through exotic locations of volcanoes, glaciers, ice tongues, canyons, craters, lagoons, deep highland, small fishing towns, and other relevant and interesting places.  Our approach for this tour is based on geology, environmental science, and changes in nature.  We will also visit fishing villages to highlight how changes in the environment and natural resources affect various communities and their economy.

Global Warming and Climate change adventure tour in Iceland

Vehicle and accommodation

Although we will travel to places only accessible by dirt roads and challenging highland roads, we have found a vehicle fit for convenience.  It is a specially modified 4X4 minibus with a spacious interior and all the convenience that modern transportation can offer.  The bus can efficiently drive through challenging and steep roads as well as cross over rivers in the highland.  Our choices of accommodation also fit the tour, and they range from a mountain hut to a comfortable guesthouse. 

Specifically designed for students in geology, geography, environmental studies

Requirements and structure of lectures and study

This tour is designed specifically for graduate students and students selecting their field of graduate studies related to global warming, renewable energy, and climate changes.  A requirement to participate in the tour is a confirmation that that students have either completed or are currently enrolled in B.S. degree in relevant fields. 
Geocamp works with research- and university level institutions in the various fields of earth sciences.  Lectures are prepared in collaboration with our partners and focus on the multiple aspects of global warming and places the group will travel to and visit during their stay in Iceland.
At the end of the tour and our lectures and discussions, Geocamp will issue a certification of participation with a description of the tour and subjects. 

Lectures

1. History of Iceland, a short overview from settlement to modern times
2. Introduction to the Geology of Iceland
3. Renewable energy in Iceland
4. Volcanology and Natural hazards
5. Lakagígar craters and the Skaftáreldar eruption in 1783
6. Changes in nature (fauna, flora) due to global warming
7. Glaciers in retreat as indicators of global warming

 

Itinerary*

Day 1 - Arrival at the Keflavik Geocamp Accommodation

You are expected to arrive at Geocamp between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.  If you arrive early to the airport, you can contact us to facilitate an earlier check-in on the first day.  Our accommodation is only a few kilometers away from the Keflavik international airport.  At 5 p.m. we initiate our tour and introduce the lecturers who will contribute during the tour.  We also go over some of the highlights of the tour and how certain places are associated to the climate change and global warming subject.  Dinner is served at 6p.m, and after dinner, we will have a relaxed gathering, where you can socialize and get acquainted with each other. After all, you will be spending 10 adventurous days together.
 

Reykjanesbær town near the International Airport

 

Day 2 – Reykjanes Peninsula - lectures - Geothermal

The tour starts early in the morning each day, and throughout our travel, breakfast will be served around 7:00 in the morning.  We will try to gather all our things between seven and eight o clock, so that we can get started at 8:00 a.m.  The second day entails a combination of interesting geology, geothermal power, and economic changes for small communities.  It elaborates on sustainable energy as an alternative to conventional sources of energy to contribute toward reducing the negative development of climate change.  We also take you to the geothermal area and tourist attraction, Gunnuhver hot spring.  From the fascinating geothermal power, we take you to the fishing town, Grindavík, to visit the Stakkavík fish factory.  This is a rare opportunity to understand how a small fishing factory contributes to the global market and how changes in the ocean temperature could affect the economy of a small town.  From Stakkavík, we head to Geocamp driving past the Blue Lagoon and through the lava field of the Reykjanes Peninsula and visit Seltún hot springs and Kleifavatn Lake.  At Geocamp, you will attend the first two lectures and discussions of the tour.  The day ends with dinner at Geocamp.
 

Seltún hot springs at Reykjanes Peninsula

Selgún hot springs at Reykjanes Peninsula

 

Day 3 – Þórsmörk, Eyjafjallajökull eruption - Volcano/Eruption

After breakfast, we drive to Hvolsvöllur village in the southern region.  We begin the journey by visiting the Lava museum and then have lunch at the museum.  After lunch, we drive to Þórsmörk, one of the most exciting places in Iceland, located deep within three glaciers.  We pass by Eyjafjallajökull and particularly, the glacier tongue Gígjökull, where most of the melting glacier water stream and icebergs came flooding down during the Eyjafjallajökull eruption in 2010.  In Þórsmörk, we hike to Kattahryggir (Cats spine) up through Strákagil (Boys canyon) for an amazing view of the southern part of the Icelandic highland.  This day is planned around the volcanic activity and how the increasing volcanic activity in Iceland is connected to global warming.  From Þórsmörk, we head back to our Hvolsvöllur accommodation.  In the evening, we have a barbeque at the guesthouse.
 

Þórsmörk oasis in Iceland

Þórsmörk is often described as an oasis and the most spectacular place in Iceland

 

Day 4 – Torfajökull and Strútslaug natural geothermal pool - Declining glacier

This is a day of excitement as we aim to go to a remote place in the Icelandic highland.  But first, we stop at one of our most celebrated tourist attractions, Seljalandsfoss.  The waterfall is irresistible.  We will be there hours before the daily tourist traffic enjoying the walk behind the waterfall and photographing it from all angles.  From Seljalandsfoss, we go to the highland road Syðri Fjallabaksleið starting at the Öldufellsleið route as we leave the Ring Road, a challenging highland road, that takes us to the mountain Strútur.  On our way, we get a glimpse of a rare beauty and one of Iceland’s most photographed mountains, Mælifell.  As we stop by the hut Strútur, we wear our hiking shoes and hiking gear to carry on to the four-hour hike to the small declining glacier, Torfajökull. It is a glacier that is almost disappearing and is located in one of the most colorful rhyolite mountains in Iceland.  We also visit one of the most interesting natural geothermal pools in Iceland, Strútslaug.  At the end of the hike, we will serve dinner at our accommodation, the Strútur mountain hut.
 

Strútslaug is the most remote geothermal pool in Iceland

Strútslaug is the most remote geothermal pool in Iceland

 

Day 5 – Lakagígar craters and 1783 eruption - Global natural disaster

From Strútslaug, after our Icelandic mountain breakfast, we continue to explore fascinating places of marvel in the highland.  We head on to visit the Lakagígar craters and Laki Mountain to view the spread of the lava and consequences of the largest eruption on planet earth in historical times, the Skaftáreldar in 1783.  A global event that some claimed to have initiated the French Revolution and caused weather changes as far as Japan.  Here, we also need to put on our hiking shoes and climb the small mountain, Laki, for a spectacular view of all directions.  You can see the 25 craters on the east side and the west side that spewed fire and magma in an unprecedented manner in the late eighteenth century with devastating local and global consequences.  Skaftáreldar is a good example of a local event in a small arctic country with implications and consequences for the whole world.  It is a historical event that is an excellent premise to understand how things in the environment add up and the way changes occur on many levels, the ocean, the glaciers, vegetation, and elsewhere, changing the environment and causing disasters.  From Laki, we continue on toward the beautiful Tjarnargígur crater and drive back to the lowland to the comfort of our accommodation for dinner.  After dinner, you will attend your third lecture focusing of glaciers.
 

Lakagígar craters and the Skaftáreldar eruption is part of our tour

Lakagígar craters in the Icelandic highland

 

Day 6 – Skaftafell and Svínafellsjökull glacier tongue - Global warming indicators

Currently, the Svínafellsjökull glacier tongue is quite well known as a location for shooting films and for its role in the Game of thrones season seven as the land “north of the wall”.  Along with neighboring glacier tongues, Skaftafellsjökull has often been considered as an example of how glaciers are quickly retreating due to global warming.  After breakfast, we drive to Skaftafell National Park and go on two short hikes, one to Sjónarnípa to view the magnificent glacier tongue Skaftafellsjökull and then to the nearby Svínafellsjökull.  This will be an excellent opportunity to see a mass of ice falling from a height of 1600 meter and drifting slowly at the bottom. After Skaftafell, we head to the Jökulsárlón iceberg lagoon to view the largest glacier lagoon in Iceland and one of the most popular tourist attractions.  At the end of our day, we drive to our place of accommodation and enjoy dinner.

Svínafellsjökull glacier tongue famous for interpreting north of the wall in GOT

Svínafellsjökull glacier tongue is a glacier in retreat
 

Day 7 – Eldgjá - Landmannalaugar - Rhyolite Mountains - Geothermal pool

Our fourth visit to the Icelandic highland is a drive through the Nyrðir Fjallabak mountain road.  From our accommodation, we drive to Eldgjá, or Fire Canyon, one of the most extensive fissures in the Icelandic landscape.  We stop at the region of Eldgjá, a very frequently visited location and home to one of our most fascinating waterfalls, Ófærufoss. Here, we stop for a short hike through a part of the canyon. From Eldgjá, we travel through the stunning landscape of the Icelandic highland and then head for Landmannalaugar.  Without a doubt, Landmannalaugar is the most exciting and fascinating place in the Icelandic highland or the Icelandic interior.  Located at one end of Iceland’s most popular hiking trails, Laugarvegur, which ends in Þórsmörk, the place has come to be a sort of basecamp in recent years.  Landmannalaugar is spectacular, as it is surrounded by one of the most colorful mountains on the planet.  While here, we take a hike to Brennisteinsalda for a grand view of the rhyolite mountains and Landmannalaugar.  After Landmannalaugar, we drive to the Hrauneyjar highland hotel for dinner.  From Hrauneyjar, we head back to Geocamp in Reykjanesbær.

Landmannalaugar rhyolite mountains and geothermal pool

Landmannalaugar is surrounded by colorful mountains 

 

Day 8 – Fishing villages, climate change and natural resources lectures and discussions

After breakfast at Geocamp, we go on a morning drive to two small villages in the Reykjanes Peninsula, Sandgerði, and Garður.  As climate change affects both oceans and lands, it consequently impacts small as well as large communities, especially those by the shore that rely on the sea for their sustenance and economy.  We visit the Science and Learning center in Sandgerði and the Lighthouse in Garður, and from there, we drive to Reykjanesbær for lunch. The afternoon is reserved for lectures and discussions at Geocamp.

Garður small village has one of the oldest lighthouses in Iceland

Garðskagaviti lighthouse is one of the oldest lighthouses in Iceland - and now a small café

 

Day 9 – Reykjavík

On our last day, we take a more relaxed approach and drive to Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland.  The city is a wonderful place to visit.  From ten in the morning until four in the afternoon, you can freely wander around the city.  The most exciting part is the City Center with the old Parliament, Hallgrímskirkja church, and Harpa – the new conference hall.  Although a walk through Skólavörðustígur and Laugarvegur (the main shopping street has the same name as the popular hiking trail in Landmannalaugar) is interesting, we also recommend the Sculpture and shore walk from Harpa to the Höfði house.  At four o’clock, we will meet by Harpa conference hall and dine at a fabulous restaurant selected by us in down town Reykjavík.  After dinner, we drive back to Geocamp.
 

Reykjavik City Center

Reykjavík pond in the City Center

Day 10 – Breakfast and checkout at Geocamp location in Keflavik

After breakfast we present the last lecture and a wrap-up of our tour. At 11:00 a.m. we finish our journey and you will receive a certification.  Lunch is at Geocamp at 12:00 a.m.  After lunch you will have time till three o’clock in the afternoon for checking out.  If you are going to take a flight, it is recommended that you reach the airport at least two hours before departure.
 

International Airport at Keflavík / Reykjanesbær town

Keflavík International Airport

 

Tour location : 

  • Highland
  • Reykjavík
  • Southern region
  • Reykjanes

Starting place / town : 

  • Reykjanesbær

Tour : 

  • 4X4 Bus tour

Duration: 

10 days

Included: 

• 10-day unique driver-guided tour of the Reykjanes Peninsula, the Southern Region, and the highland interiors of Iceland
• 5 lectures on climate change from prominent members of academia
• 9 nights at the accommodation in Reykjanesbær, the countryside, and the highland
• 9 dinners at our guest house, highland hut, and restaurants selected by us
• 9 light lunches at restaurants, outside service centers, or simple meals standing outside the bus
• Breakfast at our guest-house and other places of accommodation
• Admission to Geothermal Energy Power plant Reykjanes
• Admission to the Stakkavik fish factory
• Admission to the Lava museum
• Admission to the Science and Learning Center in the Sandgerði village

What to bring: 

• Good hiking shoes made for rough terrains
• Warm innerwear with long sleeves
• Good weather resistant jacket and pants that can sustain during rainfall
• Small backpack for day tours and short hikes
• Snacks and drinks (water and soda) during the tour
• We recommend that you don’t forget your swimwear