Chase and photograph aurora borealis at one of the best times at one of the world’s best destinations for the northern lights. Aurora activity on Earth increases near both equinoxes (autumnal equinox is on Sep 20-21). September also brings back the night hours to Iceland, dark enough to capture even faint aurora and the Milky Way. Also the temperature is mild for the near Arctic latitude which still shows its green summer beauty and emerging fall colors on a few locations of the tour.
The photo workshop is led by the National Geographic night sky photographer who takes you to some of his favorite location, fills you with practical information on when to expect to aurora, what to see in the night sky, and guides you in both aurora and general nightscape imaging, while also sharing tips on day-time photography. The Iceland partner company which locally coordinates the trip also contributes with a tour leader who is both an astronomy expert and a knowledgeable person about nature and history of the country.
Iceland has much more to offer than only aurora. It’s a country like no others. Based on the successful experience of the September 2017 program, chasing aurora around Iceland, this tour takes you along the Ring Road but crosses the country inland from north to south through rivers and highlands (most bizarre and colorful landscapes) with a special off-road private bus. We will do aurora chasing and outdoor workshop sessions through the trip on every clear night.
Iceland’s attractions are on our way includes unearthly landscapes, massive waterfalls, volcanoes, glaciers, wildlife and coastal beauties, and cultural landmarks. We begin from the capital in the southwest and end in Keflavik near the airport. Iceland weather is challenging but we depend on our mobility and excellent access to local weather information.
Day 1 Fri Sep 7: arrival, Reykjavik sightseeing, Aurora chasing near Grotta lighthouse (weather depending)
Day 2 Sat Sep 8: To the north, (Varmahlið). Night imaging near Grafarkirkja or Hvítserkur
Day 3 Sun Sep 9: Daytime activity in Skagafjordur, Hofsós swimming pool, tour around Glaumbær the old turf house, horse farms
Day 4 Mon Sep 10: Drive early to Húsavík with a visit to Goðafoss waterfall. Multiple night time locations available at Dimmuborgir and Mývatn volcanic area
Day 5 Tue Sep 11: Daytime activity around Húsavik, to choose from whalewatching and visiting Ásbyrgi.
Day 6 Wed Sep 12: Daytime activity around Húsavík, drive to Dettifoss waterfall with a daytime visit to Dimmuborgir lava area.
Day 7 Thu Sep 13: Drive early from Húsavík to Hotel Highland through the wilderness of the famous “Sprengisandsleið” which is the longest gravel highland road in Iceland (200km), between the two glaciers, Hofssjökull and Vatnajökull. Nigh-time imaging on the highlands. The Quick Tour group join the rest.
Day 8 Fri Sep 14: Visiting the most touristic icons of Iceland, the Gullfoss waterfall and Geysir geothermal area, the famous tomato greenhouse for launch at Friðheimar.
Day 9 Sat Sep 15: Visit to the Thingvellir National Park on the way back to Keflavik in the southwest corner of Iceland.
Day 10 Sun Sep 16: Touring the Reykjanes Peninsula in the southeast and aurora chasing from a lighthouse and a scenic coastal area. Accomodation near the Airport in Keflavik (10-15 minutes drive away).
Day 11 Mon Sep 117: departures. Babak will do a class between 10:00 to 13:00 on photo-
editing tips for those with late departures. You also have the option to arrange your own visit to the nearby Blue Lagoon (for bathing) or consider staying an extra day for this popular tourist activity.
Quick Tour Sep 13-17
5 day/4 night Golden Circle & Southern Shore $1950 +$500 single occupancy
Arrive before noon for direct transfer to the highlands to join the main tour (3-4hr from the airport). See the itinerary above for the rest.
Please note the itinerary details might slightly change with the aurora and weather forecast.