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ICELAND BIRD PHOTO TOUR

This workshop focuses on photographing birds during the breeding season in Iceland.  It’s timed for the peak time when Atlantic Puffins will be feeding chicks.  Iceland is one of the top breeding bird locations in the Arctic and we will have numerous opportunities with Puffins, Waterfowl, Shorebirds, Jaegers, Loons and many other birds.  All the while enjoying the beautiful landscapes of Iceland and also keeping our eyes out for mammals such as the Arctic Fox.  Accommodation consists of mostly 3 and 4 star hotels, except when we are on the east coast photographing puffins, the two nights there have shared bathrooms as there isn’t a lot of accommodation choice in the area.

What to Expect – A lot of great bird photography opportunities.  Many of the birds of Iceland are quite tame and allow for close approach.  For this tour you would want both your longest bird photography lens and a zoom lens for creating compelling birdscapes and also for some landscape photography.    Activity level is fairly easy, we will have some short walks on flat ground.  Fly into and out of Reykjavik, Iceland (Keflavik airport). 

Maximum participants – 6 photographers plus their companions.

Cost and Logistics

$7,950 per photographer, $7,000 per nonphotographer spouse/companion.  Single supplement $1,400.  The deposit to reserve your spot is $2,300.   Cost includes all lodging, meals, transportation within Iceland, guiding and instruction.  It includes all activities within the itinerary.  It does not include drinks, tips, airfare from your home to reach Iceland or items of a personal nature such as laundry and phone calls.  Balance is due 90 days before the tour starts. 2025 cost: $8,950 photographer, $8,450 nonphotographer, $1,600 single supplement.

Itinerary

July 1st – Arrival to Reykjavik airport, transfer to our hotel on the shores of Lake Ellidavatn.  Staying in a four star hotel on this large lake outside of town we can begin our bird photography soon after arrival.  The lake hosts breeding Common Loons, Whooper Swans and Tufted Ducks, as well as breeding shorebirds such as Snipe, Redshank and Dunlin.  Hotel: Hotel Kriunes, a 4 star hotel.  

July 2nd – In addition to the lakes there are heathlands in the area which attract breeding Whimbrel, Golden Plover, Ptarmigan and Wheatears.  After our morning shoot, we will check out and head to the Snaefellsness Peninsula.  We will check into our hotel and head out for an afternoon photographing in this beautiful area of moorlands, lakes and black sand beaches.  White-tailed Eagles are possible in this area and Harlequin Ducks are common.  Hotel: A nice hotel on the peninsula.

July 3rd – Today we will visit a lighthouse and cliffs that are one of the top spots to photograph Razorbill, Thick-billed and Common Murres, Fulmer, Kittiwake and more.  The grassy areas near the top of the cliff have Snow Bunting and Ptarmigan.  Hotel: A nice hotel on the peninsula. 

July 4th – We will have another morning bird photography session on the peninsula, in addition to birds we will be on the lookout for the main mammalian predator on the island, the Arctic Fox.   Then we will check out and drive to our next hotel which is located on the beautiful Siglufjordur Fijord.  We will be on the lookout for photo opportunities on the way.  Hotel: Siglo Hotel, a highly rated four-star hotel.  

July 5th – We will spend the day on Hrisey Island.  There are large numbers of Rock Ptarmigan on this island and 40 species of birds breed on this small island.  On the short ferry crossing sometimes Humpback Whales and Porpoises are seen and photographed.  In the evening, we will return to the Siglo Hotel. 

July 6th – We will take another trip to Hrisey Island today.  Hrisey is an excellent island for shorebirds such as Black-tailed Godwits, Common Redshanks and Snipe.  We will then return to our hotel, check out and head to our next hotel towards the eastern coast of Iceland, there is a canyon with one of the largest waterfalls in Iceland nearby.  Hotel: Egilsstaoir.

July 7th – We will check out early and head to the most accessible nesting location of Altantic Puffins in Iceland at Borgarfjordur.  The beauty of this location is the colony is just a short walk from the parking lot.  We will get portraits, images of Puffins flying in with Sand Eels and since we have both morning and afternoon sessions will be able to try some backlighting and different artistic images.  A nice inn nearby

July 8th – We will have another morning puffin photography session, the puffins share the colony with a large number of Black-legged Kittiwakes and a few Common Eiders.  After lunch we will check out and head to Lake Myvatn, the best destination for waterfowl in Iceland.  Hotel: Fosshotel 

July 9th and 10th – We have two full days of bird photography at Lake Myvatn.  An amazing 16 species of waterfowl breed on Lake Myvatn including Harlequin, Long-tailed and Tufted Ducks, Barrow’s Goldeneyes, Eurasian Wigeon and Teal, Whooper Swans, Pink-footed and Greylag Geese and many more.  There are also both Common and Red-throated Loons as well as Horned Grebes.  We will keep our eyes open for Gyrfalcon, Merlin and Short-eared Owls.  Hotel: Fosshotel.

July 11th – One more morning photographing the waterfowl and birds of Lake Myvatn, then we will return to the Reyjavik area looking for photo opportunities on the way.  We will arrive at our hotel near the Keflavik airport in the evening.  Hotel: A nice hotel near the airport

July 12th – Transfer to the airport for your return flight home.

Jure Novak

Jure Novak

Jure is a well published photographer and birder from Slovenia, who has photographed widely in Europe and leads or co-leads all of our European based tours. He has constructed many of the hides we use in Slovenia. Jure loves waterbirds in particular so he's looking forward to helping you photograph the birds of Iceland. He will provide in the field and classroom instruction and help you take your best images. Jure will spend a week in Iceland getting ready for the tour and scouting the areas.

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