Iceland Highlands Tour

Iceland, Europe

Nikhil Bahl
Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson
Photography Tour with Nikhil Bahl and Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson
8 people maximum
10 days
Embark on an unforgettable Iceland highlands tour to photograph stunning coastal landscapes and topography at the Land of Fire and Ice. You will also capture birds, horses, waterfalls, desert lakes, and culture.

Trip Highlights

  • Photograph Iceland’s incredible landscapes along with other amazing sights.
  • Travel with experienced leaders who are expert photographers, understand Iceland’s terrain, and know the best way to navigate each area.
  • Visit a ton of locations including Háifoss and Granni Waterfalls, Fjallabak Nature Reserve, Veiðivötn and Hraunvötn, Fjallabaksleið Nyrðri Mountain Road, Skaftafell National Park, Svartifoss Waterfall, Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon, Svínafellsjökull Glacial Tongue, Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss Waterfalls, and more!
  • Come home with a portfolio to share that’s packed with images of Iceland’s pristine beauty.


Main Trip, 8 people maximum

  • July 24–August 3, 2019 (6 openings)

Cost Per Person (USD)

Price from $6,996
Full details

Want to talk first?

Call 1-888-667-0559 or 410-239-8025, Monday–Friday, 8:30 AM–4:30 PM Eastern Time. You can also send an email to editors@naturescapes.net.

Veiðivötn – Breiðavatn © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson

While this Iceland Highlands tour is heavily focused on creating landscape photographs, there will be plenty of opportunities to photograph Iceland’s other amazing sights. When you return you’ll have a portfolio to share that’s packed with images of Iceland’s pristine beauty. Join us for an amazing photographic journey to witness and capture Iceland’s magical topography.

Experienced Leaders Take You on the Iceland Highlands Tour of a Lifetime

In order to achieve the best landscape photos of the Highlands of Iceland and its south coast, two key elements are required. First, you need a leader who knows Iceland’s terrain like the back of their hand and is familiar with the best way to navigate the area. Second, you need to travel with leaders who are photography experts that will help you create images and position you in the best locations at the right time.

On this Iceland Highlands tour you will have both!

You’ll be guided by award-winning landscape and wildlife photographer Nikhil Bahl and lifelong Iceland resident, ornithologist, and photographer Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson. We have worked painstakingly to offer this unique and comprehensive adventure to capture beautiful images of the best of this Nordic island. With all of our planning and attention to detail—as well as our top guides Nikhil and Jóhann—no other Iceland photo tour or workshop comes close!

At your disposal you will have all of the expertise that Nikhil and Jóhann have garnered over their years of experience to consistently capture dramatic and out of the box images of Iceland in all its glory. Nikhil’s extensive bird and landscape photography experience, coupled with Jóhann’s lifetime of knowledge and photography of the area, you will be presented with the absolute best opportunities at every turn. You’ll even get to visit some exclusive highland sites that most others don’t even know about!

Photographer at Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon, Iceland © Nikhil Bahl


Day 1, July 24
Arrival in Iceland

On the first day of your Iceland Highlands tour, you will arrive at Keflavík International Airport and transfer to our hotel in Reykjavík. After getting settled in you may opt for a self-guided tour of the city or get some rest. If you wish, vehicle rentals are available or you may take a taxi to the center city if you would like to explore on your own. It’s very safe to walk around at your leisure, with or without a camera and small lens. You can also just relax at the hotel and energize yourself for the tour to come, which is what we recommend for most travelers.

In the early evening we will have a casual meet-and-greet and discussion of the plans for departure the following morning, followed by a group dinner on us.

If you are participating in the Iceland Photography Tour for Arctic bird photography, you will have July 22, 23, and 24 to relax or plan other activities.

Overnight at Hotel in Reykjavík.

Haifoss waterfall © Nikhil Bahl

Day 2, July 25
Highlands of Iceland, Háifoss and Granni Waterfalls, Landmannalaugar, Frostastaðaháls

After an early breakfast we’ll check out of our hotel and head for the Highlands of Iceland with cameras at the ready. Along our journey we will make one of our first stops to photograph the picturesque Háifoss waterfall, Iceland’s third highest fall, dropping at 122 meters into a deep river gorge and its neighboring fall, Granni. What a sight to start off our photographic journey of Iceland!

As a group we will continue into the Highlands of Iceland and check-in at the hotel where we will base for the next 4 nights. After gathering our gear and a bite to eat, we will visit the magnificent highland oasis of Landmannalaugar after tourist hours. This area is chock-full of wonders including natural baths, colorful rhyolite mountains, spectacular rock formations, vast lava fields, and so much more. Since this area is one of the most popular and photogenic places in the country, we’ll plan to get there late and stay as long as we like so you’ll have plenty of time to capture the images you want. We can’t stress enough the beauty and indescribable splendor this area holds with its hills awash in a painter’s palette of colors from bright yellow, red, and green.

As we spend the evening photographing this area we’ll be traveling the ridge of Frostastaðaháls for a nice overlook, including Frostastaðavatn lake. We will base the next 4 nights in a comfortable guest house in the area of Sprengisandur.

Overnight at hotel in Hrauneyjar.

Day 3, July 26
Fjallabak Nature Reserve, Crater Lakes Hnausapollur and Ljótipollur, Sigalda Canyon, Bláhnúkur, Rauðufossar Waterfall

This day brings us continued exploration to photograph the beautiful Fjallabak Nature Reserve in all its glory. We will make a point to create unusual images of the crater lakes of Hnausapollur and Ljótipollur, and you will photograph the many beautiful waterfalls of the Sigalda canyon. If time and weather allow, you will even have the option to climb to the top of Bláhnúkur (Blue peak) which gives a marvelous view over the Landamannalaugar area and all its photogenic colors and textures. You will also have a good view of the red mountain Brennisteinsalda, which you may also climb if you wish. The unusual red waterfall, Rauðufossar, among others are also on our list to see and photograph.

Overnight at hotel in Hrauneyjar.

Langisjor, Iceland © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson

Day 4, July 27
Lake Area of Veiðivötn and Hraunvötn, Bird Photography

Today you will visit and photograph the unique lake area of Veiðivötn and Hraunvötn. This unusual area is an entanglement of small desert lakes in a volcanic basin, which is a continuation of the same fissure that produced Laugahraun in the Fjallabak Nature Reserve. It is so unique that it is difficult to describe in words, but you will be able to capture and interpret it through your camera lens!

The crater formations here are extraterrestrial in character making up an environment that is one of its kind. The contrast between black sand and waters as clear as gin is very striking and photogenic. Many travelers find this to be the highlight of their visit to Iceland. As a landscape photographer you will absolutely love this area and can get lost in the many compositions that you can create.

This part of the country is also among the youngest (circa 1477) and contains some of the wildest and untouched areas of the central Highlands of Iceland. It comprises about 50 lakes of different sizes, most of which are crater lakes. The area is about 20 kilometers long and 5 kilometers wide with a southwest/northeast direction.

Bird life here is also special featuring common loon, pink-footed goose, long-tailed duck, purple sandpiper, and snow bunting among the breeders that we hope to photograph.

Overnight at hotel in Hrauneyjar.

Hraunvotn raudigigur © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson

Day 5, July 28
Fjallabak syðra, Hrafntinnusker, and Jökulgil

It’s our last whole day in the interior and we will improvise and base on our experience the previous days. We will explore some hidden treasures and all of the places we have not visited yet or want to see again. Some marvelous sites within reach are Fjallabak syðra, Hrafntinnusker, and Jökulgil.

Overnight at hotel in Hrauneyjar.

Day 6, July 29
Fjallabaksleið Nyrðri Mountain Road, Eldgjá, Ófærufoss Waterfall, Lake Langisjór, Mountains Tungnárfjöll and Fögrufjöll

Today we will drive the Fjallabaksleið Nyrðri Mountain Road, stopping along the way to photograph its interesting landscape. This area is renown for its “moonscape” topography with green mountains rising out of black sand, golden rhyolite peaks, mountain lakes, and a thousand shades of green as far as the eye can see. In your photography, you will focus on being different and not photographing the obvious, but trying to capture something more compelling. On our way the eruptive fissure Eldgjá can be found as well as Ófærufoss, which is an extremely beautiful and photogenic waterfall in the river Nyrðri-Ófæra. It falls into the Eldgjá volcanic chasm in two cascades. There used to be a stone arch across the lower one up until 1993 when it fell into the river during the spring thaw. From northern Fjallabaksleið it is possible to drive into Eldgjá and walk from there to the Ófærufoss. If time and weather allow, you will visit and photograph around lake Langisjór which is 20 kilometers long and 2 kilometers wide in some places. The lake is to the southwest of Vatnajökull icecap between the mountains Tungnárfjöll and Fögrufjöll, situated in a picturesque and very photogenic landscape waiting for you to photograph.

Afterwards, our group will drive down to the lowlands and settle into our hotel in time for a late dinner.

Overnight at hotel in the lowlands.

Jökulsárlón © Nikhil Bahl

Day 7, July 30
Skaftafell National Park, Svartifoss Waterfall, Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon, Black Sand Beach

Today we head for the easternmost destination point, at the foot of the biggest icecap in Europe and one of the most active volcanos on earth, Vatnajökull, where we stay for two nights. On the way you will visit Skaftafell National Park, which includes the basalt lined waterfall Svartifoss among other gems.

After dinner you will visit the unique and famous Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon and famous black sand beach to capture ice that has calved off the glacier, washed out to sea, and then deposited itself back on the beach at low tide. We will enjoy spending the evening here to avoid most of the other tourists.

Overnight at hotel in Öræfi.

Day 8, July 31

Puffin and seabirds, Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon, Svínafellsjökull Glacial Tongue

In the morning we take an early ride to cape Ingólfshöfði to photograph Atlantic Puffins, they are carrying fish for their chick at this time of the year. There are also very tame Great Skuas in the headland. We will also get opportunity to shot Northern Fulmars, Razorbills, Common Murres, even Thick-billed Murres and other seabird species.

After lunch we will visit the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon again and then head for the Svínafellsjökull glacial tongue and some other interesting places to keep our creative photographic juices going. After dinner you will explore the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon one more time to capture the last photographs of this amazing area.

Overnight at hotel in Öræfi.

To get to Ingólfshöfði we cross 6 km of waters, marshes and black sand in a tractor-drawn hay cart. The drive takes about 25-30 minutes each way, so we spend about 2 hours hiking around the cape. The circle we hike around the nature reserve is 2-3 km long. In the beginning we need to walk up a steep sand slope, and then through some uneven rocky terrain, but then it gets more easy, mostly hiking on flat grass land. We don't recommend that people participate unless they can do this hike. You can opt out of this if you prefer.

Day 9, August 1
Fjallsárlón, Vík, Dyrhólaey, and Reynishverfi

If conditions permit, we will visit the very scenic Fjallsárlón for an early morning shoot at this most beautiful spot. We will then begin to work our way slowly back toward Reykjavík. We’ll spend one night in the town of Vík where you can expect to photograph iconic sea stacks and basalt formations, along with the beautiful coastal landscape area of Dyrhólaey and Reynishverfi.

Overnight at hotel in the Eyjafjöll area, close to the Skógafoss waterfall.

Glacier formation waves © Nikhil Bahl

Day 10, August 2
Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss Waterfalls; Back to Reykjavík

This morning we will start early photographing the great Skógafoss waterfall before the tourists gather there. This impressive waterfall comes directly from two glaciers, Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull. On the way to the top of Skógafoss, approximately 370 steps, photographers can capture different vantage points and awe-inspiring views of the southern coastline.

Then we’ll embark on our journey back to Reykjavík, stopping along the way to top off our memory cards with some last landscape shots and a few more images of Icelandic horses. One of the highlights is Seljalandsfoss waterfall. With a drop of almost 200 feet and a small cave behind it, photographers can walk behind the falls for a unique perspective.

To close the evening, we will host a farewell dinner on us at the hotel or a local restaurant and then spend the night in Reykjavík before flying home the following day.

Overnight at Hotel in Reykjavík.

Day 11, August 3
Departure from Iceland

This morning you will enjoy breakfast at our hotel prior to transferring to the airport for your flight home. If you wish, you can also stay longer for additional days on your own.


  • Lodging throughout (double occupancy).
  • All transfers to and from airport and hotels.
  • Professional driver/photo/nature guide.
  • Private transportation in a spacious tour bus throughout.
  • Entrance fees for all described activities.
  • Taxes on all services listed above.
  • Breakfast (where included with hotels), meet-and-greet dinner the first evening, and farewell dinner the last evening.

Does Not Include

  • Airfare to/from Keflavík International Airport (KEF).
  • Airport departure tax or fees (if applicable).
  • Meals and drinks unless specified.
  • Gratuities

Dates and Cost


Main Trip, 8 people maximum

  • July 24–August 3, 2019 (6 openings)

Cost Per Person (USD)

  • Trip: $6,996
  • Deposit: $1,000
  • Single Supplement: $950

Trip Details


Main Trip, 8 people maximum

  • July 24–August 3, 2019 (6 openings)

Cost Per Person (USD)

  • Trip: $6,996
  • Deposit: $1,000
  • Single Supplement: $950

Single Supplements

Single supplement fees reflect our actual cost and are subject to availability. If you're a single traveler and we're unable to place you with a roommate, we will need to place you in a single room and charge a single supplement.

Travel Ratings

Moderate Activity
Intermediate Photographers
Based on Land
Non-Photographers: No


Leaders and Guides

Nikhil Bahl

Nikhil Bahl is a full time professional photographer, author, educator, workshop instructor and environmentalist residing in the Washington D.C....Continue reading

Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson

Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson, is a leading authority on the birds of Iceland and one of the country’s most experienced bird photographers. He has written...Continue reading

Photo Gallery

Waterfall rainbow © Nikhil Bahl
Waterfall Haifoss highlands © Nikhil Bahl
Svartifoss waterfall with columnar basalt © Nikhil Bahl
Vik sea stacks © Nikhil Bahl
Versturhorn mountain in Iceland © Nikhil Bahl
Versturhorn mountain and black sand beach © Nikhil Bahl
Skogafoss waterfall © Nikhil Bahl
Skogafoss waterfall in Iceland © Nikhil Bahl
River mountains highlands © Nikhil Bahl
Mountains and bird © Nikhil Bahl
Lupin multiple exposure © Nikhil Bahl
Jokulsarlon ice © Nikhil Bahl
Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon © Nikhil Bahl
Photographer at Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon © Nikhil Bahl
Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon © Nikhil Bahl
Jokulsarlon beach with black sand and icebergs © Nikhil Bahl
Iceland horse with flowers © Nikhil Bahl
Haifoss waterfall in Iceland highlands © Nikhil Bahl
Haifoss Granni waterfall with rainbow in Highlands © Nikhil Bahl
Fjallsarjokull Glacier © Nikhil Bahl
Black sand beach, Iceland © Nikhil Bahl
Veidivotn mountain © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson
Veidivotn Iceland © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson
Veidivotn terrain in Iceland © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson
Veidivotn reflection in Iceland © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson
Veidivotn Iceland landscape © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson
Veidivotn Iceland with blue sky © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson
Veidivotn Fossvatn Iceland © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson
Veidivotn Breidavatn Iceland © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson
Veidivotn blue sky and water © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson
Thufuver Iceland © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson
Svartifoss Iceland © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson
Raudufossar Iceland © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson
Raudufossar Iceland waterfall © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson
Ofaerufoss Iceland © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson
Laugar Iceland © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson
Langisjor Iceland © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson
Langisjor Iceland panorama © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson
Kylingaskard Iceland © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson
Kerlingarfjoll Iceland © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson
Jokulsarlon Iceland © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson
Iceland waterfall sunset © © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson
Iceland waterfall rainbow © Nikhil Bahl
Iceland waterfall rainbow basin © Nikhil Bahl
Iceland horse closeup © Nikhil Bahl
Iceland glaciers seascape © Nikhil Bahl
Iceland glacier landscape © Nikhil Bahl
Hross Iceland © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson
Hraunvotn Raudigigur Iceland © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson
Hnausapollur Iceland © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson
Herdubreid Iceland © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson
Hekla Iceland © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson
Glacier formation waves © Nikhil Bahl
Emstrur © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson
Emstrur Iceland © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson
Dynkur Iceland © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson
Brennisteinsalda Iceland © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson
Brandsgil Iceland © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson
Black and white Iceland cliffs © Nikhil Bahl
Abstract photography in Iceland © Nikhil Bahl
Abstract ice photography in Iceland © Nikhil Bahl
Abstract glacier photography art © Nikhil Bahl


To register for this trip fill out and submit your registration form. A non-refundable deposit (above) is required to reserve your spot. See the About Our Trips page for cancellation/refund policies and other important information.

Want to talk first?

Call 1-888-667-0559 or 410-239-8025, Monday–Friday, 8:30 AM–4:30 PM Eastern Time. You can also send an email to editors@naturescapes.net.

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