Aurora and Ice Caves Photo Workshops in Iceland

Winter Photography Workshops in Iceland


The Aurora and Ice Caves Photo Workshop is our most popular tour for a reason. This is a photography adventure like no other, exposing you and your camera to the very best sights that Iceland has to offer. We will chase the northern lights, explore spectacular ice caves, capture the magical glacier lagoon at Jokulsarlon and witness much more besides. This winter tour has it all.

Across eight memorable days we will take in the landscapes and light conditions that have made Iceland one of the world’s premier photography destinations. We’ve got professional photography guides, a crazy amount of local knowledge and a welcoming country ready to explore. So what are you waiting for? Grab your gear; an Arctic paradise awaits!

This winter photography tour in Iceland is:

  • Open to all skill levels
  • Led by award-winning instructors
  • Easy to moderate in difficulty






Total price: 3990 USD

Why book with us?

Truck
  • We are a local tour operator and travel agency authorised by the tourism board of Iceland.
  • All our guests get a free collection of post-processing videos from our award winning photographers worth over $1,500
  • On our tours we provide custom-built 4x4 super trucks to safely transport you to amazing locations and we provide 2 seats per photographer
  • We are using only the best hotels available in Iceland.
  • Our photo tours and workshops are guided by award-winning professional landscape photographers.
  • We provide crampons and rubber boots for free to all our guests throughout the tour.
  • During the tour, we give highly informative and easy-to-follow photography and post-processing lectures.
  • Our photo guides will always help you on the field to make sure you will bring home stunning photos of Iceland.

Dates of the tours

The highlights of Aurora and Ice Cave photo workshops:

Northern Lights Photography



Nothing sums up the magic of Iceland quite like the aurora borealis. The ethereal northern lights have inspired wonder and awe for generations, and it’s our privilege to capture them glowing high above Iceland’s pristine Arctic landscapes. The northern lights are the result of solar activity, which explains why they seem like something from another planet! Over the course of this eight day trip we will do our best to be ready when they appear. Several locations in Iceland offer fantastic light conditions for aurora hunting and photography, especially during the winter months when the darkness lingers for longer than usual. We will cross our fingers for clear skies and watch on as they illuminate the Arctic landscapes below.
Northern Lights in Iceland

Aurora over Glacier Lagoon in Iceland

Crystal Ice Cave in Iceland

Crystal Ice Caves in Vatnajokull

The Ice Caves of Vatnajokull



Although the skies above Iceland are as dramatic as anything you will see, sometimes there’s magic to be found underground. That’s why our Winter Photo Workshop features a trip to the ice caves of Vatnajokull. These unique cave systems shift with the changing glacier every year, so it’s up to the creative forces of nature to dictate our underground experience. The ocean-blue ice crystals make for an incredible composition, and the light dancing off the crystals all around means this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for photographers. After all, these caves reform every year; it’s history that we will be witnessing.

Jokulsarlon and the ice beach



During this winter photography tour we will make several stops at the glacial lagoon of Jokulsarlon. Deep in Vatnajokull National Park, the lagoon has become a must-visit photography spot. Not only can we capture the moment that abstract icebergs break free from the glacier and begin their cruise toward the Atlantic. We will also visit Iceland’s very own diamond beach, which sits on the bank of the lagoon and is littered with magnificent ice crystals. The interplay between light, dark sands, glistening ice and potential winter snow makes this a breathtaking place to shoot as the sun comes up or goes down. On top of all that, we might strike it lucky and have the Aurora glowing overhead!
Ice Beach in Iceland

Ice Beach in Iceland

Our Northern Lights and Ice Cave Photo Workshops have a flexible itinerary, which allows us to adapt to the conditions and help you make the most of your time in Iceland.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival in Iceland

Day one begins with your arrival at Keflavík International Airport; you will take a Flybus, using the ticket provided for you, to your hotel in Reykjavík, where you are free to unwind until 7 pm. At this point, you will meet your guides and group in the lobby, and head to an esteemed restaurant for a delicious dinner. Over the meal, you’ll get to know the people you’ll be spending the next week with and run through the itinerary of the adventure ahead. No doubt full, satisfied, and eager to get on with the photography workshop, you’ll retire to your hotel for the night.
Harpa concert hall in Reykjavik

Harpa concert hall in Reykjavik

The Sun Voyager

The Sun Voyager

Day 2 - Seljalandsfoss, Skogafoss, Dyrholaey, Reynisfjara

On your second day, the adventure truly begins. You’ll gather in a specialized, comfortable bus, and set off on your journey along the South Coast.This stretch is one of Iceland’s most popular tourist routes, and why will become apparent very quickly; the main road is lined with fascinating features, great for sightseeing but even better for photography.

Your first subjects will be two of the country’s most famous attractions, the waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss. The former stands at 63 meters tall, and falls in a narrow cascade in front of a cavern; if the path is clear, you will be able to walk behind it and photograph the water from a unique angle.Skógafoss has no cavern behind it (outside of legend, where there is said to be a trove of hidden treasure), but is much more dramatic than Seljalandsfoss. Though the same height, it is wider and more powerful, thundering to the earth and throwing off clouds of spray.

If the sun is shining, rainbows arch throughout the mist, allowing you to practice working with unusual lighting phenomena; this will come in handy for your northern lights photography throughout the tour.After capturing these waterfalls, you will continue along the South Coast to the black-sand-beach Reynisfjara for your sunset shoot. This magical stretch of coastline was once voted amongst the most beautiful non-tropical beaches in the world, and your photographs will tell the story as to why.

The main subjects from Reynisfjara beach are the Reynisdrangar sea-stacks. These two basalt columns rise from the tumultuous ocean, 66 meters tall at the highest point, and are, according to folklore, the petrified remains of two trolls caught in the morning sun trying to pull a ship into shore.Though this is a fantastic photography location (especially if the northern lights make an appearance towards the end of your shoot), Reynisfjara beach has notorious sneaker waves, so ensure you don’t get so absorbed in the area’s beauty that you put yourself at risk. You will spend your second night at accommodation in the nearby, charming village of Vík.
Dyrholaey

The arch Dyrholaey

Skogafoss waterfall

Skogafoss waterfall

Day 3 - Vatnajokull National Park

On day three, you will continue along the South Coast until you reach Vatnajökull National Park, a vast area that contains many of Iceland’s greatest subjects for photography. You’ll spend several days in this diverse region.

You can expect a range of subjects throughout the first part of this day, including lava landscapes, glacier tongues, waterfalls and desert-like stretches of black sands. The second part of the day will be focused on one location in particular, however: the mesmerizing Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.

Jökulsárlón is often spoken of as ‘the crown jewel of Iceland’s nature’, due to its unreal beauty. Here, vividly blue icebergs break from the retreating glacier tongue Breiðamerkurjökull, some towering high above the water, and slowly cruise across the lake towards the ocean. Each one is unique and makes for a fascinating subject.

Other than capturing the bergs and surrounding landscapes, you can use your time at Jökulsárlón to practice your wildlife photography. Many seals call the lagoon home, and can be captured either swimming in the azure water or else hauling out on the ice.

Adjacent to Jökulsárlón is the Diamond Beach, named as such for the fact the icebergs, when they finally free themselves from the lagoon, tend to wash up on the black sands here. Photographing the contrasts between the ice, sands, and surf will result in some beautiful images.

You will retire for the night in the Jökulsárlón area, but will hopefully be able to enjoy a northern lights photography session over the lagoon or beach, conditions allowing. If not, do not worry, as there will be more opportunities to do so over the next two days.
Crystal Ice Cave

Crystal Ice Cave in Iceland

Northern Lights over Glacier Lagoon

Northern Lights over Glacier Lagoon

Day 4 - Vatnajokull National Park

Your sunrise shoot on day four will be conducted back at Jökulsárlón; this beautiful area changes under different lighting conditions, so you’ll be able to capture some unique images while working on your landscape photography. You will also head back to the Diamond Beach for another shoot here.

Your main focus for the day, however, will be ice cave photography. Ice caves are only accessible from very few places in the world, and even then only at certain times of the year under specific conditions. The chance to explore one is an incredible, rare opportunity, and the chance to shoot within one with expert photoguides even more so.

The ice cave you will explore will be beneath Europe’s largest ice cap, Vatnajökull glacier. The otherworldly blues, deep tunnels and unusual formations within the cave will help make for some awe-inspiring photographs, which tell the story of the wonders to be found here.

You’ll spend another night in the Jökulsárlón area, with the hopes that you will get a chance (or, preferably, another chance) to practice your northern lights photography.
Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon in Iceland

Ice Beach in Iceland

Ice Beach in Iceland

Day 5 - Vestrahorn

On day five of this winter photography expedition, you’ll have a sunrise shoot at the Diamond Beach. Following that, you will head even further east along Iceland’s South Coast, out of Vatnajökull National Park, to Vestrahorn mountain on the Stokksnes Peninsula.

This feature is often called ‘the Batman mountain’ due to its ‘horned’ twin peaks, and it is a favorite subject amongst landscape photographers.

The dramatic, imposing mount is surrounded by ominous black sands, allowing you take pictures revealing the stark, barren and often haunting nature of Iceland’s landscapes. There are several angles you can picture it from, which may also include the churning Atlantic Ocean.

You will stay here throughout the sunset when Vestrahorn becomes shadowy and even eerier. As night falls, you can hope once more to capture the northern lights, this time with the mountain as your foreground.

After a day of shooting at Vestrahorn, you’ll return to your accommodation. Of course, if the auroras are dancing when you return, you’ll visit Jökulsárlón to capture them.
Ice Beach in Iceland

Ice Beach in Iceland

Vestrahorn in Stokksnes

Vestrahorn in Stokksnes

Day 6 - Skaftafell, Vik

On your sixth day, you will visit the spectacular Skaftafell Nature Reserve. This area is so beautiful it was once a National Park in its own right before the newly formed Vatnajökull National Park absorbed it.

You will spend the majority of the day shooting its many sites, continuing to practice your landscape photography; by this time in the tour, you will no doubt notice a marked improvement in your skills. Your subjects will include glacier tongues and lagoons, mountains, ice caps, forests, river systems and waterfalls.

After capturing the magic of this beautiful reserve, you will head back to the South Coast, returning to Reynisfjara beach for another sunset shoot. If the Northern Lights did not show the first time you were here, you can hope they will tonight.You’ll retire at accommodation in Vík.
Aurora over black sand beach in Vik

Aurora over black sand beach in Vik

Sunrise Reynisfjara

Sunrise Reynisfjara

Day 7 - Geyser , Gullfoss, Thingvellir national park, Reykjavik

Day seven is your final full day of photography, and you will spend it shooting three of Iceland’s most famous sites: Þingvellir National Park, the Geysir Geothermal Area, and Gullfoss Waterfall, all on Golden Circle Route.

Þingvellir is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Icelandic mainland, being where the early residents formed their first parliament in 930 AD. While the history of this place is inspiring, it is the landscapes that you are likely to find most captivating.

Located in a valley between the tectonic plates, you can shoot the walls that mark the edges of the continents, the lava fields that fill the area from eruptions in centuries past, and the many ravines filled with crystal clear spring water, opened by earthquakes in the area. Iceland’s largest natural lake, Þingvallavatn, also makes for a beautiful subject with its surrounding mountains.

The Geysir Geothermal Area is the prime location on this photo workshop to photograph Iceland’s seething geothermal activity. The area is dotted with many fumaroles, hot springs and mud-pots, the earth is vividly colored by the elements rising from the crust, and, of course, there are geysers on site.

The largest of these, Geysir itself, is inactive, but you will have plenty of chances to shoot Strokkur, which erupts every five to ten minutes to heights which exceed twenty meters.

Your final subject on this workshop will be one of Iceland’s most recognizable and renowned sites: Gullfoss waterfall. This incredible feature, the name of which translates to the ‘Golden Waterfall’, is immensely powerful, thundering in two tiers into a dramatic, ancient canyon. There are several platforms from which you can capture it.

In winter, the rocks around Gullfoss are caked in ice, and snow covers the surrounding landscapes. In cloudy weather, therefore, your photographs can tell the story of the waterfall’s ominous strength, whereas when the sun is shining, and rainbows are cutting through its spray, they will depict how much of a winter wonderland Iceland can be. With any luck, you will finish your shoot with the northern lights overhead. You will then return to Reykjavík for your final night.
Gullfoss waterfall in Iceland

Gullfoss waterfall in Iceland

Sunset at Geyser in Winter

Sunset at Geyser in Winter

Day 8 - Transfer to Keflavik Airport

Sadly, the tour ends on day eight. When it is time to hop on the Flybus back to the airport, however, the bittersweetness of departing will hopefully be outweighed by the pride taken in your developed skills, gratefulness for the chance to participate in northern lights and ice cave photography, and awe from the pictures you have taken.
Northern Lights over Reykjavik

Northern Lights over Reykjavik

Abandoned house outside of Reykjavik

Abandoned house outside of Reykjavik

Map

Dates of the tours

Total Price : 3990 US $ per person double occupancy .
Single room supplement: 750$
Maximum Number of Participants: 14
Payment in Full: 90 days prior to the workshop starting date.

SIGN ME UP!
After you signup, we’ll send you a recommended camera gear and packing list. Please pay special attention to things that we say are absolutely required.
Included:
  • Two Professional photo guides.
  • Transportation in a spacious, comfortable bus offering ample room for you and your photography gear.
  • Accommodation in hotels and guesthouses. Rooms with private bathrooms.
  • All breakfasts. All lunches. Dinner on day 1 and 7
  • FlyBus tickets for transfer from and to Airport.
Not Included:
  • Flight tickets
  • Dinners from Day 2 to Day 6
  • Alcohol, snacks and beverages

We have more Winter Photo Tours in Iceland

Reviews

We have been on many photo tours through the years and thought we had seen to best. Wrong! Iceland Photo Tours set up a tour which far exceeded any expectations we might have had. Everything was meticulously planned…lodging, food, transportation, and locations were all first rate. The bus was even large enough for us all to have 2 seats each! The level of attention that our guides provided was outstanding. All in all this was a very memorable trip, and we certainly would recommend Iceland Photo Tours for any Icelandic photo trip you may be contemplating.
Scott and Joyce Oberle
Scott and Joyce Oberle
Photography by Scott and Joyce
Want to make your photos pop? Are you willing to take your photography to the next level? Do you just need to escape to some place exotic & new? Iceland Photo Tours offer just that with the convenience of transportation support, excellent lodging and great, local food options. Before, I had lots of trouble producing even a passable photo after a day of shooting, but after Iurie’s workshop I learned how to actively find and work good angles for landscape photography. Also his deep knowledge of how to post-process photos made the workshop a great value. Iurie also was very focused on our safety & didn’t take unnecessary risks during our travels. I would definitely do another workshop with Iurie again.
My wife Susan and I want to thank Iceland Photo Tours for providing the finest Photography Workshop we have attended. As novice photographers we found previous photography workshops and tours to be somewhat intimidating and overwhelming, our photo guide's entire focus was to provide exceptional guidance and attention to the entire group during the workshop. The accommodations from start to finish were first rate, the food was exceptional, and the transportation was extremely comfortable with ample room for personal space and gear. Words cannot adequately describe the locations Iurie and Edwin selected for the workshop simply “MAGICAL”. We will attend future workshops and bringing friends. Thanks again for a great experience and stunning photographs. If you are thinking about going…you won’t regret it.
Bill and Susan Ayers
Bill and Susan Ayers
Bill and Susan Ayers Photography
I have been in many tours but this particular tour was really made for photographers. With ample time to photograph the scenes and also the proper timing in shooting these wonderful landscapes will make the experience worth it. The guides are very knowledgeable and assist us in shooting the location at the best possible conditions. Transportation and lodging is also pleasant and decent.
Chris Cobacha
Chris Cobacha
Chris Cobacha Photography
This was one of the best photo workshops I have been on. The places we went to were spectacular, as to be expected, but beyond the vistas, the level of professionalism and mentor-ship was second to none. Time was taken to help every student improve in composition and to see the environment in a new way despite difficult lighting conditions. There is no doubt that I improved as a photographer. The tour was very photographer specific with tons of time given to fully explore an area. There was no feeling of being rushed at all.
My husband and I have a lot of experience both in leading and participating in workshops as students, I have to say that this trip has by far been the best ever. Not only the destination, but they logistics and smoothness of operations lets you know there are true professionals behind. Our Guides will always go the extra mile, making sure every students feels special, always by us in the field, suggesting compositions, calling basic settings on every stop and really making you go home with the image you were dreaming off. They keep close tabs with weather conditions, driving the group even over an hour away if skies were clear, and adjusting the times to leave to avoid unpleasant windy condition on the road. The lectures were to the point and amazingly helpful, which is an added value to an already great experience.They even factored a couple of shopping stops, quite convenient for us with little time. Every little detail has been given careful consideration. Perfection! In other words, this has been a life-time experience and we are already booking our next tour with them.
Alfred and Fabiola Forns
Alfred and Fabiola Forns

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Cancellation and Refund Policy

We strongly recommend you to get a Trip Cancellation & Travel Insurance after booking your trip. If you cancel and the Workshop is otherwise filled, we will refund you the full amount you have paid towards the tuition, minus a $300 service charge. If you cancel and the Workshop does not fill, then you will be refunded according to the following schedule, based on the full fee of the Workshop:

Greater than 90 days from the start date of the Workshop: full refund minus $300 service fee.
75 days or more: 75% refund
60 days or more: 50% refund
Less than 60 days: no refund

Refunds will be paid by the same method that the original payment was made.

Disclaimer

The tour is always dependent on weather, as the Icelandic weather can indeed be highly unpredictable. Likewise, visits to ice caves are dependent on favorable conditions, and indeed the ice caves themselves are not permanent. When it comes to the Northern Lights, while they are most likely to be seen between September and April, there is no guarantee that they will appear at a given time. There is however always plenty to see and do if conditions do not favor any part of our original plan.

Photos taken during our Aurora and Ice Caves photography tours in Iceland