Iceland 2015

 

PHOTOGRAPHIC JOURNEY TO ICELAND

 

18088_3693.jpgWild horses in Vatnsdalsholar, Iceland. I love the freedom I feel in this country!

 

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     We will take boats & trek among the fabulous glaciers in Iceland. You'll get unique pictures. 

 

September 2nd - 13th, 2015   (We may have to adjust dates a few days to get confirmed hotels)

Directed by Bill Bachmann

 

This is our 21st Bachmann Tour Overdrive trip.  We have a fantastic group of adventurous travelers that have created a 'family' that travels so well together and creates terrific images, often helping each other.  This may well be the most picturesque of all of our adventures as we see ALL of Iceland.
 
We will circle the entire country of Iceland on the Ring Road. I have driven this road and the uniqueness of Iceland is absolutely breathtaking.  Iceland is called the land of Fire & Ice and the diversity of the terrain will amaze you.  As you drive around the Southern Coast, it looks surprisingly like Ireland.  It is green with old homes from the 13th century that have grass roofs and horse farms along the ocean.  In the East we will see glaciers and you'll swear you're in the middle of Alaska.  Then we turn around on the North Coast and the scenery looks like the moon in places.  In fact, our US astronauts trained for moon walks in Iceland! 

On the North & West Coasts we will also see such beautiful thermal geysers that remind you of Old Faithful in Wyoming.  Believe it or not, people in Iceland pay no electric bill... it is all free from thermal energy!

All of this drive we will see countless waterfalls that we will stop and take our time to photograph.  The entire drive around the country is only 800 miles and we will do it all.  By breaking the 800 miles into many days, we will not travel great distances on most days.  This trip, as much as any BTO trip ever, we will stop at so many scenic views, waterfalls, glaciers, ancient grass roof homes, wild horses and countless villages to take pictures.  This trip is made for our BTO personalities.

Below will be pictures and the itinerary, along with the price, of the entire trip.  WE MUST FILL THIS TRIP QUICKLY SO THAT WE CAN RESERVE THE HOTELS WITH DOWN PAYMENTS.  This is a busy time in Iceland and we must "hold" the hotels quickly or we could lose them.  There will be a link for a form below (by the price) that you need to fill out and send deposit to me.  I must send it on quickly as Iceland is VERY TOUGH on hotel reservations.  They need deposits & names to hold rooms!

This promises to be one of our most scenic & spectacular photographic trips.  I am limiting the group to only 20 people and I am paying extra to get a bus that holds 35 people so that almost everyone has a window seat and room for photo gear.  Our days will be mostly traveling only about 100 or so miles, with lots of scenic stops to take as many pictures as we want.  We will also stop in small villages to shoot local people, farmers and quaint streets full of cafes.

All of the breakfasts & most dinners are included, including the Farewell Dinner.  All of our lunches are not included so we have lots of time to stop in small villages and find our own cafe. I want this trip to be fantastic for photography and also free to relax whenever we can in villages or very small towns.  We have 3 hotels where we are spending more than one night, so we can relax a little more with free time.

  

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As we circle the country, we will stop to photograph many of the 13th century grass roof houses & churches.             Unlike June, we will have some darkness all the way North in Iceland. So, we may get lucky             The green looks so much like Ireland. Here we also have an old Willis jeep parked in front.                                                 and get some spectacular Northern Lights. You will never forget them!

 

 

HERE IS THE ITINERARY AS A DAY - TO - DAY SCHEDULE OF WHAT IS INCLUDED, DAILY ACTIVITIES (LISTING ONLY THE HIGHLIGHTS) AT THE END OF THE ITINERARY IS THE PRICE WITH SINGLE SUPPLEMENT FEE, AND EXACTLY WHAT IS INCLUDED.  

 

***AT THE VERY BOTTOM IS THE LINK TO THE REGISTRATION FORM AND I WILL NEED THESE DONE QUICKLY SO I CAN MAKE SURE I HAVE ALL THE CORRECT HOTELS RESERVED.  I AM LIMITING THIS TRIP TO ONLY 20 PEOPLE ON A FIRST COME - FIRST SERVE BASIS.  I CANNOT OVER EMPHASIZE HOW IMPORTANT IT IS THAT YOU DO THIS QUICKLY.  THESE HOTELS IN ICELAND ARE ABSOLUTELY FIRM THAT I MUST PUT DEPOSITS & NAMES TO BE ABLE TO FIRMLY HOLD THE ROOMS FOR US!! ***

ITINERARY:

Day 1   Arrive in Reykjavik on Sept. 2nd -- This could change 1 - 2 days either way to accomodate any hotel dates.  I will know this as soon as I get the trip full with deposits & names.

Most of us will fly direct to Reykjavik from Boston or New York on IcelandAir leaving Sept 1st and arriving in the morning of Sept 2nd.  This is the easiest way to fly into Iceland.  Don't buy any tickets yet, as I am still working on getting the dates firmed up and perhaps give us a better rate to fly from USA to Iceland.

Once we arrive in Reykjavik (and pick up any of our group that came early) we will go on a city tour.  We will visit many of the highlights of this enchanting city.  We will see the Hofoi House where the Reagan/Gorbachev summit was held and visit the President's house and farm.  We then go to Hallgrimskirkja church-- the tallest building in the country, several museums and many of the interesting buildings & cafes of the city.  We will have a dinner and probably go to bed early.  Some people may want to stay up and photograph the night scenes. 

Overnight: Fosshotel Reykjavík

Meals: Dinner

 

 

Day 2    More Reykjavik city tour, Krysuvik, the Blue Lagoon, Hafnarfjorour & the Reykjanes Peninsula lava flows.

We will have a full day exploring the city and the surrounding area.  We will stop at other city attractions, spend several hours photographing and swimming (bring your suit!) in the warm thermal waters at Blue Lagoon, and exploring Hafnarfjorour & the Reykjanes Peninsula. 

 

Overnight: Fosshotel Reykjavík

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

 

 

 Day 3    A wonderful relaxing free day in the ciry of Reykjavik to walk and explore either alone or with a small group. This day you can return to things you saw and liked or just wander downtown to photograph and enjoy the scenery and cafes.   

 

Overnight: Fosshotel Reykjavík

Meals: Breakfast 

 

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     This is the tallest building in all of Iceland and the most famous. We will          A graphic photo of a downtown neighborhood taken from          Hateigskirkta Lutheran church with its beautiful steeples. 
      photograph it and also climb to shoot photos of the city from the sky.                           high up in the Hallgrimskirkja church on left. 

 

 

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 The famous Blue Lagoon. We will spend an hour or so in these sulfur baths.                       A close-up in the Blue Lagoon.                                    One of the many pier areas in the city.                     

 

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 Another aerial image of the beautiful city from the church again.                          We will visit Iceland's most famous sculptor,                Believe it or not, we will be able to walk up to the President of the whole country of
                                                                                                                                    the elegant Asmundur Sveinsson Gallery.                         Iceland and photograph his house and church on his property. 

 

Day 4   Golden Circle-- Thingvellir -- Geysir -- Gullfoss

Today we start our counter-clockwise circle of the country via the Ring Road.  We will travel in a big bus with plenty of room, and as usual, we will stop in many places that are beautiful or interesting.  This whole circle ride will take you through many different looks.  You'll see green grass & green mountains like Ireland, glaciers and icebergs like Alaska, barren landscapes like the moon, waterfalls everywhere and lots of thermal activities like Old Faithful.

We will stop at many small villages and meet the people. We also will drive to the mighty Gullfoss (the Golden Waterfall), perhaps the most beautiful in the country. We walk around Gullfoss Falls, where the river Hvitá tumbles 32 meters (105 ft) in a double cascade. When the sun is shining, you’re likely to see a rainbow.  After a lunch stop (non-included), we explore the geothermal active valley of Haukadalur which contains the geysers Geysir and Strokkur.  This otherworldly hot spring area is covered with multicolored pools of water and mud.  Strokkur, the Great Geysir’s little brother, is spouting to a height of about 25 metres (82 ft) and erupts at about 5-7 minute intervals.

 

Overnight: Hotel Hvolsvöllur

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

 

Day 5   South Shore -- Seljalandsfoss waterfall -- Skogafoss waterfall -- Skogasafan Turf House Museum -- Reynisfjara black lava beach

We drive over a lava plateau and through the Threngsli pass, descending onto the southern coastal lowlands and crossing Ölfusá, Iceland’s most voluminous river.  Eyrarbakki is an attractive and picturesque coastal village with many old wooden houses.  The route passes through some of the prettiest countryside in Iceland with fields, farms and villages towards the Eyjafjalla and Mýrdalsjökull glaciers in South Iceland.  We reach Seljalandsfoss, a graceful ribbon-like waterfall, which drops from an overhanging lava cliff. If you step carefully, you can walk behind it, but be prepared to get wet. We continue to the impressive Skógafoss waterfall, that’s more than 60m high (197 ft) and belongs to the largest waterfalls in Iceland.  Then we reach the beautifully sited village of Vík í Mýrdal, the southernmost village in Iceland. After lunch break we reach the volcanic black sandy beach of Reynisfjara that is famous for its bird species including puffins. This location offers impressive rock formations and caves, spectacular high surf of the North Atlantic and one of the worlds most beautiful black lava beaches.  From Reynisfjara you can enjoy stunning views of picturesque Dyrhólaey promontory, a 120m spur of rock and cut into a natural arch by Atlantic breakers, that stands in water deep enough to allow boats to pass through.


On the return way to visit at the tiny settlement of Skógar one of Iceland’s best Folk Museums.  Old houses, some made of turf, are preserved in their original state and there is a vast collection of household items from the surrounding area.  Among the momentous of this region’s past is one of the frail boats in which local fishermen once navigated the treacherous coast.

Overnight: HótelSkaftafell

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

 

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This is what the Ring Road looks like in so many areas that makes it look so green & enticing.        Wait til you see the many grass roof homes & churches. This was a family church. 

 

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Stokkur Geyser. Sure looks like Old Faithful.                 People think Gullfoss Falls is the most beautiful falls in Iceland.      My favorite falls -- Skogafoss Falls. I put the people there for size.  

 

 

Day 6   Skaftafell -- Svartifoss waterfall -- Svinafellsjokull glacier walk -- Jokulsarlon boat tour

You’ll drive over huge fields of glacial sands as you get closer to Vatnajökull, the biggest glacier in Europe whose 8400 sq km covers about 8% of Iceland.  If the weather permits you will be able to enjoy the view of many glacier tongues descending its main ice cap and also Iceland’s highest peak, Hvannadalshnjúkur (2110 m). Skaftafell National Park was created in 1967 and is one of Iceland’s four national parks.  The park offers big contrasts in landscape with glaciers, moors, mountains, birch forest, glacial rivers and brooks and sandy plains. There will be a short walk up to Svartifoss (“black waterfall”) with its nice formations of basalt columns.  For those that who don’t want to climb hills, it is possible to walk to the glacier tongue Skaftafellsjökull on relatively flat terrain. The glacier walk is about in total 3 hours (transfer – briefing – walking – transfer).  The ice that feeds Svínafellsjökull comes spilling down from Iceland's high interior in an icefall that riddles it with deep and sometimes treacherous crevasses.

Soon after, you’ll reach the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon that started to form in the early nineteen twenties and is getting bigger every year.  You will see many amazing blocks of ice that have broken off Vatnajökull glacier, as they sail slowly towards the ocean which is only a kilometer away.  Jökulsárlón, which means “glacial river lagoon” is several kilometers long and is one of Iceland’s deepest lakes. Icebergs, the size of a football field, break off from the glacier that spills into the lagoon.  The group will stop here for about one hour where you can take a walk along this amazing lagoon.  Sometimes it is possible to see seals that swim in the lagoon and in the river towards the ocean.  You will then enjoy a boat trip that takes visitors on a thrilling ride among the icebergs, which can be gleaming white, mottled with sediment, cobalt blue or jade green, depending on their size and age, and on whether they have flipped over.

Overnight: HótelSkaftfaell

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

 

 

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We'll see glaciers all around us from walking treks to a boat ride among the icebergs.          This could be you! Make sure you bring a colorful parka for the photographs -- red obviously works well.


Day 7    Vatnajokull area -- Egilsstaoir

We will spend some of the day still in the glaciers and icebergs in Vatnajokull area.  Taking pictures of icebergs has always been exciting for me.  We'll stop at any villages and meet people as we drive the rest of the day to Egilsstaoir. 

Overnight: IcelandairhotelHérað

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

 

 Day 8   Egilsstaoir -- Myvatn Lake -- Godafoss waterfall -- Akureyri

This day we will explore Goðafoss (“waterfall of the gods”) named after the time in the year 1000, when Þorgeir Þorkelsson Ljósvetningagoði Iceland’s law speaker, determined that Iceland should become Christian and threw his statues of the pagan gods into the falls, to prove his loyalty.  On you’ll go to the Lake Mývatn area that deserves its reputation as one of Iceland’s most fascinating areas of natural beauty.  Its abundant bird life, incredible variety of volcanic and geothermal features and wealth of walking trails, make it a particularly rewarding place for visitors.  After visiting Mývatn and Goðafoss you will be going on to Akureyri.  We will do a short city tour of this small picturesque village.

Overnight: IcelandairhotelAkureyri

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

 

 Day 9   Akureyri -- Free day to explore

Today is a day to unwind and relax. You'll have time all day to walk in the small village, enjoy coffee in the cafes, and even perhaps buy some Icelandic souvenirs. It will be a day to unwind and become a small town Icelander.

 

Overnight: Icelandair hotel Akureyri

Meals: Breakfast

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                 Jodafoss Falls is really spectacular.                                 We'll photograph the small horses of Iceland, hopefully with beautiful children.         Much of this Ring Road ride will be along the ocean scenery. 

 

Day 10    Akureyri -- Borgarfjordur -- Hraunfossar waterfall -- Barnafoss waterfall -- Borganes

 

BORGARFJORDUR VALLEY

First stop from Akureyri is a 10 minute walk up the river to the Barnafoss (Children's Falls), which has carved out strange figures from the rock.  Next to the Barnafoss you will find Hraunfossar.  We continue to historic Reykholt, where the brilliant 13th century writer Snorri Sturluson lived.  We will stop along the way on our only long drive of the trip towards Reykjavik. We will stop for the night in Borganes. 

 

Overnight: Icelandairhotel Borgnaes

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

 

 Day 11     Borganes to Reykjavik via Hvalfjordur Tunnel

We'll finish the ride from Borganes back to Reykjavik. We will stop, as always, at any interesting photo opportunities.  When we arrive in Reykjavik, we will have a little time to shop or shoot pictures before dinner. Tonight's dinner is a special Farewell Dinner.

Overnight: Fosshotel Reykjavík

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

 

Day 12    Departure -- Transfer Reykjavik -- Keflavik Airport 

Most of the group will be transferred to fly back to the USA.  If we can get a resonably priced 3 day trip to Greenland, those people will fly to Greenland.  Some others may want to stay on their own longer in Reykjavik and you are on your own.

Meals: Breakfast 


 


 

Total Cost:  $4980 pays for the trip with all the items on the above itinerary.

Single supplement is $950. **

** We will do all we can to “double up” to get you a roommate if you want to save on the single room supplement.  It usually works out evenly for those who want to share a room.

As always, I would reccomend travel insurance in case of any emergencies at home or on the trip. This has helped several people on our past trips, and it is well worth the cost for that security.

The Price includes:

  • Transfer Keflavík Airport-Reykjavík with guide with city tour 
  • City tour and Blue Lagoon with guide
  • Entrance fee and towel rental at the Blue Lagoon
  • Coach and driver for 8 days as per program
  • Guide service for 8 days as per program
  • Accommodation for 4 nights (11% VAT) incl. breakfast in Reykjavík
  • Accommodation for 7 nights (11% VAT) incl. breakfast outside of Reykjavík
  • 3x 3-course menu including coffee/tea in Reykjavík
  • 6x 3-course menu including coffee/tea outside of  Reykjavík
  • Entrance fee Skógasafn Turf House Museum
  • Glacier walk on Svínafellsjökull glacier (private)
  • Jökulsárlón Boat tour
  • Transfer back to Reykjavik airport for departure home

 

 

Not included:

 

  • Drinks during dinner
  • Other not mentioned meals or refreshments
  • Other not mentioned tours, activities or extras
  • Guide during the departure transfer
  • Nature pass or other unexpected costs for nature sights

 

General conditions:


The prices are only valid for a group of minimum 20 people

 


 


 

 

To reserve your space on this exciting trip, you must do the following quickly:

1. Check made out for $1000 to "Bill Bachmann."

2. Must print, fill out & include the Registration Form - CLICK HERE -

3. Photo copy of your passport photo page..... make sure it does not expire by April, 2016.

4. Email Bill at bill@billbachmann.com so that he can keep track of spaces filled even before your check/reg form arrives.

 

To help Bill organize our group and to make sure to hold a spot, mail all of this RIGHT AWAY to:

Bill Bachmann
PO Box 950077
Lake Mary, FL 32795-0077

 

Any questions email me at the studio RIGHT AWAY!

EMAIL: bill@billbachmann.com

 

To Print this Itinerary CLICK HERE!