Highlands & North Iceland Photo Workshop
In this photo workshop, you will travel across the Icelandic Highlands and discover all of the best that this isolated area has to offer. This is a comprehensive workshop focusing on all areas of the Highlands plus the Mývatn area in the north of Iceland. Our main focus is to access locations that are closed for most of the year and photograph the dynamic Highland landscapes.
The Highlands of Iceland are vast, combining glaciers, moraines, red – yellow and black deserts, geothermal areas & hot springs, lava, lakes, rivers and waterfalls. In the Highlands & North Iceland Photo Workshop, you will have the rare opportunity to photograph and visit areas which offer all of the landscapes so unique to Iceland. It is quite simply a photographer’s dream.
The Highlands are usually referred to as the central area of Iceland located 400m above sea level, covering approximately 76% of the land’s surface area. It is often referred to by Icelanders as óbyggðir – or uninhabited country.
Roads accessing this area often open in late June, and typically close in the beginning of October if the autumn is mild. This short window of time gives enthusiastic photographers only a few months a year to travel and enjoy the many breathtaking locations this area offers.
Breathtaking landscapes – The unique and amazing landscapes of the Highlands will provide you with endless photography opportunities
Waterfalls – Amazing waterfalls, lakes and rivers
Unique terrain – red – yellow and black deserts, lava, geothermal areas & hot springs
Drones – Great opportunity for drone photography
Transportation – Super Truck transport into remote locations, that are closed to regular vehicles
Professional Photography Guides – All of our guides are professional photographers based in Iceland with years of experience leading photography workshops
Activity Level – Easy to medium
Small groups – Maximum number of participants: 10
Duration – 10 days / 9 nights
All-inclusive workshop – Included in the price of the workshop are your accommodations, all meals, guiding and transportation
September 15 - September 24, 2023
- Deposit payment of $1,000 USD upon booking
- Payment in full is required 90 days prior to the tour starting date.
- Double occupancy accommodations for nine nights at hotels, while single rooms are available upon request
- Single room supplement adds $1,000 USD
Total price: $6,200 USDSIGN UP
- All accommodations with private bathrooms during the workshop
- All meals
- Guided by a professional Icelandic photographer
- Image critique & post-processing session
- Super truck transportation
- Private airport transport directly to and from your hotel in Reykjavik
What's not included
- International flights
- Cancellation insurance
- Alcoholic beverages
- Gratuity for your photography guide
- Dinner on the last night
This was a fantastic photo tour led by Scarpi from Arctic Exposure. Very comfortable traveling in their custom built 4 wheel drive vehicle. All accommodations were very comfortable and the meals were amazing. If you are a photographer wanting to get some great photos of Iceland look no further than Arctic Exposure. Since I suffer from advanced osteoarthritis I am not able to do much walking and I didn’t have to worry about that with this tour since most of the sites were quite close to the vehicle.
DAY 1 – Arrival in Reykjavík
As always, we will need to be flexible and adjust to the weather conditions to make the most out of our workshop and travel safely.
You arrive in Iceland and check into your hotel in Reykjavik, which has been reserved by your tour operator and included in the price.
We meet at the centrally located hotel and go out for dinner in Reykjavik, where we briefly go through the tour itinerary, safety precautions from your native Icelandic guide, and some practical things before we start our adventure in Iceland.
If you arrive early in town, you can photograph some of the attractions in the city of Reykjavik such, as Harpa concert hall, Hallgrimskirkja church, the Sun Voyager sculpture, or Perlan.
DAY 2 – Kerlingarfjöll
We start early in the morning from Reykjavik and drive into the Western part of the central Highlands. We explore geothermal areas of these parts of the highlands, such as Hveravellir and Kerlingarfjöll.
Kerlingarfjöll area is a 70.000 to 320.000 years old rhyolite mountain cluster, residing on the main Kjölur plateau in the western part of the Central Highlands of Iceland. Due to its young age and origin, the mountains, with their sharp and un-eroded lines and endless variety in colours, are probably one of the most picturesque areas of the highlands.
Extending up to the foothills of Langjökull glacier Hveravellir is a geothermal hotspot with smoking fumaroles and bubbling water holes. It is a special experience to have a look around, whether it is in the summer or winter. The surroundings are spectacular. Fenced in by glaciers mountains craters and lava fields wherever you look the scenery is breathtaking.
The numerous hot springs and rivulets in the area are evidence of the volcanic origin of these mountains. There are endless photography opportunities in the area and we spend the first two days of the workshop photographing this area.
DAY 3, 4 & 5 – Mývatn
After enjoying the southern part of the highlands, we drive to North Iceland and set up base in Mývatn for the next three days. From there we explore the north and eastern Highlands of Iceland as well as the many majestic waterfalls that you find in this area.
The highlands north of Vatnajökull glacier are part of an active volcanic zone, with the last eruption called Holuhraun ending in March 2015. A few notable locations we will visit are Askja, a central volcano, Dettifoss, Goðafoss, and Aldeyjarfoss.
Goðafoss or the waterfall of the Gods rips straight through the Bárðardalur lava field. Although smaller and less powerful than some of Iceland’s other waterfalls, it’s definitely one of the most beautiful ones. The waters of the river Skjálfandafljót falls from a height of 12 meters over a width of 30 meters. The falls play an important part in Icelandic history. At Alþingi (National Assembly) in the year 1000, the lögsögumaður (law speaker), Þorgeir, was forced to make a decision on Iceland’s religion. After 24 hours’ meditation, he declared the country a Christian nation. On his way home he passed the waterfall near his farm, and tossed in his pagan carvings of the Norse gods, thus bestowing the falls’ present name.
Although Dettifoss is ‘only’ 45m high and 100m wide, a massive 400 cubic metres of water thunders over its edge every second in summer, creating a plume of spray that can be seen 1km away. With the greatest volume of any waterfall in Europe, this truly is nature at its most spectacular. On sunny days, brilliant double rainbows form above the churning milky-grey glacial waters.
Lake Myvatn is one of the highlights of the north. It’s the fourth largest lake in the country, a beautiful sight to see with many small islands breaking it’s surface. Due to its serenity, birdlife and volcanism, the lake and its surrounding area, are one of the most amazing natural attractions in the country.
DAY 6, 7, & 8 – Landmannalaugar
We travel from Mývatn to the central part of the Icelandic highlands, where we explore the area around Landmannalaugar for the next three days. After driving through barren nature, we approach Landmannalaugar’s colourful mountains which were formed by centuries of volcanic activity in the area. The picturesque natural landscape in this raw climate is simply breathtaking. Notable sights are Landmannalaugar, Ljótipollur and Hnausapollur/Bláhylur but the photography opportunities here are endless.
Landmannalaugar is the pearl of the Icelandic Highlands and is only accessible with a 4WD vehicle. It’s a part of Fjallabak Nature Reserve and the surrounding area is dotted with unbelievably beautiful hiking trails, both short and long. The mountains are split with gullies and gorges in multiple colours. Landmannalaugar is located at the dark edge of the rhyolite lava field Laugahraun, close to a few hot springs which create excellent bathing conditions in a natural brook. If we want, we can enjoy a relaxing bath in a natural thermal pool which was created when many hot and cold springs in the area combined. The naturally warm water pool here is quite unique and it’s an ideal bathing place all year around.
Ljótipollur is an explosion crater and crater lake in the south Highlands. Its name means ‘Ugly Puddle’, despite the fact it is an incredibly beautiful site. The crater is a beautiful feature, with blue waters, green vegetations growing up and down its slopes, and vividly coloured red lava rock surrounding it.
Hnausapollur also known as Bláhylur is a stunning blue lake nestled in a crater that formed about 1100 years ago in a short explosive eruption.
DAY 9 – Reykjavik
From Landmannalaugar we head back to Reykjavik driving through Þingvellir National Park. It’s rich of history and it’s a beautiful site to photograph. Depending on the weather and the mood of the group we arrive either late or early at the hotel.
When in Reykjavik we will check into our hotel and say farewell as the workshop concludes here.
You then have the rest of the evening to explore Reykjavik, have dinner, prepare for your flight home, or rest.
DAY 10 – Departure day
Transfer from the hotel in Reykjavik to Keflavik International Airport.
If you would like to extend your stay in Iceland, we can offer photography day tours to areas we did not visit during this workshop. Snæfellsnes
Peninsula, where the famous Mount Kirkjufell can be found is a popular add-on.
For cancellation and refund policy for our workshops, please visit the Terms & Conditions page.