2017 Ultimate Iceland Adventure

With Kevin Raber and Daniel Bergmann. July 26–August 5, 2017.

2 places available

The itinerary includes some of the most iconic locations in Iceland, along with many lesser known jewels. It will be a circumnavigation of the island, starting in the southern highlands, then north through the barren volcanic center, east to reach the south coast and eventually west to complete the circle. In late July all of the highland roads have opened up, allowing us access into areas that are snow free for just three months of the year. We will use specially modified 4×4 vehicles on large tires that can ford deep rivers to get us into the highlands (Iceland’s interior).

Our trips are always fun and are all about getting the best images that this magnificent landscape has to offer. Together me and Kevin have been doing this tour for many years. There are a lot of workshop options in Iceland these days but very few with the experience we have of the region as well as the expertise we have of photographing Iceland. We’ll get you to the right locations at the right time for the best light. And, speaking of light, we will be working in some of the most beautiful light there is. With almost 22 hours of daylight we’ll be shooting around the clock and sleep when we can. The best light typically is between 10 PM and 4 AM in the morning.

In the beginning of August sunset is around 22:30 and sunrise at about 04:00. The period between sunset and sunrise is therefore short. We will therefore work hard when the conditions are optimal and rest when we feel the need to or when the weather does not cooperate. Flexibility and a fluid plan are the key elements to make the most of a summer photography trip in Iceland and the local experience and my local knowledge ensures we will make the most of any given condition.

The philosophy
This photography workshop is about improving your photography as well as experiencing unique and exciting locations. The leaders 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. We are as passionate about photography as you are and participating in an intense photographic journey, with a group of like minded individuals, is a sure way to grow as a photographer. As leaders and instructors we’re always at hand to assist and we welcome the opportunity to discuss the philosophical aspect of our art.

Frozen Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon

Námafjall near Mývatn

Accommodation and food
We will be staying in single “en suite” rooms at six different hotels and guesthouses – all comfortable with good food. Even at the remote Hrauneyjar highland center the accommodation is quite good, although the establishment is basic in nature. Wi-Fi internet 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.

The itinerary
As always in Iceland, the weather will be unpredictable and variable and we’ll have sunshine, rain and wind and probably a bit of everything else. But the dramatic weather is just what makes for fantastic photographic opportunities.

July 26th is the designated arrival day. You will be picked up from the Keflavik airport and taken to Reykjavik City, where we’ll spend the night. We’ll have an introduction in the afternoon, followed by dinner and after a good nights rest we’ll depart the city in the morning of July 27th.

Our first day of travel will be to the Hrauneyjar highland base at the edge of Iceland’s uninhabited interior – an area commonly known as the highlands. We’ll stay for two nights at Hrauneyjar and will make excursions into the Fjallabak nature reserve to locations such as Landmannalaugar where we’ll photograph the otherworldly volcanic landscape. We’ll also trek to the Raudufossar waterfall and drive up to the nearby Haifoss waterfall.

On July 29th we’ll leave Hrauneyjar and travel north on the infamous Sprengidandur highland road. This rough track leads between glaciers through Iceland’s barren middle. Travelling this route is an experience in itself and our point of entry to northern Iceland is at the Bardardalur valley, where we are greeted by Aldeyjarfoss, one of its most amazing waterfalls that falls into a canyon of basalt column walls. Further down river is Godafoss – one of the country’s iconic photography locations. We will be staying in a four star hotel at the nearby lake Myvatn for three nights. From there we’ll do a sunrise trip back to Godafoss, will be at the mighty Dettifoss for sunset and will do a full day excursion into the Askja highland area where we’ll visit Holuhraun lava field from the 2015 eruption of Bardarbunga volcano. The geothermal fields near our hotel at Myvatn will also be visited.

Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon

From Mývatn we’ll travel east on August 1st and will overnight in one of the eastern fjords at Breiddalsvik. This will give us an opportunity to explore some of the coastal areas of the fjords and photograph impressive mountains of Breiddalur.

The following day we’ll continue west to the region of the Vatnajokull glacier, Europe’s largest icecap. Once there we’ll spend three nights the Smyrlabjorg hotel that is about 20 minutes away from the iconic Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon and it’s nearby “iceberg graveyard”. Even though this is probably the most photographed location in Iceland it’s still one that excites me after hundreds of visits. The ice on the beach changes twice a day with the currents and this is one of the most dynamic landscapes on the island. The many outlet glaciers in the area also make for a wonderful subject matter. Our extended stay gives us repeated opportunities to photograph at the lagoon and iceberg beach and also allows us to visit the Stokksnes peninsula where the Vestrahorn mountains tower over a black beach with sand dunes and pools of water.

On August 4th we’ll travel further west and overnight at the south coast. We’ll have opportunities to photograph along the way at some of the iconic locations of the south coast, such as Reynisfjara near Vik and Dyrholaey and will most likely be at Seljalandsfoss waterfall for sunset.

On August 5th we’ll drive to the Keflavik airport where the workshop will officially end early afternoon, in time for outbound flights.

The leaders

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.

Kevin Raber
has been in the photography field all his life. For over 40 years Kevin has owned studios, ran color labs, been a vice president of Phase One and currently is the CEO and Publisher of the Luminous-Landscape and CEO of Rockhopper Workshops. Kevin has an extensive client list and a vast portfolio.

The 2016 workshop group

Trip details

Date: July 26–August 5, 2017
Duration: 10 days/10 nights
Cost: $8,950 USD – (a $750 discount is available per person for shared accommodation)
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: 14
Leaders: Kevin Raber and Daniel Bergmann

Please contact me for further information and booking.