Here at Travel For Teens, we started 2022 in the best way possible with a winter break trip to Iceland! 20 travelers joined us for the experience of a lifetime to visit a country that completely transforms into an otherworldly landscape during the winter months. It was everything we could have hoped for, setting us up for what will be an incredible summer!
Iceland in the winter is like a dream you will never want to wake up from. Culturally and naturally there truly is no better destination. We started in the capital city of Reykjavik, ready and eager to get back to what we love doing: diving headfirst into the heart of a country! We hit the ground running by meeting up with a local tour guide and learning all about what life is like in the land of fire and ice. Home to over 60% of Iceland’s population, spending time in Reykjavik gave us the perfect introduction to Iceland’s culture including food, history, and the everyday experience of the locals.
As we left Reykjavik, it did not take long for everyone’s eyes to be peeled to the windows. The concrete sidewalks and modern architecture gave way to landscapes that have been left unchanged longer than we can comprehend. The sense of adventure was palpable as the Icelandic landscape and way of life were something completely unknown to our group.
Once we got to our first stop it was almost overwhelming as we laid eyes on Thingvellir national park. We marveled at the sheer beauty as we walked between two tectonic plates separating North America from Europe, an experience that is unique to this place. Nobody even thought twice about the cold as we gazed at the sunrise and the reality set in that we were in for the trip of a lifetime. The next two days were filled with geysers, massive waterfalls (the largest in Europe), and many laughs.
We shared rye bread baked in a hot spring with fresh-caught smoked trout while soaking in the picturesque thermal waters. We dined on traditional Icelandic food in quaint mountain towns, walked on the black sand beaches, and swapped countless stories all while creating new ones. We even saw real lava and were able to take a piece of it home when it cooled!
Our last day out in the country was spent hiking on a glacier, the precipice of this big adventure that we had all been waiting for. We geared up and set off on the trek, ice axes in hand and crampons strapped on to explore a natural wonder that very few people will ever have the chance to see. It was the perfect way to wrap up the adventure portion of our trip. We left the glacier disappointed it was over, but grateful for the experience.
As we headed back to Reykjavik to ring in the new year, we all expressed an appreciation to be able to live in the moment and share travel experiences with new people; something we have not been able to enjoy in the last two years. We joined all of Iceland as 2021 turned to 2022 and swore to fill this upcoming year with new adventures and to carry forward the lessons we learned on our trip.
As we get closer to the summer, this trip will remind us all about how important it is to travel and have these experiences. To see the world and share life with others helps us to heal and grow in ways we desperately need after dealing with the pandemic. It was beyond encouraging to see that travel is still possible and can be done safely again.
We look forward to welcoming even more travelers this summer for transformative travel experiences. To choose your next Travel For Teens adventure check out all of our programs here.
Watch this video to see our Iceland Winter Break group in action!