Iceland 2017 Workshop Itinerary

Day 1 (October 21)
Fly to Keflavik and transfer to Reykjavik city centre. Accommodation: Hotel Klettur (standard w/private bath)

Day 2 (October 22)
We drive north to the mountainous Snaefellsnes Peninsula, an enchanting landscape of fishing villages, old lava flows, and abundant birdlife. Snaefellsnes is perhaps best known for the glacier-capped strato-volcano 'Snaefellsjokull' and its literary and mystical associations. Jules Verne in his classic 'Journey to the Centre of the Earth' describes this as the start point for the protagonists' journey. New-age followers consider this area as one of the earth's seven major energy centres. With the volcano as a backdrop we visit the cliffs of nesting seabirds at Arnastapi, before a coastal walk to enjoy the birdlife and dramatic blow holes; we then discover the old cod-fishing community at Dritvik. Time allowing, there is the option to enjoy a soak in the warm swimming pool of mineral waters at Lysuholl geothermal area. The waters are said to have healing properties! Weather permitting, we will photograph the northern lights. Accommodation: Guesthouse Langaholt (standard w/private bath)

Day 3 (October 23)
Today we walk to the extinct volcanic crater of Eldborg that sits 60 metres above the lava field it created. The walk takes approximately 2 hrs, covering 6km and the terrain is not taxing. At 200 metres wide and 50 metres deep it is well worth the effort. We then continue to the Hvalfjord, or 'Whale' fjord, which was an important harbour for US convoys heading to Britain during the Second World War. From here our next stop is the Thingvellir National Park and world heritage site. It was here that the Icelandic Parliament was first established around 930 AD. The rift valley is a striking reminder of the constant movement of the earth's crust as it is on the Mid Atlantic Ridge. The lake here is also the largest natural lake in Iceland, surrounded by cracks and faults that attest to its volcanic birth. Our day ends with a transfer to the small settlement of Laugarvatn, where we may have time for an optional dip in the naturally heated hot pools and steam baths at Fontana. Weather permitting, we will photograph the northern lights. Accommodation: Heradsskolinn (standard rooms w/private and non-private bath)

Day 4 (October 24)
Geysir provides an explosive start to the day and needs little explanation, having given the word geyser to the world. Waterfalls in Iceland come in many shapes and sizes, and our first is one of the biggest - Gullfoss. These spectacular falls span the width of the Hvita river, falling a total of 32 metres into the crevice below. The Thjorsardalur Valley then welcomes us with its many treasures. The first is a reconstruction of a Viking farmhouse, that was buried by an eruption in 1104. After its excavation in 1939 the reconstruction was built, some 10km from its original location. A real gem of the area is the Gjain Canyon, which seems like a small oasis in a black volcanic desert, with lush vegetation, small rivers and waterfalls. Weather permitting, we will photograph the northern lights. Accommodation: Hrauneyjar (standard w/private bath)

Day 5 (October 25)
We start the day by visiting Gjain waterfalls. Gjáin is a series of small waterfalls and rapids where we have beautiful columnar basalt formations and beautiful rock formations which were created in a volcanic eruption as the lava ran into water. After Gjain we head for a close by waterfall called Hjalparfoss. Then we head down to the south coast and when we get to road 1 we turn east. We stop at the oldest swimming pool in Iceland Seljavallalaug (a 20 min walk from road). It is very basic and simple pool but very nicely situated at a bottom of a valley at the foothills of Eyjafjallajokull volcano. Then we head further east – if we have time then we can stop at the caynyon Fjadurárgljufur close to the village of Kirkjubaejarklaustur. From there we head for our hotel at the foothills of Mt. Hvannadlashnjukur – the highest mountain in Iceand. Weather permitting, we will photograph the northern lights. Accommodation: Guesthouse Hof (standard rooms w/private and non-private bath)

Day 6 (October 26)
Vatnajokull National Park is simply immense, covering over 13 and a half thousand square kilometres. We however limit our exploration to the Skaftafell area, known for its more gentle climate and almost alpine contours. We visit Svartifoss Waterfall, an unusual waterfall even by Icelandic standards as it is produced by water cascading over huge basalt columns. Our focus then switches to the glacial lagoon, where giant chunks of ice float silently in the water. The lagoon is on the edge of the Vatnajokull National Park and situated at the head of the massive Breidamerkurjokull Glacier, one of the largest outlets from the Vatnajokull Ice Cap. Jokulsarlon evolved into a lagoon around 1950 as the glacier retreated from the coast. The banks of the lagoon today show where the glacier’s edge used to be, just 1.5km from the ocean. The river running out of the lagoon is the shortest glacial river in Iceland and the lagoon itself is almost 300m deep, covering an area of 20 square kilometres. Optional boat rides are available here, prices available locally. Weather permitting, we will photograph the northern lights. Accommodation: Guesthouse Hof (standard rooms w/private and non-private bath)

Day 7 (October 27)
The town of Vik is the southernmost town in Iceland. After a short visit we continue our journey to Reynisfjara, a dramatic black sand beach surrounded by imposing black basalt columns. Our southerly tack takes us to Dyrholaey, a nesting area for puffins, and home to the iconic 120 metre rock arch that defiantly marks the southernmost tip of the country. Turning west we head for Reykjavik, visiting the mighty waterfalls at Skogarfoss and Seljalandsfoss en route. Weather permitting, we will photograph the northern lights. Accommodation: Hotel Klettur (standard w/private bath)

Day 8 (October 28)
We will be photographing in and around Reykjavik. Weather permitting, we will photograph the northern lights. Accommodation: Hotel Klettur (standard w/private bath)

Day 9 (October 29)
End of workshop and departure day.

Photographers of all skill levels are welcome!

Booking Schedule
 
Deposit (land arrangements only): CAD $1400.00 per participant (double/twin) or CAD $1680.00 per participant (single) is required to reserve your spot on the workshop. The deposit is non-refundable unless the workshop is cancelled due to low enrollment. In this situation, a land arrangement deposit refund will apply, excluding compensation for airfare and additional costs incurred.
 
Payment Submission:  A credit card authorization form must be completed and submitted at the time of deposit. Please contact Nancy Ferragine from Vision Travel at nancy.ferragine@visiontravel.ca or 416.953.9423 for more information.
 
Final Payment Due: June 23, 2017 (120 days prior to the start date of the workshop)

Important Notes To Consider
 
Iceland Weather: October is the start of winter in Iceland. For this reason, the daily itinerary is subject to change due to weather conditions.
 
Accommodations & Meals: Accommodations mentioned are subject to availability at the time of booking. Alternatives may be offered, in the event that a property is not available. Included meals: Daily Breakfast; 6 Lunches; 5 Dinners.
 
Travel Insurance:  Travel insurance is required for the workshop. Please inquire with Nancy about the different travel coverage options offered.
 
Travel Documents:  A valid passport is required for all Canadian travellers.  Be sure that the passport is valid for at least 6 months after your return date, and that it has at least 2 clear pages for entry stamps. This is a requirement for a number of destinations.