At the northern end of the Atlantic Ocean sits Iceland, just touching the arctic circle. Although more than 13% is covered by snowfields and glaciers, the Gulf Stream keeps the climate milder than one would expect from an island near the top of the world. Iceland is renowned for the diversity of its natural wonders: a stunning coastline, slumbering volcanos, majestic waterfalls, glaciated fjords, souring mountains, and lush forests are just part of what makes this island amazing.
Experience the vast volcanic landscape, breathtaking glaciers, and hardy Viking hospitality that have been celebrated for centuries in Icelandic sagas. On this unique expedition, view towering volcanic pillars, hike to stunning waterfalls, and languish in ancient geyser springs. From the capital city to remote farms on the tips of exposed fjords, Iceland is picturesque, including some features of the moon surface. Volcanoes, hot springs, and glaciers influence the look and feel of the country. At every turn, the vistas will astound you. Join us on this exploratory adventure of one of our planet’s most fascinating and unique environments.
Who Should Attend: We invite all those searching to expand their artistic and creative horizons and explore new cultures. Emphasis is less on technique and more on increasing visual awareness of our surroundings and how to better interpret and express that photographically. This workshop is appropriate for all levels, but must have a working knowledge of your camera.
Student Testimonials About Vision Quest Workshops: “I made some of the best photographs of my life and discovered things inside of me that I didn’t know were there. I feel like you can easily, honestly and gently point out many of the emotional blocks keeping me from making photographs. I don’t want to make excuses and I want to create work that is true to myself, and I feel like you’re a great catalyst.” – Sarah Rust-Sampedro, Minneapolis, MNMore Testimonials
“Doug is kind, supportive, insightful, nurturing, sensitive and brilliantly attuned both technically and spiritually to the art, the eyes and the heart. There is a reason for the name Vision Quest.” – Layla Smart, New York, NY
“You really walked everyone through your creative process which I found, as a new devotee to photography, enlightening! Thanks for a wonderful/thoughtful/honest presentation. I was truly inspired!” – Sandra Weber, WI
View student photography from other Vision Quest workshops
View some of Doug’s photography
Early Summer 2018
TBD: Depart for Keflavík International Airport (KEF)
TBD: Evening flight home
CLASS LIMIT: 12
COST: $5495. Airfare not included. (Double occupancy, minimum of 10 students – there is a $400 surcharge per person if there are 6-9 students) $795 single supplement. Includes tuition, accommodations, driver guide and group transportation, meals as indicated in itinerary. Extensive pre-departure information and services.
The land cost does not include: International airfare; airfare tax; airport transfers; additional transfers or accommodations that may be required by those not traveling with the group; meals not listed as included; activities listed as optional, or those taken on your own; passport expenses; personal medical or travel insurance; any expenses of a personal nature or those not listed in what is included; tips to guides and service staff. Please contact Strabo Tours if you would like assistance with your International Airfare.
REGISTRATION: Contact Strabo Photo Tours
2017 Itinerary (2018 will be similar):
May 4 Home
Your journey to Iceland begins with an overnight flight (arriving early morning tomorrow) to Keflavik Airport in Reykjavik, Iceland.
May 5 Reykjavik – Borgarfjordur
After a very early arrival in Keflavik Airport, our local guide will meet you at the airport. You will then start the tour with a light breakfast in an Icelandic coffee shop. Before reaching our hotel in Borgarnes we will take a scenic drive to Lake Thingvallavatn. This area is sacred by one of the world’s great geological boundaries, a rift valley marking where the North American and Eurasian continental plates are physically tearing apart. After checking in to our hotel and enjoying a rest, we will explore the valleys West of Borgarnes. Country Hotel Hraunsnef (B, L, D)
May 6 Borgarfjordur – Siglufjordur
Driving north today we will drive around the Vatnsnes Peninsula with its renowned seal colony cliffs on the western side and the spectacular Hvitserkur Rock on the eastern side. Traveling further east we reach the town of Siglufjordur, with its brightly painted houses and bustling harbor, giving you the opportunity to photograph the working fisherman. Hotel Siglo (B, L, D)
May 7 & 8 Saudarkrokur – Lake Myvatn
We leave the Northern fjords passing Akureyri and over to the spectacular Godafoss Falls, ending the day in Lake Myvatn (Midge Lake). The ice-blue Skalfandafljot River tears through horseshoe-shaped basalt canyons busting into a pair of cataracts. The largest of these being, Godafoss, known as the Waterfall of the Gods. We will take hikes to either side of these breathtaking falls, offering tremendous views and places to photograph. Reach your working farm accommodation, where there will be many photographic opportunities.
We will have another full day in the Lake Myvatn region. Lake Myvatn, located in the rugged Myvatn desert, is Iceland’s best-known natural wonder with pseudocraters, dark lava castle formations, steam vents, hot springs, mud pools, volcanoes, and brilliantly colored mountains. We will photograph the otherworldly region of craters, towering volcanic pillars, and boiling mud pots along the lakeshore. Dimmuborgir, is comprised of a vast field of towering volcanic pillars, while Namafjall is streaked in gray gypsum, yellow sulfur deposits, and evil smelling blue-gray belching mud pools. It is essential to follow boardwalks and guide ropes keeping a safe distance from the 200°C pots. Steam vents exist, where rocks, gravel, and earth have been burst upwards like a bubble to form waist-high, perforated mounds through which vapor screams ferociously. Perhaps we will end the day on a quieter note at the crystal clear blue waters of the Lake Myvatn natural baths, with an optional swim or spa treatment. Guesthouse Vogafjos Farm (B, L, D both days)
May 9 Myvatn – Djupivogur
This morning, we take a last look at the volcanism of the Myvatn area, including the recent lava of the “Krafla fires” of 1975-1984. We travel east through the desolate highlands, to Egilsstadir, and then on to view the East fjords. Borgarfjordur East, also known as Bakkagerdi, is an isolated community of just 120 people, overlooking a wide fjord. Backed by mountains, it is a charming location steeped in local lore. Accommodations are in the quaint Djupivogur fishing village, where we will be at a prime location for early morning photography. Hotel Framtid (B, L, D)
May 10 & 11 Ice Lagoon – Skaftafell National Park
As we depart Djupivogur, we travel south, along the East coast with its dramatic fjords. One of the highlights early this morning will be photographing the ice lagoon Jökullon on Breidamerkursandur. You then drive further south and west, closer to Skatafell National Park. The next morning explore the park, a natural wonderland of powerful glaciers, turbulent waterfalls, lush birch woodlands, and vibrant wildflowers. Enjoy a leisurely morning photographing at the foot of Vatnajökull glacier. The park also offers short hikes with fantastic views of Iceland’s highest mountain, Hvannadalshnukur. An extended hike takes us to a tremendous basalt waterfall known as Svartifoss, or the Black Falls. Hof 1 (B, L, D)
May 12 & 13 Skaftafell – Vik – Hella
Some say this route is one of the most scenic and beautiful routes in Iceland. We travel along the south shore past spectacular mountain scenery, across a vast lava field by Kirkjubæjarklaustur and into Iceland’s southernmost village of Vik, where black sand beaches and picturesque rocks line the sea shore including columnar basalt grottoes, sea stacks, and bird cliffs. We visit the Dyrholaey headland where thousands of birds nest during the summer including puffins, guillemots and fulmars. Perhaps we will have time for an optional amphibious boat tour out from Dyrholaey to view the three trolls. Finally we reach our accommodation.
We will have another full day to explore Southern Iceland. Depending on the weather and road conditions we will take a day trip to Landmannalaugar Nature Reserve or Thorsmork Glacier Valley, located by the foot of Eyjafjnallajokull Volcano (erupted in 2010). On our way in to the valley we will need to cross many glacier rivers, and also stop at the Gigjokull glacier where the massive flood from the melting glacier came down during the eruption. Hotel Fljotshlid (B, L, D)
May 14 Hella – Home
This morning we will work our way towards the airport, as we travel west on the Reykjanes peninsula coastal road. Krysuvik offers tremendous shale hills and coastal scenery along the way. We arrive at the airport in the early afternoon for our evening flights home. (B, L)
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.