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Author Topic: Iceland locations - the North  (Read 1189 times)

soboyle

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Iceland locations - the North
« on: March 17, 2018, 09:11:46 PM »

I returned from a 10 day trip to Iceland in early March. Fantastic trip with much of the time spent in the South as far as Hofn area, then back and up to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.
I'm returning in May for another 11 days photography, and was hoping to get some suggestions for the North half of the country. It seems the sites are fewer and further between.

I'm of 2 minds on how to route this second visit. One is retracing my trip through the South to Hofn (much quicker this time) with a couple stops along the way to sites I'd like to revisit, then continuing on from there. Spend a couple days in the eastern Fjords area, then up toward Lake Myvatn, on to Akureyki, the Trollaskagi Peninsula and then back towards Snaefellsnes and Reykjavik. Any thoughts on places not to be missed? May do a swing up to the far northeast if it seems worth the time. 11 days isn't a lot of time to do the ring but I'll be covering the Southern 1/3 to Hofn in 2 days.

Other option I'm considering is to head up toward the West Fjords and see what that reveals, then east toward Akureyki and Lake Myvatn area as time allows. It's definitely the less traveled route. One thing making this option more attractive is the number of tour buses in the South. In late February the hot spots and waterfalls were inundated with selfie snapping designer clothed hordes. The DC-3 plane wreck? Crawling with them. And this was in the "off season".

If interested photos from first visit at www.shaunoboylephoto.com
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Two23

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Re: Iceland locations - the North
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2018, 11:07:45 PM »

My wife and I started going about 2005, before tourists "discovered" the place.  We generally had most spots almost to ourselves.  My thinking is you really can't go wrong anywhere.  We would like to go in winter, when most people think Island is "cold."  LOL, it's about 40 degrees warmer there in winter than it is in the Dakotas!  As an experienced night shooter, I can easily cope with many hours of darkness.  Another thought we had was to rent a rugged 4x4 and poke around in the interior.  Wife and I are the adventurous sort and are used to prowling desolate places.  Heck, we live in one. :) 


Kent in SD
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soboyle

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Re: Iceland locations - the North
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2018, 08:04:04 AM »

February is a good time to visit, days are starting to get longer, about 10 hours between sunrise and sunset in late Feb, and long nights for aurora photography. Temps were fairly mild even for a Massachusetts person, mid-20's to mid-40's while I was there. The wind though - couldn't use the tripod many times because the wind was so strong.
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armand

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Re: Iceland locations - the North
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2018, 05:47:16 PM »

I returned from a 10 day trip to Iceland in early March. Fantastic trip with much of the time spent in the South as far as Hofn area, then back and up to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.
I'm returning in May for another 11 days photography, and was hoping to get some suggestions for the North half of the country. It seems the sites are fewer and further between.

I'm of 2 minds on how to route this second visit. One is retracing my trip through the South to Hofn (much quicker this time) with a couple stops along the way to sites I'd like to revisit, then continuing on from there. Spend a couple days in the eastern Fjords area, then up toward Lake Myvatn, on to Akureyki, the Trollaskagi Peninsula and then back towards Snaefellsnes and Reykjavik. Any thoughts on places not to be missed? May do a swing up to the far northeast if it seems worth the time. 11 days isn't a lot of time to do the ring but I'll be covering the Southern 1/3 to Hofn in 2 days.

Other option I'm considering is to head up toward the West Fjords and see what that reveals, then east toward Akureyki and Lake Myvatn area as time allows. It's definitely the less traveled route. One thing making this option more attractive is the number of tour buses in the South. In late February the hot spots and waterfalls were inundated with selfie snapping designer clothed hordes. The DC-3 plane wreck? Crawling with them. And this was in the "off season".

If interested photos from first visit at www.shaunoboylephoto.com

February is a good time to visit, days are starting to get longer, about 10 hours between sunrise and sunset in late Feb, and long nights for aurora photography. Temps were fairly mild even for a Massachusetts person, mid-20's to mid-40's while I was there. The wind though - couldn't use the tripod many times because the wind was so strong.

I was there in late January/early February in the same area and I almost could have written the same. I even see in your shots a grass field that I wanted to photograph but I wasn't driving (and turning back was too painful) and we even went to the same ice cave (see attached) and this: http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=123247.0

I'm curious to what the others say as I definitely plan to go back although I'm thinking to go back again in the winter to avoid some of the tourist flow.

PS. the reason for the same ice cave is because we used the same company
« Last Edit: March 18, 2018, 05:50:54 PM by armand »
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Luis M. Anibarro

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Re: Iceland locations - the North
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2018, 01:37:27 PM »

IMHO, Akureyri has little to reveal... so it has Myvatn itself...
places not to be missed:
 - Godafoss, the most beautiful waterfall in Iceland, stay in Laugar that night.
 - Husavík, nice harbor and church, delicious lobster soup at Saska Restaurant.
 - the road from Egilstadir to Myvatn is full of hidden little gems right as you drive in the road, amazing little volcanoes, an impressive canyon, Detifoss...
 - Kirkjufell is the must to go in the west, Snaefellness.

https://www.facebook.com/LuisMAnibarroFotografia/photos/a.1472758516111475.1073741828.1472738982780095/1644988472221811/?type=3

https://www.facebook.com/LuisMAnibarroFotografia/photos/a.1472758516111475.1073741828.1472738982780095/1624551267598865/?type=3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/LuisMAnibarroFotografia/photos/a.1472758516111475.1073741828.1472738982780095/1498734426847217/?type=3

soboyle

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Re: Iceland locations - the North
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2018, 04:18:51 PM »

Thanks Luis,
Is Husavik worth the visit if not going on a whale watch? I've been on so many WW here in MA that I was going to give Husavik a miss. Mistake?
So far my itinerary includes a night in Reykholar, 2 nights on the Standir Coast in the West Fjords,  a night on the Skagi Peninsula, a night on the Trollaskagi Peninsula, 3 nights in Myvatn, 2 nights east Fjords, a night in Hofn, and a night in Vik. If you have any suggestions along this route let me know. I was in the South as far as Hofn earlier this year, so will not be spending much time there this trip, just passing through and stopping at a couple spots.
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Luis M. Anibarro

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Re: Iceland locations - the North
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2018, 02:30:03 AM »

IMHO, west fjords is way a different location, only for wild nature photographers, too long trip.
Having visited Sneafellsness, you can visit Hvitserkur, and then Ketubjörg in the Skagi pen. I'd should skip Trollaskagi.
As well as Akureyri, not an interesting place to make photos.
Then go to Godafoss, as well as his little hidden sister, Aldeyjarfoss, one hour walk.
Husavík is a cozy harbor with a pretty view on the boats and church behind. Amazing restaurant, Salka.
I should sleep in Laugar instead of Myvatn. You're then going to be in the middle of everywhere.
I don't find Myvatn lake itself interesting for shooting, but nature baths worth a visit, as well as Krafla volcano. Also Grjótagjá cave (games of thrones), and maybe also Hverir.
Detifoss waterfall is always impressive...
In the way to Egilstadir you'll find so many amazing spots right by the road side with volcanoes.
Right before Egilstadir, just stop in this canyon and hold the breathe: 65°25'53.9"N 14°35'59.0"W
Then, you might go to Seydisfjordur, a cozy town with a very pretty houses line.



JayWPage

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Re: Iceland locations - the North
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2018, 02:24:35 PM »

My wife and I spent 17 days in Iceland last September, 2 weeks of that time driving around the island in a camper van. It was very crowded with tourists, especially along the south coast. Basically after about 9 in the morning, parking was at a premium at any known attraction, (i.e. wait, along with dozens of others for someone to leave). That was pretty much the same story everywhere along the Ring Road. If you saw a good shot along the road, well there was already several photographers there with their tripods set up up. After a few days we abandoned the south coast to the crowds and headed north.

The weather was marginal most of the time, heavy overcast and rain/drizzle. We did get to enjoy one sunny day at Vatnajökull National Park, where I beat the crowds with a wide angle at Svartifoss (see here). 

Once you are off the Ring Road, there are a lot less tourists. In the north, the exception was Dettifoss which was crowded on both sides. If you are camping, Vatnajökull National Park was a pleasant place to stay and explore the Ásbyrgi canyon. Husavík has a fairly decent local whale museum with some good exhibits. The main reason for most people to stop at Akureyri would be to buy groceries at the Bónus store. Lake Myvatn is moderately interesting, for say a day but again the crowds detract from the natural beauty of the area.

One interesting campsite we found was in the Vaglaskógarvegur National Forest Reserve, it's south of the Ring Road and east of Akureyri. Forests in Iceland??? Yes, it's a natural birch forest with experimental plantings of various conifers. We just about had the entire place to ourselves, just 1 other camper and they were locals.

We spent a few days in the southern part of the Northwest Fjords, and while there were certainly other tourists, it wasn't crowded. I think this is where you would have to go to find a bit of what Iceland used to be like, that and maybe the East Fjords. However, it was often very windy there, windy enough that it limited how much driving we could do on some days (our insurance wasn't valid if wind speeds were over 15m/s).
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soboyle

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Re: Iceland locations - the North
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2018, 09:48:00 AM »

Even in February the South was crowded. I was dismayed on my first day to arrive at Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss to find the parking lots packed and tourists pouring out of buses. It thinned out somewhat past Vik, and again past Jökulsárlón. When I reached Hofn and Stokksnes it was quiet. One of my favorite days was driving east of Stokksnes along the coast. Very few cars. May will be more crowed I'm sure, so am heading north first, a night on the Snaefellsnes Pen before going to the Standir Coast, then east and around to the south from there.

I'm working on a Guggenheim Fellowship project, and my primary subject is old farms and farm ruins against the dramatic Iceland landscape. Less the usual tourist haunts, although I will be visiting the big waterfalls and other must see sights. 

Any suggestion of locations where old farms are heavy on the ground?
First phase of the project can be seen at www.shaunoboylephoto.com under Iceland.
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