Wild Photography Holidays - Photographic Adventure Travel: The Ultimate Midsummer East Iceland Fjords, Puffins and Blue Ice Tour

Vestrahorn

The Ultimate Midsummer East Iceland Fjords, Puffins and Blue Ice Tour

Highlights include…

  • Tranquil Fjords
  • Puffins and Seals
  • Icelandic Poppies
  • Icelandic Horses
  • The Diamond Beach
  • Icebergs in a turquoise lagoon
  • Stokksnes & Vestrahorn
  • Black Sand Beaches
  • Walter Mitty’s longboard run!

  • Hours of ambient light
  • Dramatic Waterfalls
  • Colourful old houses
  • Optional Horse Riding
  • South Coast Locations
  • Snow Capped Mountains

Introduction

Introducing a magical new photographic trip far from the madding crowd with some of the best midsummer landscapes that Iceland has to offer the adventurous photographer. During the month of June we enjoy the summer solstice. Essentially it is light all day with the sun disappearing only briefly. There are several hours of ambient light with endless sunrises and sunsets, a superb time to be in Iceland! We photograph the remarkable and less visited fjords of East Iceland together with the unique blue Ice locations of Iceland’s south coast. At this time of year it does not go dark in Iceland, we are blessed with magical ambient light that often goes on and on… in addition to the fabulous landscapes this is also prime time for photographing the huge number of birds breeding in Iceland during the summer, we expect to have several very close encounters with many comical and iconic Atlantic Puffin. June is also an excellent time to photograph lovely fields of Purple Lupins and Icelandic poppies with a back drop of snow capped mountains. 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 the little north east village of Bakkagerði, Borgarfjörður Eystri where 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. Our second base 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. Our adventure continues as we explore the spectacular photographic locations of the South around and west of Iceland’s Vestrahorn. Locations include the vast glacier tongues of Europe’s largest ice cap, Vatnajökull, the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and the world famous Diamond Beach. This photographic tour offers some of the very best midsummer landscapes to be found in Iceland and you can be sure to return home with some first class images and a bunch of great memories.

Walter Mitty’s Longboard Run

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

Brief Itinerary

For full details please download the trip description PDF

Days 1,2,3 Bakkagerði and Puffins

Fly over Iceland from Reykjavík to arrive in Egilsstaðir one of East Iceland’s larger towns with a population of around only 2300 people. Wild Photography Holidays services commence at this point where we will meet you and drive the group to our accommodation. It is approximately an hours drive over a mountain pass to our first location in the tiny village of Bakkagerði. A scenic pass takes us up close to the snow streaked Dryrfjöll Mountains before dropping dramatically downwards towards the sea to eventually to arrive in Bakkagerði our base for the next three nights. We stay in divinely positioned accommodation that has some lovely hot tubs overlooking the fjord. Our photographic locations are diverse including a very accessible Puffin nesting area close to the harbour. There is a hide where we can go to observe and photograph a multitude of these iconic little birds coming and going after fishing for eels or defending their burrows from other more predatory seabirds. We can also wander around the harbour area freely where there are lots of interesting things going on including a small Kittiwake colony where we get very close to these noisy nesting birds with their chicks. There are many unusually shaped mountains providing a superb back drop to vast Lupin fields. A stronghold of elves and the Hidden People, the ‘Elf’ mountain Álfabjörg in the village provides a great all round viewpoint. 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. This off the beaten track location is home only to an Eider farm, many nesting birds, a small mountain hut and a tiny chapel set in unbelievably lush and photogenic surroundings.

Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 4,5,6: To Seyðisfjörður the Artist’s Village

This morning we drive over a mountain pass to spend time in Húsey a coastal area of remarkable isolation, peace and great beauty. There is no village here, just a working farm and the old farmhouse. 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. Of course it is wonderful to walk here too, the terrain is flat and accessible by foot, the choice is yours. The Great and Arctic Skua are very prolific and there are many lovely pools in the area where we find Red Throated Divers and Red Necked Phalaropes. The birds can be photographed against the striking back drop of the snow capped Dryrfjöll Mountains. In mid afternoon following a picnic lunch we will head to Seyðisfjörður, perhaps stopping high above the village at a stunning viewpoint down the valley to the Fjord below. The film ’Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ has a famous scene where Ben Stiller longboards through lovely wild landscape down the mountain road right into the village, this is that place! Our accommodation is in Hotel Snæfell, one of the loveliest of many old houses in the village. Our base is the beautifully renovated schoolhouse is where we eat, socialise, review images and generally hang out together. We will stay here for three nights. Locations Include, a great variety of lovely and accessible waterfalls, Icelandic Poppies, a possible boat trip (weather dependent) to 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 Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 7: Mjóifjörður East Iceland

Today we will make an early start from Seyðisfjörður to visit what is perhaps one of East Iceland’s most out there and remote fjord, Mjóifjörður. By the fjord in a little village of the same name lives one of the smallest communities in Iceland, just forty people. The steep mountain road leading to the village is closed in winter and then the village can only be accessed by boat. The valley itself is startling in it’s green-ness and the number of waterfalls that tumble down the vertiginous mountainsides. 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 on to our next location Eskifjorður. Here our private cottages are on a lovely peninsula that juts out into the fjord with 360 deg vistas.
Hotel Eskifjorður (B,L,D)

Day 8,9: Southeast Iceland and Blue Ice Locations

Following a leisurely breakfast at our accommodation, we depart for the pretty drive to southeast Iceland hopefully making a short detour to photograph the lovely Folaldafoss which is a fine and shapely waterfall that can be viewed from close to the road or by taking a twenty minute walk to it’s base. Now it is full steam ahead to Iceland’s south coast where we may linger a while to photograph the iconic locations of Stokksnes and Vestrahorn. We arrive at our hotel in the Vatnajökull National Park in time for dinner.

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. We are perfectly situated and to enjoy the best light at our photographic locations, we will have a flexible itinerary often revisiting worthwhile locations including:

Stokksnes and Vestrahorn the jagged ridge of Vestrahorn makes a fine backdrop to sand dunes and the wild black beach.

Jökulsárlón (Glacier Lagoon) ethereal icebergs of all shapes and sizes float serenely in the turquoise waters of this world famous lagoon. There is a also massive Arctic Tern colony here.

Breiðamerkursandur (Diamond Beach) a black sand beach with sparkling ice formations, a totally unique experience.

Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon a remote less visited location combining shapely mountains, lush green vegetation, silvery winding streams, black sand with a big sculptured glacier that catches the light in a surreal fashion.

Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 10: To Reykjavík via Locations of South Iceland

This morning we will take a final visit to the Glacier Lagoon, 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 impressive waterfalls. Back in the city we will go out together for a final celebratory meal.
Accommodation Reykjavík Hotel

Day 11: Homeward flights

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

What’s Included

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

What’s not Included

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

Accommodation

Our accommodations are without exception beautifully located and a good standard. See the full information PDF for details

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.