14 Day Photography Workshop | Ring Road in the Winter with Ice Cave
Spend two weeks capturing Iceland’s beautiful winter landscapes with this fantastic photography tour. Meet new people and hone your skills by travelling the Ring Road, including the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, with two award-winning photographers. In this workshop, you will visit the Highlands, step inside an ice cave, and try to snap a photo of the Northern Lights in all corners of the country.
You will visit, and shoot, some of the country’s most popular attractions including Kirkjufell Mountain, Lake Mývatn, Dettifoss waterfall, Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, and Reynisfjara black sand beach. Whether you are a point-and-shoot beginner or a seasoned shutterbug, these two weeks of adventure will sharpen your skills and contribute greatly to your portfolio.
All accommodations and transportation will be sorted out prior to your arrival, and so all you have to do is enjoy Iceland and capture the country’s extraordinary beauty on film.
Don’t miss out on your chance to partake in this epic voyage around the world’s most photogenic country, Iceland. Check availability by choosing a date.
Day 1 - Arrival
You’ll arrive at Keflavík International Airport on your first day, and after collecting your bags, hop aboard a bus that will take you through the lunar-like landscapes of the Reykjanes Peninsula to Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavík.
After settling into your accommodations, you'll meet your photography guides in the evening who will take you, and the rest of your group, out to dinner. This is the perfect opportunity to get to know each other and to discuss the exciting days that lie ahead.
Day 2 - Black Church & Glacier
On day two, your adventure properly starts. The bus will pick you up early in the morning and take you out of Reykjavík, past the city mountain, Esja, and through the farmlands of western Iceland. Your destination is the small but magical peninsula, Snæfellsnes. Here, you will spend the next two nights, exploring the diverse attractions found on this 90 kilometre stretch of land.
You will do some exploring and photographing, on this day, starting with the beautiful black church in the town of Búðir, which is surrounded by the Búðahraun lava field. A photo of the church’s jet-black walls against the white Snæfellsjökull glacier in the distance will surely be a welcome addition to your portfolio.
Then it's off to explore the charming hamlet of Arnarstapi. You’ll walk to a beautiful rock arch, Gatklettur, where you can capture the fading sunlight as it hits the ocean’s waves. Once it is dark, you’ll head to your accommodation in the area. However, if the sky is clear of clouds, you’ll hunt for the elusive and beautiful Northern Lights.
Day 3 - Iceland's Most Photographed Mountain
Today, you’ll continue exploring the sights of the Snæfellsnes peninsula, starting with the impressive Lóndrangar sea stacks. These rock pinnacles have been shaped out off the softer surrounding rock by the pounding of the Atlantic Ocean and now stand 75 metres and 61 metres out of the sea like remnants of an ancient castle.
Then it is off to the black pebble beach of Djúpalónssandur where the remains of a fishing trawler that perished some fifty years ago lays scattered amongst the smooth pebbles. You will have to trek through a natural maze of lava sculptures to get to the ocean, a site that looks like it was ripped straight out from the pages of a fantasy novel.
And the fantasy doesn’t end there, your next stop is the impressive Kirkjufell mountain which fans of the HBO series Game of Thrones might recognise as the mountain shaped like an arrowhead. Here, you will spend some time photographing this majestic mountain, capturing not only its iconic shape, but also the nearby waterfall, black sands, tall grass, and, if conditions are right, the Northern Lights dancing above.
Day 4 - Vatnsnes Peninsula
Today it is time to continue your exploration of Iceland and head north, to the wild and remote Vatnsnes Peninsula. This is a partly uninhabited land of rocky hills and open pastures which in the summer are filled with grazing sheep.
Your destination is the strange but beautiful basalt stack of Hvítserkur, a 15-metre high rock which rises out of the ocean, reminding many of a dragon or an elephant drinking from the water. This unusual rock has great photogenic appeal, and you’ll spend some time here capturing the many sides of Hvítserkur.
When you’ve got a couple of great shots to put into your portfolio, it's time to head to the nearby town of Akureyri where you'll spend the night.
Day 5 - Waterfalls & Lava Fields
Today you'll photograph the beautiful Mývatn area but first, you’ll head out early to capture the beauty of Goðafoss waterfall as the sun rises. The arc of the cascade should be covered in ice this time of year, making the falls the perfect spot for a sunrise shoot.
Then it is time to head to Lake Mývatn, a beautiful blue lake that was formed in an eruption some 2,000 years ago. Surrounding the lake are pillars of lava and pseudocraters, evidence of this gigantic volcanic eruption.
You’ll also explore the dark lava field of Dimmuborgir if there's enough time. The area features dramatic rock formations and caves, reminiscent of an ancient collapsed city or a citadel.
You will then overnight in the Mývatn area.
Day 6 - Into the Highlands
Now, you’ll hop into a super jeep, a large, custom vehicle built to handle Iceland’s rough wintery terrain. You will head into the barren but beautiful Highlands to capture two stunning waterfalls on film, Aldeyjarfoss and Hrafnabjargafoss.
The former falls 20 metres through a narrow gorge into a beautiful blue basin below. It is surrounded by dark cliffs made of hexagonal basalt columns which, when surrounded by white snow and ice, provide a great contrast for a photograph.
Hrafnabjargafoss, on the other hand, offers dramatic sights, especially when frost christens the landscape. The cascade falls in two parts on either side of a large, rocky island in the middle of the stream. You’ll have plenty of time at each waterfall, capturing their beauty before heading back to your accommodations in the Mývatn area.
Day 7 - Lake Myvatn Area
Today, you’ll explore the Mývatn area a bit more by visiting the colourful geothermal area near Námasfjall mountain. Here, you’ll find steaming fumaroles and bubbling mud pots which are surrounded by sulfur crystals, providing the whole region with a martian appearance.
Aside from capturing the different colours and texture of the area, you will also have the chance to hike up Hverfell crater to view and shoot the snow-clad landscape around.
In the evening, you’ll head to the Mývatn Nature Baths for a relaxing dip. Perhaps the Northern Lights will show up while you are soaking in the warm, mineral-rich waters.
Day 8 - Dettifoss Waterfall & Eastfjords
Now your journey continues east, towards the beautiful but little-visited Eastfjords. There, you’ll find a picturesque landscape in the realm of Vatnajökull glacier, filled with mountainous fjords and charming fishing villages.
However, before you enter the Eastfjords, you will make a stop to photograph Europe’s most powerful waterfall, Dettifoss. Here you are sure to capture an epic picture of the massive volume of water plummeting from a great cliff.
You’ll end your journey in the small fishing village of Djúpivogur, where you’ll get to photograph its quaint harbour and the nearby mountain reflecting in the beautiful fjord. You’ll spend the night at this idyllic location, hopefully watching the Northern Lights in the evening.
Day 9 - Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
Now it's time to leave the Eastfjords behind and head back into Vatnajökull National Park, where you will explore the many icy wonders of the region.
After driving down the winding fjords of the East, with the mighty Vatnajökull glacier watcing over you in the west, you’ll come to a place considered to be the ‘crown jewel of Iceland’, Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.
Here, enormous icebergs that have broken off a nearby glacier float on the serene lagoon before drifting off to sea. You will spend the next three days in this area, photographing this spectacular scene from different angles and in different lights.
Day 10 - Ice Cave Photoshoot
You’ll start the day early, visiting the Diamond Beach, a black sand beach where you can capture the morning light hitting the glistening icebergs that lie scattered around the shore.
Then you’ll hit the road again, stopping at other stunning glacier lagoons on your way to what will undoubtedly be the highlight of the day; a natural ice cave in Vatnajökull glacier.
You’ll strap on crampons and head inside this breathtaking feature where you'll surely be amazed, not only by the cave’s beautiful natural shapes but also the vivid colours found inside. Here, you're sure to capture some unique shots to put in your photography portfolio as you stand surrounded by nothing but ice, where the walls are sparkling and the ceiling filled with frozen ice bubbles.
You will then return to your accommodations after a spectacular photography adventure.
Day 11 - Vestrahorn Mountain
Today, you’ll backtrack a little, making your way east again because you are going to spend the day capturing the incredible beauty of Vestrahorn mountain on the Stokksnes peninsula.
Vestrahorn is a 454-metre high mountain, with jagged peaks, that rise above a black sand plain and a stunning lagoon, providing a rough but beautiful setting for today’s photographs. On a clear day, you might even capture mountain mirrored in the calm seawater.
Sunrise and sunset illuminate the craggy peaks, and so you will spend the day following the sunlight to get some incredible shots of this stunning area before returning to your accommodations near Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.
Day 12 - Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach
From the icy landscapes of Vatnajökull National Park, you'll confinue down the South Coast. This region boasts of popular attractions such as waterfalls, volcanoes, lava fields, glaciers, cliffs, and black sand plains, and you'll spend the next two days photographing this fantastic area.
Today, you’ll spend focusing on the area around Vík, the southernmost village in Iceland. Vík sits on the banks of the famous Reynisfjara black sand beach where you'll capture powerful waves shattering against the shore.
The beach is edged in by dark cliffs of hexagonal basalt columns and just offshore rise the 66-metre tall Reynisdrangar sea stacks, combine that with the black volcanic sand and the roaring waves, and you’ve got a recipe for an epic image.
You’ll spend the night in the village of Vík.
Day 13 - The South Coast
Now it's time to head back to Reykjavík but not without stopping at some of the South Coast’s most beautiful attractions.
You’ll start the day off by visiting the Dyrhólaey peninsula where you can get some more shots of the Reynisfjara black sand beach from a different angle. You will also be able to shoot the enormous rock arch there as well as the charming lighthouse.
If the conditions are right and the group is up to it, you might stop by at Sólheimajökull, a glacier outlet of the larger Mýrdalsjökull ice cap. There, you can capture the white ice of the glacier which is streaked with black ash from past eruptions of nearby volcanoes.
Next up is the waterfall Skógafoss. Here you can walk up the steps next to the cascade for some fantastic view of the surrounding South Coast, as well as Iceland’s interior, the Highlands. Then, it's off to Seljalandsfoss, a high and narrow cascade that falls over a concave cliff.
You’ll return to Reykjavík in the evening where you can unwind at your accommodation after an eventful few days.
Day 14 - Departure
Now it's time to bid farewell to Iceland. However, you now have a portfolio filled with unbelievable shots of this country’s wild nature.
If your flight leaves late, you can use this day to explore Reykjavík city a little. You could visit some of the city’s landmarks, like Harpa Concert Hall or Hallgrímskirkja church or visit a museum or two.
When it is time to go, you will board a bus that will take you through the lava fields of the Reykjanes Peninsula to Keflavík International Airport. Have a fantastic flight and come back soon.
What to bring
Good to know
This tour is led by award-winning instructors:
19 Feb - 4 Mar 2022
Please note that the tour is always dependent on weather, as the Icelandic weather can indeed be highly unpredictable.
When it comes to the Northern Lights, while they are most likely to be seen between September and April, there is no guarantee that they will appear on a given day.