The Best of Iceland – Autumn

It is the ‘Land of Ice and Fire.’ A place of natural contrast.

Iceland sits directly on the Mid-Atlantic Rift, which separates the Eurasian and the North American plates. Because of this location, the tiny island is one of the most geologically restless areas on earth.

As the two plates at this junction split, the intensity of Iceland’s volatility increases. All of the Active volcanoes, geysers, hot springs, fumaroles, faults, black-sand beaches, snow-capped mountains and huge waterfalls litter the landscape here.

Join Backcountry Journeys this September as we explore this dazzling geologic anomaly. Our trip is timed when vegetation will be in peak autumn splendor, and when the tourists from the busy summer are gone.

The landscape photography here is world-class, but is especially wonderful in autumn when fall colors soften the harsh edges of this volcanic terrain. The beautiful, yet rugged, arctic character here is due to the island’s northerly latitude.

On our “Best of Iceland – Autumn” photography adventure we’ll explore the famous Ring Road as well as spend a few days in the central highlands.

This Ring Road travels for 828 miles around the island, connecting the majority of the populated areas and passing by many of Iceland’s most popular attractions. The highlands encompass a vast part of the island and contain some of the country’s best natural scenery, with some mountain peaks reaching heights between 3,000 and 6,500 feet!

Snow and glaciers here make for some nicely contrasting landscape images, and the Northern Lights are often visible in autumn when clear skies and dark nights combine to allow for the otherworldly lights to present themselves.

We will make stops at various glaciers, glacier lagoons, black sand beaches, geothermal areas, lava fields, seascapes and several of Iceland’s 10,000 waterfalls while on our journey around this arctic island nation. In the evenings we’ll focus our attention on searching for the Aurora that we can compose along with beautiful landscapes..

This is a fantastic photography tour & workshop for landscape photographers who desire 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. Flights home can be booked anytime today.

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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