8 Day Northern Lights & Ice Cave Winter Photo Workshop in Iceland

No credit card fees
No booking fees
Duration
8 days
Difficulty
Medium
Language
English
18
Minimum age
18 years
Available
Nov. - Mar.

Join this eight-day winter experience in Iceland hunting for the incredible Northern lights, as well as visiting the country's major regions and attractions.

This is an excellent choice for visitors hoping to capture photographs of how stunning Iceland can be in winter, as well as those looking for a workshop led by award-winning photo guides.

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. When the Northern Lights appear in the clear skies, we will watch and photograph them as they illuminate the Arctic landscapes below.

Aside from the splendour above, Iceland's true natural beauty is found below ground, hence why this Winter Photo Workshop features a trip to the ice caves of Vatnajokull. The ocean-blue ice crystals make for an incredible composition, and the light dancing off these glittering sculptures means this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for photographers.

Open to all skill levels, 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 thanks to its ethereal ambience and tranquil atmosphere. Not only will we capture the moment that these enormous icebergs break free from the glacier, but we will also photograph their gentle cruise toward the Atlantic Ocean. 

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. 

Don't hesitate to book this eight-day tour and you too will experience the magic and majesty of photographing the stunning Northern Lights during your trip to Iceland. 

Included

Professional Photo Guide
Transportation in a comfortable vehicle
Accommodation in hotels and guesthouses. Rooms with private bathrooms.

Activities

Caving
Sight Seeing
Northern Lights
Photo Tours
Photo Workshop

Attractions

Reykjavík
Seljalandsfoss
Skógafoss
Reynisdrangar
Vatnajökull National Park
Jökulsárlón
Diamond Beach
Vík
Skaftafell
Vestrahorn
Þingvellir National Park
Gullfoss
Geysir

Daily itinerary

Day 1
Reykjavík is the northernmost capital city in the world.

Arrival in Iceland

Day one begins with your arrival at Keflavík International Airport.  You will take a bus or taxi transfer 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.

Day 2
Reynisfjara black sand beach is one of Iceland's most famous features.

The South Coast's Waterfalls & Black Sand Beaches 

On your second day, the adventure truly begins. You’ll gather in a specialised, comfortable bus, and set off on your journey along the South Coast. 

This stretch is one of Iceland’s most popular tourist routes, and just 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 broader and more powerful, thundering to the earth and creating an enormous plume of mist. 

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. 

You will spend your second night at accommodation in the nearby, charming village of Vík.

Day 3
There can be no beating the dazzling ambience of a glacier lagoon in Iceland.

Vatnajokull National Park & Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon 

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 mesmerising 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 icebergs and surrounding landscapes, you can use your time at Jökulsárlón to practice 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 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.

Day 4
Diamond Beach is a fantastic place to photograph ice bergs.

Sunrise at Jokulsarlon & Ice Cave Photography 

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 photo guides even more so.

The ice cave you will explore is found 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, no doubt 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 to practice your northern lights photography.

Day 5
Vestrahorn, undoubtedly one of the most dramatic mountains in Iceland.

Vestrahorn Mountain 

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 favourite subject amongst landscape photographers.

The dramatic, imposing mountain is surrounded by dark black sands, allowing you to take pictures that reveal 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 more atmospheric. 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. If the auroras are dancing when you return, you’ll visit Jökulsárlón to capture them.

Day 6
The Northern Lights over Reynisfjara black sand beach.

Skaftafell Nature Reserve and Vik Village

On your sixth day, you will visit the spectacular Skaftafell Nature Reserve. This area is so beautiful that it was once a National Park in its own right... that is 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 could hope they will tonight. You’ll retire at accommodation in Vík.

Day 7
Haukadalur Valley can be found along the Golden Circle sightseeing route.

The Golden Circle & Back To 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 found the on Golden Circle Route.

Þingvellir is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Icelandic mainland and is 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 best location on this 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 there are mighty geysers on site. 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 will be one of Iceland’s most recognisable 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 will tell the story of the waterfall’s ominous strength. When the sun is shining, and rainbows are cutting through the waterfall's 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.

Day 8
The aurora dance over Gullfoss waterfall.

Transfer to Keflavik Airport

Sadly, the tour ends on day eight. By this time, however, your album should be packed with fantastic new contributions. 

When it is time to return to the airport, the bittersweet feeling of departing will hopefully be outweighed by the pride taken in your developed skills, as well as a gratefulness for the chance to participate in northern lights and ice cave photography. 

Until next time, we hope you've had a brilliant time in 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 10-14. 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.

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.

Dates and Guides

9-16 Mar 2020 - Guided by Raymond Hoffmann and Oli 1-8 Nov 2020 10-17 Nov 2020 19-26 Nov 2020 7-14 Dec 2020 16-23 Dec 2020 14-21 Jan 2021 1-8 Feb 2021 8-15 Feb 2021 28 Feb - 6 Mar 2021 9-16 Mar 2021

Terms of service

Video

Guides

Raymond Hoffmann

Raymond Hoffmann

English, German, Icelandic
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Raymond is an award-winning photographer with a worldwide reputation. Known for his magnificent landscape photos, his career took off in 2011, when he was voted as ‘Best Nature Photographer’ by one of Europe’s largest online photo communities.

One of his photos was even elected as one of the best p

Raymond is an award-winning photographer with a worldwide reputation. Known for his magnificent landscape photos, his career took off in 2011, when he was voted as ‘Best Nature Photographer’ by one of Europe’s largest online photo communities.

One of his photos was even elected as one of the best p

Mads Peter Iversen

Mads Peter Iversen

English, Danish
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A teacher of education with a master degree in educational philosophy. Mads is specializing in fine art landscape photography and video editing but works with other genres of photography too.

He started out as a photographer in 2011 and his experience with video editing goes back to 2002.“I find my

A teacher of education with a master degree in educational philosophy. Mads is specializing in fine art landscape photography and video editing but works with other genres of photography too.

He started out as a photographer in 2011 and his experience with video editing goes back to 2002.“I find my

Brynjar Ágústsson

Brynjar Ágústsson

English, Icelandic
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Being out in nature with a camera and a tripod can be like a form of meditation – a soothing, peaceful experience that has the potential to lift you out of this world.

For Brynjar Ágústsson, a native Icelandic professional landscape photographer, there is simply nothing more satisfying. A former me

Being out in nature with a camera and a tripod can be like a form of meditation – a soothing, peaceful experience that has the potential to lift you out of this world.

For Brynjar Ágústsson, a native Icelandic professional landscape photographer, there is simply nothing more satisfying. A former me

Óli Haukur

Óli Haukur

English
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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 advertisin

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 advertisin

Siggi the Viking

Siggi the Viking

English, Icelandic
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Siggi was born in Iceland and has spent most of his photography career in this paradise.During his time as a photographer, he early on found that his passion lies with photographing the beautiful landscapes and nightscapes of Iceland. One of his favorite activities is being out, chasing the northern

Siggi was born in Iceland and has spent most of his photography career in this paradise.During his time as a photographer, he early on found that his passion lies with photographing the beautiful landscapes and nightscapes of Iceland. One of his favorite activities is being out, chasing the northern

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