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13 Day Photo Workshop of Iceland's South Coast & Highlands

13 Day Photo Workshop of Iceland's South Coast & Highlands

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Duration:
13 days
Available:
July
Minimum age:
18 years old

Join this 13-day photography workshop covering the fantastic sites found within Iceland's picturesque South Coast, the Highlands and the majestic North. 

Open to all skill levels, this tour is operated by award-winning local photo guides, making it the perfect opportunity for aspiring and professional photographers alike. 

This itinerary combines the favourite playgrounds of Icelandic landscape photographers, including Diamond Beach, Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and beautiful waterfalls like Goðafoss, with the incredible views of the Highlands, a vast and wild region only accessible during the summer.

You will be travelling in a modified 4x4 vehicle to reach the Highlands safely. The car is also capable of traversing rough mountain roads, meaning this tour is an excellent chance to photograph both Iceland's iconic landmarks, as well as those found off the beaten track.

All the while, you will be learning new techniques, ever taking your photography skills to a higher level.

Hurry, and you too can secure your place on this fantastic multi-day photography workshop discovering the very best of Iceland's regions. Check availability by choosing a date. 

Included

Professional photo guide
Transportation in a comfortable vehicle
Accommodation in hotels and guesthouses. Rooms with private bathrooms.
All breakfasts; Group dinner on day 1 and day 12

Activities

Hiking
Sight Seeing
Photo Tours
Photo Workshop

Attractions

Reykjavík
Seljalandsfoss
Skógafoss
Dyrhólaey
Reynisdrangar
Vatnajökull National Park
Jökulsárlón
Diamond Beach
Skaftafell
Mývatn
Dettifoss
Goðafoss
Aldeyjarfoss
Námaskarð
Hverarönd
Dimmuborgir
Hveravellir
Kerlingafjöll
Landmannalaugar
Háifoss
Ljótipollur
Bláhylur
Hjálparfoss
Sigöldugljúfur / Valley of tears
Mýrdalsjökull
Eldgjá

Daily itinerary

Day 1
Harpa is one of the most recognisable cultural landmarks in Iceland.

Arrival in Reykjavik

After landing at Keflavík International Airport, you will take an airport transfer to your hotel in central Reykjavík. En route, you will pass the haunting volcanic landscapes of the Reykjanes Peninsula. 

We‘ll meet up with you at the hotel lobby at 7:00 and go out for a nice meal at a nearby restaurant. Here, we‘ll get to know each other and go over the itinerary of the photography adventure awaiting you. 

You‘ll spend the night at your Reykjavík hotel. Best get some sleep, for it's going to be one unforgettable journey! 

Day 2
Seljalandsfoss waterfall boasts a small cavern behind the cascading water.

Adventure on the South Coast 

On your second day, we will be travelling the visually stunning South Coast of Iceland. With a full battery pack and a clear memory card, the next twelve hours will be spent visiting amazing waterfalls and spectacular black sand beaches.  

The first stop of the day is Seljalandsfoss waterfall, a narrow cascade that drops 63 meters into a glistening pool. Seljalandsfoss is the famous Icelandic waterfall that guests can walk behind, thus earning a fantastic new perspective for their photographs. 

Nearby is the 40 m high “hidden waterfall“ Gljúfrafoss (“Gorge dweller“)—another excellent photography spot! Its location hidden within an ancient sea cliff means that visitors often overlook Gljúfrafoss, but it is undoubtedly impressive in its own right. Besides, you'll have the photographs to prove it! 

We will then head on to the picturesque waterfall, Skógafoss. This waterfall can be photographed from the top, as there is a pathway leading right up to its lip. Skógafoss is also known to produce a double rainbow, only adding to the incredible aesthetic, and providing you with more opportunities as a photographer.

Next, we‘ll head towards the southernmost part of the Icelandic mainland, the village Vík í Mýrdal and its famous beach, Reynisfjara. 

With its dramatic scenery, this beach is a photographer‘s dream. You‘ll have the black sands and pebbles of the beach, the basalt column pyramid of Gardar and the impressive Reynisdrangar sea stacks, protruding towards the sky from the wild North Atlantic Ocean. 

There is also a charming lighthouse nearby at the Dyrhólaey promontory. Photographing the beach while illuminated by the Midnight Sun is particularly effective as the twilight allows for a great variety of colour in the landscape, lending it an otherworldly feel. 

You will spend the night at Vík í Mýrdal.

Day 3
Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon is one of the most beautiful sites in the whole of Iceland.

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon 

On your third day, you'll head eastwards, crossing the wide black sand desert of Sólheimasandur on your journey to the nature reserve Skaftafell, just a small part of the vast Vatnajökull National Park. This area is a scenic wonder, complete with lush vegetation, beautiful waterfalls and staggering panoramas.

Further east, you'll be photographing the fantastic beauty of Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, otherwise known as "The Crown Jewel of Iceland". The pool has earned its name thanks to its ethereal aesthetic and tranquil atmosphere. 

Enormous icebergs break away from Breiðamerkurjökull glacier, dropping onto the lagoon's still surface, a mirror's edge broken only by the surfacing nose of a resident seal. The icebergs make their journey from the lagoon to the nearby Diamond Beach, where many wash up against the jet black sand, creating awe-inspiring visuals. 

After your time at Jökulsárlón is over, you will retire to accommodation in the Skaftafell area.

Day 4
A stunning canyon in the Icelandic Highlands.

Highlands of Iceland

On your fourth day, you will be travelling north of Mýrdalsjökull glacier on the famed South Fjallabak highland route. This road traverses a volcanic area of dark sands and moss-covered lava, all framed by picturesque cliffsides and colourful rhyolite mountains.

Today, we‘ll be focusing on photographing two mountains. The first, Öldufell, is situated above a green valley with many lovely waterfalls. The second mountain is Maelifell, best described as an 800-metre high volcanic tuff cone, rising like a green pyramid above the dark sand desert that surrounds it. 

Another waterfall awaits, the beautiful Axlarfoss in the river Hólmsá. Framed with basalt columns, the falls make for a magnificent sight, one that offers a pleasant photogenic contrast between the glistening water and the black basalt.

We‘ll then finish up for the day by overlooking the immense volcanic canyon, Eldgjá. Stretching from the Mýrdalsjökull glacier to the Gjátindur peak, Eldgjá is over 40 km long, 600 m at its widest and 270 m deep. The canyon formed in a massive eruption around the year 900 AD and its lava field covers around 700 kilometres squared.

No doubt then that this makes for a fantastic photography subject. 

Afterwards, we‘ll head for the nearby Hrifunes guesthouse, where you will spend the night.

Day 5
The Highlands come with many volcanic lakes.

Volcanic Lakes in the Highlands 

Day 5 begins with an energetic hike into the unique, extreme and stunning Eldgjá canyon. On our way, we‘ll stop to photograph a beautiful waterfall called Ófærufoss, which falls in two cascades from the North-Ófæra river into a stark volcanic canyon. 

You'll then move on to photograph the crater lakes of Bláhylur (“The Blue Pool“, a.k.a. Hnausapollur) and Ljótipollur, both situated in the highland lake area of Veiðivötn. 

Ljótipollur is a strange name to give the latter of two lakes as it means “Ugly Pool“. The aesthetic of this site is, however, entirely contrary to its name, with the explosion crater itself being a vibrant red, thus giving the feature a photogenic contrast to the lake itself. 

You will spend the night at the Hotel Highlands.

Day 6
A valley of stunning waterfalls in Iceland.

Landmannalaugar

On this day we‘ll start out visiting the lovely highland oasis of Landmannalaugar. Landmannalaugar translates to "Pools of the People" due to its abundance of natural, geothermally heated hot pools. 

With its hot springs and natural baths, its colourful rhyolite mountains, its spectacular rock formations, vast lava fields and lush vegetation, the area is one of the most popular and photogenic oases in the country. 

We‘ll be photographing its wonders on this day and travelling the ridge of Frostastaðaháls for a beautiful overlook of the area, including Frostastaðavatn lake. We‘ll then be shooting the many beautiful waterfalls of the Sigöldugljúfur canyon. 

While not as well known as many of other Icelandic attractions, Sigöldugljúfur canyon is a marvel in its own right, sure to result in stunning photos. The contrast of the green moss, the water and the dark rock make for a particularly pleasing effect. 

On this day you‘ll also have the option of bathing in the Landmannalaugar natural baths. These relaxing hot pools make for the perfect way to relax at the end of a busy day. 

You will again be spending the night at the Highlands Hotel.

Day 7
Háifoss is the second tallest waterfall in Iceland.

The Valley of Waterfalls

On your seventh day, we‘ll return to the Veiðivötn area and further explore and photograph its many beautiful highland lakes, craters and lava formations. By now, you should have started to see a marked improvement in your photography skills, with a honed instinct for showcasing Mother Nature. 

Following your time at Veiðivötn, we will travel west of the Fjallabak reserve to shoot Iceland‘s second-highest waterfall, Háifoss. This stunning feature drops 122 meters into a deep river gorge. We will also photograph the nearby waterfall, Granni, meaning "neighbour". 

Both of these waterfalls are part of the river Fossa, itself a tributary of the Þjórsá glacier river, the longest river in Iceland. If conditions are favourable, we‘ll also photograph a third waterfall on the river, Hjálparfoss. Arriving to this destination, you'll quickly realise the waterfall will be another valued contribution to your expanding portfolio. 

Hjalparfoss is a two-stepped fall and framed with basalt formations, offering excellent contrasts to the whiteness of the water. 

After photographing these spectacular falls, we‘ll head back towards Highland Hotel where you will spend the night.

Day 8
Aldeyjarfoss waterfall is found in the north of Iceland.

Sprengisandur Plateau & The Waterfall of the Gods

You will begin your eighth morning of this tour by taking a drive across Sprengisandur highland plateau, stretching at around 200 km and reaching a height of roughly 800 meters. Linking the north and the south of the area, this was a significant route in former times, used by traveller, trader and warrior alike. 

You will pass three glaciers en route; Hofsjökull, Tungnafellsjökull and Vatnajökull. The plateau also has strong links to folklore, and even outlaws were said to have resided in the area. Fjalla-Eyvindur was the most famous of these bandits and later served as the inspiration for the favourite Icelandic song, A Sprengisandi.

After travelling across the plateau, we‘ll be photographing three fascinating waterfalls; Aldeyjarfoss, Hrafnabjargafoss and Goðafoss, all located on the mighty glacier river Skjálfandafljót. 

At 20 metres high, Aldeyjarfoss provides a nice contrast between massive black, bent basalt columns and the white tumbling water. Hrafnabjargafoss similarly offers a magnificent sight, thus serving as another great photograph for your growing Iceland album.  

Lastly, is Goðafoss. Goðafoss is one of the country's most famous features and is known as “The waterfall of the Gods“. According to legend, the chieftain (godi) and lawspeaker Þorgeir Þorkelsson had to settle religious strife between Christians and pagans around the year 1000.

To avoid a civil war, he declared Christianity the official religion of Iceland and symbolically threw the icons of the old Nordic gods into the tumbling waters of Goðafoss. 

You will spend the night at accommodation in the Lake Mývatn area.

Day 9
Dettifoss has the most powerful flow rate of any waterfall in Europe.

Lake Myvatn & Dettifoss Waterfall

Your ninth day will see you explore the fantastic scenery of Lake Mývatn, one of the most popular attractions in Iceland. 

Within the lake, you will witness many small islands, some of which are pseudo-craters. Naturally, these are more than worthy of a photographer. You will also find unusual rock formations in the area, and the region is rich in both flora and wildlife. 

As with Landmannalaugar, bathing here can be added to your booking as an optional activity. 

We‘ll also be photographing the stunning waterfalls that rest along the mighty glacial river Jökulsá á Fjöllum, the most famous of which is Europe‘s most powerful waterfall, Dettifoss. Meaning "Thunderous", this waterfall cascades 45 m into the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon to create an enormous plume of mist. 

Following this, we shall photograph geothermal areas, volcanoes and craters found nearby. We’ll shoot the Hverfjall tuff ring volcano and its vast crater and proceed towards the colourful Námafjall geothermal area, east of Mývatn. 

There you‘ll find boiling mud pots and solfataras with multicoloured sulfur crystals decorating the scene. While a highly photogenic area, it does give off a lot of hot steam, as well as a strong sulphur smell, so please take caution. 

At the geothermal area of Mt. Leirhnjúkur, near Krafla volcano, we‘ll find further colourful mud pots and steaming fumaroles. We‘ll also witness the Viti crater, with its green lake set against a dramatic and brooding background.

Two major eruptions have shaped the area in historical time, the tremendous Mývatn Fires back in the 18th century and, around 200 years later, the Krafla Fires, which occurred from 1975 to 1984. 

After your time behind the lens is over, we plan to spend the night in the Mývatn area once again.

Day 10
A field of grazing Icelandic horses.

Icelandic Horses & Turf Houses

It's Day 10, which means its time to head towards the picturesque Skagafjörður district. Skagafjörður is well known for its history and horse culture; thankfully, these are the exact subjects we will be photographing today. 

The Icelandic horse is a sure-footed and noble animal, known largely for its small stature, calm temperament and five unique gaits. No trip to Iceland is complete without capturing a handful of fantastic portraits of this iconic animal. 

When it comes to photographing turf buildings, we‘ll focus on the Grafarkirkja and Glaumbær estates. Grafarkirkja is the oldest turf church in Iceland, as well as the only remaining stave church in Iceland, dating back to the 17th century. 

The Glaumbær museum consists of both a renovated turf farm and timber buildings ranging from the 18th to 19th century. The museum fantastically showcases life in Iceland in former times. Though it may be hard to imagine, Glaumbær remained populated until the 1940s. 

Finally, we‘ll be shooting pictures of the scenic Reykjafoss waterfall in Svarta river. Flowing in three steps down 14 meters and spectacularly bathing the cliffs, it is the largest and most impressive fall of the area. 

After a day packed with photography, you‘ll spend the night at the Bakkaflöt guesthouse in Skagafjörður.

Day 11
Hveravellir Geothermal Valley provides a great insight into Iceland's bubbling underbelly.

Hveravellir Geothermal Valley & The Kerlingarfjoll Mountain Range

You will begin the day by photographing the impressive and colourful rhyolite mountain range, Kerlingarfjöll. Under the sun, the minerals of the hillsides appear to change colour, creating a stunning kaleidoscopic effect. 

We will also visit the nearby geothermal area, Hveravellir. Hveravellir is one of the largest geothermal areas in Iceland and thus demands the attention of any photographer worth his salt 

Here you‘ll find hot springs, smoking fumaroles and multi-coloured rock faces. We‘ll also photograph another waterfall nearby, Gýgjarfoss. With a mountain backdrop and dark surrounding rocks, this is no doubt a worthy stop. 

Accommodation for the night will be in the Kerlingarfjöll area.

Day 12
Iceland is a geothermal wonderland.

Geysir Geothermal Area & Gullfoss Waterfall 

On our final day, we‘ll be taking more time to take pictures of the colourful Kerlingarfjöll area and will then head southwards towards two of the three essential attractions that make up the famous Golden Circle. 

First up is the magnificent Gullfoss, “The Golden Waterfall“. Undoubtedly, this is a fall that lives up to its name; it is one of the most beautiful and photogenic waterfalls in Iceland, falling 32 meters thunderously into a narrow gorge from the Hvita glacier river. 

The other Golden Circle attraction we‘ll be exploring is the famous Geysir geothermal area. Of course, the geyser you'll be interested in is Strokkur, spouting its hot water as high as 15-20 meters every 5 minutes. Other notable hot springs are Litli-Strokkur and Smidur. To the north, you‘ll find colourful fumaroles, and southwards are boiling mud pots. 

Afterwards, we‘ll be heading back to Reykjavík. We‘ll have a round-up dinner together, compare photographs and say our final goodbyes. 

Day 13
Hallgrimskirkja is a Lutheran Church in Iceland's capital.

Departure Day

Sadly, it is your final day. If you have the time, you will have a final opportunity to capture some urban landscapes within Iceland's capital, Reykjavík.

Finally, you will make your way back towards Keflavík Airport, taking with you great memories and pictures of our photographing adventure.

Until next time, we hope you've had a splendid trip photographing the land of ice and fire. 

Good to know

- We are a local tour operator and travel agency authorised by the tourism board of Iceland.

- We offer small group tours with a maximum group size of 10-12. This way, you’ll get to know your photography guide and we can take you to shoot in unique places that aren’t suitable for larger groups.

- All our guests get a free collection of post-processing videos from our award-winning photographers worth over $1,500.

- On our tours we use comfortable vehicles to safely transport you to amazing locations.

- 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 in the field to make sure you will bring home stunning photos of Iceland.

Disclaimer

We highly recommend that you get a travel and medical insurance. Your own domestic medical insurance and private health scheme will not cover you whilst you are overseas. 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 on a given day.

Departure Schedule

10-22 Jul 2021 10-22 Jul 2022

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Óli Haukur

Óli Haukur

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Oli is a native Icelander, family man, professional photographer and a guide. Born in 1972, Oli grew up in Reykjavik and his enthusiasm for photography was obvious early on.

Oli took a keen interest in computer technology and laid the camera for rest for a few years. After working in the advertising business in Iceland for many years Oli decided to make his increasingly time demanding hobby his career.

Oli has published work in e.g. books, websites, magazines and newspapers and has expert knowledge in landscape photography. Oli has been a Photo Guide for quite a few years now with great success, he is knowledgeable in the land, the sagas and the photographic field.

Oli is a native Icelander, family man, professional photographer and a guide. Born in 1972, Oli grew up in Reykjavik and his enthusiasm for photography was obvious early on.

Oli took a keen interest in computer technology and laid the camera for rest for a few years. After working in the advertising business in Iceland for many years Oli decided to make his increasingly time demanding hobby his career.

Oli has published work in e.g. books, websites, magazines and newspapers and has expert knowledge in landscape photography. Oli has been a Photo Guide for quite a few years now with great success, he is knowledgeable in the land, the sagas and the photographic field.

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