Iceland Winter – The Frozen North
With Daníel Bergmann
March 2–12, 2019
Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon frozen solid
Iceland is one of the most photogenic islands on earth. Not least because of its stunning variety of landscape features; rugged coastline, high mountains, waterfalls, glaciers, glacial lagoons and ice caves. In recent years it has become a popular tourist destination and very popular with photographers. In spite of its popularity it still retains the feeling of true wilderness and traveling with a local guide will add to your chances of avoiding the crowds.
In the beginning of March we’ll have about 10 hours of daylight and with luck the Northern Lights will increase our photographic opportunities far into the night. This is an opportunity to travel and photograph with a local professional that has more than 20 years of photographic experience in Iceland and can take you to the best locations at the right time, when the light is optimal.
We are going to circumnavigate the island on this 10-day tour. The main focus of the will be ice caves in the Vatnajökull region, outlet glaciers and glacial lagoons, icebergs on a black beach, frozen waterfalls of the north, rugged mountains, coastal features, geothermal areas and the Northern Lights (Aurora borealis). The itinerary will be kept as flexible as possible to ensure that we’ll have clear skies to be able to photograph the Northern Lights. The winter conditions can be stunningly beautiful: the glacial lagoons freeze, some of the waterfalls are partially frozen, the glaciers appear more blue with fresh snow on top and, with fewer visitors than in summer the black sand beaches of the south are more pristine.
Vatnajokull Glacier ice cave
Although this is a photographic tour, rather than a workshop, it’s still about improving your photography as well as experiencing unique and exciting locations. I will be out photographing with you every day, helping you to realize the images you’re after and encourage you to explore and see the landscape in new ways. I am as passionate about photography as you are and participating in an intense photographic journey, with a group of like minded individuals, is a good way to grow as a photographer. As an instructor I’m always at hand to assist with specific techniques, such as Aurora photography at night, and I welcome the opportunity to discuss the philosophical aspect of our art.
As a native Icelander I am also there to make the tour as successful as possible by using my local knowledge and experience to get us to the best locations in good light. It is my intention to give you an exciting and unforgettable journey through Iceland’s dramatic winter landscapes. And also to give you an opportunity to grow and expand your photographic vision.
Accommodation and food
We will be staying in single en suite rooms at five different hotels and solo travelers will be required to pay for single supplement. If you are traveling with a partner or a friend and want shared accommodation then the cost will be $750 lower per person. Your comfort is taken seriously so all the hotels will offer a good standard of comfort and excellent food. Internet access will be available at all locations. All meals are included. If you have a special dietary requirement you will be accommodated – just be sure and let me know when you make your booking. Lunches will be taken on the road, either at service centers or cafés or as packed lunches.
Aurora Borealis in Northern Iceland
As always in Iceland, the weather will be unpredictable and variable and we’ll have sunshine, snow, rain and wind and probably a bit of everything else. But the dramatic weather is just what makes for fantastic photographic opportunities. Still, intense winter storms, can limit what we can do and where we can go. Therefore there will flexibility within the itinerary so that I can change plans according to the weather.
To get around we’ll be using a specially modified Mercedes Sprinter 4×4 on 46 inch tyres. This will allow us to get to where we want to, even when the ground is covered in snow.
March 2 is the designated arrival day and accommodation in Reykjavik City that night is included in the workshop cost. We will meet for dinner and an introduction in the evening.
The following day we’ll drive east to the Vatnajokull region where we’ll spend 3 nights at Hotel Smyrlabjorg, which is near the famous Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon. From our base we’ll explore the numerous glaciers in the area, make visits to the iceberg graveyard, where ice from the gacial lagoon gets thrown up on the black beach by the waves, and venture into the dreamlike world of ice caves. This area is all about ice and hopefully we’ll have clear nights and Aurora activity.
After our stay by Vatnajokull glacier we’ll travel east on a rugged and winding coastline and will overnight in the town of Breiddalsvik. The following day we make our way north to Lake Myvatn, where we’ll be based for 3 nights. From our base at Myvatn we’ll explore geothermal areas and the snow covered landscape around the lake. We’ll also make visits to the major waterfalls up north, such as Godafoss. If snow conditions allow then we might also visit Aldeyjarfoss and Dettifoss.
After our stay in the northeast we’ll head west along the northern coast and spend a night at north coast in proximity to the famous landmark Hvitserkur. On March 11 we’ll finish the circle, with some detours, and find ourselves on the Reykjanes Peninsula in the evening where we’ll overnight in Keflavik. You can then depart Iceland any time you wish on March 12.
I am a native Icelander, a professional nature photographer and have been leading photography tours and workshops in Iceland since 2003. You can read more about me here.
Date: March 2–12, 2019
Duration: 10 days/10 nights
Cost: $6,200 (USD) in shared accommodation – $6,950 w/single supplement
Includes: Transportation in a modified 4×4 vehicle, single occupancy accommodation, all food and drink (except alcohol), guidance and tuition
Excludes: International flights, insurance, alcoholic beverages
Group size: 10
Leader: Daníel Bergmann
Please contact me for further information and booking.
Godafoss at sunrise in March