25 Iceland Photography Locations You Won’t Believe Exist

Iceland Photography Locations
Amazing Photos from Iceland with Locations
Iceland Photography

These are my favorite Iceland photography locations from one of the most beautiful countries ever. A mysterious land of icy glaciers, fiery volcanoes, and endless waterfalls.

I’ve traveled to Iceland a few times now, spending months exploring the country capturing epic landscape photography with my camera.

Iceland impressed me so much that I constantly want to return!

How many photography locations around the world can you experience crawling into blue glacial ice caves, flying over an erupting volcano, AND stay up all night transfixed by the Earth’s magical northern lights?

My experience in Iceland was overwhelming and almost spiritual — reminding me why I started traveling in the first place. For such a small nation, Iceland is absolutely packed with beauty and diversity.

Vast, dramatic landscapes stretch out for miles, sprinkled with a handful of old farmhouses and fishing villages. There’s a lot of strange stuff too!

It’s seriously a travel photographer paradise.

Below you’ll find some of my top Iceland photography locations, and I hope these images inspire you to visit this wonderful country on your own!

Iceland’s Top Photography Locations

Hallgrímskirkja Church

Hallgrimskirkja Church Iceland Photography
Hallgrimskirkja Church in Reykjavik
Reykjavik City Rainbow
The View from the Top of the Church

Most of Iceland’s population is concentrated around the capital city of Reykjavík. The city has a vibrant art & music scene. But what stood out the most was this strange Viking-looking church called Hallgrímskirkja.

Hallgrímskirkja Church is a very cool photography location in Iceland, towering over Reykjavík as the tallest church in the country. The church was constructed with Iceland’s rugged landscapes in mind. Make sure to take the elevator to the top for some very cool views over the city!

Kerlingarfjöll Geothermal Area

Kerlingarfjoll Geothermal Mountains
Kerlingarfjöll’s Alien Landscape

Iceland’s Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon Iceland
Kiersten at the Blue Lagoon
Rainbow at the Blue Lagoon
Rainbows Everywhere!

This man-made geothermal pool in South West Iceland is the country’s most popular tourist attraction. I spent an afternoon with Kiersten from The Blonde Abroad soaking in the Blue Lagoon’s milky blue water full of silica & minerals.

The warm water & white mud is supposed to be good for your skin. It’s also a great place for photography! Get there first thing in the morning, or late in the evening to avoid the largest crowds.

The Ring Road

Iceland’s Ring Road is a driving route that encircles the entire country, covering over 800 miles. While you could technically drive it in less than 24 hours, the reality takes at least a week with stops on along the way.

The photography opportunities on Route 1 are unbelievable, and you’ll find yourself constantly pulling over for photos. I gave myself 7 full days to drive the Ring Road. Many of the photos here were taken during that trip!

Thorsmork “Thor’s Valley”

Thorsmork Valley Iceland Photography
The Stunning Valley of Þórsmörk

Eldraun Lava Field

Iceland Green Volcanic Moss
Eldraun Lava Field Covered in Moss

In some areas of Iceland, ancient lava fields of black rock are covered with a thick green carpet of moss. This special volcanic moss takes hundreds of years to grow, and experts can determine how old a lava flow is by how thick the moss is.

Icelandic legends say that trolls & elves live under the moss. Sounds reasonable to me! Walking through this crazy landscape feels like walking through a Dr. Seuss book. One of the best areas to see the moss is called Eldraun Lava Field, on the South Coast between Vik & Hoff.

While photographing the fields of moss is a lot of fun, DO NOT walk on the moss. Once it’s destroyed by footprints, it does not grow back.

READ MORE: Inspiring Travel Quotes With Photos

Glacier Ice Caves

Ice Cave Photography
Crystal Ice Caves Under Vatnajökull Glacier

Wow. That’s all I can say about Iceland’s stunning blue ice caves. If you’re traveling to Iceland for photography, you can’t miss these. Meltwater flows under Vatnajökull glacier creating these insane natural caves, with sunlight filtering through the ice from above giving them a blue tint.

The crystal caves collapse or move every season, and can be difficult to reach, so you need an experienced guide. They are only safe to visit in the winter.

Holuhraun Volcano

Iceland Photography
Holuhraun Volcanic Eruption from the Air

On August 29th, 2014 a volcanic eruption broke through the surface at Holuhraun lava field in the Northern Highlands of Iceland. It’s been spewing rivers of hot lava ever since with no signs of stopping.

Driving to the eruption site is currently not allowed for safety reasons (possible flash floods & toxic gas), however, you can fly over it. Helicopter flights are expensive, but if you fly in a small plane like I did, it’s pretty reasonable.

Strokkur Geyser

Geysers in Iceland
Strokkur Geyser At Haukadalur
Iceland Photography of Geyser Bubble
It’s About to Blow!

Did you know that the general term geyser is named after a particular geothermal fountain in Iceland? Strokkur Geyser erupts every 5-10 minutes near the Hvítá River, one of many stops on our day-long road trip around the Golden Circle.

We rented a cheap car and drove the Golden Circle under blue skies, rain, and a snowstorm! Iceland’s weather changes quickly. There are many great Iceland photography locations along this popular route that starts in Reykjavik.

Sólheimasandur Plane Crash

Iceland Plane Crash
Abandoned Plane in Iceland

Skógafoss Waterfall

Iceland Photography
Skógafoss Waterfall & Rainbow

Mix ice mountains with summer days as warm as 20–25 °C (68–77 °F) – and Iceland starts to roar. Its waterfalls are world-famous, and best photographed under the light of the midnight sun. Here, Skógafoss Waterfall (one of the biggest in the country) shows off its standing rainbow, which becomes visible anytime the sun is shining.

Legend has it that there’s Viking treasure behind that curtain of water – and more recently, the God of Thunder himself made an appearance here for scenes in Thor: The Dark World.

Tiny Iceland Elf Houses?

Iceland Fact: Elves are Real
Tiny Elf Houses in Iceland

If you come to Iceland, be prepared to take the topic of huldufolk (hidden folk) as seriously as the locals do. As The Atlantic reported a few years back, it’s often very serious indeed.

In 1998, over half of Iceland’s residents said they believed in the existence of wee folk – and the sanctity of their alleged homes sometimes influences decisions when planning permission for construction work. In Iceland, elves are just another part of daily life. Act accordingly!

Fuzzy Icelandic Horses!

Iceland Photography
Hardy Icelandic Horse

The small but sturdy horses in Iceland may look like ponies, but don’t call them that in front of a local! Iceland’s horses have a long and proud history dating back to the 9th century.

Breeding & natural selection has made them super tough, able to withstand long & brutal winters completely outside with the help of thick fur. You’ll find the horses on many farms throughout Iceland — they are very friendly too!

Backcountry Mountain Huts

Iceland Mountain Cabin
Small Mountain Hut in the Snow

You’ll find these dotted around the country, providing a startling splash of primary color on pristine hillsides. They also come stocked with blankets, dried food, and medical supplies.

Most were built by Icelandic volunteer search and rescue organizations early last century, and their usefulness has diminished – but tell that to someone stumbling upon one after trekking through a blizzard for hours. If you decide to look inside, be sure to close all the doors and windows again – it could be months before anyone else stops by, and they can save lives.

Vatnajökull Glacier

Iceland Glacier Photos
Svínafellsjökull Glacial Flow

Nearly a sixth of Iceland is covered in vast, breathtaking glaciers. Unsurprisingly, you’ll find most of them in the country’s south and central highland regions. They’re such an important feature of the landscape that even the side-rivers of these frozen rivers have their own names.

For example, Svínafellsjökull is a tongue of shattered ice extending from the mouth of the Vatnajökull ice-cap. And yes, it really is that color, especially vibrant with cloudy skies!

Remote Eastern Iceland

Iceland Photography
Abandoned Car in Mountain Landscape

When Icelanders describe a place as “remote”, you should pay attention. The eastern coastline of Iceland is an area of savage-looking mountains under vast, cold skies, and signs of habitation are confined to the occasional beautiful but tough-looking fishing village.

It’s also a hiker’s paradise – and if you want to get away from the approximately 1.7 million visitors hitting Iceland’s shores every year, the eastern coast is the place to do it.

Jökulsárlón Iceberg Lagoon

Iceland Photography
Sunrise at Jökulsárlón Lagoon

At the bottom of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier sits a large glacier lake called Jokulsarlon lagoon, created by melting ice from above. It’s full of blue-tinted icebergs that have broken off the base of the glacier.

Some of the ice collects on black sand shores the lake, other pieces float out to sea through a channel nearby. Located on Iceland’s south coast, Jökulsárlón is a wonderful spot for photography.

Cool Icelandic Art Murals

Iceland Photography
Colorful Farm Graffiti

In Iceland, everyone is creative. Don’t raise an eyebrow if someone describes themselves as a writer, composer, sculptor, painter, designer and actor – because it’s probably true. You can see the effects of this deep-frozen Renaissance all over the landscape, particularly in depictions of the Icelandic sagas, semi-mythical stories dating back to the 13th & 14th century.

Silfra Tectonic Fissure

Iceland Photography
Diving the Silfra Fissure

The North American and Eurasian tectonic plates are breaking Iceland apart at Silfra, creating a fissure flooded with crystal clear 35°F degree glacial water. Ice from nearby Lángjökull Glacier melts and travels into an ancient lava field, filtering underground through porous volcanic rock over 50 years before it emerges where you can go snorkeling or scuba diving in it for a very unique (but cold) experience.

Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights)

Northern Lights Photos in Iceland
Camping Under the Northern Lights
How to Photograph the Aurora
Experience the Magic of the Aurora!

Shooting the northern lights was the highlight of my many Iceland photography trips. The best time to see the lights is in the fall & winter when it gets dark early and stays that way.

On one particularly spectacular evening at Sólheimasandur Beach I captured the aurora dancing above the famous abandoned US Navy plane. On another, I awoke from my tent in Thorsmork and witnessed them splash across the valley.

Where To Stay In Iceland

While obviously there are many towns in Iceland, most people base themselves in the city of Reykjavik at least for a few days. If you’re looking for a good place to stay in Iceland, here are my recommendations:

Where To Stay In Reykjavik

Where To Stay On The Golden Circle

Where To Stay On South Coast

Puffin Hostel
The Barn
Hótel Kría

Travel Planning Resources For Iceland

Packing Guide

Check out my travel gear guide to help you start packing for your trip.

Book Your Flight

Ready to fly? Here’s how I find the cheapest airline flights.

Rent A Car

Discover Cars is a great site for comparing car prices to find a deal.

Cheap Accommodation

Learn how I save money booking hotels & vacation apartments.

Protect Your Trip

Don’t forget travel insurance! Protect yourself from possible injury & theft abroad. Read why you should always carry travel insurance.

Recommended Guidebook: Lonely Planet Iceland
Suggested Reading: The Little Book Of Hidden People

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Iceland's Best Photography Locations: Tips for where to take great photos in Iceland!


I hope you enjoyed my guide to Iceland photography locations! Hopefully you found it useful. Here are a few more wanderlust-inducing articles that I recommend you read next:

Have any questions about Iceland photography? Are you planning a trip soon? Drop me a message in the comments below!


Hi, I’m Matthew Karsten — I’ve been traveling around the world for the last 10 years as a blogger, photographer, and digital nomad. Adventure travel & photography are my passions. Let me inspire you to travel with crazy stories, photography, and money-saving travel tips.
Matthew Karsten
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Comments (267)

  1. I was born in washington state but grew up in iceland where i call home. My mother and little brother were born there and are not American citizens not wanting to give up their country. It is truly gods country. You have done an amazing job capturing how beautiful it is along with the people. Thank you

  2. Helllo, i am palnning to visit iceland in september of 2020 and i find so interesting the tiny Iceland Elf Houses, but i can’t find a location for me to see them. Do you have the location of where you took the photographs?
    By the way, really nice photos. Can’t wait to go there too.

    Cheers from Azores, Portugal.

  3. Nice photography, Matt! There is simply soooo much to discover in Iceland! Even though it’s changed during the last years and many places have been photographed a bzillion times. If you just leave the Ring road a couple of kilometers behind, you’ll find another, unexplored Iceland!

  4. Hello! These are some exceptionally beautiful photographs of many amazing parts of Iceland. Skogafoss was a personal favourite place of mine when I visited last October (2017). And the amount of rainbows I was able to see in my one week there was absolutely amazing. The next time I go I hope to see those crystal caves (and can only hope for half as good of a picture that you shared). Thank you for the beautiful images, and ideas for new things to see in such a fantastic place!

  5. Amazing Photos Matt, your work is admirable, I can’t resist to see these images to the end of each blog, your words are inspiring too.

  6. These pictures are beautiful! I cannot wait to go backpacking through Iceland and see all of these beautiful places in person!
    Thank you!

  7. Iceland is next on my bucketlist, it looks so magical! As a Nordic it feels as if I should have gone a long time ago already…

  8. Hi Matthew, I’m flying to Iceland in late September, and I’d like to thank you for the inspiration. You sure have one of the best travel blogs out there. Cheers from Portugal.

  9. Wow! The Vatnajökull Glacier photograph is insane! I want to go to Iceland so bad now. Just came back from Peru, which was quite the hiking trip. I thought I’d take a break from that, but now I’m reconsidering. Thanks for posting.

  10. What a wonderful depiction of Iceland through pictures. Iceland is my dream place and one day i am surely going to visit. You just motivated me with such a wonder full article.

  11. Looks amazing! It’s on my travel list, hopefully for next year :) But I won’t have three weeks to spend there. I didn’t think that you can see the northern lights in October, but looks like you got lucky!

  12. Great..Great..Great shoots i really loved amazing pictures..!
    And Iceland is one of my Dream Place…after seeing this i cant even stop waiting anymore..!

  13. Wow Matt! The pictures are brilliant. I have been planning to go to Iceland for years now, I finally booked my tickets for September. I am so excited. Thanks for the amazing post, it motivated me to book it finally. :)

  14. Hey Matt,

    I have fallen in love with Iceland too! However, I spent most of my time sailing in the Westfjords. It was absolutely stunning, and a place i would love to go back to.

  15. This is amazing, I think that there is no need to read as the pictures are explaining the beauty of Iceland so clearly.I wish that I could visit here real soon.

  16. These photos are beyond gorgeous!! They look like a painting, they don’t even look real. What is the off season and the peak season for Iceland?

  17. For a moment I thought I was browsing some wallpapers. How do all your photos looks so stunning and larger than life ?

  18. Iceland is the great dream of my life. Your post is really exhaustive and the photos entice me to plan this trip sooner than I thought. I would love to make it myself. Thanks for sharing the amazing shots.

  19. Wow – these are absolutely stunning. I’m a big fan of Kiersten, so it was a delight to live through your joint adventures. Now that there are such inexpensive fares to Iceland, I need to get my husband and just go. No more excuses. Thanks again.

  20. I have always wanted to go to Iceland and this post has helped shoot it right to the top of my bucket list! I’ve seen the Northern Lights twice before from my home but I’m sure it’s nothing compared to seeing them here. Outstanding photos!

  21. I have many friends who want to go to Iceland and they keep trying to talk me into it but I heard that it is very expensive there. The pictures with the article makes me think more about it but I worry about what am I going to do as I really enjoy ancient ruins, that’s why I enjoy going to Europe but maybe I will bite the bullet and go to Iceland with them.

  22. Iceland has been on my bucket list for a few years, and now I’m reminded why! Your photos are stunning! I would love to see the Northern Lights too.

  23. Absolutely amazing shots Matt! Great work! I always postponed my travel plans to Iceland, but after seeing your photos I think 2018 might be the year…

  24. Great travel quotes. We are all travellers through the pathways of life. Along these chequered pathways, we meet and leave friends, stay glued to our families and seek belief in a source, for inspiration and for the strength we require, to struggle on, to our destinations. Regretably, only very few of us get there. And those who get there, are the ones who understand perfectly that the journey of life is about tenacity and perseverance. Thanks for sharing..

  25. Iceland is such a naturally beautiful country with so many unique and amazing things to do and see….
    The stunning waterfalls, amazing northern lights and iconic glaciers of Iceland are all too good to miss. I just loved your video and pictures…Thank you

  26. Great pictures! We’ve been in Iceland two years ago and loved that place (apart from the weather, of course :) Hope to come back there in the near future :) Best Regards

  27. Great info and images. I am a keen photographer and am going to Iceland in 3 weeks, and want to know how easy or hard it is to walk from nearest car park to the edge of Svinafellsjokull glacier to get some reasonably close up images such as yours. I am a 61 year old woman who can walk a mile or two and the friends I am travelling with are varying ages. Thanks

  28. Beautiful, These are such beautiful & amazing pictures. I don’t have much knowledge about photography but as I do see these pictures are too attractive and have perfect color combination.

  29. Hey Matt! What a great post! I just got back from Iceland and it was stunning. Although I was only there for a week I was able to spend a little time outside of the city on a Game of Thrones tour and see firsthand some of the shooting locations for the show. I’d really like to visit in winter and see the northern lights first hand.

  30. Amazing photos! Didn’t get the chance to visit Iceland due to time constraints, but will definitely visit it in the near future! Thank you for sharing!

  31. Hi! I’m starting my life bucket list of going everywhere, and I think Iceland is my first goal. It’s so breathtaking yet from reading A Blonde Abroad, it appears pretty safe. I’d like a lot of advice on being an expert vagabond : )

  32. Good day Matthew,

    Really loved these photos and I have heard that Iceland has always been dream destination for all the travelers around the world.

    Thank you very much for giving us goosebumps with this photo enriched post of iceland.

  33. These photos are incredible! Hiking through the lava tubes looks seriously cool. We’re currently planning a tour of Europe and Iceland is one of our ‘must do’ countries. Still not sure if it’s worth shipping our little campervan to Iceland or hiring a rental. Guess we’ve got a lot of research to do!

  34. Hi Matt, beautiful photos indeed. They made me go to vacation mode again. I always wanted to visit Icelandin winter but dint know if I could cope with the cold there. Any suggestions?

  35. Man that place looks amazing. I’m gonna tell you the first time I really fell in love with Iceland, is when I saw a Justin Bieber video, I’ll Show You is the name of the song. I know it’s kind of stupid, but the reason behind that is the fact that I don’t like cold places, I can’t say I hate them, but I do not enjoy them. But I think his video was shot during the summer and it did not look that cold so I am really considering going there in august.

  36. Amazing pictures. Also went to Iceland but didn’t discover some of the spots that you’ve visited. How did you find out about the “hidden places” like the underground volcanic lava tubes? Google? ;-)

  37. Amazing photos Matt :D We still didn’t had the opportunity to visit Iceland but this pictures left us very motivated to pack our bags very soon :D Thanks for sharing and happy travels ;) P&P

  38. Amazing! I’ve always wanted to go to Iceland as a travel photographer myself. Not had the chance yet but it looks incredible, especially the Ice Caves. Great work keep it up!

  39. I had started travel photography long ago, I was appreciated by my friends a lot.
    But amidst my tight work schedule, it somehow got diluted. I accidentally hit your blog today and the ideas here enlightened the young photographer in me.
    Thanks for bringing her alive for me :)

  40. Great read, thanks for sharing! Appreciate the detail you shared around the logistics of planning a photography trip to Iceland. The photos were gorgeous too, makes me want to go even more now!

  41. After reading this (and knowing quite a few people who have gone) I am considering Iceland for our next trip. Looks amazing.

  42. There are so many great and underrated travel ideas in this blog! such a wonderfulI photography in this blog. will definitely add all of these places to my list of future destinations.

  43. Wow these are absolutely amazing pictures!!! Can’t wait to visit this beautiful country in a few months!!!

  44. Hey Matt!

    I just got back from a trip to Iceland after reading your blog, and it was awesome! I started my own travel blog, and am travelling around the world.

    I got lucky and saw an amazing display of the northern lights. I can honestly say it was the most incredible thing Id ever seen. I did the blue lagoon and the golden circle. My girlfriend and I rented a car and camped around Iceland which was a great budget friendly way to experience Iceland in depth.

    • Awesome John! Happy to hear you had a good time in Iceland. The northern lights are incredible to see in person.

  45. Wow, these photos are breathtaking! I’ve always wanted to go to Iceland.. and your post has only increased that wanderlust! ?

  46. Hey Matt,
    I think I have been on this article a dozen times. I always come and look at the pics, now Im planning my Iceland adventure they are stirring up more and more wanderlust! Quick Q- Do you shoot on anything else than the Sony A7? Im looking at investing in some new travel photography gear this year. Thanks, Sommer

  47. Those are amazing photos! They make me want to go to Iceland now! Some photos, such as the one of the geyser and the dwarf houses, somehow reminded me of my trip to New Zealand. I want to see that ice cave and the Northern Lights.

    • I have thought about going to Iceland many times but haven’t made it yet as I don’t want to go alone and just haven’t been able to justify the expense. I don’t understand why everything including flights are so expensive. But to the subject at hand the pictures here are stunning and is one of my favorite things to do when I am on vacation.

  48. Ahh! You are making me miss home! I can’t wait to go back in October. I think that the fall is a great time for photographs…summer definitely has more light and is a bit warmer but I think Iceland is so moody in cooler weather.

  49. Great post with the right coverage for anyone travelling to Iceland. Well done! Iceland is actually one of my favourite places for adventures and outdoor living. Lucky for me, I live in England and Iceland is one of those places I can pop up to whenever I feel the urge for exploration :) which is normally once year! Hey, you never know, we may meet in Iceland one day ;)

  50. Magical and inspirational pictures, Matthew. Iceland scenery is really out of this world, and your photos are amazing.

  51. Hi Matthew,

    What a great post ! This will help me greatly as I am travelling to Iceland to chase the Aurora Borealis this coming Feb. I am spending 4 nights there and got so excited and happy to see this post of yours. As I haven’t really got a clue of where to go and what to see, in order to capture some beautiful and amazing photos. Now after reading your post, I have decided on at least 5 places I should go and see.

    I am bringing my Canon 70D with 17-55 F2.8 IS lens and I hope I would have some gorgeous photos to share soon ! I am new to photography, so I am crossing my fingers on this. Haha !

    Great work here Matthew ! Cheers !

  52. Great photos and insight into Iceland. My wife and I were there for 5 days this past August. We saw many of the sites that you mention. We did miss the plane crash site, and the ice caves. Well I guess there is a reason to go back now.

  53. such amazing places of Iceland, and you have fascinating photos too. i thought Iceland was a remote place in our planet earth far from energetic civilization but a nest of Mother Nature flowing.

  54. Iceland is a magical place. I was shocked when I first traveled there – it felt like going to space with such a short flight. People who are interest in Iceland can also find the Northern Norway interesting as well – slightly different but equally magnificient landscape.

  55. What beautiful photos. Iceland is so high up on my must-visit list. I love the look of the crystal caves, we went to some in Bermuda and it was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen – so beautiful.

    Sally @ Life Loving

  56. Wow… what a spectacular collection of photographs. Iceland is definitely somewhere I’d love to visit in the near future. I can’t blame you for not wanting to leave!

  57. A really comprehensive post on Iceland – such beautiful photos! I toured Iceland in June 2014 and it truly is the most otherworldly place that I have seen. I hope to go back soon…

  58. Spectacular photography! I’d love to visit Iceland — it’s been at the top of my travel blogger’s bucket list for years now. Your photos convince me I just have to do it.

  59. Wow your photos are so amazing! I want to go to Iceland so bad too. When is the best time of the year to visit Iceland? Thanks so much for all your great information!
    Best wishes, Ina

  60. Yearp, Iceland is pretty damn top notch. Can’t wait to go in winter. Looks epic. Did you check out the West Fjords? Dynjandi Waterfall is beyond epic.

  61. Wonderful post, Pictures are breathtaking, specially the waterfall and the lava. Its one of the beautiful place to visit. Thanks for sharing :)

  62. Matt, your photographs are stunning, so much so, I just booked a 12 day trip to Iceland at the end of October to include Ring Road and Golden Circle. I was there last December and took the same photo you took of Skólavörðustígu (street) from the Hallgrimskirkja except mine was not as colorful as yours. Thanks for getting me so excited.

  63. Such a great Country. I travelled around Iceland the last 3 Weeks. There are so many more places to visit. For Example the Westfjords are even more remote than the Eastfjords.

  64. Awesome pics. I came across your blog while planning my trip. I am in Iceland and today is the second day. Loving every minute of it. Taking the short golden circle tomorrow and hope weather will be good. Keep posting more from your travels to help us in our planning as well

  65. OMG the colours of the pictures are amazing!
    Iceland is really beautiful *.*
    I must want to see the turf Houses Made for Elves :)

  66. I am so happy you posted this because I am SUPER obsessed with Iceland. I went there in February and loved every moment. But now I am very eager to go back in another season and experience a whole new side of Iceland. Honestly, I can’t get enough of the place.

  67. Wonderful article about Iceland. You obviously visited many of the most important natural wonders. There are though so many other places. Hveravellir in Kerlingafjoll and Laugarvellir natural pool and warm shower to name two in the Highland. Studlagil in the East Region. But I am sure you are coming back. If so, fell free to contact me for more information.
    Einar Páll

  68. WOW. Just W-O-W! Iceland is high on our list and this really makes me want to go. Would be in heaven with all the fun taking amazing photos too. WOW!

  69. Fantastic photos, Matt! I love how you highlighted the wide variety of things that you can experience while in Iceland. I, myself, will be headed there next week and will certainly be taking some of your advice. I’m particularly looking forward to visiting Sólheimasandur, even if you do have to walk quite a ways from the road to get to the site these days… Is there anything that you were unable to photograph/visit while there that you wish you would have been able to?

  70. Hello Matthew.
    Wow wow amazing awesome images, you did a fantastic job bro. I mean like me who never thought to visit now change the perception totally, great :). Really worth visit.

  71. Amazing pictures. Northern lights look unreal and amazingly beautiful. i have been wanting to go to iceland to see northern lights but couldnt go. Why dont you come to India. And write a blog with some amazing pictures someday? would really love to see that.

  72. Man!! This place was high on our bucket list but after seeing these photos we really want to go now. Love Iceland already..

  73. My god, you are an amazing photographer! I can imagine that Iceland is beautiful but to capture it like this is truly amazing. I should go there as well;)

  74. I have never been to Iceland, but seeing pictures of you is like not from planet Earth. One day I’ll be there. Wish me luck ;)

  75. Hello Matthew,

    I just wanted to tell you that I loved this post and your whole blog! I was just in Iceland last summer and what can I say… It was the best trip ever!

    Just like you, I love traveling and writing about it. I recently created a blog and I would love to have your opinion. I’d really appreciate you advice if it’s not too much trouble!

    Thanks and keep traveling!

  76. Wow… It is really beautiful!! I’ve never been to a place with so much ice like this. But I’ve been to Atacama desert, in Chile, and visited the geysers…. and it was so cold, that I was almost unable to take pictures, because the canon battery just froze.

  77. I’ve seen lots of photographs of Iceland and it looks like an amazing country full of color and astounding natural beauty.

    • Did you get to explore the plane wreck? I love the photo (all the photos actually) with the northern lights above it, but would really like to know more about plane!

  78. Brilliant photos, we also went in Oct/Nov but it was much colder with snow so its great to see the Golden Circle and the waterfalls in a different light.

  79. Iceland has got to be the most disgustingly beautiful place on earth. I love the tiny turf houses! Your photos are amazing and the best I’ve seen of Iceland. Keep up the great work!

  80. Amazing pics Matthew Karsten, thanks for your share.
    Awsome country which is like a paradise on Earth, hopefully oneday i can come there

  81. Awesome, this country is in my bucked list also. I can t wait to get awesome pictures, learn more about their culture, food, habits and visit amazing spots. Thanks a lot for the post/tips!

  82. Each country has its own heritage and culture. It is amazing to know how different it is from others. Iceland stands tall because of its unique diversity.

  83. Great post – loved the pics. I will be honest – main motivation for me is to see and photograph northern lights. Phenomena looks totally out of this world.

    I am planning a trip in the later part of 2016 (July / Sep). Hope to catch a lot of pics. Hoping English is widely understood!!!

    • Awesome Farhan! Good luck with seeing the northern lights! They were incredible. It’s very dependent on weather and luck with solar activity.

  84. Matt,

    The photos you’ve taken of Iceland on this post are truly incredible! My girlfriend has been trying to convince me to visit Iceland but for some reason I never thought it was really worth exploring. Even on Google Images, the photos are ok..but WOW your photos really blew me away.

    Iceland is now definitely high up on my list of the places I want to travel to next. Mountains…Glaciers…the Northern Lights…Iceland has it all!

    I can’t wait to visit and you’ve definitely inspired me, Matt!

  85. Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve never seen such stunning and breathtaking pictures. they definitely inspired me to go to Iceland and to see everything live. I think you a very talented photographer and writer!

  86. I keep coming back to these photos and your Iceland itinerary! I can’t wait to drive the ring road this year. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • I can relate to your excitement Grace! Crossing my fingers that you’ll have good weather. It’s even better in person.

  87. Flabbergasted! I have no words to describe the beauty of Iceland! What an amazing place on earth. Showing life in Iceland tempts me to visit and experience it. Also, I can fulfill my passion of photography by capturing the beautiful landscapes.

  88. Iceland is so gorgeous! I want to be in every photo you’ve posted here (except being on the way of the lava flow). I hope to visit this country in my lifetime.

  89. WOW! The photos of Iceland are absolutely breath-taking! This place is moving further up my ‘to go to’ list – thanks for the inspiration and information :)

  90. Wow.

    These are stunning photos that only put Iceland even higher on my bucket list.
    My only concern are the costs. Do you have any tips for budget travelling in Iceland?


  91. Wow! Loving this blog! Such diverse countryside. Some bring to mind Lassen National Park in California and Yellowstone. Loved the elf houses, too.
    I have a friend who has been to Iceland and I will definitely be sending this to him. He is always posting photos of Iceland on his FB page.
    The video is fantastic! I need to do some videos for my blog promoting travel to Oregon, especially the beautiful Oregon Coast. Your video has given me some ideas. Thanks for this one!

  92. Wow!! Stunning photos, Matthew!! I have to go to Iceland. How do you think the driving will be for a Norwegian Girl? I think that is the best way to see the Iceland with a rental car or what will be option B?

  93. WOW, your pictures are incredible! Every time I scrolled down to a new one I was blown away again and again. The colors, the quality, the everything. Great work!

  94. Beautiful pictures! So inspired. We went to Iceland in May and of course I got some great photos, but we’re going back in 1 week, end of October-November for 2 weeks, looks like the same time you went and I can’t wait to get a different look at the country (and maybe do a little more exploring like checking out the ice caves! I think that’s a MUST). Especially now that we’ve been already once, I want to take this a bit slower! Hope I get my pictures to come out as great as yours!

  95. wow those are some really nice pictures. seeing the northern lights are definitely an experience up in the top of my bucket list.

  96. Iceland has been on our wish list for such a long time now. Your pictures are so stunning and inviting. I wish we can make it to Iceland someday soon.

  97. The quality of these pictures is incredible. I literally feel like jumping on a flight right now! Another year to go though and this is really helpful for planning. Those ice caves look beyond breathtaking. Again, thank you for sharing such breathtaking shots!

    • Hey Dan! The ice caves were definitely a highlight for me. With good weather, Iceland is one of the best places I’ve ever visited for landscape photography. It’s getting cheaper to visit to with flights from WOW Airlines.

  98. Hey Matthew,
    I accidently stumbled upon your blog when my colleague sent me a link to websites about cold areas of the world. I was mesmerized by the pictures and the beauty of Iceland and long to go there now. I was planning a vacation and now I know where I will be heading.

    • Awesome Anoop, this is why I love running an adventure travel blog. To inspire people like you to travel more, and to areas of the world they maybe wouldn’t have thought about. Beaches are nice if you’re looking to relax in the sun, but colder destinations like Iceland have a lot to offer too!

  99. As usual, fantastic photography. Curious: did you process any of them as HDR? If not, I’m impressed. If you did, I’d still be impressed by how you kept them so natural.

    • Hi Helen, yes I used HDR for these, but as you noticed, just a hint of it. I’m not a big fan of over processing the images.
      Glad you like them!

  100. Iceland was all ready in my top 5, this post only makes it higher on the list! Can you head to the Azore Islands so that can stay my #1:)

  101. Awesome photos!! I was inspired to visit Iceland by the goofy Ben Stiller movie ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’. Movie not so great — scenery spectacular! Your pics helped reinforce Iceland as a destination!

  102. Wow…this is perhaps the best ice and photography I have ever seen. Just Brilliant! I can only imagine how much cooler it would have been to be there in real flesh and blood to experience these sights!

  103. Awesome pictures, Iceland is on my wishlist hope I’ll get there soon. Btw. my gf really liked that swimming suit (cartographer geek :)

  104. I have been postponing my Iceland trip but after reading this article I can’t wait anymore…great article with amazing facts…will wait for you to disclose how you post-process the photos :)

  105. Iceland was a dream for me; seeing all the breathtaking landscapes, swimming in the Blue Lagoon, watching the Aurora Borealis dancing in the night sky…… the last time I was there, my kind host in Reykjavik gave me recommendations for the rest of my trip (I stayed in a Roomorama apartment). I rented a car with my friends and started exploring, and made so many beautiful memories!! If you haven’t been to Iceland, you definitely have to visit at least once in your lifetime. It was one of the most memorable trips in my life xx

  106. I fully agree that Iceland is one of the most beautiful place in the world. Your photos are very nice. I want to visit one more time to witness Northern lights as well. And for everybody who is going to visit Iceland – don’t forget about puffins, they are so smart.

  107. Matt,
    Stunning pictures! And a very informative blog. I’m traveling to Iceland this September..want to visit almost every place you photographed :-) Can you please post locations for the cairns on the Golden Circle and those adorable turf houses for elves.

    Thank you!

    • Hey Abhi, I don’t remember the exact location of the cairns, but they are on the side of the road. You can’t miss them. The little elf houses are a common thing in Iceland. These ones were near Hofskirkja Church.

  108. Hey Matt,

    As always, your posts continue to awe and inspire. Its funny to see how many other people will be travelling to Iceland in October 2015.

    I can’t wait to spend there a full month! Your advice is priceless.

  109. Hello , awesome photos and story . I’m traveling to Iceland for photography October 25th – November 6th. What should I expect that time of year ? Is it more fall or winter ? I live in the Colorado Rockies so I’m use to both . Just wondering if I should go with 4×4 truck while there .

    • That’s the same time period all these photos were taken. Winter is just starting in Iceland. Plenty of snow up North, in the South it would snow but wouldn’t stick. There were a couple of times when I wished I had 4×4, but you can make do without if you’re staying on the Ring Road. Most rental car tires are studded anyway.

  110. Stunning photos! From what I’ve been seeing, Iceland is a photographer’s dream. I love Kirsten’s bathing suit! Where did she get it?

  111. Loved the photography. The ice caves though… wow. Iceland has been on my radar for a while now and I think i I might make it out there this November. I’m even more excited about it after this post! REALLY hoping to catch the aurora..

  112. By the looks of those images, Iceland looks stunning. Interesting place indeed! Thank you for sharing your experience.

  113. Gorgeous photos! I went to the Westfjords in Iceland back in November and I cannot recommend the place enough- definitely the most rugged and wild part of the country.

  114. Awesome pictures! Simply stunning! I really want to travel to Iceland someday. I’m just scared of the costs once you’re there…

  115. Amazing photo’s Matthew, they have a real pop to them! Looking forward to a trip to Iceland later in the year to practise some photography. Out of interest, which software do you use for your editing? And do you spend a great deal of time editing each photo, or do you have some specific ‘go to’ settings that you use for everything?

    • Thanks Craig. I use a particular method that takes about 5-10 minutes per photo with a combination of Lightroom, Photomatix, and Photoshop.

  116. The photos are stunning. I can’t believe such place exists. I cannot wait to see Iceland myself. Thank you for your really helpful guides!

  117. Great article Matthew. The full width layout really does justice to the photos! I imagine that being so sparsely populated the country gives a refreshing sense of calm and openness, hope to visit someday.

  118. Matthew,

    Your pictures are gorgeous! I enjoyed seeing some of the highlights of your trip.
    I have been going back and forth as to which season to visit Iceland in – spring or fall. It is top of my bucket list right now – so I am planning for later this year. I look forward to reading about your experiences.


  119. Hi,
    these photos convey the spectacular beauty of Iceland (I visited many years ago, in my black and white film phase).

    I am curious about the Silfra Fissure photo and snorkeling itself. The photo does not show the usual GoPro fish eye curvature. I sold my GoPro because i did not like that effect, but I have to say it was way more waterproof than m Nikon AW1 and AW110 that both leaked (unlike an old Pentax P&S that was always dry). I would love a GoPro that would shoot without the fisheye effect and raw files.

    Anyway great info and images on your blog, makes me want to travel more!

  120. The colors in these photos- all I can say is wow. A friend of mine just went to Iceland as a part of her bucket list, I think I am going to have to add it to mine too. So many interesting activities. She really had a blast!

  121. Wow absolutely incredible photos! Iceland was high up on our hit list but think this has just secured it a top spot! Can’t wait to experience it for ourselves and hopefully get some great shots/video like these too!

  122. Fantastic photos Matthew! Just wow! As an avid photographer and traveler I’m beyond excited to,be spending a few days in Iceland this July on a stopover from Norway (another amazing place you really should visit with your camera) and after seeing your Images I can’t wait to get driving the golden circle! Where did you discover those adorable little elf houses ? ( I think I’d rather come upon those than the plane :).

  123. Hi there!

    Your photos are amazing! Wow I am also thinking of going to Iceland but I am not sure what time of the year is best? Summer or winter to see the “winter lights” ;) Did you find Iceland expensive? Because everywhere I read it says expensive food, hotels etc, (compering to other countries from Europe)?


  124. That crystal ice cave and lava cave is epic. I cannot believe that you took them both in one country. Iceland is truly a place that I must visit.

  125. The quality in the Sony camera is amazing. I bet you’ve got a few people buying photos of Kiersten? haha

    Would you say that October is the best time of the year to go? I’ll be in East Coast of the states in September, so working on my timing right now.

  126. Incredible images Matthew! We didn’t get to that ice cave at Vatnajökull Glacier. I’m wishing we were more organized to make it happen because it looks awesome. Thanks for sharing such an amazing visual journey.

    • Thanks Deb! Yeah, the cave was particularly amazing. I almost missed it too, but another photographer insisted I visit. So worth it!

  127. Enthralling place, your photos are just spectacular ;)!
    And it comes to my mind again… why do we call Iceland, “ice-land”, when it’s so green?
    We should call it “Greenland”! Thing is, there already is a Greenland, which is far from being green, it’s full of ice!

    • Actually, the rumor is they called it Iceland to keep waves of people from settling there. Doesn’t sound so appealing…

  128. Hahaha, the little houses are awesome!!! Iceland does look incredible though, so much beauty and diversity of landscapes in one place. Incredible!!

    • A week at least — but the longer the better. You won’t get bored in Iceland! Many people also stop for a 2-4 day flight layover on their way across the ocean.

  129. I am glad you liked my country Iceland, I just moved back to Iceland after staying abroad for few years and I can understand when you say that Iceland is a great place for nature photography. Pretty much everywhere I go there is something amazing going on: Glaciers, volcanoes or northern lights.

    Iceland truly is an amazing place, I’m glad you guys liked it.

  130. Hey Matt,

    As insparing as always. Iceland has been added to my bucket list now (along with more places) thanks to you. Have you made any video with the Sony a7? How do you like it?


  131. Visited Iceland July, 2014. Your photos revived my memories, and now I want to go back there so badly! What an amazing place, coming back to Europe was like returning from a space trip to moon surface. Amazing pictures! Thank you!

  132. Fantastic post Matthew! Just got back from Iceland and can’t wait to go back myself! Question for you: are you shooting with only your GoPro? The Northern Lights pics? Just got the Hero4 Black and was so disappointed by my pictures… :(

    • Thanks Melanie! Only one of these photos was shot with my GoPro, the underwater Silfra shot. Everything else was shot on my Sony A7. You can see all my travel photography gear here.

      I also post-process my images using software. They don’t come out of the camera looking exactly like this. Years of experience helps too! Good photos of the Northern Lights are particularly difficult, requiring specialized camera settings. I’ll be sharing details about those in a future article.

  133. Lovely round-up of this fabulous country. I’ve always wanted to go to Iceland for the Northern Lights, but always felt it might get too crowded or touristy around that time and take away from the experience of the open landscapes. Now that I see your pictures I can tell that it doesn’t happen–no matter how large the crowd it’ll always appear tiny in the face of such vast splendour!

    • There are no crowds in Iceland in the winter. Quite the opposite actually. Aside from a few of the popular waterfalls, you won’t see many people.

  134. aah. I visited this beautiful country last year, in December, as a treat for completing med school. It was spectacular if not downright freezing. I stayed a week and the whole time most of Iceland was a blanket of white snow. It was magical and celebrating Christmas in the unique Iceland tradition was amazing. The magical experience of witnessing the Northern Lights was the highlight. however, I know I must go back in the summer, spring or fall to see the whimsical colors that make the name Iceland a complete misnomer. Last month I was in Norway, saying the same: must come in summer for the fjords. I don’t know why I always end up in Scandinavia and Nordic countries in Winter. No more!

  135. Your pictures look amazing. Iceland was already a place that was on my bucket list need to make it there sooner than later. Favorite pic Sunrise at Jökulsárlón Lagoon.

  136. Your images always make me gasp Matthew and these ones certainly did not fail either (not that I ever expect they would)! Such an incredible country. We are leaving Australia on Christmas Day for 6-12 months in the UK and beyond with our daughters… I have flight scanner open right now to check flights over the next few months and definitely want to add Iceland to the list of ‘absolute must do’s’. Will be looking out for you next articles about travel there! Thanks!

  137. Ah, how your post makes me miss Iceland!! I too feel like it’s the most beautiful country I’ve ever been to. I visited Iceland earlier this summer and I was just in awe. Missed the ice caves because it wasn’t winter and definitely need to return for the Northern lights. Must have been quite the experience. Really stunning pictures! :)

  138. Great pics from an amazing country. Fantastic how fire and ice live together… I really want to go back again. hug from Marrakesh!

  139. Incredible photography and adventure. Definitely have to visit Iceland one of these days. Is there any interesting wildlife to found?

  140. Beautiful photos…hard to pick my favorite, but I think it would be the ice caves. I never thought of visiting Iceland because I do not like cold weather, but you pictures make it very tempting.

  141. Matt, I continue to be in awe of your amazing adventures around the world! Absolutely phenomenal photos, videos, descriptions and tips. Your “road partner” in Iceland looks like she was a super cool addition as well!

    Much love to you, brotha.


    • Yeah, the Crystal Cave was a highlight for sure. They actually call that particular one the “Northern Lights” cave because in one area it kind of looks like blue aurora surrounded by black volcanic ash.

  142. Love the video, and of course your photos are stunning! That rainbow over Reykjavik is so perfect.

    Now I’m really really wanting to go back to Iceland!

    • Thanks Chanel, I’d like to return as soon as possible too. I feel like I only scratched the surface of this amazing country.

  143. AMAZING! After following your trip to Iceland it makes me kick myself for not getting to Iceland this year…guess we have to make it a priority in 2015. Great photos like always.

    • Do it! I’m kicking myself I haven’t spent more time there over the years. Might have to make it an annual trip, it’s that good.

  144. Uh, those are kind of the best pictures ever. I’ve always been on the fence about Iceland, but you’ve convinced me. I’d love to hear your tips for how to plan a photo-centric itinerary in the country.

  145. Great pics! We’ll be heading to Iceland in October 2015. I may be hitting you up for information and tips before we leave.