The Ultimate Iceland highland tour – August 2019 ( new )
Unrivaled Beauty from the ground and from air.
10 days/9 nights –August 11. – 20th. 2019.
Group Size; Min 4 Max 9 persons.
We are happy to announce this brand new tour which we think is hard to beat in therms of variety, the amount of secret places and magical landscape.You will be led to the highlands in west, north and south parts of Iceland with the expertise of a native Icelandic photographer Haukur Snorrason. This tour takes you from south to north and back to south east Iceland, to many of the most spectacular highland pearls Iceland has to offer, There are still endless jaw dropping spots undiscovered by tourists due to the fact that the highland roads are only open late summer and they can be hard to drive with their open rivers to cross.The best known waterfalls on the tour are Godafoss and Aldeyjarfoss in north Iceland along with few other just as great but not as famous. You will experience moonscape, colorful mountains, green moss covered mountains, rivers, lines and patterns. Last days of the tour we are staying in the perfect place to take a photographic flight for approx. 2 hrs into the south highlands and photograph trough 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 amazing variety of landscapes. (The flight is weather dependent and optional and therefore not included in tour price.) It is our belief that flying and photographing over this part of Iceland is a life time experience as well as many places this tour takes you to. This time of year it is late in the Puffin season but we will still try to go to the puffin colony with a farmer! (see day 9 in tour plan) . We choose our lodging, which are nice hotels with good food and private bathrooms, as close to highlands and the places we want to photograph in the good light. We take packed lunch with us during the days and once or twice we will have a takeaway dinner for best results whilst in the field.August time of year, staying in altitude of 3-700 meters can be chilly at times so warm clothes are essential as well as hat, gloves and wind breakers. We do not make any difficult hikes or very long walks so despite highland you are save to go on this tour as long you can take long days and are fine with uneven terrain to walk on. We only have half day walk worth mentioning (see Tour Plan- day 5). Otherwise the truck is always close by so you do not need to carry your gear long distances.
Accommodation: All accommodation costs during the tour. Meals: Full board meals on tour / lunch on day one – lunch on last day.
Transportation & guiding: Professional English speaking photographer and driver guide, Vehicle: Modified 4X4 truck
Day one. From your hotel in Reykjavik to the highlands.
Hotel pick up at 8.15. We will head to Hellisheidi geothermal area just 30 min outside Reykjavik for first shoot. We then head to the interior via Gullfoss waterfall to a highland route called Kjölur (Keel) which takes us from south to north Iceland. We stay midway in a small highland hotel in Kerlingarfjöll mountains (Women’s mountains) for 2 nights. This allows us to explore the area well and at ease. Various stops on the way.
The colourful Kerlingafjöll mountains.
Kerlingafjöll mountains are an old Volcano with geothermal heat and hotsprings bubbling in the hills. Many mineral deposits colour the hills, mud pots and steam rises to the air. It is endless. We will spend good part of the day in this area, choosing the best light.
Kjölur route to North Iceland. Icelandic Horses, Godafoss waterfall.
Before driving out of the highland into North Iceland we stop at Hveravellir (the field of hot springs) . It is very different from Kerlingafjöll area. We have some driving to do through the farmlands in the North and look for Iceland horses to photograph. The final aim of the day is to be at Godafoss waterfall in the early evening until sunset.
Sprengisandur highland road to south east. Aldeyjarfoss waterfall. Sand dunes, luminous moss.
After a good breakfast and check out, we head back to the south interior via Sprengisandsleid highland road. We will come a across Aldeyjarfoss waterfall, which like Godafoss, is one of the most photogenic waterfalls in Iceland with its surrounding columns. Little further down the road is another very different looking waterfall that 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 by driving into Fishing lakes which are row of craters filled with water and sand hills with Moon-like landscape. Tom Cruise shot scenes in his future film Oblivion there.
Sulphur mountain in Landmannalaugar, Middle earth waterfall.
We relax a bit after a long drive previous day and leave for day tour to Landmannalaugar. First stop will be photographing the middle earth waterfall with the Turkish blue water. We aim to hike to the Sulphur-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 in a slow pace approx. 3-4 hrs.
Behind Hekla towards Hrafntinnusker mountains.
After good breakfast and then we head deep into the highlands and higher to Hrafntinnusker area, where you find the highest highland road in Iceland; around 1000 meter altitude and an impressive colourful thermal area. We drive pass 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. It is hard to get more remote than this. Take away lunch and dinner from hotel.
Langisjor lake, Skaftá river, the Green island, Fire Gorge.
After check out we head to the remote Langisjór lake. Langisjor lake lies between row of mountains all formed in an eruption during Ice age, called Fögrufjöll. We also drive around the landmark mountain Sveinstindur and walk to the overlook of the “green island” that river Skaftá surrounds with its glacier water. In this area luminous green moss is common in the mountains and this area and Eldgjá canyon awaits us in the end of this day. Next we check into the cosy www.hrifunesguesthouse.is which belongs to our company. I promise you extra good meals once there ; )
Aerial photography over selected highland pearls.
This day (or following day) we hope to get the right weather to fly approx. 2 hrs flight over the highlands, to places you can only reach from the air. We will see 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 one and not included in tour price. The other half of the flying day we will photograph locations in the area of Hrifunes.
This is open day; based on conditions with Puffins. / Glacier Lagoon/ highlands
Our fyrst choise would be go with the farmer to Ingólfshöfði headlands for Puffin photography. This time of year its getting close to the end of Puffin season and they leave the cliffs, so we can not guarantee it or include the farmers fee in our tour. ( he takes us out there on a hay wagon early morning before tourist groups arrive) https://www.fromcoasttomountains.com/ingolfshofdi-photo-tour If Puffins are not there for us we will spend the full day in the Vatnajökull National Park area with its Glacier outlets and floating ice bergs.
Final day, highland route to Reykjavik via Mt. 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.
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)