The Geology of Iceland Tour

We often hear that Iceland is the geologist's paradise, and, true enough, it's hard to imagine another country in the world which offers the same possibilities to study and wonder at nature's forces, both creative and destructive, and to admire it's marvels at close quarters as can be done on this island up here in the North-Atlantic, at least, nowhere else, at least, can it be in such a comparatively small area.
So, here at Valtours, we are now proposing a special interest geology tour to our clients, specially destined for those in possession of at least the minimum basic skills and knowledge in geology, be it a self-taught passionate amateur, or a first year college student or undergraduate, with a very wide range of geology interests up to geology teachers and professors, who might be looking for some very particular aspects of their own studies or curriculums. All can be accommodated!

There is no fixed or predetermined itinerary in our geology tours: we simply ask you to choose from the table below two, three or even four main categories of geological concepts, and then check on the sub-categories and topics, which you are particularly interested in learning more about or to see, communicate the results to us, whereupon we will propose a taylor-made tour suited to your interests.
We believe that a basic tour of five days, taking mostly place in the West-and South part of this island, is sufficient to cover most of the essential and spectacular geological features of Iceland (volcanos, lava-fields, geysers, geothermal energy, etc.), whereas anything more specialized or rare, and difficult to access, will of course require a longer tour (see below: Price per extra day).

So, we hereby invite you to study the table here under (which is by no means complete or exhaustive), and then, after having made your selection, (mind you, it's impossible to see everything!), check out the travel details and prices down below, and then to proceed with your reservation.

CATEGORIES of Geological Concepts
Sub-categories and topics
I. Volcano
Caldeira Shield-VolcanoLava-RingStrato-VolcanoVolcanic Systems
Pseudo-CraterSpatter-ConeTephra-ConeMagmaCentral Volcano
Explosion Crater Hot-SpotLava-fieldsLava-CavesSubglacial eruptions
II. Geothermal activity
High temperature (steam) area (+200°C) Intermediate temperature area
Low temperature (hot-spring) area (<150°C)GeyserSolfatare, fumarole
 Geothermal energy plantsboreholes   
III. Erosion
Soil erosionHumus PeatWeathering /denudationStone-polygons
Erratic blocksAlluvial ConesLandslidesTalus, Scree slopeClimate
RockslidesFrost activity Glacial erosionPalsa Bog 
IV. Earthquakes
Earth's CrustFissures / FaultsPlate-movements, tectonics Seismic Waves Effects of / Damage
 ForecastingRichter Scale in Iceland now Graben 
V. Historical Geology in Iceland
Dating ProcessesTephrachronologyPlate-movements, tectonics Magnetic fieldInclination of Strata
 Tertiary period Quaternary periodPleistocene
(The Ice-age)
Holocene (the present)Pollen analysis
The Grey Basalt FormationThe Móberg (Palagonite) formation    
VI. Glaciers
Valley GlacierCorrie / Cirque glaciersU-glacierRock-GlacierGlacier outlet
NunatakIsostacyIce-capIce-fieldGlacial striae
Dead-ice pit Glacial DepositGlacier balanceLate Weichselian (Ice-Age) era in Iceland Glacier river
Glacier surge MorainesJökulhlaup (catastrophic floods) Ice Caves 
VII. Mountains
Laccolith BatholithVolcanic Neck Intrusive veins, ApophysisDike, Intrusion
CanyonLandslideHyaloclastite Ridge SillTalus, Scree slope
Basalt columns Lignite / brown coal Lava domes Table-top mountains 
VIII. Lakes and Rivers
Direct run-off riverGlacier river Spring-fed riverGroundwaterWaterfalls
IX. Coastline
Wave-cut cliffTombolo /connecting barGravel barrier and lagoonFjordBerm
Outwash /fluvioglacial plainSea stack / Rock pinnacleDelta Plains   
X. Rock types
BasaltSedimentaryMetamorphicVolcanic /Igneous Ignimbrite
TephraTuff / HyaloclasitePillow-lavaMinerals Flow-bands
Acidic (and semi-acidic or intermediate) eruptivesLignite / brown coal Loess / Löss Pumice Breccia
XI. Reference books
Žorleifur Einarsson: Geology of Iceland
Order it from Valtours :
Europe, (sent by
registered mail)
All other Continents:
(by registered mail)
Price (incl VAT):
EUR: 65,00
USD: 95,00

Duration of tour: 5 days, 4 nights. (if more days are required, please request them!)
Minimum number of passengers: 2 persons.
Departures: Mondays, about once a month or by request, all year round. See Schedules

The Iceland Geology Tour:
Added Price: (per extra day)
Oct -> May

Conditions of sale.

Services included: (4x4) transportation* and guidance**. Small comfortable hotels, farm accommodation or similar, in double rooms, usually with "en suite" facilities. All meals,(big breakfast, quick lunch, three course dinner), starting with lunch on first day and ending with lunch on the last day.Drinks / minibars not included.
*All (4x4) Vehicles:
1 > 4 Passengers : Toyota Landcruiser ; 5 > 10: Ford Econoline,
10>19 passengers: Mercedes Benz minibus. 20>35: Mercedes Benz full size
** Guidance is provided by the Valtours guides, either by Mr. Björn Jónsson himself, or by other equally qualified and certified Iceland guides. However, if the services of a professional geologist, are required on the tour, they can be provided at an extra-charge.
Necessary gear: Good outdoor clothing and sturdy footwear. Geologist's hammer. Also bring your swimsuit.
Operated: All year round. Note: During the wintertime (or indeed exceptionally in other seasons as well) , the tour may come momentarily to a halt for reasons of bad weather, snow, flooded roads or other such unforseeable "force majeure" causes. Valferšir ehf will not accept any responsibility for inconvenience or extra-cost incurred because of such events.