Icelandic Highlands Photography Challenge / 6 days
Rhyolite mountains in Landmannalaugar nature reserve
The Glacier lagoon
Advancing glacier by Vatnajokull, Europe's largest glacier
Central highlands desert
Waterfall on the north shore
Rock formation on the north shore
Hot spring in the highlands
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Icelandic Highlands Photography Challenge - 6 days




Highlights of the experience:

  • Colorful rhyolite mountains in Landmannalaugar.
  • Highland desert, volcanos and glaciers
  • Active volcanic area
  • Magnificent waterfalls
  • Hot springs in the highlands
  • A demanding 4x4 photography expedtion
  • Photo tour with a local professional photographer


Tour dates for 201:

  • July 12 - 17
  • August 20 - 26

Check availability here!


Tour description:

The central highlands in Iceland behold fantastic photo opportunities that has to be on every landscape photographers bucket list.

This photo tour is both physically challenging and at the same time mentally inspiring. We cover a lot of ground but we get to shoot all the major landscape scenes at the right time of the day for best lighting conditions. This journey should easily yield a portfolio of 50-100 really good photographs and 5-10 exceptional artworks. This is more of an expedition than photo tour/workshop. 10 days of travel with 4x4 vehicles through exceptional terrain.

Landmannalaugar is an active geothermal area with hot springs, bubbling mud pots and active volcanos. The scenery consist of colorful rhyolite mountain and recent lava with green moss. Rivers and a hot spring pool reflect this stunning landscape in a myriad of textures and tones.

We photograph Lake Myvatn and surrounding area. It has many different things to shoot. A picturesque lake with incredible rock formations. A field of lava from a recent eruption, lava caves, volcanos and Europe's most powerful waterfall.

The highlands are unpopulated and have very limited infrastructure. No hotels, restaurants or road shops. With 4x4's and local knowhow we can safely ford rivers and navigate the highland deserts. Accommodation is in guesthouses and heated highland cabins.


Price: ISK 440.000 / $ 3.490 - full board -  single supplement N/A.

15% group discount is available when 4 or more person book at the same time.  Please contact us for details.




Day 1 - Landmannalaugar.

Pick up at your hotel in Reykjavik at 8.00. First we drive through populated rural area and then we head for the highlands. There are interesting waterfalls and lakes on the way that we shoot. We pass through lunar-like landscape and green lush valleys before we enter Landmannalaugar springs. It's a secluded valley surrounded by colorful rhyolite mountains. We hope for a fantastic evening light before we go to our beds.

First night in a highland cabin.

Day 2 - The colors of the highlands.

"Landmannalaugar" is on every top 100 lists for landscape photographers in the world! We hike the area during the day in which one can spend a week shooting without getting exhausted. If in doubt just Google it! Words simply don’t do it justice.

Second night in a highland cabin.

Day 3 - Behind the mountains.

We spend the day exploring the highlands in a region called "Fjallabak". It litarallly means "behind the mountains". There are some photogenic lakes and pastural valleys. A waterfall that fans out down a mountain side with a distinct rustic color, called "Red falls". Close by is a rough lava. It was the backdrop in the final scene of Prometheus.

Third night in a highland cabin.

Day 4 - The central highlands.

After shooting at sunrise we drive further into the central highlands. We photograph Lake Langisjór and Mt. Sveinstindur to name some. The area is a subjective area in way that the light and condition each day play an important role in creating the best composition.

By the end of the day we reach Mt Herdubreid. At the bottom of the mountain is an oasis amidst a highland desert.

First night in a heated highland cabin by Askja caldera.

Day 5 - Dragon canyon and the crater Hell.

We photograph the largest caldera in Iceland that also contains the deepest lake. The caldera lake is over 3 miles across but the caldera it self is much larger. A smaller crater called Víti (Hell) is actually more photogenic. The water in it is warm and it's safe to swim in it. After a visit to Dragon canyon we head north through highland deserts and fields of lava. We'll photograph one of the finest waterfalls in Iceland but not much photographed due to it's remote location.

One night in a remote heated highland cabin..

Day 6 - Hot springs in the highlands.

Once again we drive through the highlands in-between a couple of glaciers. It's an old route between the south and the north. We're heading for the best hot springs. It has clear deep blue color and really cool Siliceous sinter deposits. The plan is to relax a little since this is our last day in the outdoors. There is a natural hot spring pool that is just fantastic to dip into after a good barbecue. On our way back to Reykjavik we follow the Golden circle, the most popular day tour that covers the biggest waterfall in Iceland and the famous Geyser, another hot spring area. Our last stop is Thingvellir, a national park just 30 minutes from Reykjavik. It's where the tectonic plates of North America and Europe drift apart. Really cool gorges and cracks filled with clear water.

One night in a highland cabin.

Drop off at hotel in Reykjavik  - End of tour.


NOTE: Tour is subject to change without prior notice. There may be variation of same tour on different dates.





Heated mountain cabins (sleeping bags - 4nights) and guesthouses with shared bathrooms (ready made-up beds - 2 nights).


Ford VAN E350 4x4. We have only max 8 passengers so there is plenty of legroom and space for equipment.


Full board:

Breakfast, light lunch and dinner is included.

Photography level:

Dedicated landscape and fine art photographers.

Hiking requirements:

Class 2. Some off trail walking on uneven ground, lava, rocky beaches etc. May include some snow or hiking on talus/scree.


  • Airport pick up and drop off
  • Professional photo guide
  • Accommodation
  • Breakfast
  • Light lunch or lunch-packs
  • Hearty dinners
  • A boat tour on the Glacier lagoon
  • International flights
  • Accommodation in Reykjavík
  • Alcohol, snacks and beverages
  • Lunches and dinners while in Reykjavik
  • Travel insurance



During the summer the weather is really mild. Temperatures are often between 13° and 20° on Celsius (55-70°F) with highs in the range of 20-25°C (70-76°F) and lows very rarely below freezing. In the highlands the weather is often more calm and seems better even though it’s not showing on the thermometer. Always bring along wind and rain jackets when wandering off from camp. Due to sunlight the temperatures don’t drop that much during the night so camping is usually a pleasant experience.


Terms and conditions; here



Arrival / Departure




The easiest and cheapest way to go from KEF, Keflavik international airport, to Reykjavik is to take the Flybus.

You can buy tickets at the airport or at:

It will take you directly to most major hotels or the BSI bus terminal where you could take a taxi to you hotel or even walk.

Early arrival

If you arrive some days before our tour then we’d pick you up at your hotel in Reykjavík on the day the tour starts.

Airport pick up:

We can arrange an airport pick up of a party of 3 or more.

If individuals happen to arrive at the same time we could arrange a pick up from the airport.

RAW Iceland tours:

As per itinerary....

All our tours start with a pick up from your hotel in Reykjavik unless other arrangement has been made.


Early morning:

If you have an early morning departure we recommend a stay at the Smari airport hotel.

It's by far the most convenient hotel considering that you may need to be at the airport 5-7AM. It's a walking distance from the KEF terminal.

We’d then drop you off at the hotel by Keflavik aiport at the end of the tour.


If you have an afternoon flight we’ll drop off at your hotel in Reykjavik. You’ll then have the next morning by yourself in Reykjavík or you can visit the Blue lagoon on the way to the airport with the Flybus.

Of course you can extend your stay and enjoy a leisure time in the city, walk around town and photograph the old town, the harbour, the shoreline walk or take extra day tour of your choice.


Our guides are all local professional photographers with vast experience in nature and landscape photography. Our task is to make sure we spend our effort on the best location each day no matter what the condition may be. It may mean that we choose sunset over sunrise, aurora session over morning session, shoot this location instead of that location etc. It’s all too easy to spend too many hours in poor condition only to exhaust our energy and enthusiasm. Only a local expert has the experience to meet those challenges. We may even help you make wonderful photographs when the conditions are poor. When the conditions are good it’s all easy. We maximise the quality and the quantity of the photo opportunities during this time with us. It’s still up to you to make the most of it.



RAW ICELAND - photography adventures

RAW ICELAND - Photography adventures ltd is a licensed tour operator in Iceland owned and operated by professional photographer Jon Pall Vilhelmsson. He has over thirty years of landscape photography under his belt. With a BA from Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara he posses a wealth of expertise to share. We understand photography and photographers needs.

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