The Ultimate Iceland highland adventure photo tour – August 2024
Unrivaled Beauty from the ground and from air - 11 days around spectacular highlands.
August 2-12 2022 - Fully booked ! (2023 tour has been cancelled due to other projects.)
For 2024 August 5-15 - 3 spots left.
Group Size; Min 4 Max 7 persons.
We are happy to announce this brand new 11-day tour–hard to beat in terms of variety, the number of secret places we'll visit and magical landscape you'll see. You will be led to the highlands in the western, northern and southern parts of Iceland with the expertise of native Icelandic photographer Haukur Snorrason. This tour takes you from South to North and back to Southeast Iceland, to the most spectacular highland pearls Iceland has to offer. The highland roads are only open late summer. Also, they can be hard to drive with their open rivers to cross. But these difficult to reach locations are our specialty, and you will see endless jaw-dropping spots undiscovered by most tourists. Among the amazing waterfalls that you'll see are Godafoss, Aldeyjarfoss and Dettifoss in North Iceland. You will experience moonscape, colorful mountains, green moss-covered mountains, rivers—nature's artwork of lines and patterns decorating the terrain. On the last days of the tour, we will be ideally located for a photographic flight (for approx. 2 hrs) into the southern highlands. From the air, you'll shoot through an open window over the great Laki Craters, the colorful Landmannalaugar area, Mt. Maelifell and Mýrdalsjökull Glacier. Nowhere else in Iceland can you see from the air such a stunning variety of landscapes. (The flight is optional and weather dependent and therefore not included in the tour price.) For most people, flying and photographing over this part of Iceland is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, as will be many of the places you visit.
This time of year is late in the puffin season, but we will still try to go to the puffin colony with a local farmer! (See day 9 in the tour plan.) All along the way, we'll be staying in nice hotels with good food and private bathrooms, as close to highlands and the places we want to photograph. We take packed lunch with us during the days, and when weather looks great we'll have a takeaway dinner for best results while in the field. In August, altitudes of 3-700 meters can be chilly at times, so warm clothes, including a hat, gloves and windbreakers, are essential. We do not make any difficult hikes or very long walks, so despite highland, you are safe to go on this tour as long you are ready for long days and can walk on uneven terrain. In this regard, we only have one half-day walk worth mentioning (see Tour Plan- day 5). Otherwise, the truck is always nearby so, you won't need to carry your gear long distances.
FROM YOUR HOTEL IN REYKJAVIK TO THE COLOURFUL HIGHLANDS IN KERLINGAFJÖLL MOUNTAINS.
Hotel pickup is at 8:15 am. We then head to the Hellisheidi geothermal area, 30 min. outside Reykjavik for the first shoot. We travel into the interior via Gullfoss Waterfall along Kjölur (Keel), a highland route, which takes us from South to North Iceland. We stay midway in a small highland hotel in Kerlingarfjöll Mountains (Women’s Mountains) for 1 night. Accommodation Kerlingafjöll.
FROM HIGHLANDS TO LAKE MÝVATN. GODAFOSS WATERFALL.
Kerlingafjöll Mountains are an old volcano with geothermal heat and hot springs bubbling in the hills. Many mineral deposits color the hills, you will see mud pots and steam rising into the air. We do our morning shots here before heading further to the north. We have some driving to do through the farmlands in the north and on the way will look for Iceland horses to photograph. The handsome Godafoss waterfall is last on our today´s menu. Accommodation near lake Mývatn.
MÝVATN AREA. EARLY MORNING SHOOT AT HVERARÖND GEOTHERMAL AREA. THE MAJESTIC DETTIFOSS.
We take an early morning start in order to be well ahead of other tourists at the thermal area at Hverarönd. After the shoot we come back to our hotel for breakfast and some rest. After lunchtime we drive to Jökulsárgljúfur national park where we find Iceland´s most powerful waterfall. Accommodation near lake Mývatn.
FROM NORTH TO SOUTH HIGHLANDS. ALDEYJARFOSS WATERFALL, SAND DUNES AND LUMINOUS MOSS.
After a good breakfast and checkout, we head back to the southern interior via Sprengisandsleid highland road. We will cover some distance today going from north to south. Doing that we will come across Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall, which like Godafoss, is one of the most photogenic waterfalls in Iceland with its surrounding columns. A little further down the road is a very different looking waterfall, which is also fun to deal with. From here onwards are barren fields, sand dunes with small streams surrounded by luminous highland moss. The day will finish at fishing lakes, which are a row of craters filled with water and sandhills, creating a moon-like landscape. Tom Cruise shot scenes in his future film Oblivion there. Accommodation highland hotel.
SULFUR MOUNTAIN IN LANDMANNALAUGAR, MIDDLE EARTH WATERFALL
We relax a bit after a long drive the previous day and leave for a day tour to Landmannalaugar. The first stop will be photographing the middle earth waterfall with its Turkish blue water. We aim to hike to Brennisteinsalda or Sulfur mountain to be there at the right time in the afternoon for the perfect angle of the sun to photograph one of the most colourful canyons in Iceland. This hike is at a slow pace, approx. 3-4 hrs. Accommodation highland hotel.
BEHIND HEKLA TOWARDS HRAFNTINNUSKER MOUNTAINS
We head deep into the highlands and higher to the Hrafntinnusker area. We take the highest highland road in Iceland—around 1000 meter altitude in an impressive colourful, thermal area. We drive past Hekla Volcano ash and lava, volcanic sand fields where Ridley Scott shot his future film Prometheus in 2012. Unnamed waterfalls and colourful hills and mountains adorn the area. Accommodation Hrifunes guesthouse.
ÖLDUFELLSLEIÐ HIGHLAND ROUTE AND THE HRIFUNES AREA.
We enjoy less driving today into our "backyard" in Hrifunes. we drive into Öldufells route and photograph great waterfalls and the black and green colours that dominate the area.
AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY OVER SELECTED HIGHLAND PEARLS
This day in good weather, we fly approx. 2 hrs. over the highlands to places you can only reach from the air. We will see an amazing row of craters, river patterns, lakes, colourful mountains lava fields, moonscapes and glacier outlets. Nothing compares to this experience. Flying is optional for each person and not included in the tour price. In the afternoon we drive to the Vatnajökull glacier national park where we will photograph icebergs in evening light. Accommodation near the Glacier Lagoon.
EARLY MORNING PHOTO TOUR TO THE PUFFINS IN INGÓLFSHÖFDI HEADLANDS.
We go early morning with a local farmer to Ingólfshöfði headlands for puffin photography. (He takes us out there early morning small group style on a hay wagon before tourist groups arrive.) https://www.fromcoasttomountains.com/ingolfshofdi-photo-tour Now is around the end of the puffin season and they leave the cliffs around this time, so we can't guarantee this one. Note: The puffin tour is not included in the tour price. We photograph our way back from the Glacier area to Hrifunes. Accommodation Hrifunes guesthouse.
LANGISJOR LAKE, THE GREEN ISLAND, ÓFÆRU FOSS WATERFALL.
Another great highland route to the remote Langisjór lake. Moonscapes in mix with green moss. Fire Canyon and Ófaerufoss.
Accommodation Hrifunes guesthouse.
FINAL DAY, HIGHLAND ROUTE TO REYKJAVIK VIA MOUNTAIN MAELIFELL AND MARKARFLJÓTSGLJÚFUR CANYON
We will photograph Mt. Maelifell in the morning light where it stands, green moss covered, out of the black sand plain. The other big theme of the day is Markafljótsgljúfur Canyon with its volcanic colours and colour deposits. ETA in Reykjavik between 5 and 6 PM.
Accommodation: All accommodation costs during the tour. Pick up and drop off at hotel in Reykjavik.
Meals: Full board meals on tour
Transportation & guiding: Professional English speaking driver guide and photographer, Vehicle: 4X4 truck and gasoline.
Cost of flight to Keflavik/Iceland, transportation to and from airport (although this can be arranged) and hotel accommodation in Reykjavík. Aerial photo flight over the highlands. Possible Puffin tour to Ingólfshöfði headlands.
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Climate and clothing recommendations
The Gulf Stream is what makes Iceland inhabitable, and without it, the whole country would most likely be covered by ice. The winters are fairly mild and summers are cool. The weather can be unpredictable and very windy and rainy at times. A popular saying in Iceland is “if you don’t like the weather right now, just wait five minutes” as you may occasionally experience the four seasons all in one day: sunshine and mild temperatures to windy, cool temperatures with rain or even snow. The average temperature in January is 0 C (32 F) and the average temperature in July is 12 C (54 F)
In the view of the climate description above, we can only advise visitors to be prepared for everything. No matter what time of year you plan to visit Iceland, always pack some warm and water resistant clothes, hats, gloves and good walking shoes.
Practical list, independent of the season of the year
1. Warm underwear
2. Sweater or a warm jacket/coat
3. Wind- and waterproof overcoat and over trousers
4. Extra pair of warm socks
5. Gloves and a cap
6. Hiking shoes (waterproof boots for winter photo tours)
7. Slippers and possibly light trainers
9. Sunglasses (optional!)
10. Electric converter (Iceland uses 220 volts)
11. Torch or headlight (winter photo tours)