Etiqueta: Travel Photography

Travel Photography @Turkey | Pedro Filipe Fotografia

Barulho, movimento, venda de rua, quinquilharias, táxis a buzinar a toda a hora… Bem… Istambul foi uma cidade que eu achava que ia gostar, mas nunca pensei que me fosse surpreender tanto. Istambul é uma cidade vibrante, cheia de contrastes e de recantos para descobrir. Além de ser a 5ª maior cidade do Mundo está dividida entre a Europa e a Ásia. Vim embora com a sensação que ficava lá muito mais tempo, simplesmente a passear sem rumo e a fotografar. Adoro viajar. Adoro experimentar novas comidas e sabores. Adoro conhecer novas gentes e culturas… Istambul deu-me tudo isto em doses muitíssimo mais generosas do que aquelas que esperaria obter.

Mais tarde irei fazer um artigo com algumas dicas úteis e sobre os locais que visitamos, mas por agora, deixo-vos com as fotografias.

Um obrigado super especial ao Arcade Hotel que além de nos ter feito um preço especial, ainda nos ofereceu um upgrade de quarto. Um hotel incrível mesmo no meio de toda a vida de Istambul.

Iceland | A land like no other

Iceland is the most unique and exciting place on the planet that I know. It is a place like no other. This article is designed to help maximize your trip to this incredible place.

This itinerary provides you a 7 day road trip plan. We saw and read a lot of blogs and websites to prepare our trip, but we end following almost exactly the trip and blog of Alex Cornell. That’s why this blog post is almost identical to Alex Cornell. Not to copy, but because we followed his trip and tips.

All photos presented in this post is from my own.

Our plan

plano

This was our plan. We can have it here.

Trust me, you do not go to Iceland to see Reykjavik (despite being a really nice city) or to sit on a tourbus.

You go to Iceland to have an unique experience of life and see our planet like a raw thing.

You will see incredible and unforgettable landscapes. You will see waterfalls like you never imagined. As the name implies, Iceland, will see ice and fire. We will see glaciers, geothermal energy, natural SPA, Northern lights. The beauty of Iceland is unique and I assure you that it will remain in your memory forever.

The Ring Road

pedrofilipefotografia_0300 pedrofilipefotografia_0324 pedrofilipefotografia_0345

If you go to Iceland, you must do the Ring Road. It is designed perfectly for a road trip. Many people that goes to Iceland stays in the south (that have beautiful things), but you should get the enough time to do the all Ring Road. In the north, you have the most incredible landscapes and for use, the north was very special, because we saw the Northern lights. Believe me, it was magical!

We drove the Ring Road counter-clockwise. But there a lot of people that does the opposite.

When To Go

Remember that Iceland is almost on the Arctic Pole, so in the winter you will have a big part of the day dark and in the summer we will have sun like forever. We went in the end of August, so we had good weather (only 1 day with rain) and not to crowdy. Iceland is turning in a very popular destination for photographers and adventures, so in this time of the year you will have more people and traffic, but it is ok.

The temperature was cold, but ok. Average of 10ºC.

What To Bring

Map/GPS

You do not want to rely on GPS in Iceland. A hard copy map is recommended. We also had with us our military GPS used on our Geocaching times. This is crucial, especially if you go to drive on a F Road.

Clothes and Gear

Clothes are a very personal decision, but at least bring a good pair of boots because you have to hike in Iceland and a good coat to those times that the wind is really cold.

Money

All you need in Iceland is your credit card. Every gas station, restaurant, shop, and accepts cards. Even the most isolated spots sometimes prefer cards. It’s possible to spend your entire trip in Iceland without handling money.

Where To Stay

There are plenty of accommodation options in Iceland around the entire Ring Road, but you need to book ahead, especially if you go on the crowed season (May and June).

We stayed always at a Hotel or a B&B. Yes, it is a lot more expensive, but you have also other commodities. We can consider also camping or camping in a RV (we saw a lot of people doing this way) for a unique experience… Whatever be your choice, you will not regret.

Driving in Iceland

To get around Iceland, you need to get a car. If you are short on money, a regular car is ok, but if you want to have a more Icelandic experience, you need to get a 4WD. You will have more space, comfort and you will be able to explore some scenarios that it is only possible to visit with a 4WD (F roads). But please be careful. With rain, some gravel streets are dangerous and you need to have special care.

Whatever rental company you choose, please don’t forget to add the gravel insurance. You may think that is unnecessary, but once you start driving in Iceland you will see why am I saying this.

We rented our car in Lagoon Car Rental. To be honest, I don’t think that I have enough words to thank them. All guys in the company were simply amazing. They picked us up at 2am at the airport. Right… 2 Am. In 5 minutes we were at the central office. They gave us coffee, tea and milk.

The cars are like new and recent. We rented a 4WD and Lagoon Car Rental gave us a Kia Sportage. Great car. We drove all around Iceland, including some F Road and we had 0 problems.

If you go to Iceland, don’t search rental companies. Our top choice is definitely, Lagoon Car Rental!

pedrofilipefotografia_0387 pedrofilipefotografia_0388 pedrofilipefotografia_0389

Food in Iceland

The food in Iceland is amazing. Truly, very good. So why do you often hear people lament how bad it is and that it’s “all about hot dogs”. This is true if you restrict your food sourcing to gas stations. If you branch out and try local restaurants, cafes and hotel eateries, then it’s very good. Gas stations are cheaper. We choose to lunch something while driving and having a relaxed dinner.

20160905_141218_6d2 20160905_141224_6d2

Day 1: Keflavík→Vestmannaeyjar

trip-to-iceland

Like I said before, we arrived at KEF at 2 am. I get a little nap and started driving. We were so anxious. You will eventually end up in Vik for the night, but we prefer to know Vestmannaeyjar Islands. We’ve taken the ferry and had our first night there. The drive from KEF is only about 3 hours, but there are some terrific stops along the way. It’s a great route to get acclimated to Iceland and the pace of things.

Stay the night: Hotel Vestmannaeyjar

Dinner: 900 Grillhús

Sights:

The drive along the southern coast is one of my absolute favorites. Some of Iceland’s most iconic sights are just off the Ring Road. There is also great opportunity for serious adventures.

  • Kerid Crater Lake – Take a walk around the crater and admire the contrast between the red rocks and the bright blue water, caused by minerals from the soil.
  • Seljalandsfoss – A stunning 60 metres high waterfall. And the best part is, you can go behind it. Definitely worth a visit for the magnificent scenery.
  • Seljavallalaug – This charming swimming pool is one of the oldest in Iceland! Soak yourself into warm termal water and enjoy.
  • Skógafoss – Come to see one of the biggest waterfalls in the country! A legend says that it hides a treasure. On sunny days, a rainbow can be seen.
  • Solheimasandur Plane Wreck – A plane crashed on Sólheimasandur beach on Sunday, Nov 24, 1973 and its remains can be still found here today. It became very popular with photographers, like us.
  • Dyrhólaey – This small peninsula with cliffs is a protected area. It’s home to many sea birds, including puffins, gulls and fulmars. Wonderful views.
  • Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach – This unique beach with black sand is a must if you want to take truly unusual photographs, alongside the lava columns rising out of the sea. According to the folklore legend, these are two trolls who attempted to drag a ship to land but were turned to stone.

pedrofilipefotografia_0301 pedrofilipefotografia_0302 pedrofilipefotografia_0303 pedrofilipefotografia_0304 pedrofilipefotografia_0305 pedrofilipefotografia_0306 pedrofilipefotografia_0307 pedrofilipefotografia_0308 pedrofilipefotografia_0309 pedrofilipefotografia_0310 pedrofilipefotografia_0311 pedrofilipefotografia_0312 pedrofilipefotografia_0313 pedrofilipefotografia_0314 pedrofilipefotografia_0315 pedrofilipefotografia_0316 pedrofilipefotografia_0317 pedrofilipefotografia_0318 pedrofilipefotografia_0319 pedrofilipefotografia_0320 pedrofilipefotografia_0321 pedrofilipefotografia_0322 pedrofilipefotografia_0323

Day 2: Vestmannaeyjar →Hofn

sygic-travel

The drive up to Hofn is about the same length as Day 1. This leaves you plenty of time to explore and go on at least one longer adventure. This part of Iceland is still relatively tourist-heavy, as you’re still near Reykjavik.

Stay the NightOld Airline Guesthouse. We had a great night here. Very calm and very comfy.

Dinner: Z Bistro

Sights:
There is a ton to do on the way to Hofn.

  • Fjaðrárgljúfur – Formed at the end of the last Ice Age, this canyon is definitely worth the trip. Admire the views as you hide along the river.
  • Black Waterfall – Popular attraction in Skaftafell National Park.
  • Skaftafell – A breathtaking nature reserve somewhat reminiscent of alpine landscape. The climate is relatively mild which render the park well accessible. The vast range of hiking trails make this area an ideal destination for those who like outdoor activities. Also, Skaftafell is a popular destination during winter time not only due to lesser crowds, but also for its beautiful icy appearence.
  • Glacier Lagoon – Perhaps one of the world’s greatest natural jewels. The lagoon is a must see while here and definitely worth the trip.

pedrofilipefotografia_0325 pedrofilipefotografia_0326 pedrofilipefotografia_0327 pedrofilipefotografia_0328 pedrofilipefotografia_0329 pedrofilipefotografia_0330 pedrofilipefotografia_0331 pedrofilipefotografia_0332 pedrofilipefotografia_0333 pedrofilipefotografia_0334 pedrofilipefotografia_0335

Day 3 & 4: Hofn→ Lake Mývatn

trip-to-iceland_2

On this day we drove a lot until Lake Mývatn. It was about six hours driving. But we stayed 2 nights at Lake Mývatn. And it was a great decision, because we had 2 nights of Northern Lights.

Stay the nightVogafjós Guesthouse – Awesome guesthouse set in a unique natural environment.
Dinner: Gamli Bistro

Sights:
The route along the southeastern coast, through the East Fjords, is probably one of the most underrated parts of Iceland, but it is beautiful. The Lake Mývatn region is one of the most interesting and unusual parts of Iceland.

  • Dettifoss – Set in Vatnajökull National Park, it is said to be the most powerfull waterfall in Europe. It’s 45 metres high and 100 metres wide.
  • Víti Crater – The word “víti” means “hell” in Icelandic. Despite the name, this calm place with amazingly clear blue water does not resemble hell at all. See yourself.
  • Krafla Caldera – One of the best known craters in Iceland is worth visiting for its beautiful opaque lake.
  • Námafjall – In this geothermal area, you can admire colorful sulfur crystals and try to hike a short trail.
  • Myvatn Nature Baths – This soothing bath will help you relax and improve your health, thanks to the minerals in the water. A great experience.
  • Hverfjall – Hverfjall, also known as Hverfell. Explore this volcano, one of the most symmetrical craters in the world.
  • Lake Mývatn – A popular tourist destination. The natural beauty is something to behold and the waterbirds population is abundant.

pedrofilipefotografia_0336 pedrofilipefotografia_0337 pedrofilipefotografia_0338 pedrofilipefotografia_0339 pedrofilipefotografia_0340 pedrofilipefotografia_0341 pedrofilipefotografia_0342 pedrofilipefotografia_0343 pedrofilipefotografia_0344 pedrofilipefotografia_0346 pedrofilipefotografia_0347 pedrofilipefotografia_0348 pedrofilipefotografia_0349 pedrofilipefotografia_0350 pedrofilipefotografia_0351 pedrofilipefotografia_0352 pedrofilipefotografia_0353 pedrofilipefotografia_0354 pedrofilipefotografia_0355 pedrofilipefotografia_0356 pedrofilipefotografia_0357 pedrofilipefotografia_0358 pedrofilipefotografia_0359

Day 5: Mývatn→ Laugarbakki

trip-to-iceland_3

On this day, you are basically crushing it all the way from North Iceland, to the edge of the West Fjords. It’s one of the longer drives you’ll have. You’ll also pass through Akureyri, which is Iceland’s second largest urban center. Worth a stop for food and supplies.

Stay the NightHotel Laugarbakki. Fully renewed. Great restaurant and hot tubes.
Dinner: Hotel Laugarbakki

Sights:
There are only a few listed sights on this route. But prepper yourself for gorgeous open roads and unexpected scenery.

  • Aldeyjarfoss – A beautiful waterfall with impressive surroundings.
  • Goðafoss Waterfall – Also called the Waterfall of the Gods, this waterfall is truly impressive. The water of the river falls from a height of 12 meters over a width of 30 meters. Marvel as its shades of blue even during some dreary weather which is rather common in Iceland.

pedrofilipefotografia_0360 pedrofilipefotografia_0361 pedrofilipefotografia_0362 pedrofilipefotografia_0363 pedrofilipefotografia_0364 pedrofilipefotografia_0365

Day 6 & 7: Laugarbakki → Reykjavik

trip-to-iceland_4

You’re almost home! This next drive takes you to Reykjavik, which is very close to the Golden Circle attractions. But before you got to Snaefellsnes Peninsula. It was a quick detour, but it worth it.

Stay the Night: Airbnb – Laugardalur. Great house near city center with a lot of space and very modern.

Sights:
We stayed 2 nights in Reykjavik. We had time to visit the Golden Circle attractions, to visit Reykjavik city centre. It is a small city to visit by foot, with a vibrant and modern feel with a lot of street art and culture.

  • Bridge between  the Continents – A bridge between Euroasian and North American tectonic plates.
  • Kirkjufellsfoss – Waterfall. Definitely worth the detour.
  • Blue Lagoon – A geothermal spa, located in a lava field.
  • Church of Hallgrímur – This architectural gem will take your breath away. The design of the building is really something unique and a must see.
  • Thingvellir National Park – A UNESCO World Heritage site. The park may be famous for being the first place where the Icelandic parliament assembled, but it’s splendor and sport activities that attract its visitors.
  • Öxarárfoss – The stream of the Öxará river falling to the Almannagjá gorge is one of the main attractions of Thingvellir National Park.
  • Geysir – The one that named them all. Usually, it erupts daily, but even if you don’t manage to see the water, it is definitely worth a visit.

pedrofilipefotografia_0366 pedrofilipefotografia_0367 pedrofilipefotografia_0368 pedrofilipefotografia_0375

pedrofilipefotografia_0369 pedrofilipefotografia_0370 pedrofilipefotografia_0371 pedrofilipefotografia_0372 pedrofilipefotografia_0373 pedrofilipefotografia_0374 pedrofilipefotografia_0376 pedrofilipefotografia_0377 pedrofilipefotografia_0378 pedrofilipefotografia_0379 pedrofilipefotografia_0380 pedrofilipefotografia_0381 pedrofilipefotografia_0382 pedrofilipefotografia_0383 pedrofilipefotografia_0384 pedrofilipefotografia_0385 pedrofilipefotografia_0386

The last thing a lot of people do in Iceland is visit the Blue Lagoon (about 45min from Reykjavik, near the airport). If you’ve never been, go check it out. But personally, I didn’t loved it. We went there just before going to the airport and it was ok to relax. I much prefer the Mývatn Baths.

One more big thanks to Lagoon Car Rental for all the support. You were amazing, guys.

I hope that this post would be helpful. If you need more details, please feel free to contact me.

Hugo, João e Cátia (minha querida esposa), obrigado por terem feito parte desta aventura única e memorável nas nossas vidas.