Additional images courtesy of Daniel Bergmann.
Don't let the name fool you, the old saying is that Iceland and Greenland got their names confused. It certainly seems to be true from the photo opportunities. Iceland is the land of geysers and hot springs, glaciers and icebergs, occasional volcanoes, and amazing bird locations. Each new stop offers new, exciting photo adventures. This land offers landscapes and bird opportunities not available anywhere else in the world. Iceland continues to be an important part of most photographer's "bucket list". Join us on this amazing adventure.
Iceland is an island located west of the European continent and sits at the meeting point of the North American and Eurasian continental plates. The plates are slowly moving apart, which means that the country is slowly, by just a few centimeters per year, growing wider. The rift runs diagonally from the southeast corner of the country to the northwest and makes Iceland a hotbed of interesting, if not weird, geological activity. You can find geysers that shoot water into the sky, geothermal hot springs that provide electricity for the country and heat Iceland’s many public pools, and volcanoes that can erupt and form underground caves, black sand beaches, and even entire new islands.
Our trip has been planned by our Iceland contact to meet our specific guidelines. We will photograph the best of both the birds of the country and the unique scenery and landscapes of this marvelous country Iceland. Our guide for the trip will be Chris Lund, one of Iceland's finest photographers. Steve Alterman has traveled to Iceland several times recently and he recommended our guide and his organization.
Here is an estimate of our itinerary.
Day 0 - July 05 - fly to
Keflavik airport in Reykjavik. You will likely
need to leave the US on July 4th to arrive in Iceland on the 5th.
Day 1 - July 06 - Snaefellsnes Peninsula - There will be an early start from Reykjavik and we’ll drive to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula where we’ll photograph coastal scenery and seabirds, inside and just outside the border of the Snaefellsjokull National Park. Overnight in Stykkisholmur.
Day 2–3 - July 07 & 08 - Látrabjarg and surroundings - An early start from Stykkisholmur on a ferry across the Breidafjordur Bay. Our destination, which we’ll reach in the early afternoon, is Breidavik at the West Fjords. The hotel at Breidavik will be our base for two nights and from there we’ll make trips to Látrabjarg seabird cliff. Látrabjarg is Iceland’s biggest bird cliff and has enormous seabird colonies with millions of nesting birds. It has undoubtedly the tamest Puffins in the world. They can be photographed very close and seem entirely unaffected by human presence. Other birds that can be photographed at Látrabjarg include Razorbill, Common Murre, Kittiwake, Northern Fulmar and the high-Arctic Thick-billed Murre.
During the two days we’ll spend at Breidavik we’ll make 2–3 trips out to Látrabjarg for the Puffins and other seabirds. These will be in the evening plus there will be an optional trip in the early morning (4–5 AM). Around the hotel in Breidavik there are also countless opportunities to photograph common Icelandic breeding birds such as Ringed Plover, Redshank, Northern Wheatear, White Wagtail and Snow Bunting.
Day 4 - July 09 - Flatey Island - As we head back over Breidafjordur Bay on our way back from Breidavik we make a few hour stop at the Flatey Island. Flatey offers great photographic opportunities with birds that are used to live closely with humans on this small Island. Species such as Black Guillemot, Arctic Tern and Snow Buntings will be our main target birds on the Island. The bus does not go off the ferry and after a few hours on Flatey Island we continue sailing in the evening to Stykkishólmur where we stay for the night.
Day 5 - July 10 - An afternoon session in the Flói Nature Reserve - On day 5 we’ll drive to the south coast of Iceland where we will have an afternoon photography session at Flói Nature Reserve. The focus there will be on nesting shorebirds like Black-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Dunlin and Redshank plus Red-necked Phalaropes and Red-throated Loons. The Flói Reserve is a wetland area with countless ponds and most of them have a pair of nesting Red-throated Loons. They will have chicks at this time of the year and will be busy flying in and out of the ponds, going out to the ocean to catch fish for the young. This provides an opportunity to photograph them in flight, taking off and landing at ponds of various sizes. The night will be spent at Hotel Eldhestar close by.
Day 6 - July 11 - Vatnajokull glacier and Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon - We’ll depart the south coast and travel further to the east and will eventually reach the Vatnajokull glacier in the southeast, Europe’s largest glacier. On the way we’ll make stops to photograph horses before reaching our hotel at Gerdi, which is just 10 minutes away from one of the most spectacular landmarks in Iceland – the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. The Breidarmerkurjokull glacier calves into the lagoon, leaving it filled with icebergs that strand in the lagoon before having melted enough to wash out the short river channel out to sea. The surf may then throw the ice onto the black glacier beach, providing an incredible opportunity to photograph icebergs on black sand.
Day 7–8 - July 12 & 13 - The lagoon and Skaftafell - During the two extra days in the southeast we’ll have opportunities for a few photography sessions at the iceberg lagoon and also to photograph the many outlet glaciers coming off the Vatnajokull ice cap. We’ll also visit Skaftafell and hike up to Svartifoss waterfall.
Day 9 - July 14 - Journey west and the South coast - We’ll drive back to the South the same coastal route we took to get to the east. Stops will be made at good locations en route, all according to the conditions. The black sand beachs near Vik and Dyrholaey will be on our route. We’ll spend the night again at Hotel Eldhestar.
Day 10 - July 15 - Keflavik airport - The morning can be spent photographing horses at the Eldhestar, which is not only a hotel but also a horse center. Flights out of Iceland are mid-afternoon and we’ll be at the Keflavik airport on July 15 in time for the outbound flights.
$5350 for shared accommodations. Single supplement is an additional $550. We will do our best to find you a roommate if that is your choice. What is included is the July 6-15 dates is all food, transportation, lodging, ferry cost, and guide fees. What is not included is the flight to Iceland, room the night of July 5 (we will reserve rooms), snacks, & alcoholic beverages.
A $750 deposit is required at registration to hold your spot. Due to room requirements, the balance will be due on March 15, 2013. Final payment will be by check or additional credit card fees will apply. Cancellations after April 01 will result in loss of fees unless we can replace you. Trip insurance is highly recommended.
The airport is Keflavik in Reykjavik.
Hiking for the trip is easy and individuals can walk around as their ability allows.
Due to outfitter requirements, a minimum of 6 people required for this trip to go.
To register online on a secure registration
form, or to print out a
registration form, go to