Highlands of Iceland
The Highlands form the heart of Iceland – an uninhabited, ever-changing wilderness forged by the forces of ice and fire.
They are home to some of the most surreal landscapes you can imagine – ancient volcanos, steaming geothermal areas, rainbow mountain ranges, jeweled crater lakes, and majestic waterfalls that are dispersed amongst barren plains of volcanic desert and vast lava fields.
Their remoteness and harsh terrain make them challenging to access, with only skilled drivers in 4×4 vehicles that have experience with glacial river crossings venturing here. This makes them a fantastic destination for photographers who want to experience the raw, rugged, and breathtaking landscapes of Iceland away from crowds.
Join us on this 4 day adventure to explore the Highlands! Aimed at photographers of all skill level – beginner, amateur or professional – you’ll be sure to come away from this workshop with epic images.
- A focus on Landscape and Drone photography
- Observing the dynamic nature between ice and fire in Iceland in a region forged through the combined forces of glaciers and volcanic activity
- The incredible rainbow rhyolite mountains of Landmannalaugar
- Learning new skills and advanced photography techniques to make the most of lighting and locations such as bracketing, focus stacking and long exposures
- Highland jewels – the turquoise waters of the Valley of Tears, and hidden sapphire and emerald crater lakes
- Traveling Iceland’s infamous ‘F-Roads’ to remote areas without crowds
- Exploring the steaming geothermal area of Kerlingarfjöll
- A small workshop so your experience is truly personal, and you get to know your guide and fellow photographers
- 4-day workshop with 3 nights accommodation (double occupancy)
- Award-winning, professional Photo Guides who will provide a combination of instruction, masterclasses and in-field guidance
- Transportation during the workshop in a comfortable vehicle with ample room for you and your photography gear
- Breakfasts at the hotels during the workshop
- Access to exclusive discounts on gear from our partners
- Travel to and from Iceland
- Airport transfers
- Single room supplement (may be available on request – contact for price)
- Food and beverages (other than breakfast)
- Items of a personal nature including (but not limited to) laundry services, clothing, Wi-Fi, email, or phone charges
- Gratuities for Photo Guides, local guides, and/or drivers
Day 1: Kerlingarfjöll
We will set off early from Reykjavik, starting our photography adventure by heading off the beaten path and deep into the rugged Central Highlands.
Kerlingarfjöll is a young mountain range of volcanic origin wedged between two glaciers – a place where you can truly observe the dynamic nature between ice and fire in Iceland. It is characterized by extremes – mountains with sharp, un-eroded peaks, smooth valleys of steaming vents, snowy ice caps, and boiling rivers. There is a palette of colors – minerals that have emerged from the hot springs color the ground yellow, red and green, while the glacier looming overhead adds shades of blue and white. Many images taken here resemble watercolor paintings! We will take our time to explore the endless composition options.
We will finish our day in Haukadalur, a geothermal area full of bubbling mud pits, hot springs and steaming fumaroles. We’ll time our visit to be here at sunset, with our cameras at the ready to capture the extraordinary activity of Strokkur – a geyser that spouts jets of scalding water over 20 meters into the air every 4-10 minutes.
Day 2: Landmannalaugar
For our first stop today will travel to the edge of the Highlands to Háifoss – one of Iceland’s most spectacular waterfalls. Translating to ‘High Falls’, the waters here plunge 122 meters into a deep gorge in the beautiful Þjórsárdalur valley, resulting in breathtaking panoramic views.
We will then make our way to the valley of Landmannalaugar in the Southern Highlands. The landscape here is incredible – a vast, volcanic oasis of rhyolite mountains that are dispersed with rising vents of white steam and natural blue pools, entwined with shimmering streams and surrounded by a contrasting black lava field. The mountains are shaded in colors of yellow, brown, green, blue, and pink – and they continually transform as the light changes throughout the day! This extraordinary site is a photographer’s dream, and exploring it will be an experience you will never forget.
Days 3 – 4: Highland Jewels
Amongst the desolate, rugged deserts and volcanic mountain ranges of the Highlands are areas of exquisite diversity and beauty – many of which rarely see visitors. We will spend our last day exploring some of these unique sites, including turquoise and emerald crater lakes, volcanic mountains that rise like pyramids out of nowhere, moss-covered explosion craters, and cascading waterfalls. Drone enthusiasts will need to be prepared with fully-charged batteries, as even though they are stunning from the ground, some of these places are even more incredible with a birds-eye-view of the landscape!
We will arrive back in the city on Day 4in the evening – with memories to last a lifetime, new friends, and memory cards full of amazing images of Iceland.
Please ensure you have arranged accommodation for this evening as the workshop will not conclude in time for you to fly out of Iceland.
Meet the Guides
Important Workshop Information
We will be staying in clean, comfortable hotels throughout this workshop.
Hotel accommodations will include breakfast.
Workshop pricing is based on room sharing in double rooms. For an additional cost you may request a single room - please note this is subject to room availability, and at the discretion of Viking International Phototours based on workshop attendee numbers.
Iceland is extremely rugged and harsh. Strong winds, rain, mud and the terrain are real dangers when photographing on location. You will be expected to follow instructions to ensure you are kept safe and out of harm’s way.
You must also advise Viking International Phototours in advance and in writing of any illness, injury or pre-existing medical conditions that might reasonably be expected to affect your attendance and participation during the workshop.
The itinerary for our workshop is subject to change at the discretion of our Photo Guides depending on the Icelandic weather, which can be highly unpredictable. We will check the weather forecasts and road conditions and plan our day to optimize shooting conditions. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to visit all the locations on the itinerary.
A recommended list of gear will be sent out as soon as you book to give you ample time to prepare for your adventure.
Iceland is absolutely stunning from the ground, and just as amazing with a birds-eye-view of the landscape. There are drone-friendly places, so if you own a drone, you are welcome to bring it along to the workshop.
Please note that you are solely responsible for your equipment, and are expected to adhere to all rules and regulations as specified by the Icelandic Transport Authority (which can be accessed here). Viking International Phototours and our Photo Guides will not be liable for any injury or damage caused to equipment, environment or people caused by you operating your drone during our workshop.
Please also note that the wind and weather in Iceland can be sudden and hazardous, so use your judgement and be mindful of conditions.
Please refer to the Booking Terms and Conditions.
Booking with Viking International Phototours indicates acceptance of the Booking Terms and Conditions as outlined.