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Ultimate Iceland Summer Adventure with Greg Downing & Johann Oli Hilmarsoon - June 2017

Ultimate Iceland Summer Adventure


Join NatureScapes workshop leader Nikhil Bahl along with world-renowned ornithologist and Icelandic photographer, Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson, on THE ultimate Iceland adventure!

Not only is Iceland one of the best places on Earth to photograph cliff dwelling birds such as the colorful and comedic Atlantic puffins, razorbills, murres, and many, many other sea birds and Arctic species, it is also one of the most spectacular landscape spectacles on the planet. This workshop and tour offers the best of everything in the summer at an incredible value!

Atlantic puffin with fish © Nikhil Bahl

With Nikhil’s bird and landscape photography experience, including Iceland, and Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson’s extensive knowledge of the area and its birds and wildlife, you can be certain of being presented with quite simply THE best opportunities to bring home beautiful photos of all the incredible birds, the breathtaking landscapes and even some of the local culture.

Iceland waterfall with rainbow at basin © Nikhil Bahl

Our journey starts in the capital city of Reykjavík and takes us north to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and its fantastic seascapes. We then progress further north by ferry to the small island of Flatey and what many call the best seabird cliffs on earth at Látrabjarg. Our trip takes us to many of Iceland’s most spectacular waterfalls. We then head south to photograph Red-throated Loon in breeding colors as well as Black-tailed Godwit at the Floi Preserve. Next, we go to one of the most spectacular waterfalls in all of Europe and photograph the Geysir area of natural geysers as well as a string of other beautiful waterfalls. From here we make our way across the south part of the island stopping at many locations including the world famous Laki Craters and both an evening and morning shoot at the beautiful Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon!

With ALL expenses covered, and 2 great guides, with decades of experience between them, you can ease the worry of travel from your mind and partake in this adventure without stress.

Each day will bring us a new adventure and new opportunities as we explore and photograph this truly magical place!

Group of birds in Iceland © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson


Day 1 - June 25, 2017

Depart for Iceland

Day 2 - June 26, 2017

Arrive Keflavík airport and transfer to hotel in Reykjavík. After getting settled in we will start immediately by going to the town lake called Tjörnin in Reykjavík where we will photograph numerous waterfowl species.

Day 3 - June 27, 2017

We will depart in the morning for Snæfellsjökull National Park on Snæfellsnes Peninsula arriving in time for an evening shoot of this amazing coastal landscape. We will of course stop for any targets of opportunity along the way.

Small birds in Iceland © Nikhil Bahl

Day 4 - June 28, 2017

We will board the first ferry in the morning crossing Breiðafjörður bay. We will hit the northern coast at noon and then keep on north to the magnificent Dynjandi river, with 6 waterfalls, one of them the great Fjallfoss, on of the most beautiful in all Iceland. After zik zaking some pretty fjords, we will end up at the Látrabjarg bird cliffs at the westernmost point in Europe. This is widely known as one of the very best bird photography locations in the world. Here we will spend two and a half days photographing cliff birds such as Atlantic Puffins, Razorbills, Murres, Black-legged Kittiwakes and Northern Fulmar.

Day 5 - June 29, 2017

We continue shooting at Látrabjarg. The tiny village of Breiðavík, where we will be staying, also provides some excellent scenic opportunities.

Day 6 - June 30, 2017

Our final day at Látrabjarg will allow us to continue to explore the incredible bird photography opportunities in this area.

Day 7 - July 1, 2017

We will board the first ferry at noon to Flatey Island on our journey southward. Flatey is a small island that boasts a wide array of photographable birds including Arctic Tern, Eurasian Oystercatchers, Redshank, Black Guillemot, and many more. Overnight in Flatey.

Arctic tern in flight © Nikhil Bahl

Day 8 - July 2, 2017

This morning we will have a few more hours to wrap up our photography around the island of Flatey and then we will have an afternoon ferry ride back to Stykkishólmur.

We will depart Stykkishólmur and work our way inland stopping along the way for any targets of opportunity and end up at Hotel Hlíð in Ölfus for the night.

Day 9 - July 3, 2017

We depart Hlíð early and head into higher ground to one of Iceland’s most spectacular waterfalls - Gullfoss. This area is also known for its thermal activity and we will stop in appropriately named Geysir to photograph this area before the tourists arrive. After lunch we drive a bit into the central highlands and shoot two stunning waterfalls, Háifoss (High fall) and Granni (Neighbour). Háifoss is Iceland second highest waterfall. After dinner we spend some hours in the Floi Bird Reserve. This sanctuary has numerous small lakes, many of which have a breeding Red-throated Loon pair. Other species include breeding plumage Dunlin and Black-tailed Godwit.

Day 10 - July 4, 2017

This morning we will drive early to the southern waterfall area as we begin to cross the southern part of Iceland. First we visit Seljalandsfoss, which you can walk behind and then the great Skógafoss. If times allow, we will visit the beautiful coastal landscape area of Dyrhólaey and Reynir. We head for the easternmost destination point, Hali, were we stay for two nights. After dinner we visit the unique Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon and the black beach with icebergs.

Black and white Iceland cliffs © Nikhil Bahl

Day 11 - July 5, 2017

In the morning we visit the Jökulsárlón again and then head for the Svínafellsjökull glacial tounge and then a short hike to the Basalt-lined Svartifoss. After dinner we explore the Jökulsárlón lagoon for the last time.

Day 12 - July 6, 2017

If conditions permit, we will visit the very scenic Fjalsarlon for an early morning shoot at this most beautiful spot. After this we will embark on our long journey back to Reykjavík where we will host a farewell dinner and spend the night before flying home the next day. Some landscape stops on the way and we will for sure find some beautiful Icelandic horses.

Day 13 - July 7, 2017

Airport transfers and flights home.

Itinerary may be modified based on weather and local conditions.

Horse in Iceland © Nikhil Bahl


  • Lodging throughout (double occupancy)
  • All meals as specified
  • All transfers to and from airport and hotels
  • Professional driver/photo/nature guide and private transportation in spacious tour bus
  • Entrance fees for all described activities
  • Taxes on all services listed above

Does Not Include

  • Airfare to/from KEF (Keflavík)
  • Airport departure tax or fees if applicable
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Gratuities
  • Non-meal time snacks and soft drinks

Cliffs in Iceland with shadows © Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson


  • Rates are net, per person, in USD, double occupancy
  • June 25–July 7, 2017, $6,995 (double occupancy)
  • Non-photographers: $400 discount
  • Single Supplement: $750 additional
  • Limit 12 photographers

A single room supplement at an additional cost of $750 is available on a first-request first-served basis. Due to the limited number of spaces available if we are unable to match a solo guest with another guest of the same gender in a “double” room, then the single supplement charge will be required.

Some lodging requires shared bathroom facilities, for instance we are renting a farmhouse on the island of Flatey and some rooms share baths, but the remainder of lodging venues feature private facilities for each room unless noted.

Due to the confidentiality of the itinerary the specific lodging venues will be shared only upon request, or upon receipt of registration.

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: June 25 - July 7, 2017 (8 openings)
  • Cost: $6,995
  • Deposit: $1,000
  • Participants: 12
Non-photographer discount: $400
Single Supplement: $750
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.

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. 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 »

I most enjoyed the beautiful scenery and the experience of the ice, glaciers, geysers, the up-close and hands-on with sweet and pretty horses, and being so close to the puffins on the cliffs.
Penny C.
Ultimate Iceland Summer Adventure
This was an amazing experience. I loved learning so much from Greg and Jóhann and seeing this beautiful, irreplaceable place.
Beverly D.
Ultimate Iceland Summer Adventure
I loved the location, the people, the photographic opportunities, the experience, and the personal teaching and instruction I received from Greg and E.J.

We have done several workshops with other various companies and we feel NatureScapes is one of the best. The attention to detail, planning, organization, and ensuring the participants are taken care of makes NatureScapes stand above the crowd. I feel I have learned a lot about photography from both Greg & E.J. which is something I feel I didn't get from some of the other group leaders whose workshops we participated in. Great work from the whole NatureScapes team!
Brent W.
Ultimate Iceland Adventure