Iceland Photo Tour with Tom Bol: Chasing Northern Lights and Icescapes

Tour Intro

Why Iceland in November?

We will tell you why

  • Cheaper airfares
  • Better odds of seeing northern lights & photograph inside ice cave
  • Sunset is earlier-Northern Lights will be earlier…
  • Smaller crowds, more enjoyable
  • Weather not as cold as you imagine, average low & high 18 – 49
  • Winter photography can be magical
  • Last but not least – Tom will be there

Experience the vast volcanic landscape, breathtaking glaciers, seek out the Northern Lights, and hardy Viking hospitality that have been celebrated for centuries in Icelandic sagas. We can’t predict the weather, however, this is one of the most opportune times of year to capture the Northern Lights and hike inside an ice cave. On this unique expedition, view towering volcanic pillars, and hike to stunning waterfalls. From the remote farms, diverse landscape of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Southern Coast, and the Jokulsarlon Ice Lagoon, Iceland has some of the most picturesque landscapes. At every turn, the vistas will astound you. Join us on this adventure of one of our planet’s most fascinating and unique environments. Join accomplished photographer and guide Tom Bol across Iceland.

The unique interplay of light, shadows, and intense colors make every photographer’s heart jump! 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. Join Tom on this adventure of one of our planet’s most fascinating and unique environments.

Please Note:  This itinerary concentrates on being in the field and photographing the vast landscape/icescapes. It does not spend any time in the city of Reykjavik or at the Blue Lagoon near Keflavik airport. If you wish to incorporate those locations please contact Strabo Tours for booking or we can make recommendations.

Note from instructor:
I think workshops are a fantastic way to develop as a photographer, both technically and artistically, and have a lot of fun during the process. On these workshops I’m available at anytime to offer advice and critique of images. I will offer formal classes as well as field demonstrations on technique and creative choices in image making. For those that are interested, we will explore flash technique and light painting. I will also provide participants with “workshop notes”, excerpts from magazine articles I have written on a variety of topics.
I really enjoy working with participants one on one, being able to focus on specific areas with individual’s results in faster, more effective learning. What I enjoy most on workshops is seeing how participants can improve their skills in such a short time.

The itinerary will guide us, but we also make unscheduled stops for discoveries along the way, with an eye for the group's interests. You can plan to be out for early and late light when weather and schedules permit. Tom will offer guidance and some instruction on the tour, and will also be available to answer questions and provide photographic advice.

Tour Highlights

• Every evening we will look out for the possibility of northern light photography.
• Travel to Iceland in the off season – fewer tourists and
Eight days with accomplished photographer and tour leader Tom Bol.
• Tour limited to twelve passengers.
• Experience the diverse landscape of Iceland with fellow photographers.
• Meet and enjoy the people of Iceland on a traditional farm setting.
• Includes the breathtaking Snaefellsnes Peninsula.
Jökulsárlón Ice Lagoon and an Ice Cave (safety conditions apply).
• Waterfalls of Skaftafell National Park.

Tour Itinerary

November 5: Home-Keflavik, Iceland

Photo By: Tom Bol

Photo Location: Iceland

Your journey to Iceland begins with an overnight flight to Keflavik Airport in Reykjavik, Iceland.

November 6-7: Snaefellsness Peninsula
Icelandic Horse

Photo By: Tom Bol

Photo Location: Iceland

The majority of flights arrive very early in the morning in to Keflavik Airport. If your flight arrives in the afternoon or evening, you will need to leave home a day earlier and overnight in Iceland (Strabo can recommend various accommodations to your liking). Depart the airport and start your tour driving to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. This will be your first introduction to the vast landscape, yet intimate country, with several photographic stops planned along the way. Check into your harbor side hotel in the fishing village of Stykkisholmur. This is a full day of traveling and photography.

You will have another full day to explore further afield, on the coast of Breidafjordur (Broad Bay). Visiting beautiful places and small villages. Snaefellsjokull glacier is just a short drive away, it is mythically known as a seat of energy and was the fictional starting point for Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth. Overnight Snaefellsness Peninsula. (D; B, D) *Please note there will be some picnic lunches during the tour so that we can enjoy full days of photography in the field.

November 8: Interior Farm Stay
Black Sand Beaches

Photo By: Tom Bol

Photo Location: Iceland

Next travel east to the interior of Iceland where the group will spend an evening on a traditional Icelandic farm. The family specializes in cattle farming and horse breeding, they will give you a warm welcome as you immerse yourself in learning about the traditions of their family and business. From this location the group can easily reach the beautiful waterfalls of Bruarfoss, or Barnafoss & Hraunfossar, and capture the beautiful landscapes in this region. Overnight Interior Farm Stay (B, D)days)

November 9: Kirkjubaejarklaustur Area
Ice Wave

Photo By: Tom Bol

Photo Location: Iceland

Today you travel east and photograph the waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss. Stopping in Reynisfjara and Vik beach to photograph the amazing coastal features. Vik has black sand beaches and picturesque rocks line the seashore including columnar basalt grottoes, sea stacks, and bird cliffs. Overnight Kirkjubaejarklaustur Area (B, D)

November 10-11: Jökulsárlón Ice Lagoon
Skogar Falls

Photo By: Tom Bol

Photo Location: Iceland

Spend the day exploring photographic stops along the way to south eastern Iceland, where you will stay as close as you can at the fantastic glacial lagoon, Jökulsárlón, where floating icebergs, all sizes and shapes, will blow you away. From Hotel Hali you can also reach the Vestrahorn Mountain region. Overnight Jokulsarlon Ice Lagoon(B, D both days)

November 12: Kirkjubaejarklaustur Area
Aurora Borealis

Photo By: Tom Bol

Photo Location: Iceland

If an ice cave is open during your time here, we can arrange access early this morning, as we travel west to Skaftafell National Park. The park is located by the roots of the Vatnajökull glacier. Europe’s largest icecap - larger than all other glaciers in Europe combined. Overnight Kirkjubaejarklaustru Area(B, D)

November 13: Keflavik-Home
Vik Beach

Photo By: Tom Bol

Photo Location: Iceland

This morning there will be an early photography shoot. Return to the hotel for breakfast, and depart along the coast, traveling west toward the Reykjanes peninsula. There will be additional photographic stops along the Southern Coast as you get back to the airport for your late afternoon early evening flights. If your flight departs KEF in the morning please contact Strabo Tours and we can recommend airport hotels. (B)

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

Tom Bol
read more
Tom Bol

See how Tom Bol got his start at https://vimeo.com/120904640

The September 2011 Photo District News education issue, listed Tom as one of the best photo workshop instructors in the country!

Tom Bol is a freelance photographer specializing in adventure sports, nature, and travel photography. He has been photographing full time for twenty years, and teaching workshops for ten. Assignments have ranged from national ad campaigns for clothing companies to producing images for worldwide tourism clients. With a background in guiding adventure sports, Tom’s editorial assignments often result in interesting situations, including shooting from the bottom of a crevasse on Mt. McKinley, to running into a snow leopard at twenty thousand feet in the Himalayas.

Tom is a regular contributor to Digital Photo and Outdoor Photographer magazine, a contributing photographer at Canoe and Kayak magazine, and a regular speaker at tradeshows representing Nikon and Manfrotto. He was also on the list of National Geographic Adventure’s “50 of America’s Top Visionaries” for his photography.

Note from instructor:

I think workshops are a fantastic way to develop as a photographer, both technically and artistically, and have a lot of fun during the process. On these workshops I’m available at anytime to offer advice and critique of images. I will offer formal classes as well as field demonstrations on technique and creative choices in image making. For those that are interested, we will explore flash technique and light painting. I will also provide participants with “workshop notes”, excerpts from magazine articles I have written on a variety of topics.

I really enjoy working with participants one on one, being able to focus on specific areas with individual’s results in faster, more effective learning. What I enjoy most on workshops is seeing how participants can improve their skills in such a short time.

Having been to numerous workshops over the past 5 years, Tom has to be my favorite instructor. With Tom you are guaranteed 3 things - an in-depth knowledge of photography and lighting with an ability and desire to share this with participants, energy and lots of it, and FUN! Tom loves spending time with his students and getting to know each one, as to maximize the workshop for each person. A workshop with Tom is time well spent.

B. Peterson

Pricing and Details

US Dollars based upon minimum of 8 paying participants. There is a small group surcharge of $500 if 6-7 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

Photo By: Cheryl Sackett

Photo Location: Iceland

Iceland was simply amazing. Strabo's arrangements were great. We saw all the amazing well known sights in Iceland as well as some incredible 'off road' beautiful areas. Tom Bol as always is a great photography teacher. Offers suggestions and teaches every day. Helpful and friendly to all. 

Cheryl Sackett

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.

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