Iceland Winter Wonderland

Ice Caves in Iceland

Join us on an immersive photography adventure to see one of the most incredible landscapes in the world transformed into a winter wonderland.

Iceland boasts some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery during winter including magnificent frozen waterfalls, snow-capped mountains, dramatic volcanic beaches, glistening ice caves, and the elusive Northern Lights.

During this 10 Day workshop, we will capture these natural wonders as we explore the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, South Coast, Vatnajökull National Park, and Golden Circle. Aimed at photographers of all skill level – whether you are a beginner, amateur, or professional, you’ll be sure to come away from this workshop with a diverse portfolio of images of Iceland in one of its most beautiful seasons.

Dates

16 - 25 January, 2022

Group Size

Maximum of 12 participants

Level of Fitness

Mild to moderate hiking is required to reach some locations

Price

$4, 690 USD (Double Occupancy)

Workshop Highlights

    • A focus on Landscape, Northern Lights, and Golden Hour photography
    • Observing the dynamic nature between ice and fire in Iceland, a country forged through the combined forces of glaciers and volcanic activity
    • Exploring ice caves hidden within Europe’s largest glacier
    • Learning advanced photography techniques to make the most of lighting and locations such as bracketing, focus stacking, and long exposures
    • Visiting the unforgettable Diamond Beach
    • Capturing the unique geothermal and geological sites of the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Golden Circle
    • Going on the chase of a lifetime for the Northern Lights
    • Learning new photography skills, such as tips for shooting during golden hour, sunrise/sunset, and night
    • A small workshop so your experience is truly personal, and you get to know your guides and fellow photographers

    Included 

    • 10 day workshop with 9 nights accommodation (Double Occupancy)
    • Two 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
    • Welcome and Farewell meals on days 1 and 9
    • Breakfasts at the hotels during the workshop
    • Post-processing sessions with Photo Guides
    • Visit to an ice cave
    • Access to exclusive discounts on gear from our partners

    Excluded

    • Travel to and from Iceland
    • Airport transfers
    • Single room supplement (may be available on request – contact for price)
    • Food and beverages (other than breakfasts, Welcome and Farewell dinners)
    • 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
Payment Options:
Please note that the full amount is due 90 days prior to the start of the workshop.
A 3% charge is added using this service. Please contact us if you prefer other payment options.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival

The workshop starts in the capital city of Reykjavik, where we will meet over a welcome dinner to get to know each other and discuss the workshop itinerary together.

You can use your free time before dinner to explore this vibrant capital and its abundance of photo opportunities. Be sure to visit the Sun Voyager with its picturesque views towards Mount Esja, the kaleidoscopic Harpa Concert Hall – a visual wonder from every angle, the incredible street art scattered throughout the city, and the iconic Hallgrímskirkja with its unparalleled 360° views over the colorful capital.

Accommodations: Reykjavik

Sunset over Reykjavik Iceland
Sunset at the Sun Voyager Reykjavik Iceland

Day 2: Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Today we will set off early to start our adventure, making our way to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. This area is fondly known as ‘Iceland in Miniature’, as here you can get a taste of all the natural wonders Iceland has to offer – waterfalls, volcanic craters, lava fields and black sand beaches. It is especially beautiful in winter with the rugged, volcanic landscape draped in a soft blanket of snow and ice, under soft winter light.

We will stop at Hraunfossar, where water from an underground spring seeps through a lava field, emerging as if out of nowhere.

We will visit the coastal village of Arnarstapi, where nature has carved magnificent arches and jagged rock formations from the black lava cliffs.

A highlight today will be Kirkjufell Mountain – one of Iceland’s most famous landmarks. With its distinctive shape like a church steeple, it sits by itself on the edge of the sea, towering above its surroundings. We will spend sunset here, exploring its many composition options. Should the Northern Lights appear, our expert guides will be on hand to help capture images of the aurora dancing over the mountain.

Accommodations: Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Bruarfoss Iceland
Northern Lights over Kirkjufell Iceland

Day 3: Snæfellsnes Peninsula

We begin our day with sunrise at the Black Church of Búðir. This picture-perfect building sits alone on an expansive lava field, framed by the incredible backdrop of the Snæfellsnesjökull glacier on one side and the sea on the other. It can be particularly picturesque during the winter months, contrasting dramatically with the snow.

We will then continue our exploration of the peninsula, whose landscapes formed during the eruption of Snæfellsjökull. Throughout the day we will stop at many of these volcanic vistas, for example, Lóndrangar – the remains of a crater that eroded into a magnificent pair of rock pinnacles towering over 60 meters above the waves, and Djúpalónssandur – a beach covered in shiny black pebbles that look like pearls. Surrounded by strange rock formations that appear to emerge from the ocean, this beach is excellent for unique seascapes.

Our final stop will be back at Búðir to photograph the iconic church under a winter sunset and the Northern Lights.

Accommodations: Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Sunset at Budir black church Snaefellsnes Peninsula Iceland
Northern Lights in Iceland

Days 4 – 5: Golden Circle

We will say goodbye to the peninsula and head to the Golden Circle, the route known for its three famous, natural attractions.

The first is Þingvellir National Park where we can walk along the Almannagjá gorge – the rift valley between the European and North American tectonic plates where Iceland is tearing apart. Flowing into this valley is the stunning Öxarárfoss falls, often covered in dazzling icicles during winter.

The second is Haukadalur, a geothermal area shaped by the forces of earth and fire, with bubbling mud pits, hot springs and steaming fumaroles. We’ll have our cameras at the ready to capture the extraordinary activity of Strokkur, a geyser that spouts jets of scalding water over 20 metres into the air every 10 minutes.

The last is Gullfoss, the Golden Waterfall. Here the water cascades over two tiers before dropping dramatically into a narrow, deep canyon where it can appear as if the river is disappearing into the earth!

We will spend our day and the following morning exploring these sites. The rest of Day 5 will be spent traveling through the south coast along the foothills of the Vatnajökull glacier, past majestic mountain ranges and incredible glacial tongues that stretch down from the ice cap towards the sea. We will arrive in Vatnajökull National Park in the evening.

Accommodations: Golden Circle & Vatnajökull National Park

Geysir Iceland
Svinafellsjokul Glacier Iceland

Days 6 – 7: Vatnajökull National Park

Within the south and eastern regions of Vatnajökull National Park we can observe the historical interaction between ice and fire in Iceland, as this area was created by the combined forces of glaciers and volcanic activity.

The landscapes here are diverse and almost surreal, dotted with waterfalls, glaciers, rivers, lava fields, forests, snowy mountain peaks and dramatic beaches. It is a photographer’s paradise, and we will spend our next three days here, taking our time to explore the unique sites and capturing them in a variety of conditions.

One of the highlights of our adventure will be traveling on a super-jeep to Europe’s largest glacier to explore the frozen underworld of the ice caves hidden within. You’ll be amazed by their intense colors, remarkable structures, and the textures in their glistening walls. As they are always changing, we will be able to capture some truly unique images.

Accommodations: Vatnajökull National Park

Winter at Vestrahorn Iceland
Ice caves in Iceland

Day 8: Vatnajökull National Park & South Coast

We will begin the day early with sunrise at one of the most extraordinary locations in Iceland, Diamond Beach – the final resting place for the icebergs that have calved from the nearby glacier and made their way out to sea. The icebergs are pounded by the waves and smashed into smaller chunks of ice that then wash up onto the black sand where they lay, glistening like diamonds. We will have plenty of time to photograph this spectacular beach – the memories of watching the ice glow in the Golden Hour light will last a lifetime.

We will also revisit Jökulsárlón. At this beautiful lagoon, icebergs in an array of shapes and sizes calve from the nearby glacial tongue and slowly drift towards the sea. It is a magical experience to see them float by in their palette of colours – turquoise, frosted white, deep blue and even black.

We will then start our journey back along the south coast to Vík, where we will spend the afternoon and sunset capturing Reynisfjara Beach with its tall basalt columns, dramatic black volcanic sand, and impressive sea stacks.

This will be our last opportunity to chase the Northern Lights, and there are many amazing locations nearby we can go to photograph them, should they appear.

Accommodations: Vik

Sunrise in Diamond Beach Iceland
Fjallsarlon Iceland

Day 9: South Coast

Today will be our final day of shooting, and we will spend it exploring the wonders of the South Coast.

We will rise early to capture the sea stacks from a different vantage point and in sunrise light before visiting the promontory of Dyrhólaey with its massive arch, historic lighthouse and spectacular views over the coastline.

We will then slowly head back towards Reykjavik, exploring some little-known gems along the way.

Our last stops will be at two of Iceland‘s most picturesque waterfalls: Seljalandsfoss – with its path that leads behind the veil of falling water, and Skógafoss – a waterfall so mighty you will feel the mist before you reach it. Snow and glittering icicles will add an extra touch of wonder, and if the lighting is right, we will be able to capture rainbows in their spray!

Once we reach Reykjavik, we will share one last dinner together. This will be a special night, where we will fondly reminisce about our adventure, sharing stories and talking about our favorite places.

Accommodations: Reykjavik

Rainbow reflection at Skogafoss Iceland
Skogafoss Iceland

Day 10: Departure

Today you will make your way to the airport to fly home, with memories to last a lifetime, new friends, and memory cards full of amazing images of Iceland as a winter wonderland.

We will not say goodbye, but “see you later”, because it’s very likely we will cross paths again.

Meet the Guides

Siggi Photo
Sigurdur William
Kah-Wai Lin, MD, PhD

Important Workshop Information

We will be staying in clean, comfortable hotels throughout this workshop.

Hotel accommodations will include breakfast and pricing is based on double room occupancy.

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 attendees.

One of the major goals of this workshop is photography the Northern Lights, however, due to unpredictable weather and atmospheric conditions, this cannot be guaranteed .

We will check daily for Northern Lights activity and weather forecast and plan our day based on these predictions.

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.

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.


As this workshop focuses on landscape and Northern Lights photography, we will aim to shoot in the best light to get the best possible photos for your portfolio. This means on some days we may be shooting between sunset and sunrise, and sleep during the day.

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.