Last year, The Guild of Photographers asked me if I’d like to come along with them on a photo tour of Iceland. I don’t need to tell you my response. Acting as a combination of participant and Iceland ‘expert’ (I hesitate to use that termÂ as I know there is so much I still have to learn about the country) I flew to my second home on 10th March andÂ spent 8 amazing days with a lovely group of photographers and our brilliant guide, Siggi.
Buy prints of some of these photos here.
So once more I return from a trip to Iceland. This time, however, the purpose was merely leisure, and photography took a back seat (though did still feature to a small extent). I was going for my 11th visit, and my family were coming with me, for their fifth.
We stayed in a small cabin in KjÃ³s, a region on the banks of HvalfjÃ¶rÃ°ur, about 50 minutes’ drive north of ReykjavÃk. At this time of year the days are still pretty long, with sunset at 10:30pm and sunrise about sixÂ hours later. It never gets fully dark, so there was no chance of catching the aurora, but the sunsets do last a very long time, with the so-called ‘golden hour’ more like 2 hours long.
We were lucky with the weather – the weeks preceding our visit had been grey and rainy almost exclusively, but as soon as we arrived the sun made an appearance and we experienced some of the south west of Iceland’s warmest (I hesitate to say ‘hottest’) days of the year so far.
Our trip took us around the Golden Circle (late in the day, so though it was still light enough to see, most of the tourist buses had left), across to the Westman Islands (my third attempt at getting there finally being successful, due in no small part to the assistance of ÃstÃ¾Ã³r, who was staying with his family who live there), and also took in a stay on a horse farm, VÃ¶llur HrossarÃ¦kt, whose owner, ArndÃs, is a mutual friend of Frances, whomÂ I visited in Shetland a few years back. ArndÃs let us stay in an apartment in a refurbished farmhouse on her land, before giving us a tour of her farm in her 4×4, where we experienced some proper off-road driving through the many fields where she keeps her horses.
After leaving the farm, we continued along the south coast to Seljalandsfoss and SkÃ³gafoss waterfalls, stopping toÂ haveÂ a dip in the naturally heated outdoor pool at Seljavallalaug, then droveÂ up to the top of the cliffs at DyrhÃ³laey.
On the evening of the Saturday, just a couple of days before we returned home, Iceland did what it does best and put on an amazing rainbow for us. The low sun, about to set, meant that the rain-filled sky to the south produced a complete rainbow that was as tall as it could be.
I don’t have photos of all the places we visited, for the reasons given in the first paragraph, but here is a selection of some of the images I did manage to capture.