Iceland Full Circle Tour & Workshop 2016

Iceland Full Circle 2016

Table of Contents


Iceland Full Circle

September 5th – 16th 2016 (10 photography days)

In summary, this is an incredible tour and workshop with two experienced instructors. We travel in a large bus, so you can keep your camera bag and tripod with you at all time, and there are seats to spare if you want to move around. You’ll be traveling with a group of like-minded photographers, having fun, and making the photos of a lifetime. Evening meals throughout the tour are exceptional, and a great place to discuss the achievements of the day, and get to know your fellow travelers in a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere.


NOTE: This tour is now full. Please contact us to be added to our cancellation list.


September 5th – Arrival Keflavik airport

Pick up at Keflavík airport and drive to Reykjavík.

For anyone that arrives early enough, we have a bonus shoot in Reykjavik starting at 11am, so plan accordingly if you’d like to join us. The tour officially starts at dinner on the evening of this first day.

Overnight in Reykjavík

Hallgrímskirkja Church

Hallgrímskirkja Church

September 6th – the Golden Circle – Landmannalaugar highlands

We head out of Reykjavík and make our first stop of the day near Nesjavellir geothermal power plant. We continue to Þingvellir national park, a historical and geological wonder where the American and Eurasian tectonic plates are pulling apart at a rate of a few centimeters per year.

In the late morning, we visit Gullfoss waterfall and Geysir geothermal area. The waterfall is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland, and Geysir geothermal area is known for its spouting springs. Strokkur (the Butter churn) spouts every 3–8 minutes up to a height of 25 metres. We continue to the guesthouse in the highlands.

September 7th – Landmannalaugar

Landmannalaugar literally means peoples’ pools and is situated in the southern highlands close to the volcano Hekla. The name refers to the natural geothermal pools, which travelers can bathe in. There are some unusual geological elements in the area such as multicolored rhyolite mountains and lava fields. The mountains display a wide spectrum of colors including pink, green, brown, yellow, purple, blue, black and white.

September 8th – Hekla mountain area – Vík

Today we leave Landmannalaugar driving the main road near Hekla mountain area and Fljótshlíð valley. A very active volcano for centuries, Mount Hekla is one of the most famous and “infamous” volcanoes in Iceland. It is thought that Hekla has had at least twenty eruptions since the settlement of Iceland. The biggest eruption was in 1104 when it erupted without warning ejecting millions of tons of tephra.

From Hekla area our journey continues to the beautiful and very picturesque Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls.

Seljalandsfoss (Falls) Skógafoss (Falls)

September 9th – Dyrhólaey – Black beach – Skaftafell national park

At dawn we have a short drive to the coast and the basalt caves of Reynisfjara were we take a walk on the black beach and photograph the cave and sea stacks with a view towards Dyrhólaey.

Vik Sea Stacks

Vik Sea Stacks

We will stop at Kirkjubæjarklaustur village which became well known in Iceland during the Lakagígar volcanic eruption in 1783 were a huge lava flow streamed from the craters in what became known as the “Skafta Fires.” This is believed to have been one of the greatest lava flows in a single eruption in the history of the world.  We continue with glacial scenery to the stunning Skaftafell, Iceland’s second largest national park were the landscape has been formed in thousands of years of fire and water (volcanic eruptions and the glaciers) where we also have our first visit to the Jökulsárlón lagoon.

September 10th – Vatnajokull glacier national park

Vatnajökull glacier towers over this region and has immensely affected the landscape. We will visit many of Vatnajökull’s outlets and outwash areas and the Jökulsárlón lagoon, a famous glacial lagoon full of icebergs were we will also take a Zodiac tour and sail among the huge icebergs, an unforgettable experience! This area is a must for photographers, enabling us to capture Iceland’s truly magical light that makes the already extraordinary landscapes even more striking.

Jökulsárlón Lagoon Ice Arch

Jökulsárlón Lagoon Ice Arch

Aurora Borealis

There is a chance that we will see and be able to photograph the Aurora Borealis or Northern-Lights on any night of the tour. We keep our eyes on both the Aurora forecast and the skies (it has to be clear!) and will knock on your door if the Aurora starts to perform for us. Please keep in mind though that some years we have great Aurora and other years nothing. Consider this an added bonus if it happens–nothing is guaranteed when it comes to the Aurora.

Iceland Aurora Borealis

Iceland Aurora Borealis

September 11th – Djupivogur town

We drive along the eastern fjords cut into the southeast coast of Iceland, separated by magnificent and beautifully shaped mountains. In extension of the fjords, valleys reach far inland towards the highlands. The Eastern fjords fog, sometimes dense, mystifies the magnificent landscape with an element of fantasy, bringing folklore and stories of elves and trolls to life.



September 12th – Lake Mývatn

Lake Mývatn is a shallow lake situated in an area of active volcanism. The lake and its surrounding wetlands have an exceptionally rich fauna of water birds. The lake was created by a large basaltic lava eruption 2300 years ago, and the surrounding landscape is dominated by volcanic landforms.  We will visit Námaskarð, Mine Pass, a myriad of hot mud springs in widely differing colors and the volcanic rock formations in Dimmuborgir (Dark Castles). The area is characterized by numerous mysterious forms carved in lava.

September 13th – Dettifoss – Ásbyrgi – Hljóðaklettar

We drive to Dettifoss, Iceland’s greatest and most majestic waterfall. It is also rated as Europe’s most powerful waterfall, based on its magnitude. We continue to Ásbyrgi one of Iceland’s natural pearls. The enclosure is about 3.5 km long and 1.1km wide, surrounded by cliffs which reach as high as 100m. According to legend, the horse of Óðinn, the chief god of Norse mythology, stepped down here leaving its giant hoof print.



We drive on to Hljóðaklettar, (“Echo rocks”) a group of rocks by the Jökulsá River that get their name from strange echoes created by the numerous caves and uncommon rock formation.

September 14th – Goðafoss waterfall – Akureyri

We leave Lake Mývatn and drive to Goðafoss waterfall (waterfall of the Gods).  According to the Saga of Christianity the formerly pagan chieftain Thorgeir threw the wooden images of the pagan gods into the waterfall after Christianity had been accepted in the Parliamentary Plains in the year 1000.



We drive into the town of Akureyri, the capital of the North in the afternoon where we stay for the night.

September 15th – Akureyri – Reykjavík

We leave Akureyri and drive past the majestic mountains and narrow passes to Húsafell- a unique natural area covered with forest and closed to the glacier Langjökull.  We will stop at Hraunfossar Lava falls a beautiful and unusual natural phenomenon. Clear, cold springs of subterranean water seep through the lava that runs in falls and rapids into the Hvítá River.

Hraunfossar (Falls)

Hraunfossar (Falls)

We continue to Deildatunguhver hot spring.  The spring can be seen from miles around as it blows steam up into the air from the constant bubbling of hot water rising to the surface. Deildatunguhver is used to provide hot water for the region, and to supply local agriculture.

Overnight in Reykjavík

September 16th Departure

Transfer to Keflavik airport for departure

Your Instructors

Martin Bailey

Martin BaileyMartin is British born though now a Japanese citizen, based in Tokyo. He’s a professional wildlife and nature photographer, with over 25 years of photography experience, and he runs popular tours and workshops worldwide.

Also a Craft & Vision author, an Arcanum Master, a Gura Gear Pro and X-Rite Coloratti member, Martin has also taught at the renowned Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara.

Languages: English and Japanese

Tim Vollmer

Tim Vollmer

Tim is the local expert for this photography adventure, with more than 18 years of photography experience, and has been running photography tours in Iceland and around the world for many years.

Languages: German, English and Icelandic


What is included in the Package?

  • Airport transfer upon arrival and departure
  • All accommodation and meals during your tour
  • A chartered bus with driver (and lots of luggage space) to transport us safely and comfortably around Iceland for the entire trip
  • Zodiac (boat) tour on Jökulsarlón glacier lagoon
  • Two experienced photographer instructors on-hand the entire time
  • You will be emailed a PDF Guidebook for your tour shortly after booking

What is NOT included in the Package?

  • International flights
  • Hotels while traveling prior to or following the tour
  • Beverages or additional items ordered during meals

A Word on Insurance

You are strongly advised to arrange the following insurance:

  • Travel Insurance — If you fall sick or have an accident or fall ill during the course of the trip, you will miss part of your tour, and hospital fees and other expenses can be expensive. We strongly advise you to take out travel insurance for yourself for the entire length of the trip in advance of departure
  • Cancellation Insurance — This is often included in your Travel Insurance, but if for any reason you have to cancel your tour after the refund cut-off dates, cancellation insurance can help you recuperate your costs
  • Camera Equipment Insurance — We also suggest that you insure your photography equipment and belongings if not included in your home or travel insurance. If you already have your gear insured, double check that you are covered for international travel too, if you are visiting Iceland from another country
Blue Fissure

Blue Fissure

Cost & Reservation

The tour costs $6,795 for a single room use or $6,150 per person for a double or shared room. To book your place, please pay the reservation fee of $1,000 per person by credit card, Paypal or bank transfer. The balance (total cost minus reservation fee) is payable 3 months prior to departure.


  • Fees are payable in US Dollars
  • If you want to book for more than one person you can change the number of participants in the shopping cart before processing payment (balance payments should be made in multiple payments as the total exceeds the maximum possible transaction amount)
  • Tours require a minimum of ten (10) participants to go ahead (max 14). We’ll let you know when the numbers are reached, so please wait until then to purchase your flights, or ensure that you purchase flights that can easily be cancelled

Cancellation Policy/Fees

If you cancel your reservation the following charges will be payable:

  • If you cancel up to 3 months before the tour start date and we can fill your space, your reservation fee will be refunded *
  • There is no additional cancellation fee up to 8 weeks before the start of your tour
  • From 8 weeks to 4 weeks before the tour: 25% of your balance
  • From 4 weeks to 1 week before the tour: 50% of your balance
  • From 1 week to 72 hours before the tour: 75% of your balance
  • If you cancel within 72 hours of the start of the trip, no refund can be paid
  • Transaction charges incurred on accepting and refunding payments will be deducted from the refund amount

We highly recommend that you take out travel insurance to guard yourself against monies lost due to unavoidable cancellation.

Reservation and Balance Payment

To book your space, click the Reservation Payment “Select Options” button below. Before you can proceed to payment, please select whether you want a double/shared room, or a single room. Note that we only accept double/shared room reservation if you are traveling with someone. We will not pair you with someone else if you select this option without a travel partner.

To book for more than one person, just change the number in the shopping cart and update it before proceeding to checkout. We control the number of remaining spaces within the shopping cart, so if you can book the number of places required, you’re in!

If you need to pay multiple balance payments, please pay these individually, as the total for more than one balance payment exceed the maximum transaction amount.


NOTE: This tour is now full. Please contact us to be added to our cancellation list.

Any Questions?

If anything is unclear or you just have some questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Please double check your mail address when submitting the contact form, because if it’s not valid, we won’t be able to get back to you. If you don’t hear back from us in 48 hours, please add the domain to your spam filter’s white list and mail again.

We look forward to seeing you in Iceland, for the photography tour and workshop of a lifetime!

— Martin Bailey & Tim Vollmer