IT is picture perfect in the real-life Land of Ice and Fire. These remarkable photos place the focus firmly on Northern Iceland, and the remote Troll Peninsula in particular.
Taken by Alex Fenlon, creative director of Eleven Experience, they give you just a glimpse of nature’s wonders up here.
They are, you might say, the tip of the iceberg.
And if you’ve developed a taste for isolation in these troubled times, then Deplar Farm is an open and shutter shoo-in.
Nestled in the mountainous Fljót Valley, the lodge hotel – a converted sheep farm – boasts 13 bedrooms, chic decor and floor-to-ceiling windows for sensational views.
There’s a spa with a geothermal-heated indoor/outdoor pool (don’t worry, it’s around 38 degrees), treatment rooms, Isopod flotation tanks and an outdoor Viking sauna.
If you can tear yourself away, you can go whale watching on the fjords, star-gazing amid clear night skies, fat biking on nearby trails, skiing, sea kayaking and just plain walking in Mother Nature’s unspoiled backyard.
Just now, it’s the go-to destination for seeing the Northern Lights, with the Aurora Borealis putting on a winter wonderland show. And that, of course, means don’t forget your camera.
So the particularly good news is that Alex is hosting a six-day photography retreat at Deplar Farm from February 15 to 20 next year when, hopefully, travel is getting back to a better normal.
In February, the region basks in some of the softest light on the planet, not least because on many days the sun doesn’t rise above the mountains, offering seven hours of otherworldly atmosphere.
Then, after sunset, some of the clearest night skies in the world are revealed, the perfect setting to capture those Northern Lights, sometimes even from the lodge itself.
It’s an exclusive retreat for up to eight people. Such exclusivity, of course, comes with a matching price tag, but this is a special experience designed for photographers of all abilities.
Under Alex’s expert tuition, guests will embark on daily adventures via helicopter, snowmobile and super Jeep to photograph Northern Iceland in all its surreal beauty.
Evening sessions back at the lodge will be devoted to post-processing, file management and workflow tips, and general photography discussions over meals majoring on local produce. It’s all hosted in partnership with Hasselblad.
There’s plenty more to enjoy at the lodge if you’re all snapped out. There’s a bar, library, entertainment room, terrace, built-in pizza oven and a full band set-up for late night jam sessions for those who like rock with their rocky terrain.
Deplar Farm also offers a variety of other adventures at different times of year should you make something other than a snap decision.
The six-day photo retreat at Deplar Farm costs £14,326 for two people sharing, on a full-board basis (excluding flights). From Reykjavik airport, it’s a 30 minute internal flight to Akureyri Airport, then a 45-minute car transfer. For more information see: www.elevenexperience.com/deplar-farm-photo-retreat