Group 1: September 13th - 20th, 2023 (1 Spot Left, Female Sharing)
Group 2: September 26th - October 3rd, 2023
This mind-blowing, scenic adventure often sells out within days! It's back on our calendar for 2023 so don't miss out this time and get your deposits in ASAP! Our Iceland small group tours are one of a kind, built from scratch with a local team of experts. With a small, intimate group as always, we'll explore the country in specially outfitted 4 wheel drive Mercedes Sprinters, which allow us to go off-road to Iceland's hidden treasures & off the path gems, while the big bus tours are stuck on the main roads & typical tourist viewpoints with no clue what they're missing!
This Iceland adventure takes us throughout the best of this country's diverse regions, beginning in the capital and taking us throughout the diverse South (glaciers, volcanoes, geysers, waterfalls), East (fjords, mountains, glacier-filled lagoons), Highlands (Otherworldly landscapes, lava fields, huge craters, lush oases), West (glaciers, lava formations, stunning waterfall landscapes, geothermal activity, volcanoes), and an optional extension in the North (giant lakes, glacial rivers, never-ending valleys, & Europes most powerful waterfall). Did we forget to mention a chance to witness and photograph the mysterious Northern Lights? Check out some of the highlights below and get your cameras ready!
Highlights from past PhotoFly Iceland trips!
*We have limited space due to the # of seats in our unique 4x4 vehicles so don't hesitate to get your deposits in before it's too late!
Please e-mail us for the day by day itinerary (email@example.com):
The country's capital is filled with great museums, Viking history, food, nightlife, and lookouts with sweeping views of the sea and surrounding foothills. "Reykjavík is a city of bold contrasts: it is both cosmopolitan and small-town; vibrant and sophisticated; young-at-heart and yet full of history...With a population of 120,000, Reykjavík is not a whirlwind metropolis. Few skyscrapers grace the skyline, traffic jams are rare and faces are familiar. But don't be deceived—a steady beat of energy and events keeps the city alive and pulsing with excitement...downtown, in the city's museums, galleries, theaters, cafés, and swimming pools, busy locals bustle about with a seemingly inexhaustible energy." - Iceland Tourism Board
* Reykjavík: Explore the city on your own or hire a local guide for a walking tour (optional).
* Experiencing the capital on foot is a delightful experience with much to see, including old style wood-framed houses, clad in colorful corrugated-iron, and mixed with a creative collection of postmodern architecture. Witness the lively atmosphere in Reykjavík’s old harbor area & stroll along the many historic trails winding through the streets and alleys.
* Hallgrimskirkja Church: The country's tallest & by far most domineering church is amazing to photograph inside and out. It was
designed by architect Guðjón Samuel in 1937, whose work was inspired by his fascination with the interesting shapes and forms created when lava cools into basalt rock. We'll be treated with a must-see view of the city by taking an elevator up the 250 ft high tower (great panoramic photo ops here!). This Lutheran church’s interior is fairly plain, presumably designed this way on purpose to accentuate its most stunning feature, the massive 5275 pipe organ!
* The Blue Lagoon: Formed in 1976 during operation at a nearby geothermal power plant, people began to bathe in the unique, supernatural blue water and apply its silica mud to their skin which proved to have incredible rejuvenating properties. Today, Blue Lagoon is recognized as one of the wonders of the world and contains 9 million liters of water which is self-cleansing (renewing itself every 40 hours!). The water temperature is a constant 98-104°F year-round and a relaxing dip will be just what the doctor ordered after our long flight.
Sudhurland Region (The South)
This regions diverse landscape boasts some of the most interesting and photogenic sights in Iceland, including two national parks: Þingvellir (Thingvellir) and Skaftafel. "From wonderful waterfalls, to great glaciers, the South has it all. With the Golden Circle route, connecting Þingvellir, Gullfoss ("Golden Waterfall") and Geysir," some of the country's most picture worthy sites can be seen in a single day! Further east along the breathtaking coastline, you will find Skógafoss Waterfall, Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon, & Vatnajökull Glacier, and that's just scratching the surface of Sudhurland's natural wonders." - icelandontheweb.com
* The Golden Circle: A truly epic day trip takes us around the world famous "Golden Circle", filled with breathtaking waterfalls, spewing geysers, volcanic craters, and stunning national parks.
* Geysir Geothermal Area: Here we'll witness the Strokkur geyser which shoots a column of water up to 98 ft. in the air every 4-8 minutes in a thrilling display of nature’s forces.
* Gulfoss Falls: With a nickname of "Golden Falls", our first encounter with an Icelandic waterfall will not disappoint. Created by the river Hvítá which plunges into a crevice some 105 ft deep, thousands of tons of icy water thunder majestically down in a double-fall, deep into the gorge.
* Thingvellir National Park: Located by Lake Þingvallavatn, the largest lake on the island, this national park is world famous for two primary reasons: First, it's the site of the world's oldest democratic parliament founded in 930 A.D. & two, its beautiful canyon, which is actually the meeting point of the American and Eurasian tectonic plates that are pulling apart a few centimeters each year! The area’s combination of natural phenomena and historical significance make it inseparable from the fabric of Icelandic national life.
* Kerid Volcanic Crater: Another must stop to witness and photograph, the Kerid Caldera is composed of red volcanic rock and is 180 ft. deep, 560 ft. wide and 885 ft. across! A small, shallow lake fills the collapsed crater and is striking with its beautiful opaque and aquamarines, surrounded by its red crater walls; this an excellent contrast of colors. There's little vegetation in the steep-walled crater except for one side covered with deep, green moss perfect for an eery image.
* Skogafoss Waterfall: A 340 step climb to the top will reward us with an awe-inspiring view over south Iceland’s coastline. Standing at 200 ft, impressive is an understatement
with the heavy veil of water pouring below. Get close enough and we'll be enveloped in a cloud of spray, sound, and refracted light.
* Vik's Black Sand Beaches & "The Needles": Reynisfjara Beach's black sands and astounding rock formations are a delight to the eyes and our cameras! It's been ranked one of the ten most beautiful non-tropical beaches in the world. At one end
we will discover Reynisdrangar ("The Needles"), unique basalt sea stack formations. According to legend, the Reynisdrangar needles were formed
when two trolls were trying to drag a three-masted ship to land, but when daylight broke they turned to stone. 215 ft above sea level at their highest, "The Needles" make an excellent frame for some stunning photos!
* Fjadrargljufur Canyon Hike: One of the most spectacular canyons in Iceland, natures wild creation stretches for 1 mile along the Fjaðrá River. We'll take an easy, paved ridge trail and follow the canyon for its entire length, stopping for photos along the way. In just 2.5 miles, the variety of viewpoints to capture excellent landscape images is amazing.
* Seljalandsfoss Waterfall: Fed by melting water from the famed, glacier-capped Eyjafjallajokull Volcano, this powerful waterfall cascades into a pretty
meadow but is best known for the walking path that runs behind its curtain of water where we can enjoy a truly unique viewpoint for some interesting photographs.
"A paradise for nature lovers, hikers, photographers, geologists, volcanologists and all travelers seeking authentic adventures, the Highlands are fully accessible only by 4x4 drive vehicles (and are) characterized by some of Iceland's most awe-inspiring, beautiful and "otherworldly" landscapes... High mountains with huge craters, majestic glaciers, stark rocky deserts, volcanoes, mountain lakes, immense lava fields, black volcanic sands, moraines and unbridged rivers dominate this region. But, hidden in the Highlands, you can also find lush green oases in remote valleys, as well as geothermal hot springs areas." - icelandontheweb.com
* Landmannalaugar: Perhaps the most unique part of the highlands, Landmannalaugar is one of Iceland’s most awe-inspiring places. The colorful rhyolite mountains are among its main characteristics with their varying textures, shapes and sizes. We'll embark on a 1 hour hike throughout this alien landscape and will be amazed by the diversity everywhere we turn.
* Ljotipollur Explosion Crater: Ironically, Ljotipollur translates to "Ugly Puddle", the last thing you would say to describe this beautiful, mile wide caldera. The vibrant, red crater walls contrast wonderfully with the deep blues of the lake at the bottom.
* Vatnajokull National Park: Western Europe's largest national park is also home to the continents largest glacier of the same name, Vatnajökull! We'll see many amazing views of this glacier, also the world's largest outside Arctics, driving through the park before visiting the awe-inspiring Skaftafell area, a green oasis set between glaciers, and formally worthy of its own national park before being incorporated into Vatnajokull. There will be easy and moderate hiking options to choose from when we explore this gorgeous region.
* Svartifoss (Black Falls): This is the iconic waterfall that made the Skaftafell region of the park so famous. With water tumbling 100 ft over the edge, the falls are bordered on both sides by tall black basalt columns, resembling the pipes of a giant organ!
* Optional Glacier Hike: Svínafellsjökull is a breathtaking outlet glacier fed from Vatnajökull glacier, and the scenery and views are simply stunning. We trek safely through a wonderland of glacial ice sculptures, meandering through ice ridges and deep crevasses with an expert glacier guide. Before the adventure, our guide will teach us how to use basic glacier equipment like crampons and ice axes required to navigate the ice. (Optional)
Austerland Region (The East)
In just a few words, East Iceland can be characterized by "picturesque fishing towns, hauntingly beautiful fjords, steep mountains, highland farms, villages, forests, clear mountain streams, bird cliffs, columnar basalt formations, and vast expanses.. (and) has most of what makes Iceland so unique... The landscapes of this area are contrasting, strikingly beautiful with many mountainous fjords along the eastern coast, while the Vatnajökull (Vatnajokull) icecap is the dominant feature in the south-east with its famous Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon." - icelandontheweb.com This is also the only region to discover reindeer in the wild.
* Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon: A real highlight during this adventure and eye-catching natural wonder; blue, white, turquoise, and black streaked icebergs shift and creak about in an icy dance on this 815 ft deep lagoon (considered the deepest in Iceland). These 1,000-year-old chunks floating out to sea are the remains of the retreating Oraefajokull Glacier. Wandering the black pebble beach in search of great photos of the crystal clear, "mini icebergs" resting on the shore is a must.
* Glacier Lagoon Boat Cruise: We'll float among the huge icebergs of Jökulsárlón to get up and close for all sorts of fantastic viewpoints. We can even taste the 1000 year old ice, and if we're lucky, might catch some shots of seals. Our local guide will explain the fascinating geology and history of the lagoon along the way.
Vesturland Region (The West)
"Geographically close to Reykjavík, yet far, far away in sentiment, West Iceland is a splendid microcosm of what Iceland has to offer. Yet many tourists have missed the memo, and you’re likely to have remote parts of this wonderful region to yourself." - Lonely Planet
The enormous area consists of fjords, valleys, glaciers, volcanoes, and craters, and is also where most of the Icelandic sagas with their heroes took place. In the West the water flows from the earth in every form, from sparkling cool mineral water to Europe’s voluminous hot springs. Every kind of volcano can be found here, and the clearest sign is the perfectly formed crater of Snæfellsjökull with its glacial cap at the summit.
* Snaefellsnes Peninsula: The 55 mile long headland, "comprises a world of diversity. Friendly towns and villages, spectacular mountains, a multitude of bird species nesting on treacherous cliffs, beaches of sand and pebbles , (and) remnants and relics scattered here and there of times and ways of life long past." - Visit West Iceland
* Village of Arnarstapi & Arch Rock: The picturesque harbor village of Arnarstapi is home to magnificent basalt rock formations stacked along her sea cliffs. After wandering around the cliffs and capturing some great shots, we'll take an easy hiking trail linking this settlement to the nearby town of Hellnar. Along the way lies Gatklettur Arch Rock, a cliff defined by its unique circular arch. Gatklettur shows how distinctive wave action has eroded the rocks into arches and beautiful swirled patterns just waiting to be photographed!
* Hellnar: For centuries, Hellnar was among the largest fishing villages beneath the Snaefellsjokull ice cap. The village is home to one of Iceland's most peculiar caves, Badstofa. It's unique due to the way light enters and bounces off its colorful interior. We'll overnight here, the perfect base to explore the gems of Snaefellsnes.
* Djúpalónssandur Beach: One of many Snaefellsnes wonders, this picturesque beach is covered with countless, little black stones shaped by the constant pounding of waves, ocean, and wind. We take a a short walk down Nautastígur path (Path of the Bull) through a lava field with massive lava formations. The walk is arguably even more beautiful than the beach itself and Snaefellsjokull Volcano towering above adds a dramatic element to the entire landscape so unique to Iceland
* Kirkjufell Mountain & Waterfalls: This extinct volcano is the icon of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and when we see the enchanting little waterfalls in front of this uniquely shaped mountain we'll immediately know why. The best photographs can be taken by capturing the falls & crystal clear water in the foreground, and the majestic mountain in the background. We'll do our best to arrive in perfect time for excellent morning/afternoon light during sunset or sunrise. This can also be an excellent place to view & photograph this awesome landscape with the aurora borealis glowing in the night sky above, IF we get extremely lucky!
Single Supplement: $1,095.00 *Limited Single Rooms Available
*We have limited space due to the # of seats in our unique 4x4 vehicles so don't hesitate to get your deposits in before it's too late!
Optional North Iceland Extension
Geothermal Wonderland (3 nights)
September 20th - 23rd 2023 (Group 1)
October 3rd - October 6th (Group 2)
"Iceland’s mammoth and magnificent north is a geologist’s heaven. A wonderland of moonlike lava fields, belching mudpots, epic waterfalls, snowcapped peaks and whale-filled bays – this is Iceland at its best. The region’s top sights are variations on one theme: a grumbling, volcanically active earth. There are endless treats to uncover..." - Lonely Planet
Did we mention we'll be here during an ideal time to see the mysterious Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)? The North Region is closest to the Arctic Circle and the best chance we'll get. (Of course no guarantees, but 3 nights here will up our odds greatly!)
* 3 nights /4 Days North Iceland Small Group Tours
* Breakfast daily
* Boutique B&Bs & top rated hotels in excellent locations
* 4x4 custom rigged Mercedes Sprinters let us adventure off the path to witness and photograph so much more!
* Round Trip Domestic Flights Included (REK <--> AEY), $400 value!
* Private, local expert guide throughout!
Nordurland Region (The North), and the Diamond Circle...
Loaded with marvelous "Diamonds", this magnificent circuit in Iceland's northeast is the perfect complement to the more popular "GoldenCircuit" in the South. Hot springs, gargantuan canyons, surging waterfalls, and intriguing volcanic formations are just a few of the features our cameras will get giddy for!
* Akureyri Town: This small city in north Iceland was rated #1 in Lonely Planet's "Best Places in Europe 2015"! After our short flight from Reykjavík we'll spend a few hours here to find out why.
"Less visited Akureyri, sits on the north coast under snowcapped peaks at the head of Iceland’s longest fjord. It’s Iceland’s second biggest urban area, and while you shouldn’t expect a big-city vibe (the population is only 18,000), this easy-going place has more buzz than anywhere outside of Reykjavík...Expect cool cafes, quality restaurants, (and) a handful of art galleries, a far cry from other rural Icelandic towns..." -Lonely Planet
* Lake Mývatn: "With the ominous peaks of Mt. Hverfjall and Krafla volcano as a backdrop, Lake Myvatn has a surprising serenity that is ideal for light hiking. The ground near the shoreline is mostly flat, with a few rolling hills, unusual craters, and hidden surprises along the way like the Grjotagja Cave with underground bathing springs!" -icelandtravel.is With rare birds abound, the lake is believed to to harbor more species of duck than any otherplace in the world! It is truly a microcosm of all the natural wonders Iceland has to offer.
* Goðafoss Waterfall: The closest translation for this beauty is 'The Waterfall of The Gods", and at 100 ft. wide with water flowing around a semicircular rim, it falls 40 ft. into the foaming pool below- a sight for the gods, & our cameras, in more ways than one!
* Pseudocraters of Skutustadagigar: Formed by gas explosions whenboiling lava flowed over these wetlands, the craters are a real site to photograph. The protected, natural wetlands is also an excellent area for birdwatchers.
* Dimmuborgir: "The Dark Fortess" is the most common translation for these incredible lava formations created thousands of years ago, and will spark our imagination of the mangled forms that lie within. As lava cooled following an eruption, nature formed strange pathways, stacks, chimneys, tubes, and towers scattered across the lava field. We'll navigate our way throughout this eery, yet stunning landscape with our cameras snapping around every corner!
* Mt. Namafjall, Geothermal Wonderland: At the foothills of this spectacular volcanic mountain, gigantic mud craters surrounded by colorful sulfur crystals, boiling mud pots, steam vents, and other geological wonders thrive. Need we say more?
* Volcanoes, Craters, & More Volcanoes: The Krafla Volcanoes caldera is a 6 mile long and 1 mile deep cauldron standing on the edge of the Eurasian and American tectonic plates. Though the caldera is collapsed, it's still extremely active with a total of 29 recorded eruptions, most recently in the 1970s. Three mesmerizing sites occupy this area: 1. Leirbotn (Vivid blue hot streams, bizarre sci-fi architecture, and the photogenic plumes of this geothermal power station make the approach to Krafla almost as exotic as the volcanoes themselves!), 2. Víti Maar (a volcanic crater with an opaque, teal green lake smiling for our cameras), and 3. Leirhnjúkur (steaming sulphuric terrain with multicolored lava field landscapes to top off the views).
* Dettifoss, Europe's Most Powerful Waterfall: "Referred to by some as ´The Beast’ in comparison to ‘The Beauty’ of Goðafoss, this monstrous behemoth of a waterfall is guaranteed to steal your breath away. Set within stark, rocky surroundings with bone-shatteringly sheer drops on either side, there couldn't be a more fitting backdrop for such untethered natural power" - visithusavik.com
18,000 cubic ft. of water plunges over the edge every second, the greatest volume of any waterfall in Europe! The fact that it's also 150 feet high and 330 feet wide is almost an afterthought. There will be a number of great viewpoints where we can take in and photograph this natural wonder.
* Ásbyrgi Canyon, "The Shelter of the Gods": A massive horseshoe-shaped rock formation, Ásbyrgi stands guard next to the northern entrance to the much larger, 22 mile Jokulsa Canyon. The bizarre shape is the aftermath of severe glacial flooding due to an erupting volcano underneath the Vatnajökull ice cap thousands of years ago. Surrounded by cliffs reaching 328 feet and busy photographing & taking in the views, we might miss Botnstjörn Lake among the waving green grasses and fir trees which also cover the area. Be sure to take a closer look because flocks of water birds call this place home.
* Hljodaklettar, “Cave of Echoes": This distinctivecluster of columnar rocks derive their name from the strange echoes & acoustics created by the numerous caves and uncommon rock formations. The columns lie at all angles creating a multitude of hexagonal patterns, making for very interesting photos!
* As always this entire trip will be amazing for photography and one photographer will be on
hand to help those who want to learn more about using their camera's, composing better images, etc. (PhotoFly Travel Club adventures are laid back when it comes to photography. They are not workshop style based tours and you do not need to be an avid photographer to join. All are welcome!)
* All Ground Transfers Included
* Round Trip Domestic Flights INCLUDED (REK <--> AEY), $400 value!
* International airfare not included but we're happy to help you find the best flights as always. (Flying in and out of Reykjavík International Airport (KEF)
* Don't forget to e-mail us for the daily itinerary of our North Iceland group tours at firstname.lastname@example.org
Single Supplement: $395.00
Cancellation Policy & Refunds
*There is a $100.00 administrative fee for all cancellations. Cancellations made 125 days (Group 1: May 11th, 2023 and Group 2: May 24th, 2023) or more prior to trip departure date are fully refundable except for the $100 fee. Cancellations less than 125 days (Group 1: May 12th, 2023 and Group 2: May 25th, 2023) prior to the trip departure date will receive no refund of the full amount due. No refunds on unused portions of the tour. Credit card fees and PayPal processing fees cannot be refunded. After airline tickets are issued, airline cancellations are per the airline’s policy and are usually non-refundable and changeable with a fee plus new ticket price. Travel insurance strongly encouraged (ask us about policy options). *Hotels subject to change based on availability
COVID Cancellation Policy – Local Planet Travel Services OR Guest may cancel this reservation if the USA or country(s) we are visiting mandates a country-wide closure due to COVID. If this happens, you would receive a full refund. If guest chooses, the funds can remain on file and be applied for any future tour with PhotoFly Travel Club. *Please note bank merchant service fees when using a credit card are non-refundable.
MANDATORY VACCINE REQUIREMENT: The safety of all our guests is a top priority regardless of where our adventures take us. All travelers are required to have an approved COVID-19 vaccination to participate in this tour. Travelers that meet this mandatory requirement can join our adventures after 14 days has elapsed since their final dose. Proof of vaccination must be provided by emailing a copy of the participant's COVID-19 vaccination card to email@example.com upon sign up. *Guests who are not vaccinated for medical reasons are exempt from this mandatory vaccine policy with proof from a certified medical professional.
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