From August 20th to 30th 2023
Discover the wildest Iceland and explore incredible landscapes beyond the Golden Circle.
A unique journey through the inner deserts, volcanic caldrons, the colourful mountains of Landmannlaugar,
to the most remote and least visited areas of Iceland.
Exclusive tour for 4 people in a 4×4 with a driver-guide and a professional photographer.
Situated on the edge of the Arctic Circle, Iceland is a photographic paradise, where nature is at its wildest and most primal: a landscape photographer’s dream, thanks to the surprising variety of landscapes and the constant lack of light, even in summer.
Among geysers, volcanoes, lagoons, waterfalls, glaciers and breathtaking landscapes, the journey will take you beyond the classic Golden Circle to the most remote and hidden parts of Iceland to discover unique landscapes.
A photographic journey planned for the end of August to experience very long sunsets and sunrises and to explore the interior of the island (the wild highlands).
The photographic trip will be for a group of only 4 people, accompanied by two guides and photographers, making this a very special and exclusive trip. You will be accompanied by the WPY awarded Alessandro Gruzza, a professional photographer specialised in landscape photography (click here for his full profile and biography: https://www.alegruzza.com/profilo?lang=en), and by Mirko Sotgiu, an Italian guide from the College of Alpine Guides with in-depth knowledge of Icelandic territory, filmmaker and photographer (author of the presentation images).
The program (see “Photography itinerary” below) includes the exploration of some of the most fascinating and least known places on the island, chosen to experience and photograph their extraordinary natural beauty at the end of the summer season:
• the vast desert and volcanic landscapes of the Highlands, the volcanic caldera of Askja and the colourful landscapes of Landmannalaugar;
• the beautiful moraine lagoon of Jökulsárlón, glacial lakes and mountains surrounded by glaciers;
• majestic waterfalls, including the spectacular Gullfoss and Goðafoss;
• black beaches, cliffs and sea stacks including the rock formation Hvítserkur;
• basalt walls, volcanic lakes and geothermal areas including Geysir and Hverir with geysers and fumaroles.
The program has been specially designed for photographers, but is also suitable for anyone who loves to visit a special place where the elements of water, air, earth and fire are expressed to the full.
In the high latitudes of the far north (Iceland lies between 63 and 66 degrees north), the transition from day to night is much more gradual and the opportunities for photographing magical lights are potentially multiplied.
Accommodation will be chosen as strategically close to the shooting locations as possible, in good quality 3* and 4* hotels. However, participants will be asked to be flexible and adaptable: the course of the days will depend very much on the weather conditions, in order to make the most of the moments of better light.
In this sense, some dinners can be taken directly in the field and the organisation of each day will be planned together, allowing for the necessary moments of relaxation and rest, especially in the middle hours of the day.
Iceland is a wonderful country where nature is still untouched and wild. We will discover it together, in connection with these places and with the camera in our hands.
This journey is an exploration to be shared, organised with the spirit of experiencing a total immersion in contact with nature in one of the most beautiful scenic places in the world, to translate one’s creative vision into spectacular photographs.
Your photographic eye will be the “notebook” on which to record moments and emotions, in the certainty that these magnificent scenarios will be able to give moments of pure contemplation, a source of energy for the body, peace for the mind, inspiration for the soul.
Day by day
Day 1 – Arrival, transfer to Hella, Geysir and Gullfoss waterfall
Arrival by 12 noon and group meeting at Keflavík Airport. Transfer to the town of Hella, located near the entrance to the Landmannalaugar road, and check into hotel.
In the afternoon first contact with Icelandic nature at Geysir, a geothermal area where geysers erupt regularly, creating columns of hot water and steam up to 60 metres high. Short transfer and exploration of the majestic Gullfoss waterfall, the golden waterfall with staggered levels of fall and a large front that flows into a narrow canyon of black rock.
Overnight stay: Hella
Day 2 – Icelandic highlands: Landmannalaugar
A full day dedicated to exploring the interior of the island and its wild spirit. A 2.5 hour drive on gravel roads through the area of the Hekla volcano, among lunar landscapes created by volcanic eruptions in the recent past, to reach the colourful landscape of Landmannalaugar.
These spectacular multicoloured mountains are composed of rhyolite interspersed with black lava sediments and are the result of the slow cooling of mineral-rich lava flows, which have given rise to extraordinary shades of colour.
Photographic excursion on easy paths to discover the hot springs and the most fascinating landscapes to wait for the sunset.
Return to Hella in the evening.
Overnight stay: Hella
Day 3 – Waterfalls, glaciers and fjords
In the morning transfer to Vik with a visit to Skogafoss, one of the most fascinating waterfalls on the island with its large front and frequent rainbows, and the lesser known Fosstorfufoss, a waterfall that cascades into an impressive canyon formed by the Skógá River.
The first waterfall can be reached in a few minutes from the nearby car park, the second with a short walk along the river.
Check-in at the hotel, lunch and break. In the afternoon visit to the glacier moraine of Sólheimajökull, which flows into the lagoon. Then, until sunset, explore the black beach of Reynisfjara, another fascinating place thanks to the strong chromatic contrasts and the special rock formations of Reynisdrangar, which rise like pinnacles from the sea.
Overnight stay: Vik
Day 4 – Volcanic beaches and Vatnajökull National Park
Early morning excursion to re-visit the black beach of Reynisfjara in different light conditions and take advantage of any new photographic opportunities.
Then transfer east to the Skaftafell Nature Reserve within the Vatnajökull National Park, with a first exploratory visit to the beautiful moraine lake Jökulsárlón.
Check-in at hotel, lunch and break. In the afternoon, depending on the weather conditions, a hike to the basalt columns of Svartifoss waterfall or to the terminus of the Skaftafellsjökull glacier is possible.
In the second half of the afternoon you can explore the area around Skeiðarársandur and Lómagnúpur and find the best place to watch the sunset.
Overnight stay: Hof
Day 5 – Jökulsárlón lagoon, sea and glaciers
Early morning sunrise visit to the moraine lake Jökulsárlón and Diamond Beach, characterised by numerous icebergs that often stop on the black beach, creating unique colour contrasts.
In the afternoon visit to the spectacular black beach of Stokksnes with its huge lagoon and the Vestrahorn cliffs reflected in the calm waters of the bay. Explore the area and find the best place to watch the sunset.
Overnight stay: Hofn
Day 6 – Transfer north, fjords and Lake Myvatn
Long transfer north (approx. 6 hours drive) through fjords and lesser known areas with plenty of photographic opportunities along the way.
Arrival in the afternoon in the area of Lake Myvatn, a volcanic lake in the north of Iceland, located in an area of continuous volcanic activity, with views of Mount Krafla, the main active volcano in the region. The lake is located not far from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the fault that divides the continental plates of Europe and America. Here in Iceland it comes to the surface and then continues along the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.
After a break at the hotel, in the late afternoon we will visit Hverir, a geothermal area rich in sulphate lakes and famous for the ochre colour of its landscapes, where we will wait for the sunset.
Overnight stay: Myvatn
Day 7 – Icelandic highlands: calderas, volcanoes, lakes, waterfalls, geothermal areas
First full day in the Northern Icelandic Highlands.
Short transfer by car and excursion to the volcano Krafla, a volcanic and steaming area full of colours and shades. Short climb to the top of the crater to admire the beautiful deep blue lake inside. Exploration of the area, taking as much time as necessary to find the best compositions and devote moments to pure contemplation.
Return to the hotel and rest. In the afternoon visit to the beautiful sunset waterfalls Aldeyjarfoss, where the lush water cascades into a natural pool between basalt columns, and Hrafnabjargafoss, a double horseshoe shaped waterfall.
Overnight stay: Myvatn
Day 8 – Icelandic highlands: calderas, volcanoes, lakes, waterfalls, geothermal areas
All day exploring the volcanic area of Askja.
Long drive of about 2.5 hours on gravel roads to Askja, a huge stratovolcano in the Dyngjufjöll mountains in the heart of the highlands, among lunar landscapes, lava fields, steaming pools and ancient craters.
An easy walk of about half an hour takes you to the edge of the crater, from where a unique and spectacular landscape opens up: Iceland’s largest volcanic caldera with turquoise geothermal water, set in a surreal landscape of calderas and lakes at the centre of a 150 km long volcanic system.
Overnight stay: Myvatn
Day 9 – Goðafoss waterfall, transfer west and Hvítserkur cliffs
An early morning visit to the majestic waterfall Goðafoss, the waterfall of the gods, with a front of about fifty metres from which two different waterfalls cascade down into an evocative volcanic landscape.
Next transfer west to Blönduós, about 3 hours drive through the northern highlands.
Arrive at hotel for lunch and a break.
In the afternoon we drive to the west coast to Hvítserkur, a spectacular geological formation formed by volcanic magma rising from the sea, where we wait for the best lights of the evening.
Overnight stay: Blönduós
Day 10 – Sea landscapes, lesser-known inland highlands and return to Reykjavík
In the early morning we have the possibility to return to the cliffs of Hvítserkur for new photo opportunities in different light conditions, depending on the weather.
Afterwards transfer to Reykjavík (approx. 3.5 hours) with possible photo stops along the way.
Arrival at hotel and evening in Reykjavik.
Overnight stay: Reykjavik
Day 11 – Departure from Iceland
Transfer to Keflavík airport depending on your flight schedule and departure from Iceland.
Please note: the itinerary and activities listed here are subject to change depending on weather conditions, road conditions and the needs of the group.
To take full advantage of the photographic opportunities, a digital SLR or mirrorless camera with interchangeable wide angle to medium telephoto lenses and a sturdy tripod is highly recommended.
Photo filters (especially polarising, graduated and ND filters) can be very useful in these conditions, with lots of water, ice and often wind.
What you should definitely bring is your passion for photography and your love of nature!
Temperatures in Iceland in August “normally” hover around 10 degrees Celsius, but there are days with 20 degrees or even around zero. However, the presence of wind, often of high intensity, increases the feeling of cold, especially early in the morning and late in the evening. In the summer, you should also take into account the rain, which is usually caused by brief disturbances.
The recommended clothing is that typical of high mountain trekking in our latitudes, with several layers that allow perspiration, insulation from the cold and protection from the wind. In particular, a breathable inner layer to keep the body warm without sweating (e.g. in merino wool, which is perfect for these conditions), one or more intermediate layers that provide insulation and keep the body warm without restricting movement, a windproof outer layer (e.g. down jacket) and possibly a waterproof shell.
A warm hat, scarf/neck warmer, thick socks and gloves are also essential as most body heat is lost from the head and the most vulnerable parts of the body are the hands and feet. Again, wool is the material of choice.
For footwear, a pair of well-soled, waterproof, well-worn mountain boots. Also a torch and a water bottle.
Each day’s programme depends on nature and can therefore be subject to change due to the variability of weather conditions, especially at these latitudes where conditions can be very dynamic and extreme. The programme will be optimised according to the weather conditions and therefore a certain flexibility is required from the participants.
However, cloudy conditions or marked variability often offer moments of rare photographic opportunity that a totally blue sky can never provide. Many spectacular images have been taken on apparently bad days, when a ray of light suddenly breaks through the clouds or a rainbow appears in the rain.
One of the aims of the tour is to learn to observe and appreciate what nature gives us every moment in its countless manifestations.
|11 days / 10 nights||Iceland: Highlands,Lanmannlaugar, Vik and Ring Road||August 20th|
Group tour (min. 4, max. 4 people): 11 days, 10 nights.
COST PER PERSON
Comfort Class Hotel/Guest House/Farmhouse (double shared room): 5,500€
Quality Class Hotel/Guest House/Farm House (double shared room with private facilities, last night in a 4 star Hotel in Reykjavik): 6,200 €
INSURANCE PAYMENTS, BOOKINGS AND PENALTIES:
Payments: 30% deposit upon booking, balance 45 days before departure.
Cancellation penalty: 30% of the participation fee (100% for cancellations less than 45 days before departure)
Photographic coaching by Alessandro Gruzza, professional nature photographer;
• Assistance and guide/driver by Mirko Sotgiu, professional photographer and mountain guide with in-depth knowledge of the area;
• Accommodation for 10 nights in a double room in hotel (3* or 4*) with private bathroom and bed & breakfast;
• Transfers by Toyota Highlander 4×4 7-seater jeep for the entire duration of the trip (fuel included);
• Entrance fees to sites, parking fees for the activities listed in the itinerary;
• Safety and first aid kit;
• Assistance throughout the program.
Return flight to Reykjavík Keflavík (participants may choose to purchase their own flights or contact the Tour Operator for purchase. Flights can be arranged from different cities and with different airlines after checking schedules and costs);
• Optional excursions;
• Lunches and dinners;
• Travel insurance and trip cancellation insurance (available on booking);
• drinks and extras and anything not specifically mentioned under “Included”.
Info and booking
Mail to: email@example.com