PHOTO TOUR PLAN
ICELAND: HIGHLANDS AND RING ROAD
20-30 August 2023
For info and booking: firstname.lastname@example.org
Discover the wildest Iceland and explore unique landscapes.
A special journey through volcanic caldrons and colourful mountains, glaciers and powerful waterfalls, to the most remote and least visited areas.
Exclusive tour for 4 people in a 4×4 with a driver-guide and a professional photographer.
At the edge of the Arctic Circle, Iceland is a photographic paradise where Nature fully displays its wild and primordial spirit: it is the dream of every landscape photographer, thanks to its surprising variety of landscapes and the always low lights even in the summer season.
Among geysers, volcanoes, lagoons, waterfalls, glaciers and breathtaking landscapes, the journey will take you beyond the classic Golden Circle to enter the remote lands of the most hidden Iceland and discover unique landscapes.
A photographic journey planned at the end of August to experience very long sunsets and sunrises and to be able to explore the interior of the island (the wild Highlands).
The photographic journey is aimed at a group of only 4 participants, accompanied by two guides and photographers, which make this tour truly special and exclusive.
In addition to the undersigned Alessandro Gruzza as a professional photographer specialized in landscape photography (at this link my complete profile with biography), you will be accompanied by Mirko Sotgiu, an Italian guide of the College of Alpine Guides with in-depth knowledge of the Icelandic territory, filmmaker and photographer (author of the presentation images).
The program (see “Photography Tour Plan“, here below) includes the exploration of some of the most fascinating and least known places on the island, which have been chosen so to experience and photograph their extraordinary natural beauty at the end of the summer season:
• the immense desert expanses and volcanic landscapes of the Highlands, the volcanic caldera of Askja and the colorful landscapes of Landmannalaugar;
• the wonderful Jökulsárlón moraine lagoon, glacial lakes and mountains surrounded by glaciers;
• majestic waterfalls, including the spectacular Gullfoss and Goðafoss waterfalls;
• black beaches, cliffs and sea stacks, including the Hvítserkur rock formation;
• basalt walls, volcanic lakes and geothermal areas including Geysir and Hverir with geysers and fumaroles.
The program has been specially designed for photography but it is also suitable for those who love to visit a special place where the elements of water, air, earth and fire manifest themselves in their maximum expression.
In the high latitudes of the far north (Iceland is between 63 and 66 degrees north), the transition from day to night is much more gradual, and photographic opportunities with magical lights potentially multiply.
Overnight stays are chosen in places as strategic as possible and close to the shooting locations, in good quality 3* and 4* hotels among those available.
However, participants are required to be flexible and adaptable: the unfolding of the days depends a lot on the weather conditions, in order to make the most of the moments of better light.
In this regard, some dinners can be consumed directly in the field and the organization of each single day will be planned together, also providing for necessary moments of relaxation and rest, especially in the central hours of the day.
Iceland is a wonderful land where Nature is still untouched and wild. We will find it out together, in connection with these places and with the camera in our hands.
This journey is an exploration to be shared together, organized with the spirit of experiencing a full 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, with 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.
To fully exploit the photographic opportunities, a digital SLR or mirrorless camera with interchangeable wide-angle to medium-telephoto lenses and a solid tripod are highly recommended.
Photo filters (especially polarizing, graduated filters and ND filters) can be very useful in these conditions, with lots of water, ice and often wind.
In any case, what should be definitely brought is your passion for photography and love for Nature!
In August in Iceland temperatures "normally" fluctuate around 10 degrees Celsius, but there are days with 20 degrees or even around zero degrees.
However, the presence of wind, often of strong intensity, increases the perception of cold, especially early in the morning and late in the evening.
Furthermore, in the summer period, the rains, generally brought by short perturbations, must also be considered.
The recommended clothing is the typical one for high mountain excursions 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 maintain body heat without sweating (e.g. in merino wool, perfect for these conditions), one or more intermediate layers that provide insulation and retain body heat without restricting movement, an outer layer windproof (e.g. down jacket) with possibly a waterproof shell.
A warm cap, scarf/neck warmer, thick socks and gloves are also essential, as most of the body heat is lost from the head and the parts of the body most vulnerable to the cold are the hands and feet. As a material, wool is also recommended here.
For footwear, waterproof mountain boots already worn and well soled. Plus, flashlight and water bottle.
The program of each day depends on Nature and, as a result, can be subject to changes due to the variability of the weather conditions, especially at these latitudes where the conditions can be very dynamic and extreme.
The program will be optimized depending on the weather and therefore a certain flexibility is required from the participants.
Having said that, overcast conditions or marked variability often display moments of rare photographic opportunity that a totally blue sky can never give.
Many spectacular images have been just taken in seemingly bad days, when a sudden blade of light filters through the clouds or a rainbow shows up in the rain.
One of the goals of the tour is to learn to observe and appreciate what Nature gives us in every moment, in its countless manifestations.
Photographic Tour Plan
Day 1 - Arrival, transfer to Hella, Geysir and Gullfoss waterfall
Arrival by 12pm and group meeting at Keflavík airport. Transfer to the town of Hella, located near the entrance to the Landmannalaugar road, and check-in at the hotel.
In the afternoon, first contact with the Icelandic Nature in Geysir, a geothermal area where geysers erupt regularly, creating columns of hot water and steam that reach heights of up to 60 meters. Short transfer and exploration of the majestic Gullfoss waterfall, the golden waterfall, with staggered fall levels and a large front, which flows into a narrow canyon of black rock.
Overnight stay: Hella
Day 2 - Icelandic Highlands: Landmannalaugar
Whole day dedicated to the discovery of the interior of the island and its wild spirit. Transfer of about 2.5 hours on dirt road through the area of the Hekla volcano, among lunar landscapes created as a result of volcanic eruptions that occurred in the recent past, until reaching the colorful landscape of Landmannalaugar.
These spectacular multicolored mountains are composed of rhyolite, interspersed with black lava sediments, and are the result of the slow cooling of mineral-rich lava flows that have given rise to extraordinary shades of colour.
Photographic excursion on easy paths to discover the hot springs and the most fascinating landscapes where to wait for the sunset lights.
In the evening, return to Hella.
Overnight stay: Hella
Day 3 - Waterfalls, glaciers and seascapes
In the morning, transfer to Vik with a visit to the Skogafoss waterfall, one of the most fascinating of the island with its large front and frequent rainbows, and the lesser known Fosstorfufoss waterfall, a waterfall that flows into a suggestive canyon formed by the Skógá river.
The first waterfall can be reached in a few minutes from the nearby car park, while the second with a short hike following the path along the river.
Check-in at the hotel, lunch and break. In the afternoon, visit to the Sólheimajökull glacier moraine, which flows into the lagoon. Then, exploration until sunset of the black beach of Reynisfjara, another fascinating place thanks to the strong chromatic contrasts and the particular 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 visit again the black beach of Reynisfjara in other light conditions and take advantage of possible new photographic opportunities.
Following transfer eastbound to the Skaftafell Nature Reserve, within the Vatnajökull National Park, with a first exploratory visit to the wonderful Jökulsárlón moraine lake.
Check-in at the hotel, lunch and break. In the afternoon, depending on the conditions of the moment, it will then be possible to take a walk to reach the Svartifoss waterfall with basalt columns or the terminal tongue of the Skaftafellsjökull glacier.
For the second part of the afternoon, exploration of Skeiðarársandur and Lómagnúpur areas and search for the best sunset spot.
Overnight stay: Hof
Day 5 - Jökulsárlón lagoon, seascapes and glaciers
Early in the morning, sunrise visit to the Jökulsárlón moraine lake and Diamond Beach, characterized by numerous icebergs that often stop on the black beach, forming unique color contrasts.
Following transfer eastbound to Hofn, check-in at the hotel, lunch and break.In the afternoon, visit to the spectacular black beach of Stokksnes, with its gigantic lagoon and the Vestrahorn cliffs, which are reflected in the calm waters of the bay. Exploration the area and search of the best spot for sunset.
Overnight stay: Hofn
Day 6 - Transfer northbound, fjords and lake Myvatn
Long transfer to the north (about 6 hours drive) through fjords and less known areas that present numerous photographic opportunities along the way.
Arrival in the afternoon in the Lake Myvatn area, a volcanic lake in northern Iceland located in an area characterized by incessant volcanic activity, with a view of Mount Krafla, the main active volcano in the region. The lake is in fact located a short distance from the mid-Atlantic ridge, the fault that divides the continental plates of Europe and America. Here in Iceland, it reaches the surface and then it continues along the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.
After a break in the hotel, late afternoon visit to Hverir, a geothermal area rich in sulphate lakes and famous for the ocher color of its landscapes, where we will wait for 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 Krafla volcano, a volcanic and steaming area full of colors and shades. Short ascent to the top of the crater from which it is possible to admire the wonderful deep blue lake inside. Exploration of the area with all the necessary time looking for the best compositions and dedicating moments to pure contemplation.
Return to the hotel and break. In the afternoon, visit for sunset to the beautiful waterfalls of Aldeyjarfoss, where the lush water cascades into a natural pool set between basalt columns, and Hrafnabjargafoss, a double horseshoe-shaped waterfall.
Overnight stay: Myvatn
Day 8 - Icelandic Highlands: calderas, volcanoes, lakes, waterfalls, geothermal areas
Whole day entirely dedicated to the exploration of the volcanic area of Askja.
Long transfer of about 2.5 hours on dirt road 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 hike of about half an hour leads to the edge of the crater from which a unique and spectacular scenery opens up: the largest volcanic caldera in Iceland with turquoise geothermal waters, set in a surreal landscape of calderas and lakes located at the center of a volcanic system 150 km long.
Overnight stay: Myvatn
Day 9 - Goðafoss waterfall, transfer westbound and Hvítserkur cliff
Early in the morning, visit to the majestic Godafoss waterfall, the waterfall of the Gods, with a front of about fifty meters from which two different waterfalls descend in a suggestive surrounding volcanic landscape.
Next transfer westbound of about 3 hours to Blönduós through the northern Highlands.
Arrival at the hotel, lunch and break.
In the afternoon, transfer to the Hvítserkur cliff, on the west coast, a spectacular geological formation formed by volcanic magma that rises from the waters, where we will wait for the best lights of the evening.
Overnight stay: Blönduós
Day 10 - Seascapes, lesser-known inland highlands and return to Reykjavík
In the early morning, possibility to return to Hvítserkur cliff for new photo opportunities in different light conditions, depending on the weather conditions.
Following transfer of approximately 3.5 hours to Reykjavik with possible photo stops along the way.
Arrival at the 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 program and the activities here indicated could be modified depending on weather conditions, road conditions and organizational or group needs.
The tour is organized by Summit-8/Equipage Tour.
The participation fee is € 5.500,00, with 30% deposit upon booking, and balance 30 days before departure.
The fee includes:
• Photographic coaching by Alessandro Gruzza, professional nature photographer;
• Assistance, guide and driving by Mirko Sotgiu, professional photographer and mountain guide with in-depth knowledge of the area;
• Overnight stays for 10 nights in a double room in hotel (3* or 4*) with private bathroom and bed & breakfast;
• Transfers by Toyota Landcruiser 4x4 7-seater jeep for the entire duration of the trip (fuel included);
• Entrance fees to sites, parking fees for the activities indicated in the itinerary;
• Safety and first aid equipment;
• Assistance throughout the program.
The fee does not include:
• Return flight to Reykjavík Keflavík (participants can choose whether to purchase the flights independently or to contact the Tour Operator for schedules, quoting and purchase. The flights can be planned departing from various cities and with various airlines prior evaluation of schedules and costs);
• Optional excursions;
• Lunches, dinners and drinks;
• Travel insurance and trip cancellation insurance (purchasable upon booking);
• Extras and anything not expressly mentioned under "The fee includes”.
How to subscribe
For info and booking, please send an email to email@example.com or contact me at +39.347.0900228.
If you also want to book the return flight to Reykjavík, you will be contacted immediately by the Tour Operator for schedules, quoting and purchase.
Subscriptions are accepted in order of receipt, subject to availability (4 participants).
TOUR ORGANIZED BY TOUR OPERATOR
Equipage Srl - P. IVA 03404090106
Via Brigata Liguria, 63 R - 16121, Genova - Italy
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org - Telephone: 010 5701151