Iceland Photography

The 10 Most Beautiful Places to Photograph in Iceland

most beautiful places to photograph in iceland

When asked the question, “What’s your favorite country you’ve been to?” my mind often jumps to Iceland for two reasons:

  1. Antarctica isn’t really a country more than it is a continent
  2. I could visit Iceland a dozen more times and not be bored!

With $99 flights, a mere distance of 5-hours from the east coast, and Iceland Air offering up a maximum of 7 days for a stopover from North America to Europe at no additional charge, visiting Iceland has become much easier over the past few years, and the country has boomed into a tourism hotspot!

After my first time there in the early 2000s (when many friends asked if Iceland was 100% covered in ice), I vowed to return. Upon my second trip in 2014, I had one goal in mind: photography. Having now been during summer and winter, I can confidently say winter is my favorite season to visit!

In December/January, Iceland has around 4-5 hours of sunlight, but pretty much that whole time is Golden Hour(s), with a solid hour or two on each end of soft, muted lighting. This leads to spectacular opportunities for photography, and our itinerary was crafted to chase the light.

Follow my guide below for the most beautiful places to photograph in Iceland!

most beautiful places to photograph in iceland

We started in Reykjavik, the capital city with wonderful people, food, and nightlife. Surprisingly, Iceland is also famous for their hot dogs, so be sure to try one when you’re there!

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On our drives, we visited the following:

Hraunfossar

One of the most colorful waterfalls, with black lava rocks, turquoise water, and shrubbery that changes color according to the seasons. Bright and gorgeous!

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Seljalandsfoss

A beautiful waterfall you can walk behind. This is an incredibly moving and dynamic waterfall with several compositional angles, especially during the afternoon as the sun sets.

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Reynisdrangur

A really unique black sand beach with sea stacks and basalt formations. Beware the currents here are incredibly strong and cold, and people have actually died in recent years being dragged into the waves!

Skogafoss

Apopular waterfall you can climb to the top of and probably recognize from pictures. Its sheer size is what makes it magnificent.

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Dyrhólaey Lighthouse

An extremely picturesque, dramatic lighthouse, this is the perfect set up for moody shots! Dare devils can walk out to the edge of a cliff side and even dangle their feet off the edge.

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Fjaðrárgljúfur

A river canyon in the south east. Really fun spot to hike and climb around! I’d recommend adding a person into your photographs for perspective. Recommended to visit late morning.

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Skaftafell / Svartifoss

A really awesome hike that culminates with one of the most unique waterfalls, Svartifoss! If you time it right, you can also visit the ice caves. Unluckily, the weather wasn’t cold enough the year I went, so it was too dangerous to venture inside. All the more reason to come back!

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Svinafell 

An area near Skaftafell with some interesting photo opportunities.

Jökulsarlon (black sand beach)

The main location for our morning and night shoots. There’s the famous black sand beach littered with icebergs nearby. We timed our visits at dawn so that as the sun rose up from the horizon, it shot brand new streaks of gold into the ice, which contrasted beautifully with the black sand. The water would rush in and out, consistently changing the landscape and always giving new shapes and colors. A guide in the area told us that he’d photographed the site a hundred times, and every time was different. Truly a spectacular spot!

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Jökulsarlon (lagoon and glacier)

At night, this is a fantastic place to photograph the northern lights, as they swirl above in the sky and also reflect in the calm waters below – double the fun! I set up my camera on time lapse, and just fully enjoyed the aurora. During the day, you can also spot seals that live in the area.

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Vesturhorn

A gorgeous spot where vertigal cliffs fall into black sand beaches, located 12km east of Hofn. This site has dramatic views and interesting sand dunes you can climb on top of to get a unique perspective, with golden light at sunset! Afterwards, finish your shoot with a drive back to Hofn for some local cuisine.

most beautiful places to photograph in iceland

Have you been to Iceland? Let me know some of your favorite locations and places to photograph!


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49 Comments

  • Reply Rohini August 11, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    Great photographs … Wow

  • Reply Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle August 11, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    Oh wow. Those photos are so beautiful. Iceland is such a gorgeous place.

    • Reply Pier Nirandara August 11, 2016 at 4:09 pm

      Much appreciated! It’s truly beautiful 🙂

  • Reply Paula Schuck August 11, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    I had absolutely no idea that Iceland was so picturesque! I can’t get over how lovely the terrain and the sky are.

    • Reply Pier Nirandara August 11, 2016 at 4:09 pm

      Thank you so much! Iceland gets all the credit for the gorgeous landscapes.

  • Reply Vera Sweeney August 11, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    I would love to go to Iceland!! What a beautiful scenery to take photos, I have a friend who went and loved it!

    • Reply Pier Nirandara August 11, 2016 at 4:09 pm

      Thank you! Definitely a gorgeous country 🙂

  • Reply chefjoe11 August 11, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    I have never seen such beautiful photos. I really would love to take my family to Ireland one day;

  • Reply Gwendolyn Mulholland August 11, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    I am in absolute awe of your photos. These pictures are beautiful and make me want to visit Iceland.

    • Reply Pier Nirandara August 11, 2016 at 9:50 pm

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment! Hope you get to visit the beautiful country ☺️

  • Reply Angie's Angel Help (@angiesangelhelp) August 11, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    These photos are amazing. I would love to visit somewhere that makes for wonderful pictures.

  • Reply Racquel Bregg August 12, 2016 at 10:22 am

    These photos are incredible. Iceland is on our bucket list for sure. A dear friend was there last year and had an amazing time. Such beautiful photography!

  • Reply lauren August 12, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Those photos are beautiful!!!

  • Reply Jasmine Espinal August 12, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Wow! Those are amazing shots! I would love to visit Ive heard its definitely an experience.

  • Reply Emma Spellman August 12, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    Iceland just looks incredible. I think I would probably cry if I saw it in person because it looks so beautiful.

    • Reply Pier Nirandara August 12, 2016 at 9:40 pm

      I know I did the first time I saw the northern lights! ☺️

  • Reply Bonnie Gowen August 13, 2016 at 9:59 am

    Oh my gosh! I am going to have to add Iceland to my travel destinations. What a gorgeous place to take photos.

    • Reply Pier Nirandara August 13, 2016 at 10:58 am

      Definitely! Iceland takes all the credit ☺️

  • Reply thetravelpockets August 13, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    Great post and fantastic photography! We love Iceland as well and can go back a million times and more!

  • Reply Kiara Gallop August 13, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    Incredible photographs of an amazing country 🙂 and that aurora, WOW!!!

  • Reply Katie @ The Katie Show Blog August 13, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    Wow your pictures are stunning! I hope to visit Iceland one day so thank you for sharing these tips!

  • Reply Julie Cao August 13, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    That picture of Aurora is so surreal! Thanks for the nice photo essay! Your images proof again that Iceland is a stunning place.

  • Reply Sally August 13, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    Stunning photography! It looks like you had an incredible and scenic adventure there. And $99 flights? Where from? (I want to go!)

  • Reply Nerdventurists August 13, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    Gosh. I’ve been wanting to go to Iceland for ages and this made that wanderlust SO MUCH WORSE. Amazing photographs.

  • Reply TravelTheGlobe4Less August 14, 2016 at 1:07 am

    the photos are to die for!

  • Reply Ricci August 14, 2016 at 7:13 am

    Oh wow…Iceland is truly gorgeous!!! I would love to visit one day!!

  • Reply alexandria August 14, 2016 at 7:50 am

    Wow. Amazing. Those pictures are so stunning. They almost look fake!

  • Reply Tatanisha August 14, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    Oh wow! They’re beyond beautiful! I’ve always wanted to visit Iceland and wants to see these places myself.

  • Reply Lori Felix August 15, 2016 at 7:18 am

    Iceland is so beautiful, every picture came out amazing. I would love to go see those waterfalls and snap a few pics myself.

  • Reply Michelle Cantu (@AThriftyDiva) August 15, 2016 at 9:53 am

    How dreamy, Iceland is on my bucket list for sure. I would love to spend time with my hubby there.

  • Reply Rika August 15, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Absolutely beautiful place! I want to visit Iceland, thanks for sharing

  • Reply 8 Tips for Taking Better Travel Photos - Pier's Great Perhaps August 15, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    […] example, early morning has beautiful lighting, and I woke up at the crack of dawn to go shoot at Iceland’s black sand beach littered with ice. As the sun rose up from the horizon, it shot brand new streaks of gold into the […]

  • Reply Carin Kilby Clark August 15, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Wow these are some gorgeous photographs! Seriously breathtaking. I need to see this in-person someday.

  • Reply Rebecca Swenor August 16, 2016 at 5:27 am

    Iceland is such a beautiful place indeed. I love the waterfall photos and the Northern Lights. We see the Northern Lights here sometimes but there they look more beautiful. Thanks for shairng these gorgeous photos of places in Iceland.

  • Reply Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen August 19, 2016 at 8:26 am

    What amazing photos!!! I hope I can visit Iceland wit my family someday.

  • Reply Nina Tekwani August 23, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    These are stunning!!!

  • Reply Lauretata August 29, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    This pictures are just amazing! Would love to visit Iceland one day soon! 🙂

  • Reply ​The 5 Best Photo Editing Apps - Pier's Great Perhaps August 31, 2016 at 10:22 am

    […] The Most Beautiful Places to Photograph in Iceland […]

  • Reply Giulio Zanni September 1, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    That’s me in the second picture in the sexy trousers

  • Reply Bryony Clapperton (travelsandmore) September 8, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    This is my 3rd time today visiting your page. I’ll never get bored of seeing these incredible photos. You have a real talent!

    • Reply Pier Nirandara September 8, 2016 at 2:35 pm

      You’re so, so wonderful! Thank you so much for your support. You’ve made my day☺️?

  • Reply 5 Must-Have Apps for Travel Photography - Pier's Great Perhaps September 20, 2016 at 10:50 am

    […] The Most Beautiful Places to Photograph in Iceland […]

  • Reply Mark KS November 8, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Hey there! I was wondering when in winter did you visit Iceland to take those photos? Was it expensive to rent a car and drive around?

    • Reply Pier Nirandara November 8, 2016 at 9:58 am

      Hi there! I went in late Dec / early January, and this was a few years back before prices hitched up with the tourism boom, so it was cheaper back then but still a tad pricey! If you want to balance out accommodation costs with a car, Iceland has companies that rent out camper vans 🙂

    Let us know your thoughts!

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