Iceland winter wonderland photography tour / 9 Days
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Iceland winter wonderland photo tour - 9 days



Highlights of the experience:

  • Capture the amazing northern lights
  • Winter-scapes of Lake Mývatn
  • Shimmering ice crystals
  • Marvellous ice caves
  • Frozen waterfalls
  • The Glacier lagoon
  • The Golden circle
  • Experienced landscape photographer as a guide


Tour description:


Iceland during winter is a unique opportunity to create stunning visual images that you haven't seen or done before. We go all around Iceland and stop in all the best places to make great photographs.


Lake Myvatn and the surrounding area has many great photo opportunities. The magnificent Godafoss and Dettifoss are amongs them. The lava cave Grjotagja, hot springs of Namskard, Dimmuborgir and the geothermal power plant Krafla too.


(The second part of the tour is similar to RAW Ice / 5 days.) The Glacier lagoon with it's floating icebergs is a favorite amongst nature photographers. It is likely to be frozen at this time of the year so you can get in real close. Something that's not possible during the summer. Amazing ice-caves. Majestic mountains and glaciers. We go through the Golden circle, the most popular and most photographed spectacles in Iceland.


In short: All the most exciting places in Iceland but the scenery is quite different. Earth, air, fire and water in all it's different forms and glory. The waterfalls are frozen and ice crystals form on the lakes. The geothermal active area exhale steam that freezes on land, flora and fauna. During this tour there is an excellent chance of capturing the northern lights with the most stunning foreground of the Icelandic landscape.



Tour dates 2016:

  • February 17 - 25 - Full
  • November 2 - 10 - Available spots






Day 1. Lava waterfalls and Snæfellsnes peninsula.

Pick up at your hotel betwen 8.00 and 9.00 PM

Our first stop is Lava waterfalls in west Iceland. It's one of my favorite sites to shoot in Iceland. We then head to the tip of Snæfellsnes peninsula where we'll photograph several landmark locations. Namely the arch and rock formation by Arnarstapi, sea stack of Lomagnupur, the ice cap of Snæfellsjokull and more if we have time. We'll stay in hotel that's walking distance from Kirkjufell. It's an iconic waterfall with a great looking mountain as a backdrop and hopefully it'll be decorated by northern lights

First night in a hotel in Grundarfjordur.


Day 2. The wonders of Snæfellsnes

Kirkjufell by Grundarfjordur is one of my favorite sites to shoot in Iceland. We then head to the northeast of Iceland where we'll stay for few days. There are some interesting places to shoot on the way. Among them is Godafoss. One of the most picturesque waterfall in Iceland.

Three nights at hotel by Lake Myvatn.


Day 3. Lake Mývatn and shimmering ice crystals.

Lake Mývatn is without doubt the pearl of north. It is a active geothermal area with many interesting places to photograph, all within minutes of drive from each other. Steam from geothermal vents freezes on plants and lava so the landscape is covered with silvery vail. Ice-crystals everywhere. 

Second night by Lake Myvatn.


Day 4. Active volcanic area.

Höfði and Dimmuborgir are famous picturesque lava formations. We shoot hot springs and bubbling mud pots by Namaskard. We enter a lava cave, Grjotagja, in which a hot spring river runs through. We explore a crater that erupted in 1970s and 80s. The lava is still steaming hot. The view from the top of Hverfjall caldera over this mystical location is nothing short of spectacular. In the evening we relax in the spa at the Nature Baths, a Blue lagoon equivalent, with stars and aurora floating above.

Third night by Lake Myvatn.


Day 5. Europe's most powerful waterfall.

We head eastbound to Europe's most powerful waterfall Dettifoss that runs through a majestic canyon. Two more nearby waterfalls will keep us busy for the rest of the day. In the evening we drive through a highland desert to our next hotel.

Hotel in Eastfjords.


Day 6. Eastfjords.

As we drive to the south coast we'll run through Eastfjords. It doesn't have a specific locations though we know of a few good spots. The light of the day will determine exactly where exactly we'll place our tripods. Sometimes we're able to photograph reindeer in the wild. One overlooked locations is the mountain of Vestrahorn and the rocky shores of Stokksnes

Two nights in a hotel near Glacier lagoon.


Day 7. Glacier lagoon and ice caves.

Sunrise at Jökulsárlón, the Glacier lagoon. One can linger on for a whole day by this majestic lake. It’s by many considered a crown jewel of Iceland and if done right makes an eye popping piece of art for the world audience to admire. Depending on the time of the year and the condition of the ice we may be able walk among the giant icebergs. Just as photogenic are the melting icebergs by the shore of the north Atlantic ocean. Sometimes there are seals basking on the ice. In the afternoon we'll explore some ice caves with a local expert. Crampons and helmets supplied. In the evening we'll also keep an eye out for the northern lights display.

Second night in a hotel near Glacier lagoon.


Day 8. Black waterfall.

In the morning you’ll shoot one of the advancing glaciers, Svinafellsjokull. One can feel the immensity of Iceland’s highest peak towering above the landscape. Svartifoss waterfall is one we cannot miss. It’s a 40 meter drop off basalt columnar rock. This wonder is often compared to a natural gothic cathedral. It’s one of the icons of Icelandic landscape. It’s a wonderful hike full of photo opportunities. By the end of the day we photograph a stunning canyon that many people don't know about.

One night in a hotel by Vik.


Day 9. The south shore spectacles.

We check out the black sandy beach by Dyrhólaey and Reynisdrangar. Those landmark locations have endless angles to choose from. Basalt rock cliffs and caves. Giant pillars of lava extruding out of the ocean. A large cliff that extrudes out to sea with a huge hole in it. There is a really cool plane wreck with Eyjafjallajökull volcano as backdrop that not many people know about that we plan to shoot. We plan to shoot the last landscape with the golden rays of the settling sun on Seljalandsfoss waterfall. Then it's just over an hour drive back to Reykjavik.


Drop off at hotel in Reykjavik - End of tour.


Tour is subject to change without prior notice. There may be slight variation in same tour on different dates.


Extra days. Golden circle and/or the Blue lagoon.

If you have an extra day before or after our tour I'd recommend The Golden circle tour and a visit to the Blue lagoon.

We're happy to direct you to another tour operator if we're not available.





Hotels with private bathrooms.


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

Photography level:

Dedicated and adventurous photographers.

Hiking requirements:

Class 2. Slippery ice and 1 hour hikes.


Restaurants, hotel restaurants and road shops.


  • Airport pick up and drop off
  • Professional photo guide
  • Transportation
  • Accommodation
  • Breakfast


Included tours:
  • Icecaves with a local guide
  • International flights
  • Accommodation in Reykjavík
  • Alcohol, snacks and beverages
  • Lunches
  • Dinners
  • Travel insurance



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.



Iceland is a paradise for landscape and nature photographers.


The ice caves are simply astonishing. However there is no guarantee that they are open and safe to enter. They are generally open when it’s cold enough from early November through March but that changes from one year to another. If the ice caves are not accessible at the time we’ll opt for a Zodiac boat tour on the Glacier lagoon that is also a fantastic photographic experience. Plan C would be a “Walk on ice tour”.


To photograph the Aurora you need two things happening at the same time. The Aurora dancing above and clear a sky. We can’t turn on the northern lights for you but we can usually predict where the best conditions will be with a relatively short notice. A local knowledge is often required to increase our chances on turning bad luck into a fortune. We’ll spend at least one night making an effort to capture the northern lights, perhaps more. It may be any of the nights depending on cloud coverage and Aurora forecast. Iceland is still one of very few great places to view and photograph the northern lights and one of the most accessible. 


Weather in Iceland during winter is unpredictable. The good thing is that it changes all the time. We have a saying in Iceland. "If you don't like the weather, just wait 5 minutes". Having said that you know we can't guarantee anything that relates to weather nor the northern lights that are even more unpredictable. You’ll be fine with some rain gear, warm clothing and good hiking boots.


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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