12 day Summer Photo Workshop around Iceland

12 day Summer Photo Workshop around Iceland

Duration: 12 days and 1 hour / Difficulty: Easy

During summertime from mid-May through July days get longer in Iceland. You will be mesmerized by the “midnight sun,” a natural phenomenon where the sunlight remains visible throughout the night creating a golden glow and giving great photographic results. Be prepared to start early and stay out late hunting and photographing otherworldly scenes in the arctic light. During this tour our main focus is on landscape photography but since Iceland is a colony for the smart and beautiful puffins we will also be looking out for this gorgeous seabird that nests in cliffs and little islands around Iceland this time of year. On this tour we will explore Snæfellsnes Peninsula in West Iceland, the wild vast Vatnsnes Peninsula in North-west-North Iceland, partly the East and last but not least the beautiful south coast. On this journey you will experience Iceland’s surreal beauty with its countless majestic and iconic waterfalls, world famous glacier lagoons, black sand beaches with impressive cliffs and basalt formations, sea stacks and bird colonies with puffins and other sea-birds, the largest glacier in Europe, mountain peaks, big lava fields, moon-like steamy craters, active volcanoes, oh yes, trolls turned into stones, abundant wildlife and more.

Day 1 - Arrival

You will arrive at Keflavik International Airport and take the quick comfortable FlyBus to Reykjavik. In the afternoon we will meet in the lobby of your hotel and go out for dinner where we will get to know each other and discuss our upcoming adventure. Accommodation: Reykjavik

Day 2 - Snæfellsnes peninsula

You will be picked up at 8:00 a.m. at your hotel in Reykjavik. We will depart and start the tour by traveling to Snæfellsnes Peninsula in West Iceland. We will spend two days in this awe-inspiring area where we will surf between the southern and northern part of the peninsula. We will be photographing craggy rock formations and columnar basalt on the coast of Arnarstapi, a fishing village where ocean waves create great interplay with light both day and night. You will be amazed by the big lava field and windswept area at the picturesque Budir hamlet where the glazed icecap of Snæfellsjokull Glacier makes a great backdrop for a scene with a little black church in the foreground. There is so much natural beauty and extraordinary vistas to be found at Snæfellsnes that it’s sometimes referred to as “miniature Iceland.” Accommodation: Snæfellsnes

Day 3 - Snæfellsnes peninsula

Today we will continue our amazing journey on Snæfellsnes exploring and photographing the outstanding beauty of the coastline which is dotted with small villages a short distance from each other along with lush fjords and steep mountains. Londrangar, the two ancient volcanic basalt plugs rising out of the ocean along the shorefront will take your breath away. Their unusual shape provides a popular habitat for nesting birds of all kinds and their distinctive beauty makes excellent photo opportunities. Since days are long and nights are bright we will have many opportunities to shoot the famous mountain, Kirkjufell on the northern side of Snæfellsnes. Mt. Kirkjufell is considered to be one of Iceland´s most beautiful mountains with its special cone-like shape and steep hills. This mountain with its photo opportunities from different angles will be a masterpiece for your portfolio. Accommodation: Snæfellsnes

Day 4 - Hvitserkur

Today we will head toward North Iceland to the wild and remote Vatnsnes Peninsula. Vatnsnes Peninsula is known for its vast and partly uninhabited terrain with its intermingling of craggy hills and green grazing land where horses can be seen. On the eastern side of the peninsula you can get a great view to the peaks of the coastal region of Strandir in the Westfjords. The peninsula is also known for its flocks of geese and as a seal breeding ground. It is actually one of the best places in Iceland to see seals in their natural habitat and since they are quite curious you can get pretty close. We will most likely put our focus on the dinosaur like rock formation, Hvitserkur, a 15 meter high cliff rising from the sea. Icelandic legend has it that the rock was a troll who forgot to retreat from the light of the rising sun and was turned to stone, a sure fate for all trolls that make this mistake. From some angles it looks like a dragon drinking from the water while from another viewpoint it really looks like a huge rugged troll. This majestic rock has a great photogenic appeal. As we know, light is a key element in landscape photography and timing the location of the sun is very important. That means we will be here when the magic happens. Accommodation: Vatnsnes Peninsula

Day 5 - Lake Myvatn

We drive up North with our sights on Lake Myvatn and the surrounding area for two days of photographing. The lake itself is very picturesque with incredible rock formations. Undisputed gem of the northeast, Lake Myvatn and the surrounding area is starkly beautiful; an otherworldly landscape of spluttering mud-pots, weird lava formations, steaming fumaroles and volcanic craters are there to be found. Sitting squarely on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge the Myvatn Basin is one of the most volcanically active regions on earth. It has produced an astonishing landscape unlike anywhere else in the country. Lake Myvatn is one of Iceland’s major breeding grounds for birds and in combination with craters and fresh lava fields this is a fantastic destination for photographers. We might have the opportunity to dip into the Myvatn Nature Baths to get some extra energy for the long days and nights awaiting us. Accommodation: Myvatn

Day 6 - Lake Myvatn

We will continue to explore the surrounding area of Myvatn traveling to Namafjall covered with a myriad of colorful hot springs and mud pools and the famous fascinating sights of the geothermal field, Hverir. There you can capture extreme contrasts and textures especially when the light is soft and golden from the midnight sun. The scenery gives a glimpse of what the earth may have been like when it was first formed. There is so much to see and photograph in this area. We will have the opportunity to see Krafla, a caldera about 10 km in diameter that includes the Víti Crater with its green lake inside of it. Viti means hell and in former times people believed that hell was under volcanoes. From there, two photographic gems await, the Godafoss Waterfall meaning the “Fall of the Gods” and the impressive Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall tumbling into a wide basin surrounded by extremely beautiful basalt column walls. Since nights are bright and the sun never fully sets, circumstances and opportunities for photographers are exceptional giving one great result of stunningly beautiful photographs from these otherworldly scenes after another. Accommodation: Myvatn

Day 7 - East Iceland-Djúpivogur

Before we head east we will visit the Jokulsargljufur National Park to shoot Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall. To see it with its 100 meter width and 45 meters drop is out of this world. Not only will Dettifoss give you epic and artistic photographs but it will also give you an unforgettable experience where you feel so small compared to this massive volume of plummeting water with a plume of spray that can be seen a kilometer away. We have a pretty long journey ahead when driving through the highland desert and over a mountain pass into the beautiful Eastfjords eventually reaching the realm of the Vatnajokull Glacier, Europe’s largest glacier and a national park. The landscape of this area is full of contrasts, and it is strikingly beautiful with its many mountainous fjords along the eastern coast. We will experience picturesque fishing towns, hauntingly beautiful fjords, steep mountains, highland farms, clear mountain streams, bird cliffs and waterfalls, such as the Rjukandi Fall. We will settle in the small fishing village of Djupivogur with its charming harbor and well-preserved old buildings surrounded by beautiful mountains. Accommodation: Djupivogur

Day 8 - Vatnajökull National Park

From Djupivogur our journey continues in the direction of Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon where we will be spending the next two days in the incredible area of the Vatnajokull National Park with endless opportunities with our cameras. The park encompasses not only all of Vatnajokull Glacier but also extensive surrounding areas from the waterfall, Skaftafell in southwest to Jokulsargljufur Canyon in the north. This area of Iceland is protected because of its uniqueness and natural cultural heritage. We will be surfing around following the never-ending light of the season while witnessing phenomenal glacier sights of diverse shapes and sizes. Few other places in the world offer such wide range of natural wonders as Vatnajokull. We will photograph and explore glaciers and glacier outlets descending to a black plateau. We will see floating white and blue icebergs on the glacier lagoon and on the black beach, ice crystals washed ashore illuminated in the midnight sun looking like diamonds; a sight that take your breath away. The glacial lagoon is a pure display of natural art and a spectacular sight leaving one in awe each time there and since the light is ever changing we will spend extra time there to get best possible photographs. Huge blocks of ice regularly break off the glacier and nothing is more picture-perfect than the sight of floating icebergs adorned with the light of the rising or setting sun. Most likely you will see beautiful, sleek seals basking on the ice or swimming in the lagoon. Accommodation: Jokulsarlon

Day 9 - Vatnajökull National Park

Not only we will be photographing icy scenes in Vatnajokull National Park but also we will have the chance to explore the impressive black dune beach at Stokksnes and the majestic peaks of Mt. Vestrahorn. The always picturesque Mt. Vestrahorn on the southeast corner of Iceland is a steep 454 meter high mountain, gorgeous in appearance with dramatic summits and slopes made of gabbro rock that give you endless opportunities with your camera and photographic skills. The strong waves of the Atlantic Ocean crashing on the beach gives the scenery an extra wild look. In the southeast area of Iceland, puffins and other seabirds nest, for example at Ingolfshofdi Cape and since our tour is flexible we will always look out for best possible opportunities best capture it both in terms of light and locations. Skaftafell Park on the west side of the glacier lagoon is a treasure trove with a breathtaking collection of peaks and glaciers, waterfalls, rivers and wild protected flora and fauna. Svartifoss Waterfall or Black Fall is one of Skaftafell’s true gems and never disappoints as it falls from its basalt lava wall. Accommodation: Jokulsarlon

Day 10 - Vik

Today we will leave Vatnajokull National Park and drive along the south coast all the way to the charming village of Vik surrounded by high, beautiful bird cliffs. The Icelandic south coast holds some of the most stunning natural attractions of the island. The area boasts a unique mix of volcanoes, lava fields, glaciers, wild black beaches, epic cliffs and sea stacks along with some iconic waterfalls. Our puffin friends nest there too in the Dyrholaey Cape. Along our way to Vik we will capture the mossy lava field of Eldhraun. The lava with a thickness of about 12 meters, completely overgrown with moss, suits itself perfectly for taking magnificent pictures in scenery that is like from another planet. The black beach at Vik is simply a magical spot and we will capture it while viewing the mysterious Reynisdrangar basalt sea stacks—or trolls. Legend has it that these were trolls out fishing too late that turned to stone when exposed to daylight. Iceland is full of magic and no words can describe how beautiful it is to photograph and enjoy those images during golden hour. Around the corner from Vik, the black beach at Reynisfjara offers a different point of view of the spiky sea stacks along with massive basalt cliffs and caves. The waves are strong and wild adding a powerful element to this extraordinary environment. This beach has been rated as the most beautiful non-tropical beach in the world. Accommodation: Vik

Day 11 - Heading back

Today we will be heading back to Reykjavik but on our way there are plenty of cool and interesting spots to photograph. We will check out the Dyrholaey Promontory which offers endless photogenic views. The Dyrholaey is located close to the village of Vik and the view from its heights is breathtaking. From there you can see the columns of Reynisdrangar from a new interesting angle along with more epic cliffs and stacks in the ocean. You will have an exquisite view over the endless black beach stretching west and in front of the peninsula. You will also see a gigantic black arch of lava reaching out to sea which gave the promontory its name. This time of year, puffins and other seabirds nest in Dyrholaey and the surrounding cliffs and we will be focusing on them for some time. We will photograph two famous waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss where you can make some cool shots by walking along the recess behind the waterfall and the famous majestic Skogafoss with a drop of 60 meters and width of 25 meters where you can photograph it both from the ground or from the top by climbing the stairs. We will pass two active volcanoes, Hekla, a 1490m high snow-topped mountain where devastating eruptions often took place throughout Iceland’s history earning it the name “gateway to hell,” and the famous Eyjafjallajokull, the flight stopping volcano from 2010. Another possible destination is Solheimajokull Glacier where mighty cliffs and mountains accompany the rugged glacier tongue. Accommodation: Reykjavik

Day 12 - Departure

After a good breakfast at your hotel you will depart traveling with the FlyBus to Keflavik Airport.

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