Iceland Aurora PhotoTour Sep 2022 Highland Explorer

  • Chase and photograph aurora borealis at one of the best times at one of the world’s best destinations for the northern lights. Aurora activity on Earth increases near both equinoxes (autumnal equinox is on Sep 20-21). September also brings back the night hours to Iceland, dark enough to capture even faint aurora and the Milky Way. Also the temperature is mild for the near Arctic latitude which still shows its green summer beauty and emerging fall colors at a few locations of the tour.
  • The photo workshop is led by National Geographic night sky photographer Babak Tafreshi who takes you to some of his favorite location, fills you with practical information on when to expect aurora activity, what to see in the night sky, and guides you in both aurora and general nightscape imaging, while also sharing tips on day-time photography. The Iceland partner company which locally coordinates the trip also contributes with a tour leader who is both an astronomy expert and a knowledgeable person about nature and history of the country
  • Iceland has much more to offer than only aurora. It’s a country like no other. Based on our highly successful annual programs since Sep 2017 this day and night adventure tour takes you along Ring Road to both iconic and less seen parts of the country. Our tour activities will bring us inland from north to south through rivers and highlands (most bizarre and colorful landscapes) with our off-road bus. We will do aurora chasing and outdoor workshop sessions throughout the trip on every clear night.
  • Iceland’s attractions along our route include unearthly landscapes, massive waterfalls, volcanoes, glaciers, wildlife, coastal beauties, and cultural landmarks. We begin from the capital in the southwest and end in Keflavik near the airport. Iceland weather is challenging but we depend on our mobility and excellent access to local weather information.
Magnificent aurora display during our Sep 2017 tour, photographed from a lava area in the northern Iceland.

How to Join

  • Book your spot by a deposit of $450. Email us to confirm and clarify details. You have the option to share a room with a fellow traveler.
  • Complete the booking and fulfill the payment by 2022 March 15 with a check (US) or bank transfer, or with credit card (includes 2.5% card fee).
  • We will be in touch over emails to prepare you for the trip.


  • Day 1, Sat Sep 17: arrival, Reykjavik sightseeing, Aurora chasing near Grotta lighthouse (weather depending)
  • Day 2, Sun Sep 18: To the north, (Varmahlið). Night imaging near Grafarkirkja or Hvítserkur
  • Day 3, Mon Sep 19: Daytime activity in Skagafjordur, Hofsós swimming pool, tour around Glaumbær the old turf house, horse farms
  • Day 4, Tue Sep 20: Early drive to Húsavík with a visit to Goðafoss waterfall. Multiple night time locations available at Dimmuborgir and Mývatn volcanic area
  • Day 5, Wed Sep 21: Daytime activity around Húsavik, choose from whale-watching or a visit to Ásbyrgi.
  • Day 6, Thu Sep 22: Daytime activity around Húsavík, drive to Dettifoss waterfall with a daytime visit to Dimmuborgir lava area.
  • Day 7, Fri Sep 23: Early departure from Húsavík to Hotel Highland through the wilderness of the famous “Sprengisandsleið” which is the longest gravel highland road in Iceland (200km). This journey travels between the two glaciers, Hofssjökull and Vatnajökull. Night-time imaging on the highlands.
  • The Quick Tour group joins us on Day 7 evening.
  • Day 8, Sat Sep 24: We will visit the most touristic icons of Iceland, including Gullfoss waterfall, the Geysir geothermal area, and the famous Friðheimar tomato greenhouse for lunch. 
  • Day 9, Sun Sep 25: Visit to Thingvellir National Park on the way back to Keflavik in the southwest corner of Iceland.
  • Day 10, Mon Sep 26: Tour Reykjanes Peninsula in the southwest and aurora chasing near a lighthouse and scenic coastal area. Accommodation near the Airport in Keflavik (10-15 minutes drive away).
  • Day 11, Tue Sep 27: Departure Day. I will lead a class between 10:00 to 13:00 on photo editing for those with late departures. You also have the option to arrange your own visit to the nearby Blue Lagoon (for bathing) or consider staying an extra day for this popular tourist activity.

Quick Tour Sep 23-27

5 day/4 night Golden Circle & Southern Shore
The quick tour begins at noon on Friday Sep 23 in Reykjavik where we begin a fantastic first day to iconic waterfalls on the southern shore en route to the highlands to join the main tour. See the itinerary above starting from Friday, September 23 in the evening. Our trip ends in Keflavik, near the airport. 

*Please note the itinerary may slightly change with the aurora and weather forecast.

A group photo of the September 2017 program near the northern tip of Iceland.

All inclusive

Both programs include not only the workshop lessons and night photography lessons, but also private bus (from Reykjavik), all accommodation, main meals (breakfast & dinner), as well as side programs such as museum visits or the whale-watching tour (main tour). Lunch and alcoholic drinks are not included. We will make noon-time stops for the group to purchase food when needed. On arrival, airport transfer to Reykjavik is easy and affordable by flybus, every 20-30 minutes from the airport. The short tour arrivals will be picked from the airport or hotel the morning of Sep 23.

Cancellation Policy

Full refund cancellation deadline is 2022 March 15. Each participant must secure their spot by submitting a deposit. We rely on your attendance to make important arrangements and logistical preparations for our workshop. Space is very limited and this workshop is often fully booked several months prior to the trip. Participants receive notification and statement of account indicating the final balance due date, which marks the cancellation deadline. Should final payment fail to reach us by the date specified without any communication from you, we reserve the right to retain your deposit.

Should we cancel the workshop (extremely unlikely), all fees and deposits are refunded in full (or may be transferred to another Iceland Aurora workshop within a year). We are not responsible for reimbursement of airline tickets or early arrival hotel bookings in the event of a workshop cancellation. We recommend you purchase trip cancellation/travel insurance after booking your spot.

If you cancel before the deadline your payment will be fully refunded. We will retain all fees paid if you cancel your enrollment after 2022 March 15, unless you are able to find someone who will take your spot and reimburse you. There are no refunds if you don’t show up for the workshop, or interrupt or cancel your trip once the workshop commences. However, If an unforeseen medical issue arises that forces you to cancel after the deadline, but minimum 30 days before the trip, we will consider a partial refund on a case-by-case basis, up to 50% of your payment as a credit towards participation in another program.