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Calling all visitors to Iceland

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by The_Abyss, 21 Oct 2014.

  1. smr

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 6 Mar 2008

    Posts: 8,594

    Location: Leicestershire

    I went for the Dacia Duster in the end... I received an email just now from booking.com to say that VAT has risen to 11% from 7% on Hotels effective the 1st of this month just incase anyone wanted to know.

    Iceland has announced that it will lower its standard VAT rate from 25.5% to 24% on 1 January 2015.

    The reduced VAT rate will be increased from 7% to 11%. The reduced rate applies to hotel accommodation, broadcast services, newspapers, recorded music and basic foodstuffs. A number of previously exempt or zero rated supplies will now be subject to the reduced VAT rate, including certain types of transport.
     
    Last edited: 5 Jan 2015
  2. a1ex2001

    Capodecina

    Joined: 14 Mar 2005

    Posts: 14,400

    Location: Here and There...

    For me a cpl is essential and I used mine pretty much continuously also wish I'd taken a cheap nd for the water falls that are everywhere.

    Eventually icelands gouging of the tourist market will bite them, hotel prices in particular are going up at a crazy rate!
     
  3. smr

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 6 Mar 2008

    Posts: 8,594

    Location: Leicestershire

    Do you have a Canon DSLR?
     
  4. smr

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 6 Mar 2008

    Posts: 8,594

    Location: Leicestershire

    Having done a lot of googling on CPL filters what would you recommend for Iceland? They are absolutely awesome!
     
  5. BruceLee

    Mobster

    Joined: 22 May 2003

    Posts: 4,055

    We had a Dacia Duster from BlueCar last October, great little 4x4, it was two of us, both photographers and it had enough room for all our gear and luggage. You will probably get it with SatNav built in which was useful, although I got a local Simmin card for my phone, very good 3G reception all round the country.

    Good mpg (around 50) as it's a 1.5 diesel, we were concerned it would be a bit underpowered but in all honesty it was perfectly fine. We drove round the whole island in 2 weeks, clocked up over 2000km on it. IIRC it had winter studded tyres on but I imagine that's the law on winter driving there anyway.

    There was only a small 40km stretch of the main route 1 that we found that was gravel, that was in the south east roughly here: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@64.7571488,-14.2325332,10z
    Otherwise all good tarmac.

    Would love to go again, maybe choose a specific area to stay in as as much as it was good to see the whole island it was a bit rushed for photography. We didn't have time to do the North West peninsula so may try that next time.

    we used booking.com via phone to book hostels, worked very well, nearly all the hostels are good, had no complaints.
     
  6. smr

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 6 Mar 2008

    Posts: 8,594

    Location: Leicestershire

    Thanks for the info. The car is well reviewed and seems fine for what we want. We looked into the ring road trip ages ago but quickly discovered it wasnt really a feasible option with 7 days and other items on our itinerary, so instead we will be touring the southcoast, up to Jokulsarlon and doing some activities between there and Reykjavik.

    Do you know if the duster plays mp3s via usb? Thatd be sweet if it does.
     
  7. BruceLee

    Mobster

    Joined: 22 May 2003

    Posts: 4,055

    Ours had bluetooth and I believe a USB port but didn't try it, we just used bluetooth to play music, worked fine. It's a touchscreen sat nav, once you get used to it it worked quite well.
    Heated front seats were a life saver after standing out in the cold!

    I liked the car actually, as a basic 4x4 I thought it worked well. We did go on some gravel roads and sections where it was rocky and steep and it handled it well. When I got back I actually looked at how much they were to buy here, maybe in a year or two when the used prices come down I would be interested in one.

    The ring road is certainly doable in 7 days but if like us you are actually wanting a chance to get some decent photo opportunities then you know that you need to be around for the right light/conditions and would need to stay in an area for a day or two. We were on the road for 11 days total, clockwise round the island. A 12v cigarette socket USB charger is very useful, I got one which had 2x12v sockets and 4x USB, kept everything charged whilst travelling.

    I liked the south, Jokulsarlon was what I imagined, the beach had as many photographers as washed up icebergs so keep that in mind, you are all trying to get a decent shot there. Obviously there are the waterfalls too, most very easy to get to.
    The downside of anything within a day trip from Reykjavik is the amount of tourists, Gulfoss was by far the busiest we saw due to it's proximity to the city. Further around the island we had most to ourselves, a few people at Godafoss and Detifoss etc.

    Heres my map I created with photography locations, shops, hostels etc, you may find it useful.

    https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@64.9...=!3m1!4b1!4m2!6m1!1szzkhqQqlWB70.k5X53cQ5NKAs

    I'd again recommend getting a local SIM card, they sell Simminn at the airport arrivals shop, just ask at the checkout. I paid £20 for the SIM card and the 2gb data I topped up on to it. I can't stress enough how useful it was knowing the weather/aurora forecasts and being able to plan around it. A lot of places are on booking.com so we just booked the day before where ever we wanted to be.
    I got 3G signal nearly everywhere around the island, even in remote spots a long way from any towns, it really was surprising. UK networks in places like Wales or Scotland have nothing compared to in Iceland.

    I'm still slowly going through my photos, I've edited most, may put a thread up on here at some point.
     
  8. a1ex2001

    Capodecina

    Joined: 14 Mar 2005

    Posts: 14,400

    Location: Here and There...

    I have canon 5d mkii upgraded from my original 30d a couple of years back. 90% of the time in iceland I had the 24-105mm locked on the camera I then switched to the samyang 14mm when the aurora appeared. We were really lucky to see it twice without trying first time it appeared over our hotel so we stood on the patio for photo's second time in vik we were parked outside a restaurant about to go in for dinner when the tell tale white wisps appeared so back in the car we got!

    I have a Marumi dhg super for my 24-105mm good balance of price and performance without the Hoya brand premium.
     
  9. smr

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 6 Mar 2008

    Posts: 8,594

    Location: Leicestershire

    Hi all,

    Thanks for all of the sound advice guys, if you have any more it'd be greatly welcomed, we're off in around 3 weeks! Think I've finally settled on an itinerary for myself and my partner, we are arriving Mid-February for a week.

    Day 1 - Touch down @ 13:50 - Pick up Hire Car from Blue Car Rental, drive straight to hveragerdi.

    Enjoy the Hotel and surrounding Countryside

    Day 2 - Check out, drive towards Vik stopping off at the sights on the way, walk around Vik (light permitting) and / or enjoy Hotel and Hot Tubs etc.

    Day 3 - Get up early at 7am and drive towards Jokulsarlon, visit Lagoon, Ice Cave @ 2pm, drive back to Hotel in Vik

    Day 4 - Check out of Vik, drive to Arcanum Snowmobiling Tour, Snowmobile on the Mýrdalsjökull glacier from 10am, depart around 1pm and drive to the Blue Lagoon, stay a couple of hours, drive to Reykjavik. Check into Hotel at Reykjavik

    Day 5 - Drive to Thingvellir National Park for Caving and Snorkelling at Silfra.

    Day 6 - Drive the Golden Circle

    Day 7 - Sightseeing and Whale Watching in Reykjavik

    Day 8 - More sightseeing in Reykjavik, depart for airport.
     
  10. BruceLee

    Mobster

    Joined: 22 May 2003

    Posts: 4,055

    If you are going to the south then I highly recommend getting to the crashed DC3, it's in between Skogafoss and Vik on the coast. We went there one evening and got some great aurora.

    [​IMG]

    Short timelapse I did



    It's marked on the map I posted above. It's tricky to find the section off the main road to get to it as it's not marked but it's here:

    https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@63.4...ata=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sEQKqkJXVsepS_N3Z3xxbdQ!2e0

    There is a clearly defined track to it, it's around 5 minutes drive, looks like you aren't getting anywhere but the plane is in a little dip. If you look on the map in satellite view you can see the track and plane. I would guess in February it will be snowy so you may not be able to get to it.

    Places on the way from Vik to Jokulsaron

    Dverghamrar, a canyon area, didn't visit it due to time but it looks interesting.

    Fjadrargljufur Canyons, similar I think

    Laufskálavarða: http://www.katlageopark.com/geosites/laufskalavarda/

    Not detracting from Jokulsarlon but there is another smaller lagoon you can drive to just west of it called Fjallsárlón, may be less tourists.

    The small cafe at Jokulsarlon is nice, reasonably priced and a good place to sit waiting for weather to clear.

    Seljavallalaug Pool is the more famous hot water pool, search on google for it.

    Most of those are right next to the main ring road so you should be able to access them. They are all on my map along the ring road.

    You'll be stopping off every 5 minutes anyway as the scenery is fantastic, just park off the road if you do stop :)
     
  11. smr

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 6 Mar 2008

    Posts: 8,594

    Location: Leicestershire

    Got back on Thursday, what an epic Country. Amazing place. We didn't get the best weather overall, making the Northern Lights a no show for us unfortunately, but we had an absolutely amazing time :)
     
  12. Genoma

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 5 Mar 2006

    Posts: 2,237

    Location: Shropshire

    :) excellent, glad you liked it looking forward to the pics!
     
  13. smr

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 6 Mar 2008

    Posts: 8,594

    Location: Leicestershire

    Thanks dude :) Uploading some to flickr now. I'm not the greatest photographer ever but I'll link some up !
     
  14. smr

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 6 Mar 2008

    Posts: 8,594

    Location: Leicestershire

    [​IMG]IMG_3081 by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_3083 by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_3079 by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_3068 by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_3008 by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_2846 by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_2746 by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_2659 by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_2626 by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_2575 by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_2558 by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_2552 by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_2251 by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_2226 by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_2137 by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_2117 by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_2104 by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_2095 by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_2077 by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_2066 by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_2059 by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_2033 by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_2031 by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_2026 by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_2021 by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_2016 by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_2004 by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_1994 by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_1988 by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_1922 by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_1880 by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Skogafoss Waterfall by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Seljalandsfoss - Big Sky! by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Seljalandsfoss Waterfall by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Seljalandsfoss Waterfall by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_1785 by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_0624 by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_0615 by smurkej, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_0610 by smurkej, on Flickr
     
  15. a1ex2001

    Capodecina

    Joined: 14 Mar 2005

    Posts: 14,400

    Location: Here and There...

    Nice set reminds me just how lucky we were with the weather this time last year, we had blue skies every day except one and saw the northern lights twice without needing to leave our guest houses!
     
  16. MichaelAwkward

    Mobster

    Joined: 22 Jul 2014

    Posts: 3,599

    Location: Oxon

    Wow, nice shots! Iceland is next on my list to visit.
     
  17. Genoma

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 5 Mar 2006

    Posts: 2,237

    Location: Shropshire

    Some great shots there! Love the ice cave. How did you find the driving in the end?
     
  18. smr

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 6 Mar 2008

    Posts: 8,594

    Location: Leicestershire

    Thanks guys. Found the driving a bit scary at times, especially driving from Jokulsarlon to Reykjavik. Luckily there wasnt much snow on the road or ice, but the wind and rain were buffeting the car like there was no tomorrow and as it was in the dark i spent most of the time driving in the middle of the road!
     
  19. smr

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 6 Mar 2008

    Posts: 8,594

    Location: Leicestershire

    Last edited: 23 Feb 2015
  20. DB_SamX

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 17 Feb 2006

    Posts: 8,433

    Location: Winchester

    Bumping this for travel/booking advice.

    Currently thinking of going for 4 nights/5days early Feb for my brother and me. Not after anything specific in mind other than Northern Lights and general photography. Looking at staying in Reykjavik the whole time and doing day trips generally, as opposed to moving about.

    Any advice recommendations on organising it all - find a holiday deal or book/arrange things separately, in which case any sites to look at?