Last Updated on 12/20/23 by Rose Palmer
I’ve been fortunate to visit Iceland twice in the last year, and both trips were extremely memorable. On my first visit, I drove all around the island over the course of two weeks, exploring the nooks and crannies as well as stopping to see the major tourist sites.
My most recent Iceland trip was a circumnavigation cruise on the expedition ship MS Seaventure with Iceland ProCruises where I had a chance to see Iceland from a different perspective.
My beautiful photos of Iceland and favorite Iceland photography spots
In many ways, these two Icelandic experiences complemented each other perfectly, providing me with glimpses of the local culture along with numerous views of the country’s abundant photogenic scenery.
Of the many thousands of Iceland pictures I took during these two trips, narrowing it down to my 50 favorite photos of Iceland has been quite the challenge. These images show some of the most popular scenic locations, as well as some off the beaten path spots.
Reykjavik bookended the beginning and end of both my trips in Iceland. It was a remarkably easy city to visit on foot, with all the major points of interest near each other.
One of the most famous sights in the city is the Hallgrimskirkja.
On the waterfront, the Sun Voyager sculpture is an ode to the seafaring history and tradition of this nation.
Outside details of the beautiful Harpa Concert Hall – which side is real and which is the reflection?
Inside the Harpa Concert Hall.
My Iceland ProCruises ship, the MS Seaventure, was docked across from the Harpa Hall.
A two hour drive from Reykjavik, the Snaefellsness peninsula has been called Iceland in miniature. With cute towns, mountains, glaciers, waterfalls, a convoluted rocky coastline, and plenty of sheep, this spit of land provided a taste of all the grand scenery found in the rest of the country.
The beautiful black Budakirkja church is one of the popular photo spots on the peninsula.
Exploring the cliffs around Arnarstrapi on a zodiac excursion with Iceland ProCruises.
Quintessential Iceland scenery in Anrnarstrapi.
Though it is shrinking, for now the Snaefells glacier is still visible in the summer.
The hike to the Djupalonssandur beach and lava rock formations are within sight of the Snaefells glacier.
The peak and the waterfalls at Kirkjufellsfoss are the most photographed spot in Iceland.
The two levels of the waterfall at Kirkjufellsfoss.
Learning to eat fermented shark at the Bjarnarhofn Shark Museum.
I was lucky to see the northern lights in Iceland on a rare, cloudless night in September.
On my driving tour of Iceland, I spent three days driving around the Westfjords peninsula. I liked that this area was much more wild. In fact, parts of the road were gravel. On the cruise, our ship docked at Isafjordur for a day so we could explore parts of this peninsula on a variety of day trips.
The road in the Westfjords winds around the many inlets and fjords.
A perfect early morning reflection on one of the fjords.
The Gardar BA 64 ship ruin is a popular photo side trip.
The stunning Dynjamdi waterfall was one of the sites I visited on my excursion from Isafjordur on my Iceland ProCruises cruise.
Close up of one of the four Dynjandi Falls cascades.
On my driving tour, I stopped at the Arctic Fox Center in the village of Sudavik where I caught this adorable little guy sleeping.
There are a lot of wonderful sights in Northern Iceland and I could have spent a whole week just in this region. I had to pick and choose my stops on my drive since I only budgeted a few days here.
Traditional turf houses at the Glaumbaer Farm and Museum.
Godafoss waterfall at sunset. One of Iceland’s many thunderous waterfalls. This was also one of the excursions on my Iceland cruise.
The geothermal fields at Hverir.
I saw powerful Dettifoss on my Iceland road trip and also on an excursion with Iceland ProCruises.
Sitting at the end of a small fjord on Iceland’s north coast, Siglifjordur was one of the stops on my Iceland cruise. Besides being a cute town in a beautiful location, the local Herring Era Museum taught me a lot about the important role that women played during the heyday of the herring fishing industry.
The cute Siglufjordur harbor in the early morning.
Herring Girls sculpture with the MS Seaventure in the background.
Grimsey is best known for its location on the Arctic Circle. Most people go to get a photo of the Arctic Circle marker. But the island’s cliffs are also a haven for a variety of birds, including puffins. This was another stop on my Iceland ProCruises tour.
The green cliffs of Grimsey are home to many birds.
My first close up puffin sightings were on Grimsey Island.
Flatey Island was a very unique stop on my Iceland cruise. This is a small island with holiday homes and only Iceland ProCruises has access to it for their tours. The Highlight here were the many puffins that were very easy to get close to and photograph.
Lots and lots of puffin photos on Flatey Island.
Travel Tips: The best time to see puffins is in the summer months from May to August.
Husavik is the best place to see whales while in Iceland. I stopped there on both my trips and did a whale watching tour each time. The best experience by far was the RIB whale watching excursion with Iceland ProCruises. These small boats were able to get much closer to the whales than the traditional boat I took the first time.
A humpback whale feeding at the end of the day near Husavik.
My typical whale tail photo.
Iceland’s eastern coast is wrinkled with fjords and quaint towns. For parts of it, the main Rt 1 ring road hugs the coastline, giving wonderful views of the deeply cut fjords.
One of the cutest towns that I stopped at during both my trips was the very photogenic Seydisfjordur.
My backroad 4×4 excursion from Seydisfjordur with Iceland ProCruises took me off the beaten path through some of Iceland’s magnificent mountain scenery.
Sheep are everywhere in Iceland.
Dramatic black sand beach and mountain views at the Stokksness viewpoint.
The fjords provide beautiful reflections in the early morning light.
Horses, fjords, and distant blue mountain views – classic Iceland.
The coast of southern Iceland and the Golden Circle has the scenery that Iceland is most famous for. Since it is an easy drive from Reykjavik, it is also very popular and was by far busier than the rest of the country.
First view of the mighty Vatnajokull glacier at sunset.
Diamond Beach at sunrise.
Diamond Beach later in the morning.
The picturesque Jokulsarlon glacier Lagoon at sunrise.
Kayaking on the Glacier Lagoon was one of the activities offered on my Iceland cruise.
More daylight views of the mighty glaciers.
The much photographed basalt columns on Reynisfjara Beach.
Looking out over the extensive black sand beach on Iceland’s southern coast.
When the sun peeked out, a perfect rainbow showed up at Skogafoss waterfall.
In 1973, a six month long volcanic eruption on the island of Heimaey buried part of the town of Vestmannaeyjar under ash and lava and led to a complete evacuation. In spite of the devastation, the town rebuilt and continues to thrive as I discovered on my cruise stop.
The town of Vestmannaeyjar rebuilt right up to the edge of the lava flow.
With its vast, unspoiled scenery, welcoming locals, and excellent food, Iceland is one of my favorite travel destinations. Even though I’ve been there twice already, I would happily go back again and again.
Please note that my cruise was hosted by Iceland ProCruises. All content and opinions are my own.
Other stories you may also like:
Detailed review of my Iceland ProCruises cruise: Experiencing Authentic Iceland in Style – An Iceland ProCruises Review
Information about the shore excursions I took in Iceland: Shore Excursions in Iceland – How I Spent a Day in Iceland’s Most Popular Ports
My favorite photos from my Princess cruise through Norway’s Fjords: Beautiful Storybook Norway Photos to Inspire Your Next Trip
My favorite photos from my Princess cruise to Antarctica: Penguins and Ice and So Much More – My Favorite Antarctica Cruise Photos
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