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Hiking, National Parks, Culture & Exploration - Iceland Spring Break




Spring Break - Hiking, Culture & Exploration


Mar 7-14, 2020 



Join us for a week long spring break adventure in Iceland! This experience will start with a flight to Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital, which is where we’ll officially kick off our adventure and finish outfitting our trip. From Reykjavik we’ll head towards Vatnajokull National Park along Route 1, the Ring Road of the country that runs around the entire island and connects most of the inhabited parts. We’ll explore as we make our way to our lodging site near the southern tip of the park. This will serve as our Basecamp for the first three nights in country. 


On our second day we’ll join forces with a local guide for a glaciated tour within Vatnajokull National Park and explore the surrounding terrain including the Sapphire Ice Cave, a stunning wonder and truly unique experience. After a full day in the park, we’ll return to our lodging site, have dinner and relax. 


On day three, we’ll head back towards the Vatnajokull National Park and hike the Sjonarnipa, Svartifoss, Sjonar-sker Loop. This is a 9.5 km moderately trafficked loop near the toe of a major glacier and home to many beautiful waterfalls. We’ll eat lunch along the way and spend the remaining parts of the day exploring other areas of the park. After another full day, we’ll return back to our lodging site for dinner, to relax and get a good night’s rest. 


On day four, we’ll pack up and head back towards Reykjavik via Route 1. Along the way we’ll take a ferry to Vestmannaeyjar, an island to the south of mainland Iceland. This island was formed by underwater volcanic eruptions. We’ll explore the local town and attempt a hike to the summit of one of it’s two primary volcanic peaks. This same day we’ll return to the mainland by ferry and continue onward to our lodging site in Reykjavik. 


Our final few days of the trip will involve exploration and adventure in and around Reykjavik. Plans include driving the Golden Circle, a 300 km loop with three primary stops including Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall and the geothermal area in Haukadalur which contains the geysers Geysir and Strokkur. As they allow, we’ll make attempts to get outside of the city and take in the Northern Lights. Other activities are possible and will be determined by the group such as spending some time in the Blue Lagoon and/or snorkeling in the Silfra Fissure, a rift in the Earth between two tectonic plates (swimming in the gap between Europe & North America). Each day we’ll return to our same lodging site in the city. 


March is considered a gorgeous month to visit Iceland. Not only has the weather usually calmed down a bit but the Northern Lights are still very much in force and viewable. The amount of day light is growing rapidly, so much so that there is a noticeable difference each day. Spring is starting to appear and locals are spending more time outside. Temperatures can range during this time of the year between 28F and 38F. Rain tends to be common although not consistent. This trip will include 6 nights of lodging in hotels and/or an Airbnb style house, lots of hiking and exploration, and an approximate 750 mile road trip throughout Southern Iceland. Participants should prepare to come ready for adventure and the nourishment that tends to come from spending time in this beautiful international destination.



*GoogleMap links shared


Day 0, Fri 03/06/2020:

  • Final pre-trip meeting and dinner at Bucknell University.


Day 1, Sat 03/07/2020:

  • Breakfast at Bucknell. Pack a lunch. Mid day bus ride from Bucknell University to JFK International Airport. Dinner at airport. 

  • Fly from JFK Int’l to RVK Int’l overnight. 

Day 2, Sun 03/08/2020:

  • Arrive in Reykjavik, Iceland early morning. Pick up vehicles. Gather supplies and grocery shop in the city. 

  • Drive towards Vatnajokull National Park along Route 1. 

  • Explore/Rest stop(s) along the way with lunch. 

  • Arrive at our lodging site. Dinner. Relax. Overnight. 


Day 3, Mon 03/09/2020:

  • Wake up, breakfast, pack lunch and prep for day in Vatnajokull National Park. 

  • Drive to guided tour meeting point near/in the Park. 

  • Guided glacial/ice cave tour. 

  • Return to our lodging site. Dinner. Relax. Overnight. 


Day 4, Tue 03/10/2020:

  • Wake up, breakfast, pack lunch and prep for day in/around Vatnajokull National Park.

  • Drive the short distance to the trailhead for the Sjonarnipa, Svartifoss, Sjonar-sker Loop hiking look.

  • Full day of hiking and exploration. 

  • Return to our lodging site. Dinner. Relax. Overnight. 


Day 5, Wed 03/11/2020:

  • Wake up, breakfast and check out of lodging site.

  • Drive back towards Reykjavik. 

  • Stop at the ferry site for a bump over to Vestmannaeyjar island. Lunch. 

  • Explore Vestmannaeyjar including a summit hike attempt of one of it’s volcanoes. 

  • Take the ferry back to the mainland. 

  • Drive to our lodging site in Reykjavik. 

  • Dinner at lodging site. Relax. Overnight. 


Day 6, Thu 03/12/2020:

  • Wake up, breakfast, pack lunch, prep for a day exploring the Golden Circle Loop. 

  • Different stops along the way to explore and enjoy the amazing terrain. 

  • Possible activity of snorkeling the Silfra Fissure. 

  • Return to our lodging site. Dinner. Relax. Overnight. 


Day 7, Fri 03/13/2020:

  • Wake up and have breakfast.

  • Full or half day of exploration in Reykjavik. Lunch location will be determined based on the location of the group.  

  • Possible activity of visiting the Blue Lagoon for a soak in it’s geothermal waters. 

  • Dinner in Reykjavik. Return to lodging site. Relax. Overnight. 


Day 8, Sat 3/14/2020:

  • Wake up, breakfast, check out of lodging site. 

  • Extra time to explore Reykjavik. Lunch in town. 

  • At the airport by early afternoon for an early evening flight back to JFK Int’l.

  • Arrive JFK Int’l. Bus ride back to Bucknell. Dinner stop along the way. 

  • Back at Bucknell. Return gear. 

  • End of trip! 



  • Transportation to/from Bucknell University and JFK International Airport

  • Roundtrip airfare from JFK Int’l and RVK Int’l with X1 50lb checked bag

  • All group vehicle transportation while in Iceland including ferry ride fees

  • 6 nights of comfortable shared lodging

    • 3 nights of lodging near in Vatnajokull National Park

    • 3 night of lodging in Reykjavik

  • 3 main meals and snacks per day during main trip, excluding airport travel

    • 7 breakfasts

    • 7 lunches

    • 8 dinners

  • Pre-trip (Friday, 3/6) dinner at Bucknell

  • OEL Equipment (e.g. sleeping bags, food storage & kitchen items, duffle bags, rainwear, warm insulating jacket, headlamp, etc.)

  • National Park and other in country fees & permit expenses for pre-determined group activities.

  • Approximate 5 hour guided glacier & Sapphire Cave tour in Vatnajokull National Park.

  • International travel insurance facilitated by Bucknell University.



  • Fees associated with obtaining and/or maintaining a passport

  • Excess baggage charges and airport taxes

  • Fees associated with single occupancy lodging requests and/or needs

  • Personal gear & items

  • Alcoholic beverages

  • Meals while in airports

  • Any food purchased separately from group meals (e.g. gas station snacks, additional meals beyond pre-planned group meals, ice cream, etc.)

  • Any souvenirs, shopping, or optional, non-predetermined experiences (e.g. entrance to a museum tour, etc.)

  • Trip cancellation insurance

  • Additional travel insurance

  • Medical/evacuation fees beyond the coverage involved with the policy provided and/or your personal insurance


Full Cost = $2,400 per person


Deposit (15% of Full Cost) = $360*

*Deposits are non-refundable & non-transferable


Registration for this trip is now CLOSED. Please take a look at our other Spring 2020 trips and get outside with us!

Registration Notes

  • Registration for this trip is available on a first come first serve basis.

  • A full deposit or full payment is required at the time of registration to confirm placement on this trip.

  • Opportunities for a limited amount of financial assistance may be available. Students can indicate this request during the registration process. 

  • An option to join a wait-list is provided at the time of registration if the trip is full.

  • Registration for this spring break trip will go live at 12:00pm on Tuesday, December 10, 2019. -A deposit payment is due within 7 days from the time of registration to confirm placement on the trip. Deposits can be paid using check or cash at the CAP Center in the ELC.

  • The Bucknell Outdoor Education & Leadership Program (OEL) may adjust aspects of the pre-proposed itinerary associated with this trip. 

  • If selected to participate in this OEL spring break trip, you will be required to attend a series of pre-trip meetings. Failure to participate in these meetings may affect your eligibility to attend the trip. These pre-trip meeting dates will be shared with selected participants upon acceptance into the trip.

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