Wild Photography Holidays - Photographic Adventure Travel: Iceland Extreme – Waterfalls, Volcanos and Wilderness Landscapes

Photographer at Aldeyjarfoss

Iceland Extreme – Waterfalls, Volcanos and Wilderness Landscapes

Highlights include…

  • Kverkfjöll & Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest icecap
  • Areas seldom visited by other photographic tours
  • Spectacular waterfalls: Gullfoss, Aldeyjarfoss, Dettifoss, Selfoss & Goðafoss
  • Vast water filled crater of Askja
  • Colourful geothermal & volcanic phenomena
  • Kerlingarfjöll and Gýgjarfoss waterfall
  • Hveravellir hot springs
  • Jökulsárgljúfur Canyon
  • The Golden Circle
  • Sunrises and sunsets in dramatic location
  • Lake Mývatn and Dimmuborgir
  • Opportunity for aerial photography
  • Possibility of Aurora

“The workshop was extremely well organised and the tuition from the leaders was the best we have ever had, even down to the processing of images using Lightroom. We were taken to the beautiful and varied locations at the best times of day and night (occasionally we were allowed to sleep!!). The leaders knowledge of the area was such that in the event of inclement conditions there was always an alternative location to visit. Thank you so much for a fabulous holiday.”

Margaret and John

General Summary

We are excited to introduce a new and improved itinerary for our breathtaking summer expedition through some of Iceland’s most remote and visually stunning wilderness areas. Whilst the majority of travellers to Iceland remain in the south and west of the country we are inviting you to take the ‘road less travelled’ by joining us on this varied photographic adventure that will include the remote, vast and uninhabited interior of Iceland. This is a remarkable place for landscape photography and indeed it is only accessible for a few weeks of the year. Nowhere in Iceland will you find anything to compare with the stark, raw beauty of one of Europe’s last true wilderness areas. Travelling in sturdy 4×4 vehicles our tour will give us access to areas that are beyond the normal scope of visitors, an untouched Arctic desert, remarkable waterfalls, extraordinary volcanic landscapes, national parks, impressive canyons and wild geothermal areas. As always, this adventure allows a certain amount of flexibility. We are always prepared to change our plans to make the maximum use of the prevailing light and weather. Despite travelling to some totally off the beaten track locations, for much of the time we stay in lovely scenically located hotels with excellent facilities. Whilst this is not a trip specifically for the aurora, the nights at this time of year have become dark again and it may be possible to spot some early shows of this gorgeous phenomenon. Game of Thrones fans will love visiting some of the spectacular locations that were used in the filming. In all, this expedition is an excellent opportunity for landscape photographers who want to experience and photograph some highly unusual landscapes and to return home with some striking and special landscape images from Iceland.

Brief Itinerary

For full details please download the trip description PDF

Day 1: Arrival in Akureyri

This trip commences with a single transfer from Akureyri airport to our first night hotel. The transfer will meet the Air Iceland flight arriving from Reykjavík at 20:55. We suggest that you have dinner in Reykjavik before taking this flight.The drive to our first night’s hotel is through beautiful landscape and takes around one hour. The hotel is located by the lovely scenic waterfall of Goðafoss. Your flight can be booked on one Icelandair ticket to Akureyri from several international hubs such as London, Manchester, Paris etc. For more information regarding flights please read our full information PDF.
Accommodation: Hotel Goðafoss

Day 2: Goðafoss and Aldeyjarfoss

This morning we will photograph the lovely waterfall Goðafoss, our hotel is right there so we will be able to enjoy some solitude before other photographers arrive. After lunch we set off to one of Iceland’s most impressive and least photographed waterfalls, Aldeyjarfoss. Few photographers venture here. The location is quite simply stunning. We will spend the day here before driving to our next accommodation right next to the lovely Lake Mývatn. We spend three nights here.
Accommodation: Lakeside Cottages (B,L,D)

Day 3: Lake Mývatn

Today we will explore this unique ‘hot’ area right on the edge of Iceland’s interior desert. This area is world famous for its geothermal activity and lies bang on the boundary of the North American and the Eurasian tectonic plates. Photographically this whole area is a kaleidoscope of unbelievable colour and textures. The lake itself is home to a remarkably diverse number of waterfowl.
Accommodation: Lakeside Cottages (B,L,D)

Day 4: Dettifoss, Selfoss and Hafragilsfoss

Today we photograph three of Icelands most spectacular waterfalls in the national park of Jökulsárgljúfur. The Jökulsá river flows from Europe’s largest ice cap Vatnajökull. Our waterfalls plummet into the canyon, which is rather like a miniature replica of the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
Accommodation: Lakeside Cottages (B,L,D)

Day 5: Herðubreiðarlindir and Drekagil

This morning we enjoy a good breakfast before packing and setting off on our journey away from civilisation and into the interior, a huge uninhabited wilderness area. Crossing the vast Ódáðahraun we have plenty of photographic stops on the way. Our vehicles usually encounter three or four interesting river crossings before lunch. The whole area lies in the rain shadow of the icecap glacier Vatnajökull so precipitation is minimal. We are based a few kilometres from Askja and right by the interesting and foreboding canyon, Drekagil, the Canyon of Dragons. Our accommodation is a modern, warm mountain chalet with alpine style bunks and shared facilities.
Accommodation: Mountain Chalet (B,L,D)

Day 6: Askja and Kverkfjöll

We will spend the morning exploring the area around Askja and Öskjuvatn. When the lake originally formed it was warm, but today it is frozen over for most of the year. Öskjuvatn, 220 m deep, is one of the deepest and most stunning lakes in Iceland. Víti is a smaller explosion crater on the northeast shore of Öskjuvatn containing a geothermal lake of mineral-rich, sulphurous, opaque, milky blue water. The area is totally absorbing photographically. Early afternoon we will travel to our next destination Kverkfjöll. We cross a lava desert followed by the raging glacial torrent of the Jökulsá River to arrive in a remote area at the very north most tip of the Europe’s largest Ice Cap, Vatnajökull; a true virtually untouched wilderness area.
Accommodation: Mountain Chalet (B,L,D)

Day 7: Kverkfjöll exploration

The area is a true meeting point of ice and fire and it is one of Iceland’s most powerful high-temperature areas. One of the main locations we will visit and photograph today is the edge of the glacier where an ice cave can be found. The glacier cave here is unique because it is formed by a volcanic hot water spring beneath the Vatnajökull glacier. The terrain around the glacier itself is full of fascinating detail for photographers, plant life and mosses vibrant against the black sand, unusually coloured rocks deposited by the glacier and shimmering rivulets of water. The evening light out in this remote Arctic desert is often very spectacular.
Accommodation: Mountain Chalet (B,L,D)

Day 8: Mývatn

This morning we retrace our route across the lava with several river crossings. There will be plenty of stops if the light is good. Back in civilisation again we will no doubt take a long shower or perhaps a visit to the geothermal heated spa. Hopefully we will have time take a look at our latest images and enjoy a convivial dinner together.
Accommodation Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 9-10: Kerlingarfjöll

Travelling north we head for Akureyri, we may well spend an hour here before our next journey into the interior highlands. After heading west a little we leave Iceland’s number one road and head south. Once again we are truly in the wilds travelling along the famous Kjölur highland route towards Kerlingarfjöll. En route we will explore and photograph the interesting geothermal ‘hot’ area of Hveravellir, a steamy and green oasis midst the vastness of Iceland’s interior Highlands. The geothermal area around Kerlingarfjöll is where ice and fire meets. The orange mountains enveloped in steam present us with a landscape that is truly Tolkien. This remote area has recently seen the addition of a small, simple hotel with private facilities, we will stay here.
Accommodation Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 11: Golden Circle and Reykjavík

Leaving Kerlingarfjöll we head back to Reykjavík taking in en route Iceland’s famous ‘Golden Circle’ the National Park of Þingvellir, Geysir and the magnificent waterfall of Gullfoss. Once back in Reykjavik we check in to our city hotel before heading out into the city for a final celebratory dinner together.
Accommodation Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 12: Homeward Flights

WPH services finish after breakfast. Guests may transfer on this day to Reykjavik’s international airport for homeward flights. If you would like to stay at the hotel for an extra night please enquire at the time of booking this holiday.
Accommodation Hotel (B)

What’s Included

  • 8 hotel nights
  • 3 mountain chalet nights
  • All meals except Day 1 (B,L,D)
  • Transfer from Akureyri Airport
  • Transport
  • Photographic tutors/guides

What’s not Included

  • International flights
  • International airport transfers
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Extra hot beverages & soft drinks
  • Travel insurance
  • Mývatn spa
  • Helicopter/plane flights for aerial photography

Aerial Photography

Whilst aerial photography from a small plane is not included in the price of this holiday, our guides will be able to arrange for you to fly from the tiny airfield in Mývatn if the conditions are favourable. This is a fabulous area for aerial images and past guests have been very happy with their results. We do not include this as the weather can prove unpredictable and we prefer guests not to pay for an activity that may not be possible.

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.