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I am planning a photo holiday to Iceland next year and before I start trawling the internet I would like comments from members who have actually experienced this trip before.
I always find that true life experience is handy to know about and crucially from a photographers point of view.
Best time of year, accommodation and transport are my first items to look at. I anticipate travelling around and do not want luxury digs.
If anyone can put me on the right path to get started I would really appreciate that,
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You might want to check out HappyOstrich's portfolio.. he lives/works that way and has some super images. He may be the chap to give you the best tips.
Quote: Best time of year
I would suggest that the summer months would offer you more options. There's some dramatic winter stuff includng the chance of an aurora or two but more of the country is accessible in the summer, widening your options. Then there's those long long slow summer evenings. No rush.
Outside of the main towns you're somewhat restricted to hotels, which can be quite expensive. But there's plenty of companies that will arrange it for you. Camping's always an option but the weather can be very unpredictable. There's also hostels, which tend to be fairly basic but cheap.
There's buses, which go 'round the whole island and if you hire a car you're faced with negotiating a lot of unsurfaced roads. It may be ensible to travel between stops on buses and then hire a taxi or take a tour at each of the stops. You'll get to all of the major tourist stops either by bus or by taxi but a car will get you to the out-of-the-way places. I'm not sure how much car hire is these days.
Beware dust, which can be a real nuisance. Fine, abrasive volcanic dust that can really get into the nooks and ruin your kit.
A fabulous, austere, fascinating country. I just wish they'd change thier whaling policy.
I have some friends in Iceland, and they tell me that it is a photographers paradise for landscapes. I have heard that the northern lights are only visibe in the winter.
Quote: I have heard that the northern lights are only visibe in the winter.
Not true - saw them three nights running in late August when I was there in 1985. The nights are getting dark by then. Spectacular too!
Quote: I'm not sure how much car hire is these days
Bloody expensive! If you are going for more than a couple of weeks it might cost less to take your own car across from Scrabster via the Faroe Islands. See Smyril Line. You won't be able to use the inland tracks though, unless you've got a suitable vehicle. I'm also thinking of Iceland next year - was going to Norway but it looks like the Newcastle-Bergen ferry won't be running any more after this year.
Was there in July.Simply stunning.
Tony (Hapy Ostrich) is your man to speak to.
I was thinking of planning a winter trip, air fares are reasonable, hostel accomodation more cost effective than hotels, but vehicle hire is very expensive, as you need a decent 4WD to get to the interesting bits, thats whats put me off for now.
Quote: as you need a decent 4WD to get to the interesting bits,
Most of the interior is not actually accessible by conventional vehicle at all in winter.
Watch out for the hostels being open in the winter, many are schools that are used when the children are on vacation.
Great country, but also as other folks have said driving off-road needs to be considered, most hire companies consider your insurance invalid as soon as the wheels touch water.
You might want to check out Daniel Bergman, very expensive but good photographer.
Also, remember to pick up some duty free on the way in, else it could be a 'dry' holiday!
This site always amazes me.
I've been here for years and never heard of happyostrich, just looked up his site and the pic of the week is a STUNNER ! - go take a look...
We tried organising a photo tour to Iceland for 2 years running - had everything in place, but no customers ! - expect the costs put a lot of people off but the locals are well set up to cater for photographers and their transport, so it can be done.
Quote: I'm also thinking of Iceland next year - was going to Norway but it looks like the Newcastle-Bergen ferry won't be running any more after this year.
Don't know if it's of any interest, but you can now fly direct to Tromso from Stanstead... I'm planning a trip up that way for the Northern Lights Festival in 2010...
As for Iceland - I went at the end of March last year - best of both worlds really - enough snow and ice to make it interesting, but enough of a thaw to mean that there was plenty accessible. We hired a car in the UK to pick up when we arrived, and it worked out significantly cheaper than hiring once we were out there.
In terms of accommodation, outside of Reykjavik and Aakueri you're going to struggle. Best bet is to get hold of a copy of a Rough Guide or a Lonely Planet guide.
Thanks James but I have a small camper van (converted Mazda Bongo) and I'm planning taking this across to either Norway or Iceland, for up to two months. Accommodation won't be a problem - I just park up anywhere and get a brew on!
Ahhh... No worries Vince.
Can I just say that I'm so incredibly jealous though?
Quote: Can I just say that I'm so incredibly jealous though?
You wouldn't be so jealous of the MPG! Averaged over two years - 22mpg (it's 2.5 ltr diesel 4WD auto). However, I don't spend much on accommodation
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