10 Day Northern Lights and Ice Caves Photo Workshop in Iceland

10 Day Northern Lights and Ice Caves Photo Workshop in Iceland
10 Day Northern Lights and Ice Caves Photo Workshop in Iceland
Mount Kirkjufell illuminated by the mystical colours of the Northern Lights.
Discover the brilliant blues to be found inside of Iceland's ice caves.
Long exposure shot of the Atlantic ocean as it washes up to icebergs on the Diamond Beach.
Mount Kirkjufell is widely considered one of the most photogenic mountains in Iceland.
10 Day Northern Lights and Ice Caves Photo Workshop in Iceland
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Based on 14 traveller reviews

Join this 10-day winter landscape photography tour and experience some of the best natural light and impressive landscapes that Iceland has to offer. This is a great opportunity to photograph ice and the Northern Lights while learning new techniques from award-winning photography guides, taking your skills to a higher level.

You will travel in comfort on a spacious bus and a modified super jeep to cover the iconic frozen landscapes of the Snæfellsnes peninsula, capturing sights such as Kirkjufell mountain and the black church of Búðir. Additionally, you will visit Iceland's stunning South Coast for ice caves, Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, the Diamond Beach and many waterfalls.

Iceland is one of the best places to capture the amazing Northern Lights dancing across the dark Arctic sky. Your guides will keep a close eye on weather conditions and the aurora forecast to ensure you can photograph the Aurora Borealis in the most spectacular landscapes.

Included in this tour is a trip to an ice cave. You will be accompanied by a professional ice cave guide who will escort you to this rare natural phenomenon, lend you protective gear and direct you through the caves with utmost caution. Ice caves in Iceland will give you the feeling of being in a different world, filled with varied shapes and patterns of shiny blue ice waiting to be captured by your camera.

At Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and the Diamond Beach, you'll have many chances to photograph massive icebergs and chunks of ancient ice that break away from the nearby Breiðmerkurjökull glacier in Vatnajökull National Park.

The Snæfellsnes peninsula is an exciting region, especially in winter. There are beautiful beaches, incredible lava and rock formations, and, not least, one of Iceland's most famous mountains, Kirkjufell. 

This photography tour is easy to moderate in difficulty and it is open to all skill levels, making it the perfect choice for amateur and experienced photographers alike. All of the instructors are award-winning photographers, so you can expect the best possible results.

Grab your camera and get ready for an adventure across Iceland all the while improving your photography skills and taking some of the best pictures of your life. Check availability by choosing a date.


Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: February
  • Duration: 10 days
  • Activities: Glacier Hiking, Caving, Hiking, Sight Seeing, Northern Lights, Photo Tours, Photo Workshop
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Minimum age: 18 years.
  • Languages: English
  • Highlights: Reykjavík, Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss, Reynisdrangar, Vatnajökull National Park, Jökulsárlón, Diamond Beach, Vík, Skaftafell , Vestrahorn, Þingvellir National Park, Gullfoss, Geysir, Kirkjufell, Snæfellsjökull National Park
Pickup information:
  • Departure time : Flexible.


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 9.

  • Alcohol, snacks and beverages

  • All Lunches; Dinners from day 2 to 8

  • Flight tickets


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


Downtown Reykjavík with a fine dusting of snow.


On your first day in Iceland, you will land at Keflavík International Airport and then take an airport transfer towards your accommodation in central Reykjavík.

You will meet your guide and group in the hotel lobby at 7 PM and go to a nearby restaurant to get to know each other. There, you will also learn more about the adventures awaiting you. You will spend the night in Reykjavík.


Day 2 - First Day in Snaefellsnes


Mount Kirkjufell changes depending on where you see it from.


On your second day in Iceland, you will be picked up in Reykjavík at 9 AM before being whisked away to the Snæfellsnes peninsula; home to some of the most photogenic scenery in all  of Iceland.

Awaiting you are wild coastlines, the columnar basalt and spectacular cliffs at Arnarstapi, the charming black church of Búðir, the Búðahraun lava field and the impressive and peculiarly shaped sea stacks, Lóndrangar.

Snæfellsnes also happens to be one of the best places in Iceland to seek one of nature‘s absolute wonders, the Northern lights, so keep a good look-out and have your camera ready. You will spend the night at accommodation in Snæfellsnes.


Day 3 - Second Day in Snaefellsnes


The days might be short in the winter but the sunsets are always heavenly.


On your third day in Iceland, you will be exploring and photographing the remaining sights to see in Snæfellsnes not covered the day before. You‘ll cover the rugged coastline, see several charming villages as well as the mighty mountains that divide the northern and western part of the peninsula.

A particular highlight is mount Kirkjufell by Grundarfjörður, with its peculiar pyramid shape, when observed from the right angle. This is one of the most photogenic mountains in Iceland as it always offers something new and exciting in terms of angle, light and shape.

Nearby is a beautiful waterfall, Kirkjufellsfoss; the combination of the mountain and the waterfall with the further contrast of the village and fjord makes for some great pictures. In winter, further clarity is added by glistening snow and ice as well as the ever-present hope for the aurora which lend a particular grace to this stunning area.

You will spend the night once more in accommodation on the Snæfellsnes peninsula.


Day 4 - South Coast


The Reynisdrangar sea stacks punctuate Iceland's stunning South Coast.


On this day you'll be heading towards the South Coast of Iceland. You‘ll start the day by visiting two of Iceland‘s most picturesque and beloved waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss.

The former is a narrow waterfall that cascades from 63 meters and has the rare distinction of one being able to walk behind it. Skógafoss is well known as one of Iceland‘s most beautiful waterfalls and can be shot from the top, as there is a staircase leading up there and beyond towards other amazing falls. Skógafoss is also known to produce a spectacular double rainbow when the light is right.

Later on, you will travel towards the mainland‘s southernmost point to witness the dramatic scenery of the famous Reynisfjara beach. The Reynisdrangar sea stacks, the black sands of the shore, the waves of the North Atlantic Ocean, the basalt column pyramid of Garðar and the rich birdlife all result in this being one of the most photogenic sites of all you will encounter on your journey.

Please note that the waves of the sea at Reynisfjara are highly unpredictable so it is recommended you proceed with the utmost caution and follow all safety instructions to the fullest.

The South Coast is home to some of the most amazing scenery you could hope to photograph the Northern Lights in, should they appear. Your night will then be spent at the charming nearby village of Vik.


Day 5 - Skaftafell Nature Reserve


Admire perfectly clear chunks of glacial ice on the Diamond Beach.


On this day you will head towards Vatnajökull National Park, home to Europe‘s largest glacier. The park and the Snæfellsnes peninsula share the trait of offering a little bit of everything that Iceland has to offer.

Focusing on the park‘s southern and eastern regions, you will witness mighty glaciers and glacier tongues, as well as dark sandy beaches.

In addition to this fantastic scenery, you will continue the hunt for the Northern Lights, lending a further otherworldly feel to the scenery. This is a particularly good time of year for photographing the aurora, as the nights are long.

Accommodation for the night will be found in the nearby area.


Day 6 - Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon & Ice Cave


The hidden world inside of Iceland's glaciers.


On this day you will have plenty of time to photograph the stunningly beautiful Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, at the eastern part of Vatnajökull National Park. Massive icebergs from the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier riddle the lagoon, each unique in shape and colour as they float out to sea.

The amazing view, the display of light, multiple reflections and glistening ice and snow which are then contrasted by dark sands, all combine in making the area a photographer‘s dream. Walk among the ancient chunks of ice on the Diamond Beach and seize further photogenic opportunities.

Still more wonders await you as you will have the unique experience of shooting photos within a subglacial ice cave deep below the massive Vatnajökull glacier. Here you‘ll find phenomenal natural sculptures and cavities of crystal-clear blue ice, as we stand in awe against nature and feel as if time had stopped.

Wide-angle lenses are recommended here for shooting unforgettable photos. Afterwards, keep a lookout for the Northern Lights, which particularly complement this wonderful area. Your accommodation for the night will be near the lagoon.


Day 7 - Vatnajokull National Park


Vestrahorn mountain is a particular favourite among photographers.


On this day you will have ample opportunity to shoot the mighty Vestrahorn mountain, that stands at 454-meters above the black lava beach of the Stokksnes peninsula. The mountain is made of unstratified plutonic rock (gabbro and granophyre) and it is a marvel to photograph as it is very interestingly shaped.

Vetsrahorn consists of several steep peaks, the most oddly formed of which is the Brunnhorn outcrop, which stretches all the way eastwards to the sea. The wild waves of the North Atlantic Ocean make the scenery all the more photogenic and sunset and sunrise are particularly recommended for great photos.

Aurora may then further grace the sky at nighttime, blazing their enchanting trails across the arctic sky. Your night will be spent in the Vatnajökull area.


Day 8 - Waterfalls & Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach


The sun setting over Iceland's scenic South Coast.


On this day you‘ll be photographing the beautiful scenery of the Skaftafell Nature Reserve. The area is home to the Kristínartindar volcanic peaks, stunning glacier lagoons and the majestic glacier outlet, Svínafellsjökull.

After visiting Skaftafell you will get more time to shoot the fascinating area of Reynisfjara. Evening photography at this site, accompanied by the rays of the setting sun, is sure to result in some particularly amazing pictures, as well as further opportunities for aurora photography. Your night will be spent in accommodation in the village of Vík.


Day 9 - Golden Circle & Return to Reykjavik


Gullfoss in the wintertime is particularly beautiful adorned with ice and snow.


On your last full day in Iceland, you‘ll visit “the big three“ of Icelandic natural attractions, considered essential for all visitors of the country and referred to as 'The Golden Circle'. These three attractions are Þingvellir National Park, the Geysir geothermal area and Gullfoss waterfall, all located in southwest Iceland.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Þingvellir National Park is one of Iceland‘s most important sites. It was here that the old national assembly was founded, and the current parliament in Iceland, Alþingi, still bears its name. The area is situated in a rift valley and evidence of the movement of the tectonic plates may be seen at the impressive Almannagjá gorge, into which the beautiful waterfall Öxarárfoss falls. The park is certainly one of Iceland‘s most picturesque sites and we also recommend photographing the surrounding mountain ring and lake Þingvallavatn, Iceland‘s largest lake, and its islets.

The famous spouting hot spring Geysir in Haukadalur valley lends its name to geysers all over the world and the surrounding geothermal area is also widely known simply as the Geysir geothermal area. This is our next destination. Geysir seldom erupts anymore, but its neighbour Strokkur does so with gusto, spouting water as high as 15-20 meters.

Also of interest are the geysers Smiður and Litli-Strokkur. To the north colourful fumaroles may be found and to the south is a range of mud pots. They may boil or steam depending on the weather. Nearby is an old natural pool. It can be entered but it is still very fragile, so visitors need to take extra care not to disrupt it. 

Finally, there is the“golden waterfall“ Gullfoss, widely held to be the most beautiful waterfall in Iceland and certainly the most sought after by nature photographers and nature lovers alike. Gullfoss belongs to the Hvítá glacier river and falls 32-meters into the narrow river gorge. Snow and ice are likely to once more add an extra touch of splendour to the scenery, the sun may even lend it a rainbow and you may feel the spray of the falls on your face.

After visiting “the big three“ attractions of the Golden Circle and having seen many of Iceland‘s greatest natural wonders, you‘ll head back to Reykjavík for your final night in Iceland. This day will also be your final chance to spot the Northern Lights photography, so keep a lookout and keep your camera ready.


Day 10 - Transfer to Keflavik Airport


Dazzling Northern Lights paint the sky above Þingvellir National Park.


This will be the day of your departure. You will return home, taking with you photos and memories of an extraordinary adventure.


Dates and Guides

1-10 Feb 2020 - Guided by Raymond Hoffmann
11-20 Feb 2020 - Guided by Raymond Hoffmann


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.


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Firsthand reviews

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I visited Iceland in September. Our guides transmitted their photographic experience, as well as knowledge of the island, making very accurate recommendations regarding places and techniques. We visited the west coast and the south coast of the country. Transportation, meals and hotels were excellent. Our main objective was the Aurora Borealis, thanks to the climatic conditions, we saw them 4 nights in a row. It is an unprecedented celestial phenomenon, full of magic, spiritual and emotional. We had with us a great driver who was also a photographer and took us to some hidden spots great for photographing without people around. Personally I have participated in several tours guided by Iceland Photo Tours, they are great organizing every single aspect and their technical explanations are very clear. The itinerary was fantastic, and the team always helped us take the best possible pictures at the best locations. Totally recommended and waiting for the next one!
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I thoroughly enjoyed the photo tour, notwithstanding the weather but that was to be expected! And we got that spectacular night of aurora.The itinerary was great, with flexibility based on weather (I still hear you shouting while on the cliff: “mammatus clouds, mammatus clouds!!) and shooting conditions as they arose.The accommodations were very good as far as I was concerned, considering the remote locations involved. The food, to my surprise, was very very good!! Even better than the food we had in our Disney Fantasy cruise last year!!You and Thor were excellent guides, looking after and helping each participant hands on, lending photo equipment to help enhance or salvage their photography (too bad about the damaged equipment, happens to everyone eventually).Your lectures were very informative and the photos used were very inspiring. The group composition and size were great and made for a fun experience; loose and carefree demeanor. I like what John said, but not just any 2 Puerto Ricans, but those 2 Puerto Ricans. Overall the trip: “great bang for the buck!”, Iceland is awesome, I plan to come back and perhaps join the inland tour next year.I signed up for the October Tuscany trip.Congratulations on your obvious success with your career so far, good luck on your future endeavor, maybe our photographing paths will cross again!
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Iceland Photo Tours was magnificent beyond my wildest dreams. First, I cannot say enough about our tour guides.They made the whole trip for me. They took as much time teaching you best practice shooting techniques and showed proper ways to shoot. They held nightly workshops to learn at what we shot for the day. Iceland Photo Tours is a top-notch organisation, and I would recommend to anyone from beginner to professional photographers. We had a small group of photographers which gave us undivided attention when shooting.I never have taken such beautiful images. You are guaranteed to see sights, terrains, and even Ices Caves. No doubt I highly recommend this tour!!
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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. These 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.
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Fabulous trip! Can’t believe how much we packed in in a week … stunning landscapes everywhere you turned, ice beaches and glaciers, auroras two nights in a row, and waterfalls. Great opportunity to see and photograph an amazing country and to learn so much from our guides and some of the other photographers on the trip. Big thanks to all involved.
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Hello Iceland Photo Tours, Just want to wish you our heartfelt appreciations & thanks for the best photo tour we’ve been on. From the start on the first day till the last moment when we left Reykjavik, It’s been nothing but a wholesome wonderful experience.The photo-opp spots were astoundingly beautiful & the guidance from you with regards to the best setting up for different spots & situations were indeed very-very helpful as I have somehow, beyond my own believe
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I attended the Iceland winter photography workshop in February. Everything from lodging, meals and transportation was perfectly organized and comfortable. Our guides were always available to help and provide great advice on technique and composition. I had a lot of fun and actually learned a LOT from this workshop. Our guide is a master of photography, great planner and all around nice person. I look forward to taking other workshops with the team.
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I always wanted to see the northern lights, after reading an article on 500px website I realised that it would be shame to go that far, see something so wonderful and miss out of lack experience or knowledge on how to get the right shoot. Our guides made my northern light experience memorable not only in mind but also in a perfect photo, this and many other photos that I didn’t even consider myself to be taking. I learned a lot about landscape photography and post production that I already find useful in my own niche of photography. Putting the photography experience aside, everything else in this trip was planned at top level, from food, locations, accommodation and the flexibility of the team, when something unique like Seals, or horses, or deer appeared – we were there, ready to shoot! Thanks again!
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In December I joined a Winter Aurora Workshop. It was my first time in Iceland and my first dedicated photo tour as well. The expectations was quite high, especially after a grey and boring autumn back in Sweden, and I was hoping for nice weather and good photo conditions. It doesn't start so well, my flight couldn't land in Reykjavik because of hard wind and blizzards so it took me half a day extra to finally get there. The morning after the fog made everything white. But Iceland has a fast changing weather and in time for our first stop we saw the sky again. After that it only gets better and our guides took us to some amazing places and we got perfectly sunny winter days, beautiful sunsets, clear night skies filled with stars and Auroras and even some more snow and rain. Regardless the weather, our guides took us to the best photographic places that the condition allowed and they constantly gave good advices and sharing their knowledge about landscape photography to everyone. Everything from composition and good camera settings to post-processing and clothing. And thanks to the information we got before the trip, everyone seemed well prepared for all activities. In conclusion, I had a wonderful time with the group in Iceland, good food, excellent guides, lots of new experience and I got fantastic photographs with me home to Sweden that will be a pleasure to talk about and show for friends. I will return to Iceland and gladly join another workshop in Iceland, or anywhere on earth.
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My first trip to Iceland following winter photo tour with you was so perfect. It really over my expectation , I got extra ordinary photos specially the aurora and icy beach and incredible winter experience in Iceland. Something that I really impressed was how you and Jonathan lead the group and teach us in photography. You and Jonathan really support the participants one to one to make the best photo in that tour. Also you really care with safety.., and understand very well about timing and weather condition. It really make us feel safe. Thank you so much. Great trip with both of you in Iceland.
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