Join our award-winning landscape photography guides on this unforgettable 11-day photo tour of Iceland's Westfjords, plus the iconic Snæfellsnes Peninsula, during the bright summer months.
This tour is the perfect tour opportunity for aspiring and professional photographers alike; anyone who wants to discover Iceland's best-kept secrets!
As you travel off the beaten path, you will capture not only the wild landscapes of Iceland but also the country's majestic wildlife.
The Westfjords, one of Iceland's most isolated regions, is known for its vast untouched wilderness, whilst the Snæfellsnes Peninsula is famously titled "Iceland in Miniature" thanks to its diversity of natural attractions.
The Midnight Sun season is, without a doubt, one of the best times to shoot Iceland's incredible landscapes. You will also capture the flight of countless seabirds, including the adorable Atlantic Puffins that nest on the domineering Látrabjarg sea cliffs.
Látrabjarg, one of the major highlights of this trip, is the westernmost point of both mainland Iceland and the European continent. You will also see attractions such as Iceland's most photographed mountain, Kirkjufell, and the thunderous Dynjandi.
Get ready to board a comfortable and spacious bus as we chase the magical summer light over the unspoiled wilderness of the Westfjords, taking your photography skills to the next level! Check availability by choosing a date.
After you land at Keflavík International Airport, you will take an airport transfer to your hotel in central Reykjavík, crossing the haunting Reykjanes Peninsula as you do so.
We‘ll meet up with you in the lobby at 7:00 PM, and we'll go out together for a nice meal at a nearby restaurant.
Once there, we‘ll get to know each other and go over the itinerary of the photography adventure awaiting you in West Iceland and the Westfjords.
One thing is for sure; by the end of this exciting photography excursion, your photography skills will have heightened tenfold.
You‘ll spend the night at your Reykjavík hotel.
On your second day, you’ll be photographing some of the many wonders of the Snaefellsnes peninsula in West Iceland, including Arnarstapi fishing village, Búðakirkja church, Kirkjufell mountain and the Lóndrangar rock stacks.
At Arnarstapi, you’ll witness its fantastic nearby beach, ravines, columnar basalt, caves and fascinating rock formations, as well as the strong waves of the North Atlantic Ocean.
A central attraction there is the Gatklettur natural stone arch, as well as the nearby lava field, Hellnagraun.
Budakirkja, by the hamlet Búðir, is a charming old black church dating back to the 19th century but renovated in the 1980s. It offers a striking and highly photogenic sight as it stands in a moss-grown lava field surrounded by an old turf wall with a beautiful mountain ring around it. Nearby you’ll see remnants of an old farm and, not far away, a rare golden sand beach.
Next, you’ll also be photographing the famous Mount Kirkjufell, a landmark of the fishing town Grundarfjörður. The mountain is distinctive for its pyramid-like shape and is renowned for having appeared in HBO's Game of Thrones series. It is also a mountain that always seems to offer something new in terms of angle, light and form, as it rises proudly over the town and its fjord. You'll have the chance to photograph it with its beautiful waterfall cascading at the base.
Last but not least, you’ll be seeing the impressive Londrangar sea stacks and Svalþúfa Hill, a crater that has mostly fallen to erosion. At Þúfubjarg cliff, you will also be able to enjoy the magnificent birdlife of the area, including puffins, kittiwakes, common murres, northern fulmars.
You’ll see how the sea and winds shaped the area, and not far off you’ll see remnants of the huts of fishermen who braved the natural forces.
Your night will be spent at Snæfellsnes.
Your third day will begin by photographing the dark, dramatic and steep sea cliffs of Svörtuloft. The waves here are known to be particularly wild in stormy weather and seeing them lash upon the cliffs is a breathtaking sight.
This area has seen its share of shipwrecks and had its first lighthouse built in 1911, whereas the current one, bright orange, is a more recent construction.
We’ll also be photographing a small but beautiful waterfall called Klukkufoss, which flows over basalt columns in the river Móðulækur. The waterfall originates from Snæfellsjökull glacier and, thankfully, several other lovely waterfalls can are found in the area.
We’ll take time to photograph and explore the beautiful Djúpalónssandur beach, on the southern edge of the peninsula. The terrain is one of rugged lava, contrasted with the smooth pebbles of the beach.
Two lovely little lakes are at the site and a massive rock called Gatklettur, through which Snæfellsjökull is clearly visible. You can also try your strength at the lifting stones Fullterkur, Halfsterkur, Halfdraettingur and Amlodi. Northwards of the peninsula, we’ll explore the wild and colourful Berserkjahraun lava field, near to the village Bjarnarhöfn.
We’ll also take further time to photograph the impressive Mt. Kirkjufell by Grundarfjörður further.
Your night will again be spent at Snæfellsnes.
Your fourth day will see you take the ferry over the vast fjord Breiðafjörður, which separates Snæfellsnes and the Westfjords. On our way, we’ll enjoy a view of the fjord’s countless islands and the mountains on either side of the fjords.
The largest island is Flatey, popular with travellers in the summer, with its charming old houses, beautiful nature and wildlife. The wildlife at Breiðafjörður includes a range of seabirds, such as puffins, arctic terns, gulls and the occasional white-tailed eagles.
Out in the sea, you may spot whales and nets are often laid out for shellfish, which travellers may enjoy fresh from the sea.
In the Westfjords we’ll photograph the wreck of the oldest steal ship in Iceland, Gardar BA 64. It was built in 1912 and served the whaling business well until it was declared unfit for duty in 1981. It was then put ashore at Skápadalur valley, making for an awe-inspiring sight for travellers and photographers.
We’ll be further photographing at Europe’s largest bird cliff and Iceland’s westernmost site. This is the 14 kilometres long and 441 metres high Látrabjarg sea cliff, host to millions of birds, including puffins, guillemots, northern gannets and razorbills. It was also the site of a legendary rescue mission in 1947 when Icelandic farmers and cliff climbers saved 12 surviving members of a British trawler.
The beach by the cliff is known as Rauðasandur (“Red Sand”) and is rare in that the sand is pale red, almost pink. Concerts have also been held there in summer for the last few years.
This area was also the site of one of the infamous Sjöundá murders in the 19th century, a tale of infidelity, forbidden love and dark crime, which in turn inspired the classic novel "Svartfugl" (Eng: "The Black Cliffs") by Icelandic author Gunnar Gunnarsson.
Your night will be spent in the village of Breiðavík. There we recommend photographing the church and the coastline. Remnants of fishermen's huts are also to be found in the area, relics of life in former times.
It is your fifth day of this photography adventure of West Iceland. We’ll be exploring and photographing at Arnarfjörður, the second-largest fjord of the Westfjords and famous for being one of its most beautiful fjords, due to its nature, its diversity its majestic mountains, its history and for being home to one of Iceland’s most spectacular waterfall.
We’ll be stopping at the Ketildalir valleys on the south coast of the fjord for some beautiful pictures of the beautiful scenery. At one of the valleys, Selárdalur the major poet, translator and priest Jón Þorláksson was born, who translated Milton’s Paradise Lost, Klopstock’s Messiah and Alexander Pope’s Essay on Man in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Iceland’s independence hero, Jón Sigurðsson, was born in Arnarfjörður, at the farm Hrafnseyri, and Jon’s statue can be seen at the centre of Austurvöllur square in Reykjavík, facing the parliament. The fjord is also prominent in Icelandic folklore, said to host many monsters and sorcerers.
At the valley Fossdalur, we’ll be stopping by the farm Foss and photographing a beautiful little waterfall wherefrom the farm takes its name.
Last but not least, we’ll be photographing, Dynjandi the most powerful and magnificent of the waterfalls in the Westfjords, and indeed one of the most stunning and photogenic of all Icelandic falls.
It is made up of several falls (seven altogether) that cascade down many steps at a collective drop of 100 meters. Its uppermost tier bears a distinctive trapezoidal shape and is the part that is most photographed, around 30 meters at the top and 60 meters at the bottom.
The name of the fall translates to “thunderous”, a title it bears proudly.
Your night will be spent at the village Þingeyri.
Day 6 and we'll be travelling further off the beaten track than ever before. Today, we will be photographing abandoned farms at Tjaldanes, Stapadalur Valley and Lokinhamrar. We'll also be travelling alongside the majestic Kaldbakur mountain, the highest peak of the Westfjords.
This is an area where you can be one with nature and appreciate its serenity and beauty, its high mountains and steep hills. The old farmhouses and the fantastic natural backdrop make this a highly photogenic site, offering a chance for great pictures, as well as providing peace and quiet.
Another beautiful valley where we'll also be photographing is Keldudalur, where lovely ponds are set against impressive mountain peaks, creating a stunning composition. The roads are not known for their accessibility, but the magnificent scenery certainly makes it worth one's while. Besides, the travelling aspect of the day is an adventure in its own right!
Your night will be spent at Þingeyri.
On day 7, we‘ll be photographing in and around the towns Bolungarvík and Ísafjörður, as well as two beautiful valleys, Ingjaldssandur and Korpudalur.
To begin, we will capture the aesthetics of Ísafjörður, the Westfjords capital. It is the region's largest town, with a population of about 2600 people, and set amidst high mountains. Ísafjörður is mainly a fishing town, as well as a centre for culture and tourism in the Westfjords.
The town features impressive museums and is home to the University Center of the Westfjords. Many interesting cultural events are hosted in Ísafjörður, most famously the music festival "Aldrei fór ég suður" (Eng: “I Never Went South“), which takes place around Easter time.
Bolungarvík is the northernmost and second-largest town in the Westfjords, as well as one of its oldest settlements. It is set alongside mighty coastal mountains and features a national history museum, as well as an open-air fishing museum.
Film fans might recognise the town from the Icelandic film "Nói albínói", shot in Bolungarvík. We‘ll also be able to photograph and climb the 638-metre high Bolafjall mountain where we will earn a fantastic view of the area.
As we finish up for the day, we‘ll photograph the scenery in the lovely valleys Korpudalur and Ingjaldssandur. There is a nice little hotel there which is a renovated farmhouse, as well as beautiful paths, impressive landscape and abundant birdlife. The sea and lake there offer good reflections for photography and photographing during sunset is recommended.
Travelling to Ingjaldssandur, we‘ll be following a rugged mountain road, to a valley set with steep mountains, which opens up towards the sea. There is only one farm left there but plenty of sheep. There is also a lovely little church there. Local handmade artefacts are also on sale here.
You will spend the night in Ísafjörður.
On this day, we‘ll be further exploring the vast fjord Ísafjarðardjúp, to which Ísafjörður and Bolungarvík belong, as the 75-kilometre long fjord is set with many smaller fjords, and these two sites indeed mark its length.
This is an area marked with sheer and steep mountains reaching to the sea, deep fjords and scarce settlement. The northeastern side is relatively straight and has one single inlet, Kaldalon, fed by the Drangajökull glacier.
On the southern side are nine fjords. The fjord has three islands, Æðey, Borgarey and Vigur. Many birds and seals may be found in the area, and the beauty of the landscape is breathtaking. Farms have mostly been deserted, but remnants still stand, bearing witness to man‘s struggle for life under harsh conditions.
In one of the fjords, Skötufjörður, you can visit a restored farm, initially built in the 19th century, which features an exciting exhibition on the life of farmers in former times. We‘ll also be photographing at Arnarnesviti lighthouse, set on the peninsula between Skutulsfjörður and Álftafjörður.
This is a picturesque little lighthouse in stark yellow and red, built in 1921 of cast-iron and steeled with corrugated iron. As well as the lighthouse being photogenic in its own right, you‘ll have a great view of the area. Ísafjarðardjúp is in all a place destined for offering great photos and memorable experiences.
Your night will be spent at the small village Hólmavík in the Strandir region. Here we recommend visiting the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft and the town‘s oldest house, a charming building dating back to the 19th century, now home to a nice coffeehouse and bar.
About 12 kilometre from the village is also a museum where travellers can learn about sheep farming in Iceland through the ages and enjoy local delicacies at the cafeteria.
On day 9, we’ll set off by boat from the quiet little hamlet of Drangsnes to a small island called Grimsey, not to be confused with the more famous one which straddles the Arctic Circle. This island has an abundant amount of birdlife, including puffins and fulmars, which we’ll be photographing.
Afterwards, we’ll be shooting the spectacular basalt monolith Hvítserkur, which rises like a prehistoric monster from the Vatnsnes Peninsula. It takes its name and white colour from bird excrement created by fulmars, seagulls and arctic terns.
The sun also does further wonders to this photogenic site, particularly during sunrise and sunset, where the light, colours and shadows lend a further otherworldliness to the scene.
While shaped by sea and wind, folklore says it was a troll turned to stone by the sun.
If we have time, we'll visit the amazing basalt columns at Borgarvirki, and the peninsula itself which is home to plenty of beautiful mountains.
Your night will be spent in the vicinity of Hvítserkur.
On this day we’ll be photographing the magnificent Kolugljufur canyon in Vididalur valley and its many beautiful waterfalls, collectively known as Kolufossar. The gorge and its falls make for a breathtaking and incredibly photogenic sight, where the clear water of the falls contrasts with the ruggedness of the canyon.
The name of the falls comes from a legend of a giantess named Kola who was said to live there. We’ll also be photographing the stunning Hraunfossar waterfalls in Borgarfjörður, made up of many rivulets flowing at the edge of the lava field Hallmundarhraun and falling into the mighty glacier river Hvítá.
After photographing these beautiful falls, we’ll be wrapping up our photographing adventure as we’ll return to Reykjavik, share a dinner at a local restaurant and say our goodbyes.
On your final day, you will make your way back to Keflavík International Airport, bringing with you memories and photos from an unforgettable photographing adventure.
Until next time, we hope you've had a fantastic time photographing the Westfjords in Iceland.
- 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.
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.
26 Jun-6 Jul 2020