This modern mecca for recreation and relaxation is home to an abundance of amazing natural wonders.
Adventure awaits on the Nordic island nation of Iceland, nicknamed “the Land of Ice and Fire” for its vivid contrasts in climate, culture, and landscape.
Journey to Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik, a bustling and hip cultural hub that 60 percent of the country’s population calls home. From there, start checking must-see destinations off your buck list with the Blue Lagoon, the Geysir Geothermal area, Gullfoss waterfall, and Thingvellir National Park. Iceland is an iconic and inspiring destination for the modern traveler.
Not only does this Scandanavian country have an abundance of ancient natural wonders waiting to be explored, it’s also one of the world’s oldest democracies—but don’t be fooled, present-day Iceland is a modern mecca for recreation and relaxation.
On location. Iceland’s vast and varied landscapes provide excellent places for filming; from Game of Thrones to James Bond (twice), Iceland offers out-of-this-world backdrops for blockbuster hits.
Experience the awe-inspiring landscape. Embark on a whale watching expedition in Icelandic waters, home to more than 24 species of whale, and hike the moss-covered volcanic Grabrok Crater with surrounding mountain views. Then, visit the famous Geysir hot spring, from which all other geysers in the world get their name.
Chat with change-makers. Meet with experts, learn about the Icelandic approach to conservation, and engage with their applied use of renewable energy in Reykjavik when you visit the Hellisheidi Geothermal power plant, the third-largest geothermal power station on the planet.
Revel in Reykjavik. Enjoy your stay in one of the cleanest, greenest, and safest cities in the world! This charming seaport Icelandic city is the world’s northernmost capital of a sovereign state.
Walk between two continents. Settled on the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the boundaries between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, the Thingvellir National Park is a significant cultural, historical, and geographical location in Iceland.
Selfie stop photo op! Pose in front of the glorious Gullfoss (translation: “Golden Falls”), one of Iceland’s most iconic waterfalls that was created during the Ice Age; flood waves shaped this crevasse where water now cascades down in two stages.
Annabel H., EF Gap Year Class of 2019 Boston University Class of 2023
My gap year took me out of my comfort zone so many times—and my life is better because of it. Now, as I head off to college, I am able to focus on my excitement rather than feeling nervous, because I have built so much confidence within the past year. If anyone is searching for a path to follow, a way to achieve their goals, or even just who they are, they need to take a gap year.