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

13 Day Photo Workshop of Iceland's South Coast & Highlands
Jökulsárlón is available to visit in both the summer and winter months.
A fantastic vantage point over Iceland's South Coast.
Landmannalaugar is known for its colourful rhyolite hillsides.
Harpa is one of the most iconic buildings in Iceland's capital.
The Sun Voyager is a sculpture in Iceland's capital, Reykjavík.
The tumultuous waves of Reynisfjara black sand beach.
5
Based on 4 traveller reviews

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. 


Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: Jul. - Aug.
  • Duration: 13 days
  • Activities: Hiking, Sight Seeing, Photo Tours, Photo Workshop
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Minimum age: 18 years.
  • Languages: English
  • Highlights: 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
Pickup information:
  • Departure time : Flexible.

We will email you the location of your hotel when booking is finished.
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

  • All lunches; Dinners from day 2 to day 11

  • Alcohol, snacks and beverages

  • International flights


What to bring:
  • After you sign up, we'll send you a recommended camera gear and packing list


Why book with us?

- 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.



Daily itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival in Reykjavik


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


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 - Adventure on the South Coast 


Seljalandsfoss waterfall boasts a small cavern behind the cascading water.


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 - Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon 


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


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 - Highlands of Iceland


A stunning canyon in the Icelandic Highlands.


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 - Volcanic Lakes in the Highlands 


The Highlands come with many volcanic lakes.


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 - Landmannalaugar


A valley of stunning waterfalls in Iceland.


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 - The Valley of Waterfalls


Háifoss is the second tallest waterfall in Iceland.


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 - Sprengisandur Plateau & The Waterfall of the Gods


Aldeyjarfoss waterfall is found in the north of Iceland.


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 - Lake Myvatn & Dettifoss Waterfall


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


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 - Icelandic Horses & Turf Houses


A field of grazing Icelandic horses.


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 & The Kerlingarfjoll Mountain Range


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


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 - Geysir Geothermal Area & Gullfoss Waterfall 


Iceland is a geothermal wonderland.


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 - Departure Day


Hallgrimskirkja is a Lutheran Church in Iceland's capital.


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. 


Dates and Guides

7-19 Jul 2019 - Guided by Oli Haukur
22 Jul - 3 Aug 2019 - Guided by Oli Haukur


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.


Cancellation and Refund Policy

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 60 days from the start date of the Workshop: full refund minus $300 fee.
45 days or more: 75% refund
30 days or more: 50% refund
Less than 30 days: no refund

Refunds will be paid by the same method that the original payment was made. Refunds will be initiated within 72 hours of the time that the request is approved.


Firsthand reviews

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This was my first photo tour outside the United States. I was a bit nervous attending, without knowing anyone. Well, I can say the tour was great! I met a lot of nice people from around the globe, who were talented photographers. I specifically went on this trip to learn about what I don’t know. I have only shot aperture priority in the past, under the instruction of a single teacher. The trip opened my eyes to new settings, techniques and my equipment’s true abilities. I was very impressed with our guides. They know more about Canon equipment and photography than anyone I have ever met. They are truly impressive photographers and good teachers. It is one thing to have talent but, it is another to be able to teach. I thought both teachers complemented one another. Our guides really helped me learn more about composition – No doubt, they helped me improve in this area. I took a few really great shots on the trip. The types of photos you would be proud to hang on your wall. More importantly, our guides showed me some of what I was missing, as a photographer. I look forward to improving my photography on another trip with Iceland Photo Tours.
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Just to say thanks for a great trip to Iceland. You did an excellent job in arranging the places of interest which offered great and memorable photo opportunities, in particular, the super jeep drive to the central highlands waterfalls.Great job in praying for and looking out for the northern lights . This had been something that I had wanted to see for a long time and am so happy that I got to see them for two nights.Food was also very good showcasing Icelandic cuisine. Hotels were clean and comfortable. All in, a fantastic experience which I will highly recommend to my friends.
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I had wanted to come out to Iceland for a while now but was unsure on who to book the trip with. In the end i chose a trip led by Iceland Photo Tours mainly because i liked the style of their Photographs. And I couldn’t have been happier with the decision, from the start to the end of the tour everything was planed and run so you don’t need to worry about anything apart from taking the shots.Great food,great hotels, transport around the Island in a spacious coach with plenty of room to leave most of your kit inside the coach and carry only the items you will need for any given location. During the trip our guides were all ways on hand to help with advise and tips at the locations and would all ways be looking at the weather trying to maximize your shooting time by going to the locations that had the best light where possible. So if you are looking at photographing Glacial Lagoons,mountains,waterfalls,lava fields and much much more then look no further. Would i book again, yes I am all ready in the process of booking another trip for later in the year which is testament in itself.
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I have signed up for multiple photographic tours and there is always a sense of unknown expectations and professionalism. However, Iceland Photo Tours is a winner! We found ourselves in a comfortable and well organized environment with professional photographers whom got us to the right places at the right times. Our guides were highly skilled photographers and were always there to give any help if we needed it. We travelled in a comfortable bus and stayed at great hotels. Iceland is so photographic that I plan on returning for another trip.
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13 Day Photo Workshop of Iceland's South Coast & Highlands