So I have a list. It’s written on a notepad that I snagged from a hotel room years ago. The list contains about 15 different locations I want to travel to at some point in my life. I’m constantly adding and subtracting from this list, but always try to keep it around 15-20 destinations so I can turn those dreams into goals. Honestly, I want to see all the places, and do all the things, all around the world, but until I’m ready to leave life behind, I’ll stick to what’s currently on the list. Iceland actually wasn’t on it.
Iceland never even crossed my mind as a travel destination until I saw a friend’s images from traveling there last winter. I became a little obsessed! I had never seen so many waterfalls or so much moss in one place. It didn’t take much convincing for the bf, Scooter, to become obsessed to. Once the price was right, we booked our tickets and off we went on a five day road trip.
If you’ve been to Iceland, then you’ll know there’s a photo-op at every corner of the country- you can’t help but pull over every ten minutes. While I do not think any of the destinations we saw were more or less beautiful than one another, I’ve narrowed down my list of stops to my top five favorite places to photograph in Iceland’s western and southern regions. Hopefully the next time you go, you can add these places to your itinerary. If you’ve never been then it’s time to add this country to your list.
I could have easily spent an entire day just admiring the beauty of this place. The texture of the canyon's mossy walls is seriously something else. There are plenty of view points along the walking path and some parts lead closer to the river where you can walk along the canyon walls. Parts of Game of Thrones was filmed here, so why not go?
This crater was once a volcano which erupted its magma reserve. Once depleted, the volcano collapsed into the empty chamber and filled with water at some point. Why I love it? The colors. The red rocks of Kerið are rare to the area and create contract against the light layers of moss around it. Not to mention, the sapphire blue water created from the minerals in the ground add a hint of flavor to this special place ;).
Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
Oh glaciers. If you follow me on Instagram then you're probably sick of seeing pictures of ice cubes by now, but I'm not! Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon lets you get up close and personal with these giants. The glaciers slowly break away into the "glacier milk" they've created below, creating a mix of textures. You can walk along the lagoon via the path created for viewers, allowing you to view different vantage points of the landscape.
I don't know why, but this was the one mountain I wanted to see in Iceland. There was a ton of cloud coverage on the day we went to Kirkjufell. I've honestly never seen so many photographers lined up with their cameras and tripods, patiently waited for a clearing. I personally like the moody vibes ;). There are 3 waterfalls along the main path where you could easily capture a long exposure shot, if you're into that. You could even drive around to the opposite side of the mountain to snap a pic in a less crowded area that'll also offer you a different point of view. Some travelers like to come here at nightfall capture northern light and astro shots too.
Yep! Iceland has beaches too. The coastal area of Anarstapi offers coast-side trails and arch formations that you won't find in many other places. There's even a "secret" arch along one of the trails. This is a great place to just sit and listen to ocean sounds if you don't feel like doing anything else. 10/10 worth the drive.
Thank you for reading and thank you to Scott Reichard for taking some of these images! Also special shout out to GO Campers for helping make this trip possible. You can use the code MTNCHICKS for 10% off your next camper trip with them- woohoo! If you're looking for adventures closer to home, visit our "Chapters" page and join a local Mountain Chicks Chapter near you! We host group adventures monthly!
Dani is the Founder of Mountain Chicks and the primary author of the Mtn Chicks Blog. Here you'll find outdoor tips, travel experiences, gear reviews and more.