The Best of Iceland – Autumn

Join Backcountry Journeys this September as we explore the stunningly beautiful geologic anomaly that is Iceland! On this once in a lifetime photography tour & workshop we will go around Iceland photographing the many amazing locations Iceland has to offer. This trip is timed during peak fall colors and when the majority of tourists are gone for the year – often there is a dusting of snow in the highlands to make for some nicely contrasting images.

Iceland is a land of contrast and ever-changing geologic activity. The island is full of active volcanoes, geysers, hot springs, fumaroles, faults, black-sand beaches, snow-capped mountains and huge waterfalls. It is the second largest island in Europe (Great Britain being the largest) and it’s Northerly latitude and ever-changing topography give it a beautiful, yet rugged arctic character. The landscape photography here is world-class.

On our “Best of Iceland – Autumn” photography adventure we explore Iceland’s infamously beautiful Ring Road as well as a few days in the central highlands. Autumn is also a great time to view and photograph the Northern Lights with generally clear skies and dark nights. In the evenings we focus our attention on searching for the Aurora with beautiful landscapes in the foreground. We will make stops at various glaciers, glacier lagoons, black sand beaches, numerous waterfalls, geothermal areas, lava fields and seascapes on our journey around this arctic island nation.

This is a fantastic photography tour & workshop for landscape photographers who want a great introduction to the diverse landscape Iceland has to offer – and in one of it’s most colorful seasons!

If Iceland hasn’t been on your radar – it should be!

Please note: This is a “standard” tour so there is little to no hiking on this trip. 

Highlights

  • The Best of Iceland
  • Great time for Northern Lights
  • Massive waterfalls, glaciers, geysers etc.
  • Stunning Fall Colors
  • Small Groups
  • Great local hotels
  • Fantastic meals included
  • Learn from & shoot alongside a seasoned pro
  • The best local guides

The Best of Iceland – Autumn

12 Days

Price: from $8295 double occupancy

+$895 single occupancy

Deposit: $2000

Fitness Level: Easy. Standard Trip with light walks

Meals: Most meals included (see itinerary)

Lodging: 10 nights lodging

Start/End: Reykjavik, Iceland

Open Daily: 6am-6pm MST

928.478.1521


*trip difficulty ratings

2019 Departures

Dates Difficulty Availability
September 12th to 23rd, 2019 1 Open

2020 Departures

Dates Difficulty Availability
September 10th to 21st, 2020 1 Open

Itinerary

Please note: This is a “standard” tour so there is little to no hiking on this trip. Most meals included – (B,L,D) denotes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 1 (Travel Day)

Depart from home.

DAY 2 – Arrival in Reykjavík (D)
Arrive in Iceland and check into your hotel in Reykjavik. Group dinner and meeting. We go over the itinerary and prepare our adventure in Iceland.

DAY 3 – The Highlands of Iceland (B,L,D)
We start early from our hotel in Reykjavik and start our tour by travelling to Þingvellir National Park, known for Alþing (Althing), the site of Iceland’s parliament from the 10th to 18th centuries. The park sits in a rift valley caused by the separation of two tectonic plates, with rocky cliffs and fissures like the huge Almannagjá fault.
We travel onwards to the Highlands of Iceland and make a stop at the 122m high Háifoss, the fourth highest waterfall in Iceland. We then continue to Landmannalaugar in the Nature Reserve Fjallabak. Hopefully, we have time to take a dip in the natural pools but this area of the Highlands of Iceland has endless photography opportunities.

DAY 4 – South Coast, Seascapes, Waterfalls & Birds (B,L,D)
We start early from our hotel in Reykjavik and start our tour by travelling down to the south coast and overnight in Vik area, we’ll photograph seascapes and few of the majestic waterfalls on the south coast. We’ll take a walk right behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall (hope you brought along a weather-sealed camera body!), and photograph Skógafoss. Next, we’ll spend our evening around the small town of Vík in Mýrdal (which has a beautiful country church surrounded by fields of lupine wildflowers), and photograph the Dyrhólaey sea arches, sea stacks, and puffin colony.

DAY 5 – Vík, Black Beach & Vatnajökull National Park (B,L,D)
We start the day shooting some of the unique landscape in Vik area and then head east and we drive past the smallest grass-roofed church in Iceland at Núpsstaður on our way to Skaftafell National Park, where we’ll photograph more glaciers, Hvannadalshnjúkur (the highest mountain in Iceland). We spend the day around the Vatnajökull area and spend the next two nights at a nice hotel.

DAY 6 – Glaciers, Glacier Lagoon & Glacier Beach (B,L,D)
We start the day shooting some of the unique landscape in Vik area and then head east and we drive past the smallest grass-roofed church in Iceland at Núpsstaður on our way to Skaftafell National Park, where we’ll photograph more glaciers, Hvannadalshnjúkur (the highest mountain in Iceland). The iceberg-filled glacial lagoon Jökulsárlón is another classic postcard scene, and we’ll have a unique Icelandic farm-stay experience that night.

DAY 7 – Mountain Lagoon, Höfn/Stokksnes, Vestrahorn (B,L,D)
The picturesque east fjords are calling us. More glacier lagoons as we will visit the off the beaten track Heinabergslón before heading further east to photograph the jagged peaks of Vestrahorn & Eystrahorn. We will stop at the more jagged coastal peaks of Vestrahorn and Eystrahorn and we’ll stop in ample locations to photograph sea stacks, the winding roads and cascading streams down the steep terraced mountains. Perhaps Reindeer (the trademark of East Iceland) will cross the road on this summer tour. We make our way further East with some off the beaten track locations and spend the night at Djúpivogur.

DAY 8 – Dettifoss, Mývatn & Geothermal Pools (B,L,D)
We hed towards the heart of North Iceland, Mývatn, where we spend the next two nights. We’ll feel the plummeting power of Europes’s largest waterfall by volume, Dettifoss, from it, better yet less-visited side, and take some shorter hikes in the river canyon of Jökulsárgljufur National Park to see rock stacks dividing the powerful Jökulsá á Fjöllum. In Mývatn, we’ll photograph geothermal steam vents, bizarre volcanic formations, and fields of craters that will make you feel like you are on the moon, then check out or swim in warm, silica-rich water with an amazing blue-colour, from a nearby geothermal power plant.

DAY 9 – Mývatn, Waterfalls & Puffins (B,L,D)
The Northern part of Iceland is known for three waterfalls that are often called “The Majestic Waterfalls”. Dettifoss is one of them but we visit the second two on day seven. Both large in volume and surrounded by great landscape. First Aldeyjarfoss with its basalt column front, & second Goðafoss, nicknamed by one local as ‘The Beauty’ in comparison to ‘The Beast’ of Dettifoss, the name Goðafoss could be translated roughly as The Waterfall of The Gods. We then visit our favourite puffin spot up North.

DAY 10 – Mývatn, Skagafjörður & Waterfalls (B,L,D)
After sunrise and our breakfast at the Myvatn hotel, we head back to the north-coastline and travel towards Reykjavik. We will stop at some less known locations on our way and spend the night in Northwest Iceland.

DAY 11 – Hvítserkur, Borgarfjörður, Reykjavík (B,L,D)
We start the day with sunrise at seascape Hvítserkur, a 15-meter high monolith or sea-stack. The legend goes that Hvítserkur is a petrified troll but the if you don’t believe that the truth is that is a volcanic plug from the long time ago. Whatever is correct it is an impressive photo opportunity. After lunch, we head towards Reykjavik and make a stop at a few waterfalls. West of Iceland is known for 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.

DAY 12 – Departure
Transfer from the hotel in Reykjavik to Keflavik international airport.

Please Note that the exact sequence of the itineraries on all photography trips will be based on weather and lighting conditions. The goal on these trips is to make sure we are at the right place at the right time for the perfect light on our subjects. Also, itineraries can change for a variety of other circumstances including floods, forest fires, national park closures, road closures and more. Due to the nature of wildlife and nature photography we do not guarantee any specific sightings or specific compositions regarding wildlife or natural phenomena. 

Physical Requirements 
All participants must be in good physical condition and have the ability to walk a day-pack.

Group Size
We keep groups small to maximize your one on one time with the guide / instructor.

Accommodation
Accommodation is included throughout the trip

Meals

Most meals are included during the trip dates (see itinerary)

Weather
Autumn in Iceland can be cold. Expect cool days with cold mornings and nights. The weather can prove unpredictable and can change on a moments notice. Remember some of the best photographs are made before, during and immediately after a storm cycle. There is no such thing as bad weather just poor layering and gear choices – please plan accordingly for winter weather! For more info on what to bring please email or call us.

Price Includes
Most Meals, ground transportation, accommodation during the trip dates, professional photography instruction, medically certified wilderness guide.

Price Does Not Include
Airfare, alcoholic beverages, accommodations before or after the trip dates, guide & staff gratuities

Departure City

Reykjavik, Iceland

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