Jórunn Sjöfn Guðlaugsdóttir

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Jórunn Sjöfn Guðlaugsdóttir

 •  18.12.14

December Darkness in Iceland

Even though December is the darkest month in Iceland this month is all about light.  During winter time days get shorter in Iceland with less light because of the country´s high latitude.

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Attractions by Skaftafell Nature Reserve

Skaftafell National Park was established 1967 but as from 2008 it became a part of the larger Vatnajokull National Park. The size of the Vatnajokull National Park including Skaftafell is around 14.200 km2 making it Europe's second largest National Park after Yugyd Va in Russia. When travelling around Iceland this part of the country should not be left out because there are breathtaking sceneries and vistas wherever you go and great opportunities in terms of photography and outdoor activity of all kind.  The landscape can be compared with some areas from the Alps with mighty mountain peaks covered with snow along with variable glacier sceneries and volcanoes.  Iceland´s highest summit Hvannadalshnjukur can be seen in this area.  Characteristic for Skaftafell National Park is diversity and contrast and when travelling through there you will witness black sand plateau, vibrant glaciers, rivers and icy lagoons, volcanoes, majestic mountain peaks and dynamic floras Skaftafell National Park is located by the roots of Iceland largest glacier Vatnajokull and once there you will witness plenty of its outlet glaciers cascading to the lowland, all with different names and characters.

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What is the weather like in Iceland ?

How is the weather in Iceland . When is the best weather or when is the best time to visit .

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Hiking to Iceland's highest waterfall - Glymur

It´s a fact that many Icelanders love outdoor activities. Hiking is one of them which should not come as a surprise since Iceland is a land of mountains and ridges that provide endless hiking opportunities.  In my recent blog posts you can find hiking tips to Mt. Esjan and the Fimmvorduhals pass, but now I want to tell you about Glymur waterfall, and how to get there.

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The Lopapeysa

I know this is something unusual for me to write about but even so it found its way into my blog.  I'm gonna talk a little bit about the hip and cool Icelandic must have thing "lopapeysa".  If you are wondering what that might be then it's a hand knitted wool sweater made from Icelandic wool.  In the old days this was something that mostly fishermen and farmers put on to stay warm and the grandmothers knitted it but in the middle of the 20th century it came very popular amongst younger people and nowadays almost every Icelander owns one and plenty of people all ages knit those themselves.   Some people say that the gaining popularity of the lopapeysa is most likely related to the financial crash in 2008 when people felt the need for more simplicity with less money in the pocket.  I think that might be true.   If you are in Iceland you will probably notice people strolling all over wearing this kind a sweater especially when on the road travelling. The lopapeysa (the Icelandic word for this woollen gem) is not only warm but also kinda hip too so as you see it's very practical especially when travelling.  What makes lopapeysa characteristic is the yarn used called lopi, made from Icelandic sheep and contains both wool and wind hairs, making it soft and very warm. The wide yoke design on top is also very symbolic for the lopapeysa sweater.    This popular unique garment is very easy to approach and can be bought in any of Reykjavík´s many tourist shops or even in Kolaportið flea market by the harbour or if you are a genius you could knit one yourself.  It's not that difficult and the yarn is cheap. The yarn can also be bought in our tourist shops along with patterns and instructions.    Bottom line whether you want to stay warm or be cool or both then this is the first thing you wanna do when landing in Iceland.  Go buy yourself a lopapeysa and you will rock Iceland when travelling .

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Jórunn Sjöfn Guðlaugsdóttir

 •  22.08.14

The remote island Flatey

Have you ever visited some of the islands around Iceland.  I recommend you do and there are several beautiful islands possible to visit. One of them is Flatey island, located in Breidafjordur bay on the northwestern part of Iceland. The island is about two kilometers long and one kilometer wide and is quite flat almost without any hills, so therefore the name 'Flatey', meaning "flat island".

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Elliðarárdalur - A hidden gem in Reykjavík

In the middle of Reykjavík city there is a hidden nature gem called Elliðaárdalur valley, a peaceful recreation area that not many travellers know about or visit. If you are staying in Reykjavík and you have some extra time I totally recommend a visit to this oasis of the outskirt of the city. It's easy to reach from Reykjavík and you can even take the bus. You could even combine it with a trip to the historical museum Árbæjarsafn located not far away. I wrote about it before in Top 10 tips for photography in Reykjavík.

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Chasing Waterfalls in Iceland

Iceland is spectacular in so many ways and Icelandic nature is quite unique with its vast landscape,  volcanic activity, geothermal areas, glacier lagoons and sceneries, black sand beaches and spectacular mountain ridges.  The country's most recognizable series of attractions though are maybe the endless amount of waterfalls making Iceland quite unique. Once I heard the number 10.000.  I'm not sure about this number but I sure know that they are in abundance and wherever you go you will find a waterfall so chasing them is easy.   Why do we have so many waterfalls some people ask and the answer is because we have north Atlantic climate that produces frequent rain and snow and due to the Arctic location we also have large glaciers feeding the rivers during warmer days.  Because of all this the result is large amount of waterfalls.

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Why not get married in Iceland?

As we  know Iceland is quite unique with its vast raw landscape, geothermal and volcanic activity, glaciers and lagoons and big endless lava fields. Because of its uniqueness and spectacular landscape Iceland is getting more and more popular among visitors from abroad. Ofcourse people visit with different purpose in mind and travel around the island with different style. People even come here to get married and last week I had the honour to join, guide and photograph a beautiful couple who came to Iceland on a cruise with the purpose to get married in the National Park at Þingvellir. As you can see everything is possible. It's all about living your dream. I want to share my experience of this adventurous great day so you can see how anything and everything is achievable on this little island of ours. I have to give Guide to Iceland a huge credit how they organized this day for the beautiful couple providing car, cake, champagne, flowers, organizing paperwork and priest and everything that is needed for a big day like this.

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The dynamic plant Lupin

People have been asking me where to find lupines in Iceland. If you like them you should be able to find them easily in Iceland in summer. They are in bloom and visible almost wherever you drive around the country, very often along roads and lakes.

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Jórunn Sjöfn Guðlaugsdóttir

 •  4.06.14

Þingvellir National Park - Where You Walk Between Two Continents

  Iceland is still volcanically active and you can easily see rifts and fissures in many areas of the country. In some regions the land is literally drifting apart.

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The Glacier Lagoon Jökulsárlón

Jökulsárlón literally means "glacial river lagoon". I'm sure you have heard about this beautiful natural wonder of Iceland.

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Puffins in Iceland

Did you know that Atlantic puffins spend most of their lives at sea, but return to land to form breeding colonies during spring and summer.   Iceland is one of those colonies because in spring time they come over here for nesting and Iceland is the breeding home for about 60 percent of the world's Atlantic puffins.

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The Majestic Canyon Fjaðrárgljúfur

If you have never been to this canyon before I sure recommend a little trip up there.  The canyon is up to 100 m deep and 2 km long and its located in south east Iceland not so far away from the village Kirkjubæjarklaustur.

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The Different Displays of Skógafoss and its Legend

  What appearance of Skógafoss do you prefer. The rainbow summerglow, the frozen beauty or maybe the artistic look of it or maybe you love it in black and white.

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Jórunn Sjöfn Guðlaugsdóttir

 •  19.04.14

Geothermal Areas - Beautiful, Steamy Smelly Spots

Do you also like the smell in the geothermal areas of Iceland . As you know Iceland is known for its geothermal activity.

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The Waterfalls Brúarfoss and Faxi are Close to the Golden Circle

Many of you might be familiar with the Golden Circle route, which includes the big beautiful Gullfoss waterfall, the Geysir geothermal area and Þingvellir National Park. But you might also be interested to hear that close to the Golden circle there are two hidden gems; the beautiful waterfalls of Brúarfoss and Faxi.  Brúarfoss waterfall Brúarfoss, which could be translated as  "Waterfall bridge," is a hidden gem because you can´t see it from the road and there are no signs directing you to it.  It takes its name from a natural stone arch over the river near the waterfall from earlier times.

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Dyrhólaey - the arch with the hole

When you are surfing the south coast of Iceland there are so many places to explore and I know you can´t see it all but if you have time I recommend taking the turn to Dyrhólaey. Dyrhólaey is about 174 km from Reykjavík city or about 2 1/2 hour drive not so far away from the beautiful little village Vík (the southern most village in Iceland).

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Walking on glacier and surfing the south coast

Recently I went on this amazing tour and I want to tell you a little bit about it. The main focus or the highlight of the tour is the hike on Sólheimajökull glacier but on your way to the glacier you will surf the south coast and get a chance to explore several beautiful gems such as the mighty Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss, black beach at Reynisfjara and Vík í Mýrdal.

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10 great tips for photography in Reykjavík and nearby

Want some tips about great shooting spots in Reykjavík city. If you prefer to discover and explore nature within the city there are plenty of interesting places to see and shoot 1.Sólfarið or the sun voyager   You probably wont miss this sculpture located on the seaside at Sæbraut street not so far away from Harpan concert hall. The sun Voyager is a dreamboat or an ode to the sun.  This sculpture is extreemly picturesque and makes a good foreground with the mt. Esjan or the citiscape in the back   Cool for sunrise and sunset shots too.    2.Harpan   Harpan is a concert and conference hall located by the harbor in center of Reykjavík. Its designed by the Danish firm Henning Larsen Architects in co-operation with dansih-icelandic artist Olafur Elíasson. The building is mostly made of glass panels in different colours. You can go inside free of charge and in there you have many cool shooting spots as well from outside   3.Tjörnin   Tjörnin pond which is centrally located down town Reykjavík is beautifully framed with beautiful buildings and colourful houses as well as Reykjavík City Hall. It’s a home of countless ducks, swans and geese that stay there the whole season. Wether its winter or summer it always makes a great frame for photography.    4.Hallgrímskirkja church   This spectacular architecture stands powerfully at top of Skólavörðustígur street. Its tower rises 73m.

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Jórunn Sjöfn Guðlaugsdóttir

 •  16.03.14

Hellnar - tiny little beach and a café

  Because I love Snæfellsnes peninsula in west Iceland Im gonna dwell there a little bit longer (see my last blog about Búðir).   Do you have a special place you can totally forget about time .

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Picnic at the white beach Búðir

  Most of the beaches in Iceland are pitch black, some are rocky and wild, some do have soft black sand while others are covered with white/yellow sand.  The white beaches are rare though but for example in the Westfjords you can find some white or yellow beaches and also at Snæfellsnes peninsula in west Iceland.  If you are driving around Snæfellsnes then I recommend a stop at Búðir. There is something very special about this place and this area even though there is absolutely nothing there except one hotel and a church surrounded by endless lava field, "Búðahraun" and some beautiful windswept grass.  Find tours of the Westfjords here Find tours of Snæfellsnes peninsula here Búðir is a former fishing village but as so many settlement in this area it was abandoned in the early nineteenth century and today consists of nothing more than the hotel and the beautiful black little church that are situated just a short while from the sea with its yellow sandy beach and some rough lava rock formations too.  If you go to the beach sometimes if you are lucky you can even see some cute and curious seals   Many wide travelled people have stated that nowhere in Iceland have they enjoyed the natural surroundings more with the nearness of the mysterious Snæfellsjökull glacier and it is really true there is some special energy around there.  In summertime I recommend doing a little picnic in this area. Its so beautiful and cozy sitting on the beach or just find some nature made seat from lava rocks, relax and just be and enjoy. You will not be disappointed and after a while you are full of positive energy and happiness.  If you love photography then  this area with the black little church in your frame is very picturesque, also in winter time.

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Mount Esja Hiking And Outdoor Area

After I posted my blog about the Fimmvörðuháls pass quite many have been asking if its possible to hike there during winter. The answer is no so I've been thinking what I could recommend instead for nature and outdoor lovers that really want to do some hiking while here.

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Lóndrangar

  Discover Lóndrangar - the rocky castle Because we don’t have any castles in Iceland mother nature decided to make one for us. Seeing from distance Lóndrangar looks like a huge castle reaching out to the sea.

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One of the Most Picturesque Lighthouses in the World

  See Akranes on the west coast of Iceland If you are into photography or just interested in exploring new things in Iceland I would like to show you a place that you might find attractive.  If you love lighthouses and or abandoned subjects I would recommend a trip or a little detour to Akranes, a town in the west part of Iceland.

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Jórunn Sjöfn Guðlaugsdóttir

 •  28.02.14

Icelandic horses - our friends

  If visiting Iceland you will probably get some new cool friends as this one. When travelling around Iceland you will most definitely notice some horses on your way and probably you will see lots of them.  I recommend you stop the car at least once because they are really charming and fun to connect with and always willing to mingle.

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Northern lights info & shooting spots near Reykjavík

Most  people visiting Iceland are interested in the Northern lights and I totally understand that.  It's really overwhelming to experience this wonder and  breathtaking when they are visible dancing above, sometimes vibrant and multicolored.  Even though I´ve experienced the auroras my whole life they always fascinates me and I never get bored looking up in the sky admiring them.

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Waterfalls and home of dwarfs & elves

  Don´t miss Stjórnarfoss waterfall, Foss á Síðu and Dverghamrar rocks while in the south coast of Iceland. I want to mention two beautiful spots on the south coast that many people pass by.

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Landmannalaugar | A colorful highland tour

Exploring the geothermal paradise Landmannalaugar Im gonna stay with you a little bit longer in the highland of southern Iceland (see my last blog from the highland as well) and take you to the geothermal wonderland Landmannalaugar one of my favourite places.  If you havn´t been there then I totally recommend a trip to this beautiful gem of Iceland.This region is based not so far away from the volcano Hekla which is one of Iceland´s most active volcanoes also called the gateway to hell so as you see there is a lot to discover and be curious about.

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The Fimmvörðuháls Hiking Trail | Photos and Tips

Hiking between two glaciers and a volcano I have talked to many tourists and travelers that have been to Iceland several times wanting to do something different when returning because normally they have done the driving route around the island and seen all the most famous waterfalls and spots.  If you are in this position or if you simply love hiking then please read further.

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Jórunn Sjöfn Guðlaugsdóttir

 •  7.02.14

The abandoned DC plane on Sólheimasandur

Do you like science fiction movies and want be in one (almost) . If yes then visit the abandoned DC plane on the black beach at Sólheimasandur.

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Epic Swimming in Seljavallalaug Geothermal Pool

Visit one of Iceland's oldest geothermal pools  Swimming is very popular in Iceland both by locals and visitors. Icelanders are used to go swimming in open air pools all year round no matter how cold it is.

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The monster in North Iceland

Exploring the big monster Hvítserkur in Northwest Iceland I'm taking you to the giant monster “Hvítserkur” in Northwest Iceland. If you are driving from Reykjavík to North Iceland or vice versa and if you have extra time I recommend taking a detour to Hvítserkur in Vatnsnes peninsula.

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the rough and raw Reykjanes - part II

Explore the raw beauty of Reykjanes peninsula I hope you liked my last blog about Reykjanes peninsula part I.  In this article I'm going to finish my route around this interesting area.

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The rough and raw Reykjanes – part I

  Explore the raw beauty of Reykjanes peninsula I want to introduce you to some amazingly beautiful attractions close to our capital city Reykjavík. They are located in the Reykjanes peninsula, a rugged raw peninsula with a lunar-like landscape; volcanic and geothermal wonders with steaming hot lava.  You will also experience soft moss, black rocky beaches, wild waves, cliffs and amazing rock formations.

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Jórunn Sjöfn Guðlaugsdóttir

 •  18.01.14

A Day Trip To Waterfalls In West Iceland

Explore two beautiful waterfalls in Borgarfjörður Many people visiting Iceland don't have much time for travelling, but still want to explore some of the beautiful attractions that are here. This article will tell you about some amazing waterfalls close to the capital city Reykjavík.

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icy Iceland

Experience icelandic winter wonderland There are not everyone who can travel during summer time or some people prefer travelling in winter time. Iceland can be magical during winter and actually I recommend exploring the country this time of year because you discover a totally different world.

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Secret waterfall on the South Coast

Discover the waterfall Gljúfrabúi The great thing about travelling around Iceland are all the different and unique spots and areas you can discover when driving around.  You don't need to go far from the city to explore and enjoy amazing and beautiful places.  Iceland is known for its large number of waterfalls and even if we have countless falls they are all very unique and differ from each other. I love to discover new waterfalls because it's one of my favourite subject to shoot.

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pocket guide book

Recently I made a little pocket book that is for sale online. This little pocket book will guide you to some of the most beautiful places in Iceland in an easy and effortless way.

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My name is Jorunn and I live in Reykjavik. I have great passion for photography and travelling. Icelandic nature is a big inspiration for me. The light and the unique landscape is phenomenal and gives one endless opportunities for photography. I specialise in landscape photography but have also been doing portraits and macro work. I love to share my experience with others and advice people that are planning a visit to Iceland. I have experience doing photo day tours with small group of people to places as Snæfellsnes peninsula, Reykjanes peninsula, the south coast of Iceland and the Golden circle. Im also willing to offer you a tailor made tour of your choice. If you want some great tips about travelling or photographing in those areas or join me on a photo tour please send me a line.

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