Iceland Norhern Lights photo workshop with Kevin Loughlin

This Northern Lights workshop offers some of the best opportunities to photograph the Aurora Borealis, the colorful phenomenon that lights up the northern

Kevin Loughlin 12 - 21 October 2013

This Northern Lights workshop offers some of the best opportunities to photograph the Aurora Borealis, the colorful phenomenon that lights up the northern night sky.

MapIceland is known as the “Land of Fire & Ice”. Sitting due south of the Arctic circle, Iceland offers a unique landscape sculpted by two of the strongest forces, volcanos and glaciers. You will have the opportunity to photograph both extremes, from active volcanoes to icy glaciers plus hot springs, geysers, waterfalls, icebergs and stunning landscapes.

This is a sparsely populated country of only 320,000 inhabitants, the majority of whom live in the area immediately surrounding the Capital Reykjavik. Geologically, it sits on the divide between the two continental plates. Their constant motion causes the volcanic activity found throughout the island. This is a landscape photographer’s dream world, full of color, rock formations, vast open areas, and abundant waterfalls… there will certainly be no shortage of subjects!

Our Autumn trip offers some of the best opportunities to photograph the Aurora Borealis, the colorful phenomenon that lights up the northern night sky.

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Day 1 -Arrival Keflavik airport

Transfer to the hotel in Reykjavík

Day 2 – Reykjanes peninsula

The lava scarred Reykjanes peninsula lies on one of the world’s major plate boundaries, the Mid Atlantic Ridge. We will walk across a small footbridge between the two continents, see craters and an old lighthouse, Reykjanesviti.

We travel through lava fields to the Blue Lagoon for a relaxing dip in 38°C therapeutic geothermal water. The Blue Lagoon is surrounded by a moss-covered lava field dating back to 1226. After a refreshing bath in the lagoon, we continue to Reykjavik.

We drive back to Reykajvík in the afternoon and stay there overnight

Day 3 – Vatnajökull National Park

Today we drive the south shore all the way to Vatnajökull National Park

On the way we wisit the waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss. The promontory Dyrhólaey and Reynisfjara beach. 

Skógafoss is one of the biggest and most beautiful waterfalls in the country with a width of 25 meters and a drop of 60 meters. Due to the amount of spray the waterfall consistently produces, a single or double rainbow is normally visible on sunny days. Seljalandsfoss is another spectacular waterfall, one of the most famous one and very picturesque. You can walk behind this waterfall and get a different photo angle. Dyrhólaey is a 120-meter high promontory, not far from Vík village, the southernmost part of the country. The headland is thought to have been made in an underwater volcanic eruption late in the glacial period. From the top you have a great photographic view.

Reynisfjara beach and Reynisdrangar sea stacks are very good location for taking photos. Reynisfjara Beach is a natural black sand and pebble beach with some larger boulders. By the beach you can see basalt caves which are very interesting for photographers, but please be careful, the ocean can be extremely dangerous here.

Overnight at a gueshouse on the southcoast 4 nights.

Day 4 – 6 Skaftafell National Park- Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon

The contrast in the nature of the Southeast is breathtaking, with spectacular black beaches and dominating white glacier Vatnajökull. Serenity, energy and forces of nature combine to make the region of Vatnajökull a never-to-be-forgotten experience.  We will spend the days exploring the region and if we are fortunate, we will see the Northern lights dancing above the glacier.

We will visit many of Vatnajökull's outlets and outwash areas and the Jökulsárlón, a famous glacial lagoon full of icebergs were we can take a short boat tour and sail among the huge icebergs, an unforgettable experience. The glacial scenery continues with a visit to the stunning Skaftafell, Iceland’s second largest national park were the landscape has been formed in thousands of years by different influences of fire and water (volcanic eruptions and the glaciers).

Day 7 – Southcoast 

We drive back to Reykjavík and vist places like Fjarðárgljúfur canyon, Kirkjubæjarklastur, Landbrot area and many other beautiful and interessting places.

The village Kirkjubæjarklaustur became well known in Iceland during the Lakagígar volcanic eruption in 1783 were a huge lava flow streamed from the craters in what became known as the “Skafta Fires.” This is believed to have been one of the greatest lava flows in a single eruption in the history of the world. The eruption produced large quantities of volcanic ash. For residents of the region and Iceland as whole, the results of the eruption were catastrophic and this period is known as “Móðurharðindin” (the Haze Famine)

The areas Landbrot and Meðalland south of Kirkjubæjarklaustur support a wide range of birds. The region´s wetlands are varied and inlucde floodmeadows, lakes, springs and lava fileds.

Overnight in Klaustur area.

Day 8 –- South inland

Þjórsárdalur valley – Hekla area – Fljótshlíð - all very picturesq areas.

A very active volcano for centuries, Mount Hekla is one of the most famous and “infamous” volcanoes in Iceland. It is thought that Hekla has had at least twenty eruptions since the settlement of Iceland. The biggest eruption was in 1104 when it erupted without warning ejecting millions of tonnes of tephra. Old tales tell of the belief that the souls of the condemned travelled through Hekla's crater on their way to hell. Because of these tails and dreadful legends no one climbed the mountain until 1750, when two naturalists ventured to the top.  Up there, they could not find anything to substantiate the legend. Since then it is very popular to hike in the mountain to the top. On a fine day, the view from up there is simply unbelievable.

Overnight at a hotel in Flúðir area.

Day 9 –The Golden Circle

Today, we drive the Golden Circle to Reykjavík. First we visit Geysir area,famous for its spouting springs, namely Geysir and Strokkur. The star attraction in the geothermal area is the spouting spring Strokkur which spouts every 3-8 minutes to about 25 meters. The geothermal area is named after the Great Geysir spouting spring, after which all spouting springs in the English language are named.

From Geysir we drive few minutes to Gullfoss waterfall which is perhaps the most famous waterfall in Iceland and for a good reason. It falls 32 meters in two cascades and never fails to impress. We turn back and head to Þingvellir National Park by crossing a low mountain pass and fertile farmlands. The national park was founded in 1930 to commemorate the 1000 year anniversary of the Viking-Age parliament established there in 930 AD. In 2004 the national park was added to the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites for its cultural uniqueness. The national park is also known for its remarkable geological features, such as a rift valley, lava fields and shield volcanoes.

Overnight at a hotel in Reykjavík

Day 10 – Departure from Iceland

Transfer to Keflavik airport.

Included in the cost:
all accommodations, meals, local transportation, entrance fees (except Blue Lagoon Spa fee) and permits.

NOT included:
International flights, passport fees, airport taxes, alcoholic beverages, laundry services, phone calls, additional taxes or anything of a purely personal nature. Entrance fee to Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa (~$50) not included.

Price per person in a shared room $4650
If a single room is preferred, or we are unable to get a roommate for you, a single supplement fee of $490 will be assessed.

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Esja Travel

Bæjarhraun 2  |  220 Hafnarfjörður  |  Iceland  |  Tel: +354 560 2020  |  info@esjatravel.is  |  Id-Number: 550604-2050

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