Iceland 2018 Blyth Academy International Summers Program

About This Program

The land of ice, fire, and Viking lore, Iceland is a country of extreme contrasts.

The cities are vibrant and full of life, with many artistic sites, cozy hip cafés, and a music scene to rival cities many times their size. Reykjavik in particular is home to numerous artists and a youthful social scene—with almost 24 hours of sunlight in the summer months, it truly is a city that doesn’t sleep! A soak in the hot pools of the Blue Lagoon just outside the city is a must on any visit. To the north is Akureyri, Iceland’s second-largest urban area. Originally settled in the ninth century, this fishing and port town was the site of Allied units during the Second World War, largely due to the fact that its harbour is mostly ice-free! Folk culture is alive and well in Akureyri, and the city holds several summer festivals, including a music festival and medieval fair.

Outside the urban areas, Iceland offers a landscape like no other. Experience all the wonders it has to offer while exploring the unique countryside—with lava moonscapes, mountains, and rocky fields where Icelandic horses roam, the views are truly exceptional. South Iceland is famed for black volcanic beaches, basalt lava rock formations, and rugged sea cliffs, while the East Fjords are known for reindeer, calm weather, and seclusion (only three per cent of the population lives here!). To the west, the Snaefellsnes Peninsula is dotted with colourful fishing villages, and its empty beaches offer a habitat for a multitude of native birds. The famed Golden Circle is home to Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where you can hike between the North American and Eurasian continental divide. Marvel at the Strokkur Geyser, which erupts in a steaming fountain every few minutes, and perfect your photography skills at Gullfoss (Golden Waterfall), fed by glacier meltwater.

Don’t head home without working up the nerve to try fermented mutton paté (kæfa), dried fish (harðfi skur) or even sheep’s head (svið)!

Included in your Program

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Walking tour

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Fjord hiking

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Waterfalls

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Volcanoes

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And more!

 

Other Inclusions of this Program:

  • Round-trip group airfare from Toronto, arranged by Blyth Academy
  • Group airport transfers at location
  • Transportation for moves between cities with the group
  • Accommodation
  • Tuition
  • Breakfast and dinner daily
  • Farewell Banquet
  • Supervision
  • Pre-departure briefing and materials
  • Designated outings and activities
  • City orientation tours
  • Use of free Internet, where available*
  • Access to Blyth Academy Travel Journal
  • Access to Vidigami photo sharing
  • And much more!

* Most hotels have Wi-Fi in common areas. Please note Internet access may not be available in bedrooms.

Flight Details

Flight details for 2018 will be updated when available.

Groups are required to meet at the airport 3 hours prior to departure

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Please note: Flights are subject to change by the airline.

Are you flying into Toronto Pearson International Airport to join the group?

Blyth Academy airport staff will meet students flying into Toronto Pearson International Airport from any city with same-day connections to Blyth Academy group flights at no additional charge. Once your student is registered, please email studentservices@blytheducation.com no later than Friday, June 1st and request an “Airport Meet-and-Greet in Toronto”.

Optional Excursions

The following are examples of optional excursions our students went on last year, and are subject to change. Please take a look and don’t forget to check back soon for the final list of excursions, and your chance to register!

Snorkelling Between Continents (Laugarvatn, Golden Circle)

Grab this opportunity for a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Where else can you leap into cool clear waters and swim between two continents? Though the temperature of the water may take your breath away, the experience will be worth it. At the Silfra Fissure, between the American and Eurasian tectonic plates, the lava rock filters the water making for amazing visibility and a super refreshing drink! The fissure is actually widening at a rate of 2cm per year.

All equipment is provided and you will have the option to snorkel in a wetsuit (which allows you to dive under water) or a drysuit (which is a little warmer) depending on your preference.

Prerequisites:

  • Be at least 150cm (4’11’’)
  • Be between 50kg and 120kg (110-265lbs)
  • Be able to swim
  • Minimum age: 16. Maximum age: 65

Please bring clothes suited to wear under a wetsuit, e.g. swimwear, warm clothes for before and after the snorkelling, a towel, lunch/snack, camera. GoPro cameras are available to rent for an additional fee. NB: You cannot wear glasses under a snorkel mask, so either wear contacts of bring your prescription snorkel mask with you.

Price: $350
 
Snorkelling between continents - Optional Excursion Iceland 2018

Super Jeep Tour (East Fjords)

This tour takes you around the beautiful Breiðdalur valley (Broad Valley) in East Iceland. Surrounded by magnificent mountains, the views we will see on this excursion will be spectacular.

Giving us insight into both local nature and culture, we will visit waterfalls, a local church and abandoned farms. Our route takes us on rough tracks and through rivers (no bridges here!) – making excellent use of the 4×4 vehicles.

Please bring warm clothing, good hiking shoes and a water bottle. Itinerary is subject to change based on weather and road conditions.

Price: $375
 
Super Jeep Tour - Optional Excursion Iceland 2018

Seal Watching on Horseback (East Fjords)

Two large glacial rivers flow towards the sea through the wide plain around Húsey Farm, a working farm where Icelandic horses are bred. Here large numbers of seals chose to congregate to rest on the river and sandbanks in relative safety. Open to visitors for 11 months of the year, our hardy hosts have opened up their land to share so everyone can enjoy the fantastic views and untouched nature.

Our local guide will accompany us on our horseback ride to the best places for seal viewing, teach us about Icelandic horses and birds, and tell us stories of the local landscape and elves! Off the beaten track, we will appreciate the almost complete peace and quiet. At the end of our 2hr ride, we’ll have the opportunity to purchase farm produce, from smoked fish to jam.

This ride is suitable for beginners. Safety helmets are provided. Please wear warm, weather appropriate clothing and sturdy boots. Húsey is a 1 hour drive from our hostel. We will leave after morning class and return in time for dinner.

Price: $150
 
Seal Watching on Horseback - Optional Excursion Iceland 2018

Whale Watching & Husavik (Northern Ireland)

Nestled on the edge of Shaky Bay, the town of Húsavík is globally recognised as one of the best locations in the world from which to watch whales. In fact, there is a higher chance of seeing whales in Húsavík than any other place in Iceland. So, if you’re ever considering where to go whale-watching, the town is without a doubt, second to none!

Though 23 species of whale have been recorded in Icelandic waters, the most likely we may see are Humpbacks, Minke and Blue. Lucky whale-watchers here may get to see them feeding, breaching (jumping out), slapping (slapping their flippers against the water) or spy-hopping (dipping their head out of the water to see what’s near). To see any of these creatures in the wild is a truly breath-taking sight to behold.

We will also enjoy a visit to the Whale Museum, an educational centre with 9 whale skeletons and interesting exhibits on the habitat and ecology of whales.

This half day excursion will take place come rain or shine, so please dress according to conditions and be prepared by wearing layers. Only high winds may prevent departure. Insulated coveralls will be provided against the cold.

Price: $250
 
Seal Watching on Horseback - Optional Excursion Iceland 2018

Lava Cave (Reykjavik)

In the afternoon, we depart Reykjavik and head out to the lava fields where we will adventure into the Earth and view fantastic colours and stalagmites of a lava tube cave. These natural phenomena are created when during volcanic activity the surface lava solidifies and magma continues to flow in tunnels beneath. We’ll walk where the lava once flowed!

Our knowledgeable local guide will explain the science, nature and folklore behind the cave as we walk, crouch and crawl through these incredible tunnels.

Please wear weather appropriate clothing and sturdy shoes. The average temperature in the cave is 2°C/35°F so gloves are also good to have! Helmets and headlamps are provided.

Price: $295
 
Lava Cave - Optional Excursion Iceland 2018

Rafting (Reykjavik)

Fed by the Langjökull glacier, the Hvítá River has carved a magnificent canyon below the Gullfoss falls. It’s a perfect place to view the beautiful landscape from a different perspective.

This fun tour offers awesome adventure! We’ll take to our raft, with our specially trained and certified river guide, and dressed in wetsuit and life-vest, and we’ll see grand rock formations, portholes, turquoise waters as we cruise through the exhilarating rapids!

As we arrive back to the rafting basecamp we enjoy a hot sauna, (there are also hot showers), before we return to Reykjavik.

Please plan to wear:- Lower body: swimwear under rafting pants (provided), warm socks; Upper body: warm fleece/wool sweater (will get wet). Please bring towel and a complete change of clothes. Unless your camera is 100% waterproof, we do not advise rafting with your camera! Waterproof Go-Pros can be rented locally at an additional charge.

Price: $325
 
Rafting - Optional Excursion Iceland 2018

July 2nd – 25th, 2018*

Travel Services
$5,050
Appx. Taxes & Fees$895
Tuition & Supervision$1,445
Total:$7,390**
or use your Aeroplan Points***

Courses

GRADE 11:
  • English (ENG3U)
  • Biology (SBI3U)
  • Visual Arts: Photography (AWQ3M)
GRADE 12:
  • English (ENG4U)
  • Biology (SBI4U)
  • Visual Arts: Photography (AWQ4M)

Itinerary

  • Reykjavik: 3 days
  • South Iceland: 3 days
  • East Fjords: 3 days
  • Akureyri: 3 days
  • West Iceland: 2 days
  • Reykjavik: 8 days

Accommodations

A final list of Accommodations for 2018 will be updated closer to the program date.

Our accommodations in residences, small guest houses and hostels will be simple, and will include dormitories.

Testimonials

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*All dates are subject to change.

**Plus $195 registration fee. Includes group airfare arranged by Blyth Academy and an estimated $895 in airline and departure taxes, local taxes and fees. Please visit www.blythsummers.com/fees for an explanation of our departure taxes, fees, and surcharges, and when these fees will be invoiced. All itineraries, excursions, dates, departure taxes, fees, and surcharges are subject to change.

***Please visit www.blythpoints.com for more details on funding your program through Aeroplan points.