Land of Ice and Snow

November 05, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

On our second day in Iceland, the Mann and I split off from our friends for a South Coast Tour with Arctic Shots.  We had looked at several different tour companies such as GeoIceland, Extreme Iceland, SuperJeep and ultimately chose Arctic Shots as it was geared towards photographers.  We’ve never been on a photo tour before and it was awesome to have not only a local, but a photographer’s eye guiding us.  The other benefit of our tour was that it was private so we didn’t have to wait on anyone but ourselves.

Our guide, Oli, picked us up at the Airbnb at 9am and we were off.  Our first stop was to hang out with some horses on the side of the road.  They are so friendly and seem very happy to be petted and photographed.  That was the first of many spur of the moment stops we made that day.

We then made our way from Raufarholshellir (lava tub cave)…

…through four different waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss (you can walk behind the falls):

Gljufrafoss (waterfall in a cave):

Skogafoss (the big one):

…and Kvernufoss (the secret one, where I chased some sheep):

…to a few stops at the black sand beaches, Dyrholaey (a stone arch that juts into the ocean):

…and another overlook from where you can see the giant Reynisdrangar stone sea stacks and Dyrholaey from the other side:

…let’s not forget the glacier and beautiful countryside!

…and then my must-see, Reynisfjara, a black pebble beach with huge basalt formations.

and finally the little town of Vik.

…with a secluded black sand beach that we had all to ourselves!

Oli travels much like we do, with destinations in mind but with an open mind for stops along the way.  We had a great mix of major landmarks and off-the-beaten-path secret spots.  My very favorite was a smaller waterfall that was a short hike from the road near Skogafoss.  There were only a few people there, a group of whom were Arctic Shot’s other group for the day.  They were preparing for a nudes in nature shoot and it was cool to catch a glimpse of their process.  The other people there were taking wedding photos and it was a kick to see the bride hiking the trail in her gown.

All along our way, we saw these cool little structures built into the hillsides:

And on our way back to Reykjavik from Vik we watched the sun slowly go down and stopped for rainbows, frolicking horses and one more waterfall, Uridafoss which is currently involved with some controversy due to a proposed hydro-electric power station.

But wait… there’s more!  Northern Lights and Leif Erikson coming up next…


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