Explore this travel photography Iceland with me… Let’s get lost in the countryside of lava fields, mountains, Icelandic horses, the blue lagoon and so, so much snow!
In November, I was actually booked to photograph a beautiful wedding by one of the waterfalls in Iceland – however the couple cancelled with my flight and trip still booked, so my partner and I decided to make the most of the opportunity and we travelled around Iceland as much as we could in two days!
We arrived very late on a Thursday evening by plane… in the middle of a snow storm! What a great surprise (see above photo!) We then took the shuttle (once we found it) from KEF airport to the car rental shop – where we picked up a beautiful Citreon C4 Cactus (which was a dream to drive, by the way). I then began the terrifying task of driving in Iceland… what a daunting thought!
In Iceland, they drive on the opposite side of the road to us – and if that isn’t terrifying enough, it was already heavily snowing! I actually started screaming when the car skidded slightly on the road (despite having “winter tyres”) and I convinced myself that we were crashing, alongside swearing blue murder at my other half as he tried to interject directions because I couldn’t concentrate while driving the complete opposite way to how I was used to. Luckily, our cosy little guesthouse was only an 8-minute drive from the airport – so we managed to get to safety before I had a complete and total mental breakdown. We arrived at Guesthouse EIR at around 9pm in the pitch black. To ease our tension after the 3 hour flight and far too long in the airports, we took an absolutely amazing dip in the hot tub… in the snow!
As a child, I always visited hot countries. I think this is the norm, when you live in wet, cold, rainy England – your family wants to jet out to the Caribbean and laze on hot sunny beaches. I’d never before seen so much constant snow – and definitely was not used to the temperature change. But the thing I was most unprepared – and most enthralled by – was being in a hot tub while it is snowing. The difference between the sub zero temperature, snow flurries and the extreme heat of the relaxing hot tub is an absolutely crazy experience that I hope to go relive again soon.
The sun rises very late in Iceland and sets quite early – so when we awoke at 7:30 the next morning, the moon was still out and the light still pitch black! We got on the road just after 8 and headed towards the Blue Lagoon, and as you can see from the photo above, it was still pretty dark! However, we managed to drive on some of the bigger roads, which had been gritted and were less snowy! We had booked tickets to go to the Blue Lagoon for 9:00am. I thought we might be there for an hour or two… boy was I about to be surprised.
If I could spend every waking minute in this Geothermal pool, I would. The Blue Lagoon is my idea of absolute paradise. It’s somewhere I intend to return to soon, and I am somebody who is often bored of something once I’ve done it once. The experience is one that is second to none, and the quality of service and the things you get are amazing. Included with our tickets we had two face masks (algae and silica) and one drink – and we ended up spending about 4 hours in the lagoon. There are caves, shallow areas, deep areas, a bar, a facemask bar, a waterfall, seperate pools and areas alongside a sauna and steam room. There are also lockers available and very good hygeine is kept – with conditioner, lotion etc supplied to take care of your body.
We left the blue lagoon just after 1 and then took the time to explore the stunning landscape of lava fields, lakes and mountains outside…
This landscape really is second to none. You can’t compete with this beauty! What a stunning photograph to add to my travel photography Iceland.
After some vigerous exploring, we decided to pop back to the guesthouse for a shower, before heading over to Reykjavik for the evening! We first went into the National Museum, which held some amazing histories and treasures from Iceland – providing an amazing amount of history from the country. By the time we’d finished in the museum, it was getting dark outside – and then the snow storm started! It was at this point I thought… I NEED to get a photo in this flurry!
I’m not often in front of the camera, and I made quick use of our Citreon’s headlights to higlight the snow storm… a photographer has to use what’s available to her 😉
After this, we were really getting hungry. Four hours in a geothermal pool followed by trekking the museum – plus over an hour of driving – really tires you out. So we drove down to the docks to take a look for somewhere nice to eat… I began snapping pictures on my phone and sending them back to my 5-year-old son, who absolutely loves photography and the snow! He especially loved this big boat!
And by luck, just around the corner from this beautiful boat, we found Bryggjan Brugghus Bistro & Brewery and managed to nab a last minute table for two! (Which is an accomplishment in itself – if you ever plan on visiting this place, I’d recommend booking in advance – it gets super busy because it’s amazing! The lighting and atmosphere is stunning, the service is great and the food is brilliant. Even better – it is not only a restaurant and bar, but a brewery too! They even have on-site tours of the brewery and beer/ale tasting – definitely visit if you get the chance!
It was very late by the time we got out of dinner (thoroughly stuffed) but we didn’t want to go home quite yet…. So we made one last visit. The drive was a bit of a terror. Driving around reykjavik in the older parts of the town can be trouble. At one point, they had closed some roads, but not directed the diversion properly, so cars were driving round in the same block over and over again – after much ado (and some hills that we weren’t sure we’d made it up!!) we managed to get to Hallgrímskirkja Church. Although the church was now closed, it was an absolutely stunning sight at night. I’m not sure I can do it justice!
When we finally left the church, we were quite shattered! We still had a 35-minute drive home… but we decided to make one last stop, and trekked in the pitch black over to see Grotta Lighthouse. I DO NOT RECOMMEND DOING THIS. There is zero lighting out past the town there towards the beach, no guide lights at all except the Lighthouse flashing in the distance. It’s quite scary! But, I’ve never before seen a sandy beach that is also covered in snow! It was amazing. And to see the lighthouse over the water (we didn’t dare trek towards it, it would have been dangerous in the pitch black, so we just went down to the water’s edge) was magical. I took a photo in the pitch black, but it didn’t come out well… but this is just to show!
We made our journey home to bed, where we cosily snuggled up and watched some Friends on Netflix (how could we not?!).
We woke up around 9am the next morning (quite exhausted from the day before), and decided to have a lazy morning before driving out around lunchtime. Along the way, we noticed that Iceland has no McDonald’s – but they do have a KFC. So we stopped for lunch… And have you ever seen such a view from a KFC? Certainly not in England!! This may not be such a big deal to those of you from other countries – but you’re lucky to get a view (other than the local tramp digging through a bin) of any kind from the KFC’s in England – let alone a beautiful mountain! We sat next to the window and I took this… (The food was really expensive though… £25 for two basic meals!) And so continues my travel photography Iceland…
We then started our beautiful day out, driving the Icelandic countryside – I’ve snapped a load of travel photography Iceland! We made a few stops – including driving all the way around Thingvellir National Park, the Geysirs and Goðafoss waterfall! The landscape was absolutely stunning! You can see the full set of beautiful photos in the gallery at the bottom of this page – but I’ve included a quick preview (or two) below.
Continuing on with our travel photography Iceland… We made it to the Geysir (our last stop) quite late in the evening, the sun was nearly setting. Did you know that Geysirs actually smell? Like sulfur – or rotten eggs. It’s a very funny thing! The tourist shops were shutting, so we didn’t visit any – but I did record these videos of the eruptions. Sorry for my screech/giggling – the eruption actually scared me!
Now to complete our second day we had reservations at the famous (and stunning) Northern Light’s Inn – Max’s Restaurant! With wonderful fine dining, and built right next door to the Blue Lagoon, this is one of the top restaurants in the area! Hoping to capture more travel photography iceland, we went to try the restaurant and hoping to see the Northern Lights (after looking out for them both previous nights, but it was snowing too heavy).
Unfortunately, we did not get to see the Northern Lights on our last night while at the beautiful Northern Lights Inn – however I have to give the restaurant a special mention because the food was absolutely sublime! The BEST food I have ever tasted. We had the soup of the day, followed by the lamb and then chocolate cake. Every single piece melted in your mouth, every single piece was like an explosion of taste! I dream about this food – returning to this restaurant. If you want to visit one restaurant in the country of Iceland – travel to the Northern Lights Inn for Max’s Restaurant. (And take some travel photography Iceland like me!)
After an amazing dinner, we headed back to the guesthouse where we spent our remaining evening watching the stars in the hot tub! We awoke the next morning refreshed and left for the airport at 8:30am…
And it was still pitch black! Look at this! 8:30 in the morning!!
And so concluded our wonderful two days around Iceland… Below I’ve included the gallery I took on my DSLR camera for you to leaf through… I hope you enjoy! Please share this with your friends and family if you enjoyed it – I’ve enjoyed sharing my travels and travel photography iceland with you all!
Here is the gallery of my travel photography Iceland… Please take a look! I loved shooting these!
If you’re a fan of my work, or you really liked my blog about travel photography iceland, why not get in touch to book in a shoot? I’d love to chat!