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This eleven-day tour exposes the adventurous traveler to the very best of an exciting country, from its incredibly diverse landscape to some of the largest seabird colonies in the world. Travel with Cathy and Gordon to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, on to the Western Fjords, and ending in the spectacular South Coast of Iceland. Together with the intense colors of the rapidly changing landscape, and the varied wildlife, this beautiful land is certain to make every photographer’s heart jump! The traditional theme and image of Iceland has been ice and fire, but it is much more than that. Mother nature has painted a magnificent tapestry of colors with geological phenomena unmatched elsewhere in the world. Inexorably intertwined with this exotic natural environment are the 280,000 Icelanders, who along with their Nordic and Celtic ancestors have called this North Atlantic Island their home for over 1100 years. While living mostly along the coast, over one-third of the residents live within a 20-kilometer radius of Reykjavik, the capital city.

Experience the vast volcanic landscape, breathtaking glaciers and waterfalls, and hardy Viking hospitality that have been celebrated for centuries in Icelandic sagas. On this unique expedition, view towering volcanic pillars, hike to stunning waterfalls, and languish in ancient geyser springs. From the capital city to remote farms on the tips of exposed fjords, Iceland is picturesque, including some features of the moon surface. Volcanoes, hot springs, and glaciers influence the look and feel of the country. At every turn, the vistas will astound you. Join us on this exploratory adventure of one of our planet’s most fascinating and unique environments.
June 22: Home
Your journey to Iceland begins with an overnight flight, arriving early morning on June 23, at Keflavik Airport in Reykjavik, Iceland.

June 23-24: Snaefellsnes
After a very early arrival in Keflavik Airport, our local guide will meet us as we start our tour driving to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. This will be our first introduction to this vast, yet intimate country, with several photographic stops planned along the way. We will check into our hotel at the tip of the peninsula to be in prime location the next day. This is a full day of traveling and photography. If you would like to arrive early we can provide hotel recommendations near the airport or in Reykjavik. You will have another full day to explore further afield, visiting beautiful places and small villages. There will be opportunities to photograph the diverse birdlife in the area. Overnight Hotel Framnes (L*, D; B, L, D) Please note some lunches will be picnic lunches so that we can enjoy full days of photography in the field.
June 25-27: Stykkisholmur-Flatey Island-West Fjords
The best-kept secret of Iceland is the Westfjords. This part of Iceland is an unspoiled pearl, shaped of deep fjords and steep mountains. The Westfjords are Iceland’s most sparsely populated region apart from the highlands. There, life means seabirds on rugged cliffs, Arctic foxes in their lairs, and little fishing villages huddled against sheer mountains where for centuries, people have battled with the forces of nature to harvest the ocean’s riches.

This morning we will take a ferryboat across the beautiful Breidafjordur Bay, stopping en-route to photograph the beautiful and serene Flatey Island. Flatey is one of the thousands of islands on the bay and one of the largest. A monastery was founded there in 1172, and then moved to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. We continue our ferry crossing to Vatnsfjordur, arriving in time for dinner, and settle into our lodge.

The next day we will have an early start and head west to Bjargtangar, where we can watch the Puffin and view the largest Razorbill colony in the country. An impressive mountain road leads us down to the wide-open golden-red beach of Raudasandur, deriving its name from the reddish looking scallop shells, where seals are often seen. Contrast abounds in the Westfjords, at Latrabjarg cliff; land meets sea head-on at the 400 meter sheer cliff, the westernmost point of Europe and one of the world’s biggest seabird colonies.

Another day in the Westfjords, we make our way to Dynjandi Falls. Description from a previous client ~ our real destination, Dynjandi Waterfall. Wow! The top part was still in the mist, giving it a very ethereal appearance. The falls is also known as Fjallfoss (mountain falls). The 100 meter high cascade fans out to 60 meters at the base. Below it are a series of cascades Hundafoss, Strokkur, Gongumannafoss, Hrisvadsfoss, and Baejarfoss. Each of these was worth the trip in its own right. Overnight Hotel Flokalundur (B, L, D all days)

June 28: Dalir
In the morning we drive the beautiful curved coastal road through the fjords and the valleys east, to the ‘Valleys Area’. Passing through some nesting areas of the White-tailed Eagle. Thingvellir National Park is one of the country’s historical places and a natural shrine. The first Icelandic settlers established the first known Parliament here. This area is scarred by one of the world’s great geological boundaries, a rift valley marking where the North American and Eurasian continental plates are physically tearing apart. We will work our way further east and spend the night east of Thingvellir National Park. Farmhotel Efsti-Dalir (B, L, D)

June 29-1: Gullfoss-Skaftafell-Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
Weather permitting we may visit Gullfoss today or on the return trip from the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. Gullfoss waterfall and the Geysir hot spring are famous sights in the region. Travel further along the south coast and stop at Waterfall Skogar, before arriving at our accommodations.

We start the next day at the picturesque Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, where we will take a private boat tour to capture the Ice in the Lagoon. There will be another chance to photograph the lagoon later in the day with different light.

The last day in this region we return west and devote our time exploring the hidden gems, and favorite places as we drive to Skaftafell National Park, founded in 1967; this was Iceland’s first National Park founded purely for its nature.

After spending the morning there we will have the chance to visit some of the places we were not able to before. Overnight Two Evenings Hotel Hali, One Evening Hotel Klaustur (B, L, D all days)
July 3: Reykjanes Peninsula-Blue Lagoon-Home
This morning we will head to the Blue Lagoon, here you will have the chance to take a dip in this magnificent natural shrine. After spending a good time there we will drive around the Reykjanes peninsula and finish at the airport in time for your evening flight home. (B)

As this is an active expedition with moderate hikes, you should be in good physical condition. Changes to itinerary may occur due to special local events, impromptu stops, and variable weather conditions. Be assured that we will make substitutions that are as similar in quality and interest as possible. While hotels selected are the best available, they are close to photographic locations, and are en-suite. Dinners tend to be fish, lamb, and occasionally pork may be available.