Iceland Photo Tour: Spirit of Place

Tour Intro

The unique interplay of light and shadows in Iceland, together with the intensive colors of the rapidly changing nature, makes every photographer’s heart jump! The traditional theme and image of Iceland has been ice and fire, but it is much more than that. Mother nature has painted a magnificent tapestry of colors with geological phenomena unmatched elsewhere in the world. Inexorably intertwined with this exotic natural environment are the 280,000 Icelanders who along with their Nordic and Celtic ancestors have called this North Atlantic Island their home for over 1100 years. They live mostly along the coast; over one-third live within a 20-kilometer radius of Reykjavik, the capital city.

Experience the vast volcanic landscape, breathtaking glaciers, and hardy Viking hospitality that have been celebrated for centuries in Icelandic sagas. On this unique expedition, view towering volcanic pillars, hike to stunning waterfalls, and languish in ancient geyser springs. From the capital city to remote farms on the tips of exposed fjords, Iceland is picturesque, including some features of the moon surface. Volcanoes, hot springs, and glaciers influence the look and feel of the country. At every turn, the vistas will astound you. Join us on this exploratory adventure of one of our planet’s most fascinating and uniquenvironments.

Tour Highlights

  • 10 days with accomplished photo tour leaders Douglas Beasley.
  • Abundance of waterfalls.
  • Tour limited to 12 fellow photographers.
  • Local Icelandic guide, knowing the needs of a photography group.
  • Jokulsargljufur National Park and Lake Myvatn region.
  • Jokullon Ice Lagoon.
  • Skaftafell National Park, and the black sand beaches of Vik.

Tour Itinerary

May 5: Home

Your journey to Iceland begins with an overnight flight (arriving early morning tomorrow) to Keflavik Airport in Reykjavik, Iceland. If you'd like to fly to Iceland early, contact Strabo Tours for recommendations.

May 6: Reykjavik - Borgarfjordur
Iceland Home

Photo By: Doug Beasley

Photo Location: Iceland

After a very early arrival in Keflavik Airport, our local guide will meet you at the airport. You will then start the tour with a light breakfast in an Icelandic coffee shop.  Before reaching our hotel in Borgarnes we will take a scenic drive to Lake Thingvallavatn. This area is sacred by one of the world’s great geological boundaries, a rift valley marking where the North American and Eurasian continental plates are physically tearing apart. After checking in to our hotel and enjoying a rest, we will explore the valleys West of Borgarnes.  Country Hotel Hraunsnef (B, L, D)

May 7: Siglufjordur
Iceland Boat

Photo By: Doug Beasley

Photo Location: Iceland

Driving north today we will drive around the Vatnsnes Peninsula with its renowned seal colony cliffs on the western side and the spectacular Hvitserkur Rock on the eastern side. Traveling further east we reach the town of Siglufjordur, with its brightly painted houses and bustling harbor, giving you the opportunity to photograph the working fisherman. Hotel Siglo (B, L, D)

May 8-9: Saudarkrokur-Lake Myvatn
Lake Myvatn

Photo By: Doug Beasley

Photo Location: Iceland

We leave the Northern fjords passing Akureyri and over to the spectacular Godafoss Falls, ending the day in Lake Myvatn (Midge Lake). The ice-blue Skalfandafljot River tears through horseshoe-shaped basalt canyons busting into a pair of cataracts. The largest of these being, Godafoss, known as the Waterfall of the Gods. We will take hikes to either side of these breathtaking falls, offering tremendous views and places to photograph. Reach your working farm accommodation, where there will be many photographic opportunities.

We will have another full day in the Lake Myvatn region. Lake Myvatn, located in the rugged Myvatn desert, is Iceland’s best-known natural wonder with pseudocraters, dark lava castle formations, steam vents, hot springs, mud pools, volcanoes, and brilliantly colored mountains. We will photograph the otherworldly region of craters, towering volcanic pillars, and boiling mud pots along the lakeshore. Dimmuborgir, is comprised of a vast field of towering volcanic pillars, while Namafjall is streaked in gray gypsum, yellow sulfur deposits, and evil smelling blue-gray belching mud pools. It is essential to follow boardwalks and guide ropes keeping a safe distance from the 200°C pots. Steam vents exist, where rocks, gravel, and earth have been burst upwards like a bubble to form waist-high, perforated mounds through which vapor screams ferociously. Perhaps we will end the day on a quieter note at the crystal clear blue waters of the Lake Myvatn natural baths, with an optional swim or spa treatment. Guesthouse Vogafjos Farm (B, L, D both days)

May 10: Djupivogur
Iceland Road

Photo By: Doug Beasley

Photo Location: Iceland

This morning, we take a last look at the volcanism of the Myvatn area, including the recent lava of the "Krafla fires" of 1975-1984. We travel east through the desolate highlands, to Egilsstadir, and then on to view the East fjords. Borgarfjordur East, also known as Bakkagerdi, is an isolated community of just 120 people, overlooking a wide fjord. Backed by mountains, it is a charming location steeped in local lore. Accommodations are in the quaint Djupivogur fishing village, where we will be at a prime location for early morning photography. Hotel Framtid (B, L, D)

May 11-12: Ice Lagoon - Skaftafell National Park
Iceland Landscape

Photo By: Doug Beasley

Photo Location: Iceland

As we depart Djupivogur, we travel south, along the East coast with its dramatic fjords. One of the highlights early this morning will be photographing the ice lagoon Jökullon on Breidamerkursandur. You then drive further south and west, closer to Skatafell National Park. The next morning explore the park, a natural wonderland of powerful glaciers, turbulent waterfalls, lush birch woodlands, and vibrant wildflowers. Enjoy a leisurely morning photographing at the foot of Vatnajökull glacier. The park also offers short hikes with fantastic views of Iceland’s highest mountain, Hvannadalshnukur. An extended hike takes us to a tremendous basalt waterfall known as Svartifoss, or the Black Falls. Hof 1 (B, L, D)

May 13-14: Vik-Hella
Iceland Bridge

Photo By: Doug Beasley

Photo Location: Iceland

Some say this route is one of the most scenic and beautiful routes in Iceland. We travel along the south shore past spectacular mountain scenery, across a vast lava field by Kirkjubæjarklaustur and into Iceland's southernmost village of Vik, where black sand beaches and picturesque rocks line the sea shore including columnar basalt grottoes, sea stacks, and bird cliffs. We visit the Dyrholaey headland where thousands of birds nest during the summer including puffins, guillemots and fulmars. Perhaps we will have time for an optional amphibious boat tour out from Dyrholaey to view the three trolls. Finally we reach our accommodation.

We will have another full day to explore Southern Iceland. Depending on the weather and road conditions we will take a day trip to Landmannalaugar Nature Reserve or Thorsmork Glacier Valley, located by the foot of Eyjafjallajokull Volcano (erupted in 2010). On our way in to the valley we will need to cross many glacier rivers, and also stop at the Gigjokull glacier where the massive flood from the melting glacier came down during the eruption.  Hotel Fljotshlid (B, L, D)

May 15: Hella-Home

This morning we will work our way towards the airport, as we travel west on the Reykjanes peninsula coastal road.  Krysuvik offers tremendous shale hills and coastal scenery along the way. We arrive at the airport in the early afternoon for our evening flights home. (B, L)
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As this is an active expedition with moderate hikes, you should be in good physical condition. While hotels selected are the best available, accommodations are basic with a private bath in each room.

Photo Leader

Douglas Beasley
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Douglas Beasley

Douglas Beasley’s personal vision explores the spiritual aspects of people and place and is concerned with how the sacred is recognized and expressed in everyday life. After receiving a BFA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he also studied Eastern Religions and Native American culture, he worked for several prominent commercial photo studios as a photo assistant and darkroom slave. Both helped him develop a appreciation for detail and technical proficiency but left him longing for artistic self-expression. He then opened his own studio in Minneapolis, MN emphasizing commercial and editorial fashion. He currently works on fine-art based commercial projects around the world.

He has been published internationally and featured in numerous photo magazines such as Zoom, The Sun, B&W, PDN, Shots and PhotoVision. His first book Japan; A Nisei’s First Encounter, offers insight into his journey to his mother’s Japanese homeland. His most recent book Earth Meets Spirit was published by 5 Continents Editions of Milan, Italy and is distributed by Abrams.

As founder and director of Vision Quest Photo Workshops, Beasley provides workshops that emphasize personal expression and creative vision over the mechanics of camera use. He believes in helping each student find their own voice rather than making anonymous ‘pretty pictures’.

I love Tuscany in general, the cities, the towns and the countryside.

R. Smart

Pricing and Details

US Dollars based upon minimum of 10 paying participants. There is a small group surcharge of $500 if 8-9 paying participants. All our program prices are based on double occupancy unless noted in exceptions.

Single rooms are subject to availability. We try to accommodate travelers who request single accommodations, as well as travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested, or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, you will be required to pay the supplement.

Testimonials


“Doug is kind, supportive, insightful, nurturing, sensitive and brilliantly attuned both technically and spiritually to the art, the eyes and the heart.”



 

Layla Smart

“You really walked everyone through your creative process which I found, as a new devotee to photography, enlightening! Thanks for a wonderful/thoughtful/honest presentation. I was truly inspired!”

S.Weber

“I took some of the best photographs of my life and discovered things inside of me that I didn’t know were there. I feel like you can easily, honestly and gently point out many of the emotional blocks keeping me from making photographs. I don’t want to make excuses and I want to create work that is true to myself, and I feel like you’re a great catalyst.”


S. Sampedro

“I have taken many classes from Doug and he has inspired me in all aspects of being a photographic artist. His gentle nature makes him very approachable and is willing to give advice even when the workshop is over. I would encourage any one interested even a little bit to take one of his workshops. I promise it’ll open up you mind, eyes, and soul.”


Heather Matson

I had a feelibng that to spend time with Doug, would be enlightening after reading his ideas about Zen and the art of photography, and indeed it was! His approach has to be experienced.....his philosophy and vision are unique....his daily morning poems, quotes thorught the day, evening gatherings and critiques, were always inspirational.  I feel like the whole experience was a gift!

N.Hauser

Additional Notes

As this is an active expedition with moderate hikes, you should be in good physical condition. Changes to itinerary may occur due to special local events, impromptu stops, and variable weather conditions. Be assured that we will make substitutions that are as similar in quality and interest as possible.

Terms and Conditions

Unless otherwise noted, this information applies to all tours.

Airfare

Contact Strabo Tours if you would like rates on International Airfare. Please note on your trip application form if you would like us to assist you with your airfare needs, a charge is added for this service. If making your own arrangements, it is important to discuss flight times with Strabo Tours before booking any airline tickets. This will avoid you having to pay airline cancellation penalties. Please contact Strabo Tours for destination airfare estimates, specific flight time arrivals, and departures.

The land cost includes:
  • Group transportation for tour events in the tour van.
  • Accommodations based on two people sharing a room, singles are assigned on a first come, first served basis.
  • Services of driver, English speaking cultural guide (if applicable) and photographic leader, during the tour.
  • Meals as listed in itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner).
  • Park entrance fees, day tours and excursions as shown in the itinerary.
  • Extensive pre-departure information and services.
The land cost does not include:

Domestic or International air fare; other airfare if noted in exceptions; air fare tax; airport departure tax; airport transfers; additional transfers or accommodations that may be required by those not traveling with the group; excess baggage charges; meals not included in itinerary; activities taken on your own; passport/visa expenses; personal medical or travel insurance; any expenses of a personal nature, such as room service, laundry, beverages not included with meals, medical expenses, photographic equipment, any activities not specified in tour itinerary or listed as optional, or any items not listed in what is included; fuel surcharges; exchange rate surcharges; upon the completion of your trip, modest gratuities to the local guides and the drivers are customary; tips for meals not included in itinerary.

Fitness and Health

The majority of trips are not strenuous (see exceptions below for particular destinations) and anyone who is reasonably fit should be able to take part in most of the activities. You may experience general fatigue due to the long flights and the change in time zones. You will need to be sufficiently agile to climb in and out of the tour van and be able to carry and manage your own equipment. We will frequently hike trails ranging from easy to moderate. Some hotels do not have elevators or air conditioners.

If you have any special needs or any physical condition that you feel might prevent you from fully participating, please contact Strabo Tours with your concerns (607-756-8676).

You should also be aware that medical services or facilities might not be readily available during all or part of your trip. This could include emergency medical care, presence of physicians, or adequate medication.

Exceptions:

The following destinations require more physical activity. Bhutan, China, Patagonia, Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Scotland, Domestic tours. On the African Safari you will spend many hours in a vehicle on game drives, land travel will sometimes be over very bumpy and dusty roads. Galapagos Cruise accommodations are in upper and lower berths (bunk beds) only.

The following destinations require more physical activity. Bhutan, China, Patagonia, Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Scotland, Domestic tours. On the African Safari you will spend many hours in a vehicle on game drives, land travel will sometimes be over very bumpy and dusty roads. Galapagos Cruise accommodations are in upper and lower berths (bunk beds) only.

Deposits, Cancellations AND Refunds

A deposit of $750 ($500 on domestic tours) per person is required. Specific tours may require an additional deposit due to accommodation bookings or transportation requirements. If applicable these will be noted on your invoice. Payment in full is required when bookings are made less than 120 days before the departure date. Space is subject to cancellation by Strabo if payment is not received when due.

If a passenger wishes to cancel they must send notification in writing to: Strabo International Tour, Co., P.O. Box 580, Dryden, NY 13053; fax 208-545-4119. At the time we receive your notification, the following per person charges apply:

  • 91 days or more before departure: $300 cancellation fee ($150 fee on domestic tours), plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation.
  • 61-90 days before departure: $500 ($250 on domestic tours) minimum cancellation fee, plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation. Fees may range from 25% to 100% of tour costs.
  • 60 days or less before departure or anytime after departure: NO REFUND.

Refunds for services that are voluntarily not used by you cannot be made.

Insurance

Each participant must be covered by medical insurance that is valid overseas.

We strongly urge you to evaluate your risk and to take out insurance on your trip. It is vital for you to realize that if you experience a delay or find it necessary to cancel or cut short your trip for any reason, you will lose part or the entire sum you’ve invested in it (see the section “Deposits, Cancellations and Refunds” in the trip brochure).

Travel insurance helps to minimize the risk of monetary losses you would incur in the event of a delay of your departure due to weather, airline strike, missed connection, etc., your inability to travel for reasons such as illness, injury, unforeseen financial complications and other personal circumstances, or if you were required to cut your trip short for medical or any other reasons.

There are restrictions and limitations on any insurance program. For this reason, please read carefully the enclosed pamphlet, which outlines their program of trip cancellation, baggage, and medical insurance. Trained agents are available to answer your questions, so don’t hesitate to call the toll free number in their brochure. It is to your advantage to apply for insurance at the earliest possible time, so don’t delay in making a decision.

Subject to Change

Itineraries have been carefully constructed to assure participants the best each destination has to offer; however, should events arise that are beyond our control, activities and hotel arrangements are subject to change without notice. The itineraries summarize typical areas you will explore. Since there is no possible way to visit all of them, your guides will plan each day considering the interests of the group and the weather at hand. Be assured that we will make substitutions that are as similar in quality and interest as possible.

Photo Release

Strabo International Tour Company, Inc. reserves the right and permission to use photographs of individuals on tour for use in promotional and publicity purposes. We also reserve the right to use clients photographs for promotional and publicity purposes, when submitted to Strabo International Tour Company, Inc.

Accommodations

Hotels selected are the best available, close to photographic locations, and are en-suite.

Food & Drink

Dinners tend to be fish, lamb, and occasionally pork may be available.

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