Autmun In Iceland
Tour Leaders: Arild Heitmann & Ryan Dyar
Dates: Sept 15th - Sept 22nd 2017
Available seats: 10
Difficulty level: Easy
Price: 2990 EURO (based on double occupancy - single room supplement is 800 EURO).
Registration deposit: 500 EURO (full payment required 60 days prior to the tour).
Iceland is the land of the midnight sun and northern lights, the saga island and an island that's jaw-droppingly beautiful in every single aspect. From roaring waterfalls, to erupting geysirs and volcanoes, to black lava sand beaches, to glacier lagoons to cute puffins and horses. The diversity is immense. Iceland is on top of many persons' famous bucket list for a reason. On this tour we will tour the south coast of the island, visiting famous locations such as Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Gullfoss, Þingvellir National Park, Vík í Mýrdal, Dyrhólaey, Vestrahorn in Stokksnes, Skaftafell National Park, Snæfellsnes peninsula (Kirkjufell, Arnarstapi, Lóndrangar etc) and last but not least, the magnificent Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon.
Day 1 - Arrival in Reykjavík
You will arrive at Keflavík international airport where we will pick you up and travel directly to our hotel in Grundarfjörður in the Snæfellsnes peninsula. Upon arrival at the hotel, we can all rest a little bit, grab dinner and prepare all our gear and clothes for a first day of photography.
Day 2 - Snæfellsnes peninsula
Continuing exploring Snæfellsnes peninsula. We will be visiting famous locations such as Kirkjufell, Arnarstapi Lóndrangar and many more. If we are up for it we can also visit the beautiful Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls in the Husafell region.
Day 3 - Golden Circle
Þingvellir National Park, Gullfoss, Geysir and Vík í Mýrdal.
We wake up early and plan to explore the Þingvellir National Park, which is one of many locations on Iceland that the award-winning TV show «Game Of Thrones» was filmed at. This is your chance to walk in the same the footprints as John Snow & co in an official UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s the oldest existing parliament in the world and lies right along the mid-atlantic ridge, where the North American and European continental plates are pulling apart from each other. Öxarárfoss waterfall is one of the main attractions of Þingvellir National Park and there is a path down the Almannagjá gorge from the nearby car park leading up to it. After finishing up in Þingvellir, we will drive 45 minutes north-east towards the massive Gullfoss waterfall. This is a waterfall located in the canyon of Hvítá river, and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country.
Day 4 - Vík í Mýrdal, Vestrahorn in Stokksnes, Dyrhólaey and Reynisfjara
After shooting all night at Vík í Mýrdal we need to relax at the hotel. When awake and feeling recharged we will continue our trip towards Dyrhólaey. The view from up here is minblowing: To the north - the big Mýrdalsjökull glacier. To the east, the black lava seastacks «Reynisdrangar» come out of the sea. If we’re lucky we might even be able to photograph cute puffins, as they often nest on these cliffs. After scouting for compositions during the afternoon, we prepare ourselves for a night of astrophotography. During our stay in Vík í Mýrdal, we will photograph the iconic church (hopefully with colorful fields of Lupine wildflowers surrounding it) aswell as exploring the immensly beautiful black lava sand beach. This area is perfect for seascapes, and we will spend a good amount of time here in order to maximize our chances of being blessed with great light. In addition to that, we will also head further East towards the popular Vestrahorn in Stokksnes, a jagged 454m tall mountain (also called Klifatindur). Here you can feel the raw power of the Atlantic Ocean as the waves hit the rocky shore with massive force. We will spend the next two nights at Hali Country Hotel, which is located only 15 minutes away from the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon.
Day 5 - Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, Skaftafell National Park and Vatnajökull National Park.
This day we will drive west towards the absolute cherry on top on this tour, the world renowned Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and the Breiðamerkursandur beach. One of Iceland’s biggest tourist attractions, and after just five minutes you will understand just why. Truly breathtaking! . Skaftafell National Park and signature attraction, the Svartifoss waterfall, is also a planned visit. We will also stop at Lómagnúpur (688m high palisades), aswell as Fjallsárlón, a glacier lake at the south end of the glacier Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest icecap). In order to maximize our chances of good light in Jökulsárlón, we plan to be photograph extensively during these two days. We absolutely want you to nail these iconic locations, so we will spend as much time as possible here in order for you to go home with «that» one shot. If it means no sleep, so be it - we are prepared to go the extra mile.
Day 6 - Þakgil and Fjaðrárgljúfur
This day we plan to visit both Þakgil, an enclosed canyon and a hiker’s paradise (parts of the TV show «Game Of Thrones» was filmed in this very canyon) and the lush Fjaðrárgljúfur, a 100m deep and about 2km long canyon with the Fjaðrá river flowing through it. The canyon was created by progressive erosion by flowing water from glaciers, and is located very close to the Ring Road, not far from the village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur. Continuing west, we will drive past Eldhraun, a 565km2 vast moss-covered lava field created by one the most poisonous eruptions known to mankind.
Day 7 - Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss
After shooting late into the night, we will depart our hotel early in the morning and start our eastbound journey towards some of the Iceland’s most iconic waterfalls: Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss, as well as hidden gems such as Stakkholtsgja, Kvernufoss and Gljúfurárfoss (requires waders). At Seljalandsfos we can walk behind the waterfall (hope your camera is waterproof), whilst at Skógafoss we will follow the trail to the top of the hill for a better viewpoint.
Day 8 - Departure from Reykjavík
We will transport you directly to Keflavík international airport. It’s highly recommended to arrive no later than two hours prior to departure for international flights. Also, please take note of that the hotel checkout is set to 11AM local time.
What to bring:
- A digital camera, preferably a DSLR or ILC (mirror less) camera with a full-frame sensor. The reason for this being these camera's great performance in low-light situations. A crop-sensor DSLR and a compact camera will also suffice, as long as you understand its limitations compared to a camera with a full-frame sensor.
- We recommend bringing an ultra wide-angle lens like the Zeiss Distagon 15mm f/2.8, Canon 11-24 or 16-35mm, Nikon 14-24mm or Samyang 14mm. Additionally it can be wise to also bring a telephoto zoom lens such as the 70-200mm or 70-300mm for wildlife and intimate/abstract landscape pictures.
- A sturdy tripod. We will outside photographing in windy and wet conditions. Carbon fiber-based tripods are popular due to their low weight, but please make sure it is very solid if you bring one.
- A camera remote (IR/wireless or wired). Shooting with a remote reduces camera shake and thus creating sharper images.
- A set of filters suited for landscape photography. Good examples are LEE, Singh-Ray, Formatt Hitech (Firecrest series), Heliopan and B&W. We recommend bringing a selection of ND, soft grads and polarizers.
- A solid backpack for all your photography gear, preferably with a rain cover.
- A set of microfiber cleaning cloths (cleaning equipment in general really).
- Extra SD/CF memory-cards and camera batteries. Make sure to bring chargers (US Citizens need an US to European plug adapter).
- A laptop, MacBook Pro or even a tablet with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom installed. It is also highly recommended to bring an external hard-drive for backups on the road.
If you need assistance in choosing the best setup for your particular needs and camera model, feel free to ask us in due time prior to departure.
- Full thermal gear is essential. Bring thick thermal/wool underwear (shirt, johns and at least 3x socks), a warm fleece coat, a down jacket and a wind-stopper/soft-shell jacket.
- Insulated and water resistant gloves. It’s highly recommended to bring gloves you can operate the camera with without having to take them off.
- A rain poncho.
- Water resistant trousers. Preferably soft-shell/thermal material.
- A balaclava/scarf and warm hat to keep you warm if the weather is intense.
- Optional: Waterproof rubber boots or even waders. We will be shooting at beaches, rivers, waterfalls and your compositions will be limited if your shoes are not waterproof.
*If you need assistance in choosing the best clothes and gear, feel free to contact us for tips.
Arrival: Keflavík, Sept 15th 2017 - preferably around 12PM local time.
Departure: Keflavík, Sept 22nd 2017 - preferably no earlier than 1 PM local time.
Included: Two professional photo guides, all tuition, individual post processing sessions, transportation and accommodation in hotels.
Not included: Any travel services required arriving and departing to and from the starting location in Keflavík (KEF) airport. Any private insurances, taxes, levies, immigration, duty and visa fees where applicable. All meals and any personal items including alcoholic beverages, snacks, souvenirs and travel insurance.