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Iceland Winter Photo Tour

Iceland, Europe

Capture breathtaking images on an Iceland winter photo tour, photographing the beauty of a true winter wonderland. March is the perfect time to photograph and witness the Aurora Borealis, along with dazzling ice caves, glaciers, frozen waterfalls, snow-covered mountains, and winter bird species.

Aurora Borealis, Iceland - © Nikhil Bahl

Experience the Beauty and Charm of Iceland’s Natural Wonders

This 12-day Iceland winter photo tour takes place during the best season for winter photography in the country. The perfect balance of daylight hours will allow us enough time to visit the best locations and have historically favorable opportunities for capturing the Aurora Borealis. The weather during this time will be unpredictable with no guarantees, thus during your 12-day tour you’ll likely experience sunshine, snow, rain, wind, and everything else in between. Iceland’s dramatic weather creates fantastic photo opportunities for outdoor photographers. While intense winter storms may limit where we can go, creativity is unstoppable so be ready for anything this adventure may bring! The itinerary has been planned in advance to be flexible—that way we can change plans according to the weather and not be rushed at your favorite locations.

Trip Highlights

  • Visit one of the most spectacular locations for winter photography in the world.
  • Tour Iceland during a historically favorable timeframe for seeing the Aurora Borealis.
  • Photograph winter birds, stunning ice caves, frozen waterfalls, and other incredible winter landscapes with a small group of photographers like you.
  • Flexible itinerary ensures plans can be changed based on weather and you can spend more time at the best locations.
  • Enjoy 1 full intensive day at ice caves plus another half less intensive day. Photographing ice caves are an incredible experience for which we have chosen one of the most reputable companies to guide us.
  • As an added bonus, you’ll be transported by one of the coolest, most customized four-wheel drive vehicles you could ever imagine!

Ice cave hiker - © Nikhil Bahl

Iceland Winter Photo Tour of a Lifetime

Our Iceland winter photo tour is an extensive photographic mission that coincides with the best timing for Iceland winter photography. You will also have local guide Jóhann and professional photographer Nikhil to enhance your experience. Jóhann is a very experienced guide and his local knowledge is second to none. He will also act as the driver for this trip. Nikhil will always be there to help you take the best photographs at different locations. With Jóhann and Nikhil you have a team that will take care of all your needs. All you have to do is go along for the ride, enjoy the sights, and take great photos! Since you’ll be traveling with a small group, this Iceland winter tour is an unbeatable value.

Itinerary

Day 1, March 3
Arrival in Iceland

You will arrive in Reykjavík and check into the Hilton Natura. No activities are planned for this day other than a meet-and-greet and review for the coming days. Since most participants arrive during morning hours, early check-in times can be requested. There is plenty to do around town within reasonable walking distance of the hotel and we’d be happy to make suggestions if you wish to venture out this day.

Day 2, March 4
Waterfalls, Sea Stacks, and Black Sand Beach

At dawn you will leave Reykjavík and head east at the south coast. On the way there you will photograph some astonishing waterfalls (Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss), as well as Dyrhólaey sea stack and Reynisfjara black sand beach. Overnight at Hotel Volcano.

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, Iceland - © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson

Day 3–5, March 5–7
Basalt Formations, Lava Fields, Glaciers, Ice Caves, Aurora Borealis

Wake up early and start your day with photography at first light on the beach of Reynisfjara, featuring columnar basalt formations and the Reynisdrangar rocks standing in the sea. You will then head east, spending time photographing the great lava fields from the 1783 Laki eruption, keeping on to the Vatnajökull region. Vatnajökull is the largest glacier or ice cap outside the polar areas in Europe.

You will spend 3 nights at FossHotel Glacier Lagoon. From our base we will explore the numerous glaciers in the area and make visits to the iceberg graveyard, where waves toss up ice from the glacial lagoon onto the black beach. You will also get to venture into the dreamlike world of ice caves. This area is all about ice and we are hoping for clear nights and Aurora Borealis activity.

Aurora Skorradalur - © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson

Lava field - © Nikhil Bahl

Day 6, March 8
Landscapes, Mountains, Villages

On this day you will head further eastward, passing some picturesque landscapes like Mt. Vesturhorn. The east coast boasts of long, narrow fjords with steep sides and jagged mountain peaks as well as picturesque fishing villages. This is an area with reindeer and we hope to find some on the way. Overnight in the fishing town of Fáskrúðsfjörður.

Mountains ice - © Nikhil Bahl

Day 7–9, March 9–11
Mountains, Geothermal Areas, Landscapes, Waterfalls, Birds

From here we will make our way north to Lake Mývatn, passing through large wilderness areas where you see nothing but hills and mountains as far as your eye can see. We will be based at Sel Hotel at the Lake for 3 nights.

From our base in Mývatn, you’ll have the opportunity to explore geothermal areas and the snow-covered volcanic landscape around the lake. This area features unique lava formations, craters, and the largest pseudo craters in the world. You’ll also visit major waterfalls up north such as Goðafoss. If snow conditions allow, you will also visit Aldeyjarfoss and Dettifoss. Parts of the lake and River Laxá are always open, and flocks of Barrow’s goldeneyes, common mergansers, whooper swans, and even a few harlequin ducks can be photographed. Gyr falcon, rock ptarmigan, and snow bunting are all potential species for winter bird photography.

Geothermal hverarond - © Nikhil Bahl

Day 10, March 12
Landmark Basalt Stack Hvítserkur and Horses

After staying in the northeast you’ll head west along the northern coast through the town of Akureyri, spending a night at country Hotel Gauksmýri in close proximity to the famous landmark Hvítserkur. This area is famous for horse farming, making it the perfect place to photograph horses while they are kept outside in the winter.

Horses in snow - © Nikhil Bahl

Day 11, March 13
Mountains, Sea Stacks, Horses, Waterfalls

Weather permitting, you will spend the day in the beautiful area of Snæfellsnes peninsula, photographing the beautiful coastal line, mountains, sea stacks, horses, and whatever else we find interesting on both sides of the peninsula. The famous Kirkjufell mountain and the Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall is on this route. We may also visit Hraunfossar and some other sites in the Borgarfjörður area depending on how much time we have. Overnight in Reykjavík, Hilton Natura.

Waterfall sunset - © Nikhil Bahl

Day 12, March 14
Departure from Iceland

Depart for home. Flight times vary.

Includes

  • All lodging for 11 nights (based on double occupancy)
  • Transportation and fuel
  • Guide services throughout
  • Breakfast

Does Not Include

  • Flights to and from Iceland
  • Meals other than breakfast
  • Snacks between meals, beverages, and any items purchased
  • Gratuities

If you would like to register for this workshop, please fill out our registration form. A non-refundable deposit (listed above) is required to reserve your spot. Please refer to our workshop information section for our cancellation and refund policies.

Workshop Information
  • Dates: March 3-14, 2019 (5 openings)
  • Cost: $6,995
  • Deposit: $1,000
  • Participants: 6
Single Supplement: $1,295
The single supplement fee reflects our actual cost and is subject to availability. If you are a single traveler and we are unable to place you with a roommate, you will be placed in a single room and charged the single supplement fee.
Leaders

Nikhil Bahl

Nikhil Bahl

Nikhil Bahl is a full time professional photographer, author, educator, workshop instructor and environmentalist residing in the Washington D.C. area. Drawing inspiration from nature, Nikhil adopts novel approaches and seeks meaningful interpretations: to create photographs that transcend the commonplace, reflect deeper insights, and convey an enchantment of the subject's beauty.

An offshoot of Nikhil’s fine art photography and love of nature is his documentation of wildlife behaviors and habitats. Continue reading »

Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson

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 numerous articles on birds in books, magazines and papers and is the author of the bestselling book Icelandic Bird Guide, a photographic guide which has been sold in almost 40,000 copies. Continue reading »

Testimonials
I most enjoyed seeing the ice caves and aurora borealis. Nikhil and Jóhann were excellent tour leaders. They were very accommodating and excellent at helping when needed.
Brad W.
Iceland Winter Photo Tour