The Highlands of Iceland and South Coast
- 11-20 Jul 2019 Guided by Alban Henderyckx
- 22-31 Jul 2019 Guided by Alban Henderyckx
- 2-11 Aug 2019 Guided by Alban Henderyckx
- 13-22 Aug 2019 Guided by Alban Henderyckx
- 24 Aug – 2 Sep 2019 Guided by Alban Henderyckx
- 4-13 Sep 2019 Guided by Alban Henderyckx
This 10 day photography tour around Iceland takes in the very best that the land of ice and fire has to offer. You’ll be whisked away in our modified 4X4 vehicle to the heart of Iceland’s remote highlands, where you’ll capture desolate scenes of natural beauty and photograph Iceland’s iconic landscapes. The tour will be led in small groups by award-winning, professional photographers, giving you the opportunity to hone your skills in the company of friendly, knowledgeable experts. Pack your camera and prepare for the adventure of a lifetime, as we venture out into the wilderness to explore Landmannalaugar, Vatnajökull and beyond.
Day 1 – Arrival
You will arrive, as all visitors to Iceland inevitably do, via Keflavik International Airport. From there a quick flybus trip will take you into the center of Reykjavik. We will meet at 7pm in your hotel lobby, before heading out to enjoy some local food. We’ll spend the evening getting to know each other, and will take a closer look at the itinerary and adventure to come. We will spend the night Reykjavik and rest well for the morning.
Day 2 – Hveravellir geothermals. Kerlingarfjoll mountains, Gygjarfoss
Day two represents the official beginning of our photo tour. We will start things off by leaving Iceland’s capital city and heading into the heart of the country. The day’s highlights will include photographing the mystical mountains of Kerlingarfjoll, which are made of rhyolite and appear to glow different shades of red and yellow depending on the light conditions. The group will also visit the nearby geothermal area of Hveravellir, where we will encounter natural hot springs, smoking fumaroles and multi-coloured sinters. The nearby waterfall of Gygjarfoss fall thunderously into the Jokulhvisl river, with epic, snow-tipped mountains looming on an imposing horizon.Accommodation for the night will be in the Kerlingarfjoll area.
Day 3,4,5 – Landmannalaugar, Veidivotn area,Valley of Tears
On day three we’ll leave Kerlingarfjoll and head south towards Landmannalaugar, a stunning, mountainous area in the Fjallabak Nature Reserve only accessible via 4×4. There we’ll photograph yet more rhyolite peaks, the area’s black lava fields and the mighty Hekla volcano that stands a little to the west. Although Hekla is an active volcano with a pretty ominous nickname (“Gateway to Hell”) the area’s multi-coloured mountains and barren landscapes make it a photographer’s wonderland. Our professional photo guides will talk you through everything you need to perfectly capture the many contrasting shapes, colours and textures.
The plan is to stick explore Landmannalaugar for a full three days, taking in sights such as the crater lake of Blahylur, the waterfalls of Haifoss and Hjalparfoss, and the lake of Frostastadavatn. The magical crater lakes of Blahylur and Ljotipollur in Veidivotn are easily two of Iceland’s best kept secrets. Despite translating as “The Blue Puddle“ and “The Ugly Puddle” respectively, they are both a whole lot more breathtaking than their names suggest! Especially impressive is Ljotipollur, with its red sand slopes giving way to a cool blue pool. We spend plenty of time photographing the Haifoss waterfall. It’s known as “The Tall Falls” and is Iceland’s second-highest, with a torrent of water cascading down from a height of 122 meters. Haifoss falls down into a deep gorge on the Thjorsa glacier river, so there are plenty of spectacular angles, along with a watery haze, that we can use to create a perfect composition.
Another waterfall to discover in this part of Iceland’s highlands is the Hjalparfoss on the river Fossa. The unique, twin basalt structure means that the river is split into two for a matter of seconds before falling into a calm oasis. The whitewash of the falls gives a fantastic splash effect for our photographs, with the (hopefully) blue sky and rolling hills offering a wonderful backdrop. We will also get the chance to visit the highland region of Landmannalaugar. This area is one of the most popular and photogenic resorts in Iceland, with hot springs, natural baths, glittering rhyolite mountains, rock formations, lava fields and rich vegetation. We will take our time photographing the vast array of scenes, and there will be two specific visits that we will make to some of the famous local sites. The first is the ridge over Frostastadavatn lake, which offers wondrous views of the water and surrounding landscape. The second is Sigoldugljufur canyon, where countless waterfalls meet and fall together down the cliffs and into the river below.
All that photography is hard work, so we’ll make sure there’s time for a visit to Landmannalaugar’s natural baths. Accommodation in Hotel Highlands.
Day 6 – South Fjallabak highlands
On the sixth day of our Icelandic highlands adventure, the group will head along the South Fjallabak highland route to the north of Myrdalsjokull glacier. The ice cap covers the active volcano Katla, and as you might expect we will encounter a diverse volcanic landscape with plenty of opportunities for great photography.
Among our subjects will be the otherworldly black lava sands, the deformed lava statues that have stood for thousands of years, and the imposing mountain of Oldufell. With the right light and weather conditions, Oldufell’s cone-shape and the green valleys at its base look like something out of a fairytale.
Our next stop will be the Axlarfoss waterfall, which pours over basalt columns into the Holmsa river. A photogenic contrast here is provided by the vivid green landscape and the volcanic cliffs that jut to either side of the falls.
The final stop on day six will be a quick exploration of the world’s largest volcanic canyon, Eldgja. To gaze down the canyon is almost to see the world itself splitting into two pieces. The canyon is 600m wide and 270m deep, stretching from the Myrdalsjokull glacier to peak of Gjatindur. Accommodation: Kirkjubæjarklaustur
Day 7 – Vatnajökull National Park
Day seven will begin with another incredible Icelandic canyon: Fjadrargljufur may not be as deep or as wide as Eldgja, but the spectacular rock formations that run along its border make it an irresistible subject for landscape photography.
After, the tour will head further east to the mystical Vatnajokull National Park. Here we will skirt the boundaries of volcanoes and glaciers, taking in the natural wonders of Skaftafell and visiting the Svartifoss Waterfall. Svartifoss is known as the “Black Falls”, which will make more sense as we get closer to the dark, foreboding stone columns that surround it. Accommodation: Vatnajokull National Park
Day 8 – Vatnajökull National Park
On day eight we have one simple mission: to see and capture as much of the Vatnajokull National Park as possible. Unsurprisingly, the park is one of Iceland’s most photographed places. This is largely because of the interplay between ice and fire that has become the country’s trademark. On the one hand you have enormous glaciers and monumental mountains, while ground level is populated with slender blue rivers, ice caves, lush valleys, and black sand beaches.
Having said that, for the majority of today we will target the park’s most famous attraction: the glacier lagoon of Jokulsarlon. We will stroll along the beach famed for its black sand and the ice crystals that wash up on the shore, and capture the interplay between light, dark, ice and water. After a visit to the lagoon, the group will turn east to Stokksnes Beach. There we will photograph the rugged peaks of Mt. Vestrahorn, which appears to emerge from the Atlantic Ocean itself.
Accommodation: Vatnajokull National Park
Day 9 – South Coast
Day nine will mark the beginning of our journey back toward the capital. We will drive along Iceland’s picturesque south coast, which is dotted with dramatic shorelines, (more) impressive waterfalls and rock formations sculpted by time and the elements. The south coast is full of engaging scenery and photographic opportunities, so we will choose our locations according to the preferences of the group, the conditions and the time we have available. Accommodation: Reykjavik
Day 10 – Departure
On day ten we will wake in Reykjavik and say our goodbyes. You will then take the FlyBus back from your hotel to Keflavik International Airport, laden with memories, photographs, and photography tips from an unforgettable adventure.
- Professional photo guide.
- Transportation in a spacious, comfortable 4×4 truck offering ample room for you and your photography gear.
- Accommodation in hotels and guesthouses. Rooms with private bathrooms.
- Full board during workshop, from dinner on day 1 til breakfast on day 10.
- FlyBus tickets for transfer from and to Airport.
Alban grew up on the shores of southwest France, and could easily have spent a lifetime enjoying the waves were it not for his passion for photography. After leaving the French coast behind he began to focus on landscapes, and now feels a deep connection and sense of freedom when out in the wild capturing nature’s finest sights.
With that in mind it’s no surprise that he is currently based in Iceland. Although self-taught, Alban is highly skilled with post-processing techniques and covers many of his secrets in his personal classes. Despite this, he is insistent that his photography talents come instead from an ability to convey a vision, and the passion and energy he has for capturing the natural world.
He firmly believes that anyone able to harness that same passion can take their photography to new levels, and now leads tours and excursions to help passionate photographers do exactly that.
From his base in Iceland he invites you to discover his interpretation of this photographer’s paradise. The most beautiful volcanic landscapes in the Arctic await.