Venkatramana Temple Erg Chebbi, Ziz Valley, Sahara Snæfellsjökull at sunset Icebergs floating in the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon

East Iceland’s Midsummer Landscapes, Birds and Fjords Workshop

Highlights include…

  • Superb bird photography
  • Remote fjords
  • Exceptional landscapes
  • Walter Mitty’s longboard run!
  • Quiet and peaceful locations
  • Puffins and seals
  • Sunrises and sunsets in dramatic locations
  • Luminous icebergs floating in a turquoise lagoon
  • Sea-washed ice on black volcanic sand

  • Hours of ambient light
  • 
Purple lupin fields
  • Waterfalls
  • Colourful old houses

Introduction

Introducing a brand new photographic trip far from the madding crowd in the remarkable and less visited fjords of East Iceland. This is a truly unique trip with some of the best unspoiled landscapes that Iceland has to offer the adventurous photographer. This is also prime time for observing and photographing the huge number of birds breeding in Iceland during the summer. These include Puffin, Great and Arctic Skua, Black-Tailed Godwit, Red Necked Phalarope, Red Throated Diver and Arctic Tern. June is also an excellent time for the flowers too, all the Arctic species burst into life as soon as the winter snows start to recede. We can expect to photograph lovely fields of purple lupins and Icelandic poppies. Húsey – one of our locations – is home to around one hundred and seventy five species of plants!

Our starting point for this trip is the eastern town of Egilsstaðir. We will meet at the tiny airport on Day 1 before driving to our first base which is the quirky village of Seyðisfjörður. Describing itself as a place of singing waterfalls and peculiar characters the place is well known for it’s alternative ‘creative community’ and colourful old houses. The film ’Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ has a famous scene where Ben Stiller longboards down the mountain road into the village. This is the very road that we will take from the airport!

Walter Mitty’s Longboard Run

The famous scene in which Ben Stiller longboards down the scenic road along the river Fjarðará and into Seyðisfjörður.

In the little north east village of Bakkagerði, Borgarfjörður Eystri we find ourselves in the land of Elves, Puffins and Reindeer. Here we will be based right alongside the fjord surrounded by impressively shaped snow streaked rhyolite mountains. A real highlight for us is our stay in Húsey. The area is very special, a paradise for both nature lovers and photographers. Two large glacial rivers flow towards the sea through the wide plains around Húsey Farm. Large numbers of seals travel quite some distance inland where they rest on the riverbanks and sandbanks. Our adventure concludes with the drive back to Reykjavik. We break this scenic journey by spending a couple of nights based very close to Iceland’s famous Glacier Lagoon Jökulsárlón. Here we will have time to photograph the black ice beach and remote glacial landscapes that this area is justifiable famous for.

This photographic trip will be led by Martin Sammtleben and Geraldine Westrupp Both have an intimate connection and knowledge of East Iceland which stretches back over twenty years. They will be assisted by the very able Fran Pothecary who has recently joined WPH to oversee our operations in the field.

Brief Itinerary

For full details please download the trip description PDF

Day 1-3: Fly to Egilsstaðir and Seyðisfjörður

Fly over Iceland from Reykjavík to Egilsstaðir one of East Iceland’s larger towns with a population of around only 2300 people. It is approximately one hours drive over a mountain pass to our first location in Seyðisfjörður where we stay here for three nights.
Locations Include, a great variety of lovely and accessible waterfalls, Icelandic Poppies, the magnificent bird cliffs of Skálanes, colourful wooden houses, floating ice lake on the mountain pass of Fjarðarheiði plus some rather spectacular fjord vistas.
Accommodation Snæfell Hotel

Day 4-5: Húsey

After breakfast we travel north to Húsey. Basically this is an area of remarkable isolation, peace and great beauty. There is no village here, just a working farm and the old farmhouse which has been converted into our accommodation. The farm has many horses and offers daily treks to see the seals. In the coastal rivers here are found about 12–15% of Iceland’s seal stock. Whilst here in Húsey there will be opportunities for lots of bird photography. The Great Skuas are prolific and there are many lovely pools in the area where we find Red-Throated Divers and Red-Necked Phalaropes. A late evening walk to the beach is often rewarded with a fabulous sunset reflected in the glacial river delta.
Accommodation Húsey Farm

Day 6,7,8: Bakkagerði in Borgarfjörður Eystri

This morning we make the short journey from Húsey to the tiny village of Bakkagerði. The scenic pass takes us up close to the snow streaked Dryrfjöll Mountains. Nestled beneath these mountains is Stórurð, one of East Iceland’s most hidden and iconic locations. We stay in Bakkagerði for the next three nights in divinely positioned accommodation that has some lovely hot tubs overlooking the fjord. Our locations here are diverse and include many sea birds including Puffins, attractive wetlands, unusually shaped mountains, Lupin fields, the ‘Elf’ mountain Álfabjörg and a working harbour. One of the highlights of our stay here will surely be the drive along an unbelievably wild and remote track to photograph the abandoned fjord of Loðmundafjörður.
Accommodation Blábjörg Guest House

Day 9: Mjóifjörður and Reynivellir Southeast Iceland

Today we will make an early start to visit what is perhaps one of East Iceland’s most out there fjord, Mjóifjörður. Perhaps the most impressive is our first photographic location, a huge cascade called Klifbrekkufossar. Down in the fjord itself we find an interesting old wreck, a remnant from the days when this fjord was a whaling station. We will spend the morning exploring before driving back to the main road and down to Southeast Iceland. Our base for the next two nights is Reynivellir House situated just ten minutes from the Glacier Lagoon, Jökulsárlón and the black ice beach, Breiðamerkursandur.
Accommodation Reynivellir House and cottages

Day 10: Southeast Iceland

The area close to our accommodation is well known to photographers and although it will be busy compared to the Eastern fjords, the locations are nonetheless stunning. These will include, Jökulsárlón where ethereal icebergs of all shapes and sizes float serenely in the turquoise waters, Breiðamerkursandur where sparkling ice formations sit beautifully on the black sand beach, a totally unique experience and Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon a remote less visited location which combines lush green vegetation, silvery winding streams in black sands with a huge sculptured glacier that catches the light in a surreal fashion.
Accommodation Reynivellir House and cottages

Day 11: To Reykjavík via Locations of South Iceland

This morning we will take a final visit to the GlacierLagoon, basically photographers could visit this location a thousand times and never tire of its magic. During our drive back along the south coast to Reykjavik we will take time to photograph a variety of locations depending on the light and the weather conditions. These may well include vast Lupin fields, Vík sea stacks and various waterfalls. Back in the city we will go out together for a final celebratory meal.
Accommodation Reykjavík Hotel

Day 12: Homeward flights

After breakfast guests will transfer to Keflavík, Iceland’s international airport for homeward flights. WPH services finish after breakfast.

What’s Included

  • 11 nights accommodation
  • All Meals
  • All transport
  • Photographic tutors/tuition

What’s not Included

  • International flights
  • Flight to Egilsstaðir
  • Airport transfers
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Travel insurance

Accommodation

Our accommodations are without exception beautifully located and a good standard.

Joining Instructions

We will meet for the first time as a group on Day 1 at Egilsstaðir Airport.

Complete Itinerary and Full Details

This page is only a brief summary. A complete itinerary and more details can be found in our trip description PDF
It is important that you read this full day-to-day description and further information for this holiday before making your booking.