Should I Take My Drone to Iceland?

Should I Take My Drone to Iceland?

Verified expert

Mossy lava field - Photo by Iurie Belegurschi

As a keen aerial photographer, the first thing you’re probably wondering is, ‘Can I take my drone to Iceland?’ The answer to that is yes. Yes you can. It will not be confiscated at Customs and you won’t be arrested for flying it. It’s legal, so long as you follow the rules.

So the next question is: should you take a drone to Iceland? We think the answer is another resounding Yes. Here’s why…

Once in a Lifetime Moments From a Unique Perspective

First of all is the obvious answer: Travelling to Iceland is going to be an unforgettable experience. You want to be able to capture all of those special moments and explore the boundaries of your creativity.

Rugged Highlands - Photo by Iurie BelegurschiRugged Highlands. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.

Sure, you could take a DSLR along. Actually, you should definitely do that. But some of Iceland’s sights are best appreciated from above. And some memories are best captured from more than one perspective.

We’re talking about soaring over one of Iceland’s majestic waterfalls, or shooting an aerial panorama in the barren volcanic highlands. With the affordability, camera quality and ease of use that most consumer drones have these days, you’d be silly not to invest and make the most of the technology.

If you own a creative business, are a busy social media user or just love to shoot epic videos, taking a drone to Iceland can also boost your creative output. All of the best drones come with easy-to-use software that makes sharing, organising and editing your media a simple process.

Hallgrimskirkja in Reykjavik - Photo by Iurie BelegurschiSoaring over Hallgrimskirkja. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.

So you can spend your days in Iceland shooting and your evenings – apart from enjoying the Northern Lights – making all of your friends and family jealous on Instagram.

It’s a Great Place to Practice

The second reason that you should take your drone to Iceland: it’s a great place to practice and become a better pilot.

This is for two reasons. First of all, Iceland is full of wide open spaces, forgiving terrain and a weirdly small number of trees. That means you’re going to struggle to find objects to crash into. Which is ideal when you’re in control of a flying camera that cost upwards of $600.

Coastline of Dyrholaey - Photo by Iurie BelegurschiCoastline of Dyrholaey. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.

Having said that, the conditions are challenging enough to mean that flying in Iceland isn’t straightforward. The winds can be brutal, the weather can change at a moment’s notice, and some of the most breathtaking landscapes – from black sand beaches to glaciers – can be cold, wet and bleak.

To come back from an Icelandic adventure with your drone unscathed isn’t easy. You might be blown off course while flying or suffer water damage. So if all goes well the end result is simple: Iceland will improve you as a pilot because you’ll need to stay focused, pay attention to your surroundings and make good decisions to fly safely.

If you don’t do those simple things, you’re not going to come away with your drone intact, let alone amazing footage.

The Ideal Showreel

If you’re a keen aerial photographer or want to take your hobby to the next level, there are few better destinations than Iceland for a grand tour. If you didn’t know already, Iceland is a continent within a country, with all the variety and contrast you could wish for as a photographer. Ice, waves, black sands, lava, snow, waterfalls, deserts, geysers, mountains… this place has it all.

Highlands of Iceland - Photo by Iurie BelegurschiThe Blue Crater. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.

For that reason, taking your drone to Iceland is a guarantee of both spectacular aerial videos and all the variety you could ask for.

Creating a showreel of your best footage takes time and usually requires a lot of travelling between destinations - not something that every aerial photographer is in a position to do.

The good thing about Iceland is that many of the major sights are relatively easy to get to once you are here. On top of that, a simple trip around the Ring Road is like moving from one planet to another every few hours. You will be spoilt for choice in terms of scenery and variation.  

So what are you waiting for? Yes, bring your drone to Iceland! Become a better pilot, capture memories that will last a lifetime and build an epic showreel to show off your skills.

About the author:  Malek Murison is a tech journalist based in London. You can find more of his work on his website or by following him on Twitter.

Join one of our drone-friendly photo tours and workshops in Iceland today!