Note: This tour is now full. Join the waiting list, contact us at 800-811-7244 or email

July 30 – August 15, 2022 (17 days)

The Trip

Sitting astride the mid-Atlantic ridge, Iceland is one of the world’s most geologically active and, therefore, spectacular places. I invite you to explore this land of fire and ice with two Carleton professors—geologist Mary Savina ’72 and historian William North—plus Mary’s favorite Icelandic tour manager/guide.
This itinerary is a complete, land-based circumnavigation of the island, and the pace allows you to experience Iceland in-depth. Begin with two nights in Iceland’s capital, Reykjavík, before setting out on a counterclockwise exploration of the island, ending in Reykjavík. Along the way, spend five nights in Iceland’s south, a night in the east, four nights in the north, and three final nights in the west, staying in modern three- and four-star hotels that are perfect for exploring or relaxing. Your days will be spent walking through stunning landscapes featuring waterfalls, glaciers, geysers, hot springs, and volcanoes; plus see vast bird colonies, quaint fishing towns, and tranquil farms. Learn about the connections among Icelandic history, culture, wildlife, and landscapes; and sample local cuisine.

Faculty Leaders

Mary Savia '72

Mary Savina ’72 is Charles L. Denison Professor of Geology at Carleton College, where she earned undergraduate degrees in history and geology. Her specialties—geoarchaeology, landscape history, and environmental geology—combine these interests nicely. Mary received the 2013 Undergraduate Research Mentor award, presented by the Geosciences division of the Council on Undergraduate Research, and the 1995 Outstanding Educator award from the Association of Women Geoscientists. When she first visited Iceland several years ago, she was enchanted by the combination of active geologic landscapes (volcanoes and glaciers!) and the deep historical roots of Iceland culture. Three return trips cemented her fascination with the country. Mary has taken Carleton students (and, in some cases, alums) to other active geological landscapes in Greece, Tasmania (Australia), New Zealand, and the Mojave and Sonoran deserts of the American Southwest, among other places. She has also found good excuses to travel to Australia, Europe, and central Alaska, generally finding opera performances wherever she goes, in addition to fascinating building stones, landscapes, and people. In her spare time, Mary sings in a choir and is active in explaining geology to groups in the local community.

William North
William North

William (Bill) North joined the history faculty at Carleton in 1999, after receiving his Ph.D. in medieval history from the University of California, Berkeley, and holding a postdoctoral fellowship in Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C. He has developed courses focused on the late Roman world, the early Middle Ages, Byzantium, and many other specialized topics. Bill regularly co-leads an off-campus program to Rome. Since 2017, he has co-taught a course with Mary Savina on human responses to earthquakes and has been expanding his scope to examine volcanoes. In many of these teaching contexts, Iceland has long played a significant role and provides fascinating materials for thinking about enduring topics of human societies. Its sagas, laws, and archaeology reveal the dynamics of law, crime, and punishment; the role of family; the nature and drivers of cultural and religious change; and the use of resources to create communities. The idea of exploring this land and these human and environmental topics with Carleton alumni is tremendously exciting, and Bill looks forward to the rich and sustained conversations and the deep engagement in both learning and fun that participants seek.

 Prices Per Person (15 nights)

Double Occupancy (25-26 participants) $7,795
Double Occupancy (20-24 participants) $8,195
Double Occupancy (15-19 participants) $8,795
Single Supplement $2,245

Single room supplement will be charged when requested or required (limited availability).
With fewer than 15 participants, a small group surcharge may be added. 


Saturday, July 30, 2022: Depart home
Sunday, June 31: Arrive Keflavík, Iceland | Reykjanes Peninsula | Blue Lagoon | Reykjavík | Welcome dinner
Monday, August 1:
Reykjavík city tour | PM at leisure
Tuesday, August 2:
Golden Circle tour: Thingvellir National Park, Geysir Geothermal Field, Gullfoss waterfall | Hella
Wednesday, August 3:
Ferry to/from Heimaey | Hella
Thursday, August 4:
Thjórsárdalur Valley | Hvolsvöllur | Hella
Friday, August 5:
South Shore | Vík í Mýrdal | Hnappavellir
Saturday, August 6:
Vatnajökull National Park | Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon | Hnappavellir
Sunday, August 7:
Eastfjords | Petra’s Stone & Mineral Collection | Fáskrúðsfjörður
Monday, August 8:
Dimmuborgir | Mývatn
Tuesday, August 9:
Dettifoss | Ásbyrgi | Mývatn
Wednesday, August 10:
Skútustaðir | Goðafoss waterfall | Akureyri
Thursday, August 11:
Whale watch | Tröllaskagi Peninsula | Siglufjörður | Kaldi Brewery | Akureyri
Friday, August 12: 
Akureyri | Borgarnes
Saturday, August 13:
Snæfellsnes Peninsula | Arnarstapi & Hellnar villages | Borgarnes
Sunday, August 14:
Deildartunguhver | Hraunfossar | Barnafoss | Reykjavík | Farewell dinner
Monday, August 15:
Fly home

Additional Information

For reservations or for more information, download the detailed brochure, call 800-811-7244 or email Carleton College Alumni Adventures.