By now we are all aware of how beautiful Iceland is. For many travel, nature and adventure photographers, Iceland is a dream come true. There is beauty everywhere you look and it’s difficult to take a bad photo. This can make it challenging to decide where to go and what to put on your itinerary. Well, we’re here to help. Here are seven absolutely stunning (and some of my absolute favorite) places in Iceland that you can’t miss, especially if you’re a travel photographer.

Table of Contents

Seljalandsfoss

Seljalandsfoss

I’ll admit, the first time we went to Seljalandsfoss, I was underwhelmed. We were there early in the morning and the whole scene was in shadows and yeah, it was pretty, but the photos came out terrible. The second time however, blew me away. We went at sunset and had a decent amount of time to spend wandering around and setting up shots.

What you need to know about Seljalandsfoss

Seljalandsfoss is in South Iceland and located about a three hour drive east of Reykjavik. It’s also right off the ring road, so it’s nearly impossible to miss. There are multiple waterfalls at this site, including a really cool waterfall that you have to walk through a cave to get to, so keep going down the path past the main waterfall if you have time.

Seljalandsfoss is a major tourist attraction close to Reykjavik so it will be crowded. Keep this in mind and give yourself plenty of time to explore. You can walk behind the waterfall, however it will be wet, and slick (and cold) so dress appropriately.

Seljalandsfoss for Photographers

Go at sunset. I can not stress this enough. If you can fit this waterfall in at sunset, go at sunset. Seljalandsfoss careens over a cliff side and faces west so the whole thing is cast in pretty harsh shadow in the morning hours. In the evening hours though, the colors really come to life and you can catch a bit of the sunset from behind or beside the waterfall. If you do plan on shooting from behind the waterfall, make sure your gear is protected from moisture and that you have something to wipe your lens with.

Vestrahorn

Vestrahorn

Black sand beaches and a jaw dropping mountain? Yes, please.

What You Need to Know about Vestrahorn

Vestrahorn is a stunning mountain in southeast Iceland. This site features black sand beaches and reflective tidal pools making it a popular destination for photographers and sightseers alike. There is also a viking village film set you can explore while visiting Vestrahorn. Vestrahorn is about six hours away from Reykjavik and past the glacier lagoon and other popular sites in south Iceland. There will still be quite a few people here, however it seemed to be significantly less busy than many of the other tourist attractions in south Iceland. And just a heads up, you do have to pay to visit Vestrahorn, but it’s definitely worth it.

Vestrahorn for Photographers

Obviously sunrise and sunset would offer the most dramatic skies for photographing Vestrahorn, however we were there in late morning and it was still gorgeous, and photographed beautifully. Keep an eye on the tides, and you may get a chance to see the mountain reflected in a tidal pool.

Dettifoss

Dettifoss

A powerful waterfall amidst an alien landscape. Cody and I nearly missed this site our first trip to Iceland (we don’t like to plan things well), but saw it on the map and decided to stop. Needless to say, we’re glad we didn’t miss it.

What you need to know about Dettifoss

Dettifoss is located in Vatnajökull National Park off of the Ring Road and near Mývatn lake. This waterfall is considered one of the most powerful in Europe and was featured in the movie Prometheus. The landscape here is absolutely gorgeous and so different from anything else I’d ever seen.

There’s a bit of hiking involved with a visit to this waterfall, so keep that in mind when planning your trip. You’ll need a couple of hours to spend here to see the main waterfall as well as others in the vicinity.

Dettifoss for Photographers

I will always harp on about sunrise and sunset because of the dramatic skies and softer shadows they offer. We didn’t go at sunset, but it was pretty late in the day and we did have quite a lot of cloud coverage which I like for my landscape shots. This waterfall is insanely powerful. Make sure you bring something to protect your gear from getting wet and something to wipe your lens off.

Kirkjufell

Kirkjufell

If you watched Game of Thrones you may recognize the mountain Kirkjufell, and the waterfall Kirkjufellfoss. I’m obsessed with this western Icelandic site and I’ve never seen a picture that does it justice.

What you need to know about Kirkjufell

Kirkjufell is a mountain on the western peninsula of Snæfellsnes near the town of Grundarfjörður. The mountain and the waterfall, Kirkjufellfoss, are probably the most popular spots on the peninsula, and for good reason. You can see the waterfall from road 54 which takes you around the peninsula so it’s impossible to miss. If you’re trying to wait until sunset, spend some time in the nearby town of Grundarfjörður.

Kirkjufell for Photographers

If you have the time, try to go at sunrise or sunset, otherwise the shadows are incredibly harsh. A cloudy day works, too. Be patient while you are visiting this site. There will be other tourists walking up and down the other side of the waterfall, they will be in your shot. That’s okay, you can edit them out later (or keep them in to show the scale of the mountain).

This location is incredibly popular in Iceland with travel photographers. At sunset there will be a line of photographers with tripods just waiting for the sun to go down. This is also okay. Set up where you can, your shot will be just as good.

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

Glacier lagoon

The icebergs are literally right there. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is one of my favorite places that I’ve traveled to. It helps that I also got engaged here.

What You Need to Know about Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

As the name implies Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is a body of water that often has icebergs floating through it as they make their way to the ocean. There are also seals. Located on the Ring Road, this amazing site is easy to get and one of the top tourist attractions in Iceland. The Glacier Lagoon is usually pretty busy, but there are trails that go around the lake so it’s pretty easy to get away from most people if you’re looking for solitude while you take in views of the icebergs.

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon for Photographers

The best time to go is sunrise or sunset for those gorgeous dramatic skies and softer shadows. Don’t get me wrong, the glacier lagoon is still beautiful at midday with full sun, it’s just much more difficult to photograph. Plan on spending a few hours here. There is ample hiking around the lagoon, so take the opportunity to get some different views of the lake and get away from the bulk of the other tourists.

Diamond Beach

Diamond beach

A stunning black sand beach dotted with glittering bits of ice. The perfect piece of Iceland for travel photographers.

What You Need to Know About Diamond Beach

It’s literally right across the road from Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, so if you’re already there you might as well check it out. Because of it’s location, it will be just as busy as the Glacier Lagoon, but even at its busiest times it’s still beautiful.

Diamond Beach for Photographers

Once again, sunrise or sunset is probably the best time to visit Diamond Beach. Also with how busy this beach gets, there will be footprints in the sand everywhere you look. Take your shots anyways.

Skogafoss

Skogafoss

Skogafoss is quite possibly one of the most famous waterfalls in all of Iceland. This insanely powerful waterfall is breathtaking in real life and has definitely earned its reputation.

What You Need to Know about Skogafoss

Getting to Skogafoss is super easy, because it’s right off of the Ring Road. Because of this and its beauty, it’s also super popular. There will be quite a few other tourists there no matter when you go. There are also a few other waterfalls in this area. Two are of them are along a trail you can hike right next to Skogafoss. Another one, Kvernufoss, is along a trail that is on the other side of the Skogar Museum. These hikes aren’t very long, so they are definitely worth it. And since most people just stop at Skogafoss, there will be fewer tourists along the way.

Skogafoss for Photographers

I am all about moody photos and Iceland is great at providing moody opportunities for travel photographers. We got super lucky that it was cloudy the day we visited Skogafoss. If clouds aren’t in the forecast try to come at sunrise or sunset for dramatic skies and softer shadows though this waterfall photographs well in full sun too. Skogafoss is a super popular tourist site, so there will be other people there. Keep that in mind when planning your trip and be patient while you are there.

Iceland for Travel Photographers

Iceland is an insanely gorgeous destination with ample opportunity for travel photographers to create beautiful images. These seven sites barely scratch the surface of what Iceland has to offer. They just happen to be seven that I’ve actually been to and that I was blown away by. No matter where you look in Iceland, there is a gorgeous picture just waiting to be photographed.

Like this post? Please share it on Pinterest!

Author

Hey there! My name is Leah and I'm a photographer, blogger and wanderer from north Texas. I've been doing photography for nearly a decade now and absolutely love it. My day job is real estate photographer and in my free time you can often find me at a park taking pictures of leaves and flowers. Outside of that my fiance and I love to travel. We spent nine months backpacking through Europe and now spend our free time attempting to plan and going on shorter trips both in the States and abroad.

Write A Comment

Pin It