- #27. Brúarfoss Waterfall
- #26. Búðakirkja (The Black Church of Búðir)
- #25. Fjaðrárgljúfur (Feather Canyon)
- #24. Strokkur
- #23. Ice Caves of Vatnajökull National Park
- #22. Sólheimasandur Plane Crash
- #21. Skógafoss Waterfall
- #20. Seljalandsfoss
- #19. Lóndrangar
- #18. Kirkjufell
- #17. Vestrahorn
- #16. Gullfoss
- #15. Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach
- #14. Sigöldugljufur
- #13. Dyrhólaey
- #12. Hraunfossar
- #11. Hvítserkur
- #10. Diamond Ice Beach
- #9. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
- #8. Bláhylur (Hnausapollur)
- #7. Goðafoss
- #6. Dettifoss
- #5. Háifoss
- #4. Þakgil
- #3. Landmannalaugar
- #2. Kerlingarfjöll
- #1. Þórsmörk
With so much raw and natural beauty in one tiny place, it’s no wonder that Iceland is one of the most popular places in the world for landscape photography.
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If you’ve been on a quest to discover the best spots to take your camera during your travels, then look no further! We’ve compiled a list of the top locations for photography in Iceland that will surely blow your mind.
#27. Brúarfoss Waterfall
Bruarfoss waterfall. Photo by: 'Raymond Hoffman'.
Brúarfoss is famous for its electric blue water that flows in a series of cascades over dark volcanic rock. Located right by the Golden Circle, this is a tricky waterfall to get to but the time and effort spent hiking there will be worth it. Although it is accessible year-round, it is at its most photogenic during summer, when the sky is ablaze with the red and pink hues of the Midnight Sun.
#26. Búðakirkja (The Black Church of Búðir)
The famous black church of Búðir stands steadfast within a sprawling lava field upon the windswept coastline of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. It is perhaps the most photographed church in all of Iceland and makes for quite a stunning sight with the Snæfellsjökull glacier looming in the background.
The black church of Budir. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
In summer, the nearby lava fields are dotted with wildflowers while in autumn, the moss takes on gorgeous earthen hues.
#25. Fjaðrárgljúfur (Feather Canyon)
The feather canyon. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
Fjaðrárgljúfur is a magnificent ancient canyon in the south of Iceland. From the sky, the jagged outcrops of the canyon walls resemble a single delicate feather.
Fjadragljufur as seen from above. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
It is located between the small fishing village of Vík and Skaftafell Nature Reserve, making it an easy location to reach. There are many different angles for compositions here, including a waterfall that flows into a river winding through the canyon itself.
- See also: Ultimate Guide to Iceland Photography
Geysir geothermal area with Strokkur erupting in the background. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
Within the Geysir geothermal area on the Golden Circle route in Iceland, you will find Strokkur – an incredible fountain geyser that erupts every 5 to 10 minutes, shooting hot water up to 40 metres (130 ft) in the air. Capturing it is no easy feat though it makes for a truly stunning sight when the water is lit up by the warm, golden glow of the Midnight Sun.
#23. Ice Caves of Vatnajökull National Park
Inside an ice cave. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
Vatnajökull is the largest ice cap in all of Europe and beneath it, you will find Iceland’s spectacular ice caves. These dynamic natural wonders are formed when glacial ice melts and reshapes over time. Some are brilliant blue in colour, with the icy walls resembling crystals when lit up by the light; others are jet black, coloured by deposits of volcanic ash.
The ice inside an ice cave can be black or blue. Photo by: 'Alban Henderyckx'.
Photographing an ice cave is a magical experience that you’ll never forget. You can learn more in our Ultimate Guide to Photographing Ice Caves in Iceland!
#22. Sólheimasandur Plane Crash
Who would’ve thought that a plane wreck would make for such an incredible photography destination in Iceland?
DC plane crash at Solheimasandur. Photo by: 'Jack Anstey, Unsplash'.
This American DC plane was abandoned in November 1973 after it crashed on the south coast between Skógafoss waterfall and the small fishing village of Vík. Surrounded by vast areas of volcanic black sand, it makes for an extraordinary photo opportunity, especially when the Northern Lights dance above.
#21. Skógafoss Waterfall
This brings us to Skógafoss, which is perhaps the most photographed waterfall in Iceland. It thunders down from a height of only around 60 metres (197 ft) but hits the river below with such force that it sends spray billowing into the air. On a good day, the spray catches the sunlight, forming a beautiful rainbow that drifts forth from the mist.
Skogafoss waterfall. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
You can also walk straight up to the curtain of water at Skógafoss, making it a popular place to take an epic selfie.
Seljalandsfoss in summer. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
Nearby is the famous Seljalandsfoss waterfall, renowned for its cavern which allows photographers to circle the cascade of water in a 360° fashion. The result is the ability to take incredible panoramas from behind the waterfall.
Seljalandsfoss with the Midnight Sun. Photo by: 'Sergiy Stepanenko'.
If you happen to visit Seljalandsfoss during summer, then you’ll have the perfect opportunity to capture its water lit up by the fiery colours of the Midnight Sun.
As far as spectacular windswept coastlines go, Iceland’s Snæfellsnes Peninsula is the forerunner and there is no better place to experience it than at Lóndrangar.
Londrangar resembles a castle. Photo by: 'Albert Dros'.
These ancient volcanic rock formations seemingly rise up from the sea like a castle reaching out towards the horizon. You can capture the roaring waves of the Atlantic Ocean crashing at their base whilst seabirds such as guillemots and kittiwakes flit about from the cliffs to the water below.
Icelandic horses next to Kirkjufell. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
Kirkjufell is perhaps the most famous and photogenic mountain in all of Iceland. It was one of the filming locations for Game of Thrones, which only served to thrust it even further into the spotlight.
Kirkjufell's eye. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
This iconic mountain looks somewhat like a cone, with a gorgeous set of waterfalls to boot. It is in just the right position for the Northern Lights to dance over it at night, making it a popular place in Iceland to photograph the Aurora Borealis.
Vestrahorn from the sky. Photo by: 'Edwin Martinez'.
Far away, on the southeastern corner of Iceland, is another mountain that makes for stunning photo opportunities. With its jagged peaks, undulating black sand dunes at its base and the waves of the Atlantic Ocean sweeping in from the right, Vestrahorn is as photogenic as they come.
Reflection of Vestrahorn in summer. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
There are countless compositions to be found here, from patterns in the sand to pools of water and ice.
Frozen Gullfoss. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
Gullfoss translates from Icelandic as ‘golden falls’ and if you visit this Golden Circle delight on a sunny day, then you’ll see why. This breathtaking two-tiered waterfall offers up numerous vantage points and angles for photography.
Gullfoss with the Northern Lights and a moonbow. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
During summer, you’ll be able to follow a path that will take you so close to the water that you’ll be wandering into the spray. Meanwhile in winter, parts of Gullfoss can freeze over, making for an icy blue sight.
#15. Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach
Reynisfjara black sand beach beneath the Midnight Sun. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
The black sand beach at Reynisfjara is as beautiful as it is dangerous. Here, you’ll find a dramatic coastline where extraordinarily powerful waves have shaped the surrounding landscape.
Reynisdrangar sea stacks. Photo by: 'Albert Dros'.
The shore is lined with basaltic columns and cliffs that soar high into the sky, making the perfect nesting place for puffins and other seabirds during the summer months. However, the beach is most famous for the Reynisdrangar sea stacks, which stand steadfast against the tides.
Located in the Icelandic Highlands is the incredible Sigöldugljufur canyon, also known as the 'Valley of Tears'. A short hike will take you to the edge of a cliff, where you’ll be able to capture the many waterfalls streaming into the stunning blue river below.
Sigoldugljufur canyon. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
Surrounded by mossy rocks, this unique waterfall is a true hidden gem within the Highlands and is best visited during summer, when the colours of the Midnight Sun light the sky ablaze with pink and red hues.
Best known for its sweeping views of the Reynisfjara black sand beach and surrounds, the Dyrhólaey promontory is a stunning location for photography, particularly during sunrise.
The lighthouse at Dyrholaey. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
The cliffs offer a number of different vantage points from where you’ll be able to photograph stunning waves crashing ashore. They’re also home to many seabirds during the summer, including puffins!
The magnificent rock arch at Dyrholaey. Photo by: 'Sergiy Stepanenko'.
Hraunfossar surrounded by autumn foliage. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
Have you ever seen a waterfall that appears to flow directly out of the rocky face of a cliff? The Hraunfossar waterfall is not just one cascade but a series of rivulets of water that stream through a porous lava field into the Hvítá river below.
Hraunfossar waterfalls. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
While Hraunfossar is beautiful throughout the year, it is worthwhile to visit during autumn, when the surrounding vegetation takes on the extremely colourful hues of fall.
Most people visit the south of Iceland. If you are adventurous enough to head up north, then you’ll find a veritable treasure trove of spectacular landscapes to photograph. One such location is Hvítserkur, a rock formation that resembles a dinosaur drinking from the ocean.
Hvitserkur resembles a drinking dragon. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
At low tide, you’ll be able to capture fascinating patterns in the sand which you can use as leading lines into the sea stack itself. There are also many seals nearby, so don’t forget to bring a telephoto lens to try your hand at some wildlife photography!
#10. Diamond Ice Beach
Icebergs washing in at the Diamond Beach. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
Imagine a cluster of icebergs surrounding you on a beautiful black sand beach. When they catch the light, they resemble diamonds glistening in the sun.
Wave painting with icebergs. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
This is exactly the kind of scene that you’ll encounter when you visit the Diamond Ice Beach in Iceland. It’s the perfect place to experiment with your shutter speed for a spot of wave-painting. Just be sure to keep an eye on the waves, which have claimed many a photographer’s camera equipment over the years.
#9. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
Jokusarlon glacier lagoon beneath the Northern Lights. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
Adjacent to the Diamond Beach is the world-famous Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. This is where you’ll be able to photograph extraordinary icebergs that have calved from the nearby Breiðamerkurjökull glacier.
A lenticular cloud over Jokulsarlon. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
This is also a great place for wildlife photography. You’ll be able to spot seals swimming in the tidal waters of the lagoon, as well as hauled out on icebergs. Many seabirds also bask in the sun atop the ice in summer.
#8. Bláhylur (Hnausapollur)
Bláhylur, also known as 'Hnausapollur', is one of the most incredible locations for photography in Iceland. It’s situated close to Landmannalaugar, making it a spot that is only accessible during summer, when the roads to the Highlands are open.
Blahylur. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
At Bláhylur, you’ll have a spectacular view over a breathtaking volcanic crater that holds a mindboggling blue lake. You'll also be able to capture its sister, Ljótapollur, next to it with the snowcapped mountains of the Highlands in the background.
Godafoss waterfall. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
You’ll find Goðafoss, also known as the ‘Waterfall of the Gods’, in the north of Iceland. This massive U-shaped waterfall is 30 metres wide, with electric blue glacial water that flows into a river below.
Godafoss in summer. Photo by: 'Raymond Hoffman'.
It is surrounded by volcanic cliffs and makes for a stunning sight throughout the seasons. During winter, it is often coated in layers of pristine, white snow and glistening ice.
Dettifoss is the most powerful waterfall in Europe. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
Dettifoss is said to be the most powerful waterfall in all of Europe. It is located in the northeast of Iceland, close to the Diamond Circle route.
The powerful water of Dettifoss. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
You can get quite close to the water at Dettifoss, though be careful when standing on the edge of the cliffs – one wrong step and you’ll end up tumbling into the mayhem below. The sheer size and intensity of this waterfall is a force to be reckoned with.
Although the Icelandic Highlands may seem uninviting and barren, it’s actually the opposite that is true. The Highlands are one of the least explored areas in the country and they hide some incredible photographic gems, such as Háifoss waterfall.
Haifoss is the fourth tallest waterfall in Iceland. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
Háifoss has to be seen to be believed. Dropping from a height of 122 metres over steep cliffs, it is ranked as the 4th highest waterfall in Iceland and is certainly one of the most beautiful.
Þakgil canyon is one of those places in Iceland that looks and feels as though it has come straight out of the Lord of the Rings. Visiting this lush green paradise is an adventure in itself, as you take in the majestic mountainous landscape all around.
Thakgil canyon is a magical place. Photo by: 'Jean-Francois Chaubard'.
Here, you will find moss in abundance, glacial rivers and stunning peaks. It’s no wonder that old Icelandic tales speak of elves!
Landmannalaugar. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
A visit to the geothermal landscape of Landmannalaugar is somewhat akin to stepping onto another planet. Rhyolite mountains dominate the scenery, while mossy lava fields and natural hot springs make stunning subjects for photography.
Soaring over the lava fields and mountains of Landmannalaugar. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
Situated within the Fjallabak Nature Reserve in the Highlands of Iceland, this region holds a treasure trove of compositions just waiting to be discovered.
- See also: Landmannalaugar Photography Day Tour
The Kerlingarfoll mountain range. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
If you think that Landmannalaugar looks interesting, then save a thought for the Kerlingarfjöll mountain range in the Central Highlands of Iceland. These mountains are spectacularly colourful and seethe with geothermal activity.
A person walks along the ridge of a mountain in Kerlingarfjoll. Photo by: 'Iurie Belegurschi'.
Billowing clouds of steam, hot springs and bubbling mud pots make this an exciting location for photography.
Thorsmork is stunning in summer. Photo by: 'Max Rive'.
Last but not least, the number one spot for photography in all of Iceland that will surely blow your mind is Þórsmörk, also known as the ‘Valley of Thor’.
The valley of Thor. Photo by: 'Max Rive'.
This mountain ridge is located near the mighty Eyjafjallajökull volcano. It is where expansive views of glaciers come together with the rugged beauty of nature to create a truly enchanting scene. There are many hikes that will take you to extraordinary vantage points, where you’ll be able to capture the astonishing landscape.
If you’re looking to get well off the beaten track for photography in Iceland, then this is the place to go!
About the author: Serena Dzenis is a landscape photographer based in Iceland. You can find more of her work on her website or by following her on Facebook and Instagram.
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