ICELAND: Northern Lights and Wondrous Winter Landscapes

Aurora Borealis2000

TOUR FOCUS
PHOTOGRAPHY

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SCHEDULED TOURS

2023 :: February 2 - February 13
2023 :: October 24 - November 4

TRIP LEADERS

TOUR COST

From: $6,500 (See details)
Cost is per person, double occupancy from Reykjavik (KEF)

GROUP SIZE

6-12 Participants

AVAILABILITY

12 spaces available

PRIVATE TOUR OPTION

This tour is available as a private trip for any size group. The tour cost will vary with the number of people and any custom requests.

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Highlights of ICELAND: Northern Lights and Wondrous Winter Landscapes

  • Local guide/instructor with group
  • Specialized 4×4 vehicles
  • Northern Lights are possible on any night
  • Lots of night sky photography
  • Waterfalls and geysers
  • Icelandic Horses

Description of ICELAND: Northern Lights and Wondrous Winter Landscapes

Iceland in winter is a unique place, with frozen waterfalls, ice caves, glaciers, frozen lagoons, and of course the fantastic northern lights or aurora borealis. We will travel from Reykjavik, visit the favorite locations along the South Coast of Iceland, the Mývatn area in the North and explore remote and lesser-known areas in winter.

Some of the locations are only accessible with the necessary knowledge of experienced guides and modified 4×4 vehicles. Our locations in North Iceland are known as some of the world’s best areas to view and photograph the northern lights.

Meals Note: Breakfast is included each day. However, Lunches and Dinners (other than arrival welcome dinner) are not included as the costs vary too much to predict. So that we can save you some expense, we would prefer to have you choose what you would like to spend on these meals each day.

Length of Tour

12-days/11-nights

Our itinerary may be adjusted according to weather, geo-activity and other factors so that we may offer the best experience!

 

DAY 1 – Arrival in Reykjavík

As always, we will need to be flexible and adjust to the weather conditions to make the most out of our workshop and travel safely.

You arrive in Iceland and check into your hotel in Reykjavik in the evening we meet up in the lobby and go out for dinner in Reykjavik. We’ll go briefly through our itinerary, safety precautions, and some practical things before we start our adventure in Iceland.

If you arrive early in town, you can photograph some of the attractions in the city of Reykjavik such, as Harpa concert hall, Hallgrimskirkja church, the Sun Voyager sculpture, or Perlan.

DAY 2 – Þingvellir & Vík area

We start early in the morning from Reykjavik and make our way to the South Coast of Iceland. Photography begins with a one hour drive to Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park.
From Þingvellir, we travel to the southernmost point of Iceland in the town of Vík, where we will spend the night. The Vík area has some of the most iconic frozen waterfalls and dramatic seascapes in the country, such as Seljalandsfoss waterfall, Skogafoss waterfall, Reynisdrangar sea stacks, and Dyrholaey peninsula. We will also explore the black volcanic beach of Reynisfjara that offers brilliant opportunities for seascape photography with the Reynisdrangar sea stacks and Dyrholaey rock arch.

DAY 3 and 4 – Vatnajökull National Park

After sunrise along the coastline of Vík, we continue on the road east to the glacier area of Vatnajökull National Park. We will stay in a comfortable hotel with views of the glacier, and close to the famous glacier lagoon.

For the next two days, we explore and capture glaciers from all angles, including under the glacier from inside an ice cave. We visit Fjallsárlón glacier lagoon, Vestrahorn mountain, and many more incredible landscapes to shoot. The variety of quality locations will allow us to move around as the weather dictates, with excellent photographic opportunities in every direction.

Should the northern lights decide to make an appearance, our options for foregrounds are truly endless.

DAY 5 – East Fjords of Iceland

The picturesque East Fjords are calling us. At this point in the workshop, we have already visited the Stokksnes peninsula and photographed Vestrahorn mountain. Now, we will stop at the more jagged coastal peak of Eystrahorn. As we make our way further east, we’ll visit unique and lesser-known locations until we arrive at our hotel, located in a small and charming fishing village.

We will photograph sea stacks, the winding coastal roads, and cascading streams down the steep terraced mountains. The East Fjords are very quiet and isolated during the winter, so for this part of the tour, we will feel like we are all alone on the island, aside from the  local farmers and possibly a few reindeer.

DAY 6, 7 and 8 – Mývatn and the Majestic Waterfalls of the North

From the East Fjords, we travel north to Lake Mývatn, known as the winter paradise of Northern Iceland. We capture such breathtaking winter scenes as horses and turf houses along the way. We first head to the majestic waterfall Dettifoss, where we’ll photograph sunset before we check into our hotel in Mývatn.

For the next three nights, we’ll stay at the same hotel in Mývatn, and each day/night, we head out to explore and shoot new locations. If we find ourselves with some downtime in the area, between sunrise and sunset, we can visit the milky blue waters of the Mývatn Nature Baths to relax and charge our batteries for the next shooting session.

We will visit and photograph many of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland, such as Goðafoss, Aldeyjarfoss, and Hrafnabjargafoss. These waterfalls are gorgeous, with their winter coats on and quite remote.

The Mývatn basin sits squarely on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, and many of the enthralling sights in the area are either volcanic or geothermal. The last volcanic eruption in this area was quite recent, in September 1984 in Krafla.

This area in the north of Iceland is the perfect location for aurora borealis (northern lights) photography as there is no light pollution, and the options for beautiful foregrounds, such as the reflecting lake, are endless.

DAY 9 – Mývatn and the Northern Coastline

After breakfast at our hotel, we head back to the north coastline and make our way towards Reykjavik. Depending on the weather, we will stop in lesser-known areas for more photographic opportunities.

We will go through the second-largest city in Iceland and the capital of the north, Akureyri—home to around 20,000 Icelanders. After a short stop, we get back on the road and photograph the mountain peaks of Hraundrangi, a sharp mountain peak not far from Akureyri.

From there, we travel into Skagafjörður, a fjord that offers exciting photo opportunities, such as seascapes, basalt columns, and beautiful waterfalls.

Our hotel for the night is conveniently located about a half-hour drive from Hvítserkur cape, a well-known landmark of the area.

DAY 10 – Laugarbakki

We start the day with sunrise at the Hvítserkur seascape, a 15-meter high monolith or sea stack. Legend has it that Hvítserkur is a petrified troll, while others believe that it is a volcanic plug from a long time ago. Whichever you choose to believe, you will agree that it is an impressive photo opportunity.

After lunch, we head towards Reykjavik and stop at a few waterfalls along the way. West Iceland is known for its impressive waterfalls, salmon fishing and Viking Sagas. We will also make a stop to photograph Icelandic Horses before we arrive at our hotel in Reykjavik.

When in Reykjavik we will check into our hotel and say farewell as the workshop concludes here. You then have some time to explore, photograph, have dinner or just rest before your departure flight.

DAY 12 – DEPARTURE

Transfer from the hotel in Reykjavik to Keflavik International Airport.

Cost

Cost is $6,500 per person, based upon double occupancy, from Reykjavik (Airport code KEF.
This trip ends in Reykjavik (Airport code KEF).

Breakfast is included each day. However, Lunches and Dinners (other than arrival welcome dinner) are not included as the costs vary too much to predict. So that we can save you some expense, we would prefer to have you choose what you would like to spend on these meals.

 

Single Supplement

If a single hotel room is preferred, or we are unable to find a suitable roommate for you, a single supplement fee of $1,000 will be assessed.

NOTE: For boat-based tours, see pricing options for single cabins. Single cabin cost includes the single hotel cost above.

 

Minimum Number

If fewer than the minimum number of required participants are registered, we may still be able to run the trip by adding a small-group supplement fee, per person, determined by the number of participants registered.

 

Deposit Requirements

A $2,500 deposit per person is required to hold each space on this tour. Deposit may be made online by clicking the "Book Your Trip Now" button and using any credit card. If you prefer, you may call us at 888-875-9453 to pay by phone. You may also mail us a check, however, remember that all space is held on a first come-first served basis as deposits are received.

How to Book

In order to hold your space, click the "Book Your Trip Now" button above and complete the deposit process, including payment of the deposit through our Paypal portal using ANY CREDIT CARD. Upon completion of deposit, please visit our secure, online CLIENT INFORMATION FORM to complete your registration.

Final Payment

For all land-based tours: full payment by check is due 120 days prior to the departure date.

For all boat-based adventure cruises of 7-days or longer: full payment by check is required 180 days prior to departure.

NOTE: If you prefer to use credit card for final payment, a 3% fee may be added to cover the credit card merchant fees we incur.

Good quality hotels will be used throughout our tour.

Activity Level Rating: (Note: 1 is easy and 5 is difficult)

Our days will be short, but our nights possibly long! Lots of great opportunity for night sky photography. However, it will be cold, so dress accordingly.

This Photo Workshop is geared toward those using DSLR or Mirrorless cameras with interchangeable lenses, here is what we recommend that you bring:

• Bring at least 2 camera bodies – to reduce changing lenses and just in case of accidental damage to one

Recommended Lenses for Birds & Wildlife

• 100-400mm (or equivalent) for birds in flight
• 500mm lens or longer for birds and wildlife

Recommended Lenses for Landscape Opportunities

• 24-105mm (or equivalent) for landscape and general purpose
• In addition you may also want to have an ultra-wide lens equivalent to about 16-35mm which may be used for fun landscapes and night sky photography.

 

Filters (Mainly for Landscape Photography)

• Polarizing Filter for removing reflections (screw in for wide-angle lenses)
• Filter Holder for 4×6″ (or similar) filters
• 2-stop Neutral Density Filter
• 8-stop (or more) Neutral Density Filter
• 2-stop Hard and/or Soft Graduated Neutral Density Filter

Other Accessories

• Tripod for long exposures, big lenses and steady video
• Flash for low light, fill light and stop action
• Rain cover for camera
• Weather resistant Camera Bag (Backpack style is best)
• Batteries and chargers
• Lots of memory cards!
• Laptop or other downloading device

Purchasing Flights

Do not purchase your flights until the trip has been confirmed to go.

Detailed Trip Information

Upon notification that final payment is due (120 days prior to departure for land based tours / 180 days for boat based tours), you will receive a trip package of detailed information for your tour.

Any additional information about the trip, including lodgings, contacts, participants, meeting locations, etc., will sent about 2 weeks prior to the trip departure, or after final payment is received for late registrants.

Travel Insurance

As with all tours, we recommend purchasing Travel Insurance to help cover your investment, for covered reasons. Please see our section on Travel Insurance.

Passport & Visa

US Citizens may require a visa to enter certain foreign countries. See above for any required visa information.

Participants arriving to the USA from a foreign country may need to get a travel visa to enter the United States. Be sure to check the requirements for your country of origin.

Itinerary Changes

The trip itinerary is developed many months ahead of time. Occasionally, despite our best planning, changes may occur during the trip, or we may be forced to alter our plans. Changes may occur because of weather, road conditions, safety concerns or other circumstances. In these situations, it is the leader(s) responsibility to carefully consider and implement appropriate alternatives. Any additional costs incurred because of changes will be the responsibility of each individual participant. Refunds will not be issued as a result of itinerary changes.

Location Map