Three day South Coast Photo Safari

Three day photography tour in South-Iceland

I recently guided a three day photo tour for Iceland Photo Tours. A february tour is usually full of winter adventures, possible snow storms, icy roads and winter wonderland. But this winter is one of the warmest we have had here in iceland for decades, and on this tour we were not dealing with that, but with heavy rain and fog. How unusual!

On the first day we followed the very popular Golden Circle, visiting the Þingvellir National Park where we had fun shooting the Öxarárfoss waterfall. We then went on to shoot a “hidden” little waterfall where we were all alone. But after that we were more or less in crowded areas, such as Geysir and the waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Gullfoss. 

We were then welcomed to the nice little guesthouse at Hrífunes where Hadda, the guesthouse owner, cooked us a wonderful dinner. 

Day of ice!

Day two of the tour is dedicated to ice. After a good breakfast we drove over to the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. We had relentless rain on the way and I was beginning to worry that we would not have any visibility on the lagoon. But as we drove into the parking it cleared up, and we had some amazing morning light on the ice, that was delflecting this wonderful blue colour.

Wonderful ice formations reflecting in the morning light.


Next on the agenda was a visit to an Ice cave. Due to heavy rain and warm temperatures the weeks before, the Crystal Cave was closed. These ice caves are in fact water outlets where the glacial rivers and the reason they are only visited in the winter time is simple. That is when the water is supposed to be frozen in the glacier and the water tunnels empty out. But when you experience warm and wet weather for weeks, they don’t and become inaccessible. The company that operates the ice cave tours, Local Guide, offered us a glacier hike with a visit to what they called a small ice cavern. And when we set off to do the hike, the weather was like a good summer day, calm, sunny and (relatively) warm. To make a long story short, this cavern was beautiful, with all sorts of color tints, from green to blue to pink. We had the best of time, and had the chance to shoot the wonderful ice from many different angles. 

This Crystal Blue Ice was a lot more impressive than I dared to hope for when we started the glacier hike.

After that visit we headed back to the guesthouse and experienced wonderful sunset light on the way. 

Stormy 3rd day

On the agenda on the third day was to get back to Reykjavik. We visitied the black sand beaches of Vík, Reynisfjara and Dyrhólaey, before photographing the Skógafoss and Urriðafoss waterfalls. It was very windy and for my clients to get decent sharp long exposure shots at these beaches I had to hold the tripod with both hands during the exposures. But at Reynisfjara I was watching the immense waves breaking and couldn’t resist shooting one of them as it breakes on the beach with a flock of seagulls flying above: 

Reynisfjara Photography

Massive waves breaking at he Reynisfjara Beach.

This three day tour sure is packed with some great photo-ops, we are free to alter and edit the program to fit our photography needs, and the food and accommodation at Hrífunes is splendid. 

I think my favorite shot from this tour is the icelephant that showed up on the “Diamond Beach” south of Jökulsárlón. This ice sculpture stood there for a couple of minutes and fought the waves breaking on it. But finally it collapsed. It was nice to meet you, icelephant: 

Icelephant fighting the waves at Jökulsárlón.

These three days were well spent, and we brought home a lot of good memories and some really interesting shots. Make sure you check the tour, and others at Iceland Photo Tours, or you can contact me directly for further info.