Workshops: Iceland Winter 2017 - Snaefellsness And Northern Peninsulas (extension)

Dates:  5-9 March 2017  (5 days, 5 nights)   

Cost: $1800 USD or Euro equivalent, including domestic flight.  

Availability:  full

Extended  Full Trip Option:  This short trip is designed and dated to easily combine with either the preceding Classic South Coast trip or the following Eastfjords Circumnavigation trip, for an extended partial or complete circumnavigation around Iceland in winter depending on which trip you combine.  You may also do this trip as a stand-alone trip, as some participants are doing.  

This exciting 5 day short photo adventure features the classic Snaefellsness Peninsula locations and northward to the remote northern coastal peninsulas which provide new and exciting photographic destinations, all the while searching for the Aurora Borealis! 

This coming winter 2017 season here in Iceland we have an exciting portfolio of trips to offer photographers, that cover all the accessible regions around Iceland.  This Icelandic photo tour travels in a one-way itineary around the Snaefellsness peninsula, Reykholt valley, and then northward through the northern Skagi and Trollaskagi peninsulas, finishing in Akureyri, Iceland's second largest town.   While you may experience this trip as a stand-alone short trip, it's recommend you consider adding to your Iceland experiences with a longer photo excursion to the south or north on adjacent days.  

So, come explore the legendary land of fire and ice, from the classic Snaefellsness Peninsula to the remote northern coastal regions which are away from the tourist crowds and provide new exciting photographic destinations!   Meant for outdoor photographers of all skill levels who desire to see and photograph Iceland's beauty in winter, on this tour you will experience dramatic mountain scenery, ocean landscapes, waterfalls, and of course, unparalleled chances to view the Aurora Borealis in remoter regions of the country. We'll have a busy schedule, filling our days and nights with rewarding photography opportunities around the island, while staying in excellently situated quality accommodations at night. Read below for a detailed itinerary and further trip information.


Day 1 - Snaefellsness Peninsula

March 05, 2017

We begin the trip with a midday pickup from Reykjavik, and head out directly for the Snaefellsness Peninsula, we we'll photograph in the afternoon at volcanic and ocean sights including Arnastapi sea cliffs and Budir church. We'll then drive over a snowy mountain pass to the fishing town of Grundarfjordur which is our home for the next 2 nights, below the iconic Kirkjufell conical mountain.  Sunset and hopeful aurora borealis shooting locations would be at Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall.  Overnight: Grundarfjordur. 

Day 2 - Snaefellsness Peninsula

March 06, 2017

We will photograph much of the day at volcanic and coastal scenes around the Snaefellsness Peninsula including Londrangar cliffs and lighthouse, Beserkershraun lava field, Stykkisholmur fishing town, Kirkjufell, and other area waterfalls and mountains. In the late afternoon we'll depart the Snaefellsness Peninsula area and drive a couple hours to the Reykholt valley, which sets us up for a fantastic sunset and hopefully the Aurora borealis over the Hruanfossar springs.  Overnight: Reykholt. 

Day 3 - Reykholt to Skagi Peninsula

March 07, 2017

In Reykholt in the morning, in addition to Hraunfossar, we'll photograph the Reykholt historic church. Then it's a rather long drive during midday hours up north, to the Skagi peninsula, where we'll photograph amazing basaltic formations at Kalfamarsvik Lighthouse, and have a fresh-caught seafood dinner from Skagstrond's harbour.  Overnight: Skagafjordur

Day 04 - Trollaskagi Peninsula

March 08, 2017

The Skagafjordur area offers so much for photography, yet is often bypassed as people race past on their way to Akuryeri. So we'll photograph turf-roofed medeival stave churches and other charming aluminum clad ones in the desolate north, including ...., Glumbaer, and another secret one!  Reykjafoss is another waterfall bursting with photographic potential in this area. Mid-afternoon we can swim and photograph what many consider the most beautiful swimming pool in Iceland, an infinity pool overlooking the arctic ocean.  Then we drive the scenic (and often icy!) coastal road around the dramatic northern coastline of the Trollaskagi Peninsula, arriving the charming and quiet fishing harbour of Siglurfjordur. Overnight: Siglufjordur

Day 05 - Sigflufjordur to Akureyri

March 09, 2017

Enjoy a peaceful morning with hopefully reflections to photograph in the harbour of Sigflufjordur. Then we drive through some newly-built tunnels through the mountains over to Eyjafjordur, Iceland's longest fjord, photographing more coastal and rural scenes along the way, and arriving to Akureyri mid-afternoon. There will be some time off in the afternoon to explore Akureyri a little on your own, then we convene for one last group dinner at a nice restaurant and one last chance for aurora borealis night shooting.  Overnight: Akureyri.  

End of tour

March 10, 2017

End of Tour.   In morning, Fly back to Reykjavik on Included! Air Iceland domestic flight, or continue with us for a complete circumnavigation around Iceland on the next trip, the March 11-21 northern Iceland via Eastfjords tour!  

General Trip Information

Group Size:  Maximum size of 8; minimum size of 3.

Start/End:  Trip starts with pickup in Reykjavik at 14:00hr.  Pickup from your hotel or BSI bus station, to be arranged.  Photography guiding, accommodation and potential night aurora shooting starts then, with immediate departure from Reykjavik.   The trip concludes with Included hotel accommodation night of 09 March 2016 in Akureyri. The trip cost includes domestic airfare from Akureyri to Reykjavik at the end of the trip on 10 March 2016 or otherwise arranged on request (to be booked on your behalf once your international flights are booked on our own and you've told us your schedule). We'll be so immersed in the Icelandic countryside for our entire time as a group, that we have left no time to enjoy the sights of Reykjavik, so we encourage you to stay in Reykjavik for a couple days on your own, either before or after the tour.


  • All photographic instruction, coaching, and local guiding
  • All transportation in a 4x4 van with an experienced driver.
  • Internal domestic flight back from Akureyri to Reykjavik
  • All breakfasts (breakfast served by our hotels)
  • Any entry fees to various areas or attractions
  • Accommodation for 5 nights in wonderful and well-situated Icelandic guesthouses and country hotels. Most but not all rooms include private bath.
  • Accommodation is based on double occupancy, single supplement fee may be added for $70/nt).

Not Included: 

  • All lunches and dinners (we'll eat meals as a group, but you can order and pay for what you like)
  • International flights and airport transfers.
  • Your time in Iceland before and after the trip
  • Trip insurance
  • Drinks - both alcoholic and non-.
  • Souvenirs
  • Anything else not listed as being included

Experience Needed:  This tour is open to photographers of skill levels, with rural country and landscape and austral photography interests.  If you have additional questions, the trip leader will be happy to answer them over the phone or by email.

Photography Instruction

This photo workshop is all about in-the-field field photography and situational instruction, working alongside your trip leader. Each day, the group will photograph diverse landscapes and natural wonders of Iceland, in the quiet and peaceful setting of the Icelandic wintertime. In the evening, we'll occasionally have image critiques and editing sessions on clients' laptops. We will always being prepared to go out to photograph the Aurora Borealis should it occur. Aurora Borealis viewing depends on 2 main factors: solar activity and clear weather. A long trip through various parts of the country gives us the best chances to see and photograph this phenomenon.

Photographic topics that will covered while shooting include nighttime and austral photography, Aurora Borealis photography, classic landscape photography composition and technique, HDR (High Dynamic Range) imagery, panoramic photography, adventure and travel photography, and slow shutterspeed effects. Our 5 days and nights of photography potential allow us to see a variety of well-known Icelandic natural wonders around Akureyri, Lake Myvatn, and the Snæfellsness Peninsula, and combined with austral wonderment, enable each participant to get the most out this once-in-a-lifetime trip. In good daytime weather and clear night skies, February days can long; occasionally our groups are putting in 15+ hour days! A maximum group size of 8 photographers ensures you will receive ample personal photographic coaching in the field from a full time working pro, and provide an intimate small group adventure experience. 

Johnathan Esper of Wildernesscapes Photography LLC, based in the USA, will be leading the trip, his 50th+ in Iceland. Johnathan is a full time photographer and highly experienced international photo trip leader, and has a unique background and an intimate knowledge of Iceland from leading years of trip and traveling around and photographing Iceland intensively for months at a time. He specializes in classic landscape photography, aurora borealis photography, advanced panoramas and adventure photography in the arctic regions of Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, and the Adirondack region in the USA. Johnathan regularly works with other top names in the Iceland photography community, such as Örvar Thorgeirsson and Iurie Belegurschi.  

Trip Terms

Deposit:  A $600 deposit is due at the time of registration, and the remaining balance is due by the trip start.  Until payment is sent, your place is not guaranteed. You may conveniently pay your deposit here (near bottom of page) securely with your credit card, processed by Paypal payment processor.  The deposit portion may also be paid via personal or bank check for USA and Canadian clients. Refunds are allowed in the form of future trip credit, depending on cancellation date. Please contact me if you need any assistance in signing up!

Final Payment: The final payment for the balance due on the trip (after your paid deposit), is due one week prior to the trip start. Payment options include bank transfer to my Icelandic bank account (details on request), cash in person at the trip start (with prior permissin), personal or bank checks (preferred for USA and Canada clients), and credit cards (a 2% credit card fee will be added for final payments with card).

Cancellation Policy:  In the unfortunate case if you need to cancel, cancellation policy is: Deposit payments are refundable as 100% future scheduled trip credit up to 120 days before trip start, 50% future scheduled trip credit if cancellation is 120-60 days before trip start, and non-refundable less than 60 days before start. Final payments for the full trip balance are 100% refundable as cash until the trip start, and non-refundable after the trip start. If I am able to fill your empty spot on the trip, half of what you'd lose will additionally be returned to you, for all the above situations.   If I cancel the trip for some major reason, such as overwhelming volcanic activity, trip leader health crisis, etc, then I fully refund everything in cash or Paypal, or a pro-rated amount if the trip must end early for the same reasons.   I am not responsible for reimbursing you for travel or other ancillary expenses you incur in prep for the trip.