Wild Photography Holidays - Photographic Adventure Travel: South Iceland’s Aurora, Diamond Beach and Ice Tour

Northern lights over Jökulsárlón, the Glacier Lagoon

South Iceland’s Aurora, Diamond Beach and Ice Tour

Highlights include…

  • Luminous icebergs floating in a surreal turquoise lagoon
  • Bizarre glacial landscapes up close
  • Accommodation close to glacier lagoon
  • Sunrises and sunsets in dramatic locations
  • Weird ice formations on black volcanic sand
  • Ephemeral Aurora Borealis (northern lights)
  • Photograph the surreal ice caves (Feb/March departures only)
  • Spectacular scenery of Iceland’s south coast
  • Basalt columns and sea stacks, Vík beach
  • Waterfalls: Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss, Svartifoss

“…I can’t thank you (Martin) and Geraldine enough. Between the photo opportunities, suggestions and tips, food, and just great company, this was one of the best photo trips we’ve been on”

Jack & Ellen, US, February 2015

General Summary

South Iceland has some of the most spectacular and easily accessible ice and glacial phenomena in the world, awesome mountain scenery, Skaftafell National Park, several glacial lagoons, black beaches festooned with sparkling sea washed ice sculptures, incredible waterfalls, the famous Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, and magnificent views of Iceland’s highest mountain Hvannadalshnúkur from the Svínafellsjökull glacier. This trip will give us sunrise and sunset opportunities in well chosen locations with several chances to capture Aurora Borealis; the Northern Lights. The diverse range of natural phenomena and remarkable landscapes are attracting an increasing number of international film makers. The Svínafellsjökull glacier is the location site for many many epic films including ‘Batman Returns’, ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ and ‘Interstellar’.The surreal arctic environment of the glacier lagoon was the location for films such as James Bond’s Die Another Day, ‘A View to a Kill’ and ‘Lara Croft – Tomb Raider’. Other films shot in the area include ‘Game of Thrones’ ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ and Christopher Nolan’s ’Interstellar’ & ’Batman Begins’ Our main base is just ten minutes drive from the Jökulsárlón.

The Learning Process

The unusual locations are inspiring allowing participants an opportunity to produce exceptional images. Evening tutorials including image development, image presentations and night shooting of the aurora can be expected. Whether you are a beginner with your first DSLR or are considerably more advanced, this highly personalized workshop will take you to the next level of proficiency.

Brief Itinerary

For full details please download the PDF trip description

Day 1: Arrival in Reykjavík

Participants will be arriving on a variety of flights. The first night accommodation in a three star Reykjavík city hotel is included.
Hotel Reykjavík (1 night)

Day 2: Locations on Iceland’s south coast

As we travel along the south coast our locations en route include the classic waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss. During the afternoon we arrive in Vík famed for it’s black beaches, sea stacks and basalt columnar architecture including Reynishellir a superb basalt cave. Our hotel has some nice outdoor hot pools for relaxation unless we are rushing out to photograph the aurora!

Hotel Vík (1 night)

Day 3: To Skaftafell National Park

We travel Iceland’s south coast passing through vast lava fields and glaciated mountains to the Skaftafell National Park. Here we will make a short walk across glacial moraine to the glacial tongue of Svínafellsjökull. Here we have remarkable close up perspectives of bluish green ice, the milky brown lagoon; a surreal icy landscape including Iceland’s highest mountain, Hvannadalshnjúkur. En route to our hotel we will check out the layout of Glacier Lagoon and beach for both sunrise and the possibility of aurora.
Hali Hotel (4 night)

Day 4-6: Locations in South East Iceland

Our base is very well situated for all our locations; just a ten minute drive to the glacier lagoon and the black sand ice beach. Both locations are excellent for sunrises and aurora; we can be there in a very short time. Our daily locations are chosen in conjunction with the weather or the aurora forecasts. We have to be very flexible to get the best images and we will often revisit worthwhile locations. Some of our locations we keep secret, with this in mind here is an overview of some locations for days 4–6 in no particular order.

  • Jökulsárlón beach: icebergs and sculptures at sunrise, seals are quite common here.
  • Jökulsárlón Lagoon: we will photograph here on several occasions in all different light. This also makes a fine location for the Aurora as it is easily accessible from our accommodation and gives fine foreground for images; very dramatic!
  • Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon, a remote less visited location.
  • Mountain locations, lakes with great reflections
  • Possibility of Reindeer
  • Svínafellsjökull Glacier at sunset
  • Natural ice caves beneath the Vatnajökull Glacier, Europe’s largest ice cap (Feb/March only)

It’s worth noting that Wild Photography Holidays is run by photographers who have lived in Iceland for many years. They have an intimate working knowledge of the landscapes, the light and the diverse terrain! We do not publish all of our locations.

Day 7: Return to Reykjavik

This morning we will take a final visit to the glacier lagoon and beach for sunrise and morning light; basically photographers could visit this location a thousand times and never tire of its magic. During our drive back to Reykjavik we have the opportunity to work the locations that we missed on the way out east due to poor weather, light or simply lack of time. Back in the city we will go out together for a final celebratory meal.
Reykjavík Hotel (1 night)

Day 8: Homeward Flights

Today participants can choose to leave on any flight as transfers are always timed to connect to the flights. Check out from the hotel is around midday. There is a space to leave luggage if neccessary.

What’s Included

  • All Hotels (7 nights)
  • All meals
  • All transport
  • Photographic tuition

What’s Not Included

  • International flights
  • International airport transfers
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Snacks and beverages other than with meals
  • Travel insurance

Free iBook: A Guide to Photographing the Northern Lights

If you’re interested in this tour and own an iPad, you might like our free iBook A Guide to Photographing the Northern Lights – check it out!

Complete Itinerary and Full Details

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