Ice Climbing on the Falljökull outlet glacier in Vatnajökull National Park in south Iceland

A Photo Essay: Iceland

We had an amazing time exploring Iceland as you can see in our Iceland video–now, here is a preview of our adventures through photos.  The beauty of Iceland is immeasurable, so rather than trying to summarize it, I’m going to let the photographs speak for themselves and get right to it in our Iceland photo essay:

Snorkeling Silfra Under the Midnight Sun Tour in Iceland

Evening snorkeling in Silfra at Þingvellir National Park.

Snorkeling Silfra Under the Midnight Sun Tour in Iceland

We went on the “Under the Midnight Sun” evening snorkeling tour and along with our guide, we were the only people in the river so we had the entire area to ourselves.

Snorkeling Silfra Under the Midnight Sun Tour in Iceland

The water in Silfra is a stunningly bright blue and some of the clearest water on earth.

Crossing a bridge on Road 1 along the south coast of Iceland

Crossing a single lane bridge while driving along Route 1 in south Iceland.

Twisted bridge girders seen while driving along the south coast of Iceland

In 1996, following a volcano eruption, a flood destroyed bridges and Route 1 in southern Iceland. This is a memorial created from twisted bridge girders that were destroyed in the flood.

Glacier outlet in Vatnajökull National Park in south Iceland

Lookout spot along Route 1 for viewing a glacier outlet in Vatnajökull National Park in south Iceland

Scenery along the ring road in the south coast of Iceland

Rock formation spotted in a field while road tripping the south coast of Iceland.

Scenery along the ring road in the south coast of Iceland

Near the entrance of Vatnajökull National Park with a glacier in the background.

Scenery along the ring road in the south coast of Iceland

There was a dust storm in this lava field near Route 1 when we were driving by.

Scenery along the ring road in the south coast of Iceland

The ever changing landscape in Iceland always makes for interesting scenery when driving Route 1.

Driving to Drumbó Base Camp for the White Water Canoeing trip in Iceland

Driving on a rainy day out to the Drumbó Base Camp for our White Water Canoeing trip.

White Water Canoeing on Hvítá River in Iceland

Relaxing in a stretch of calm water of the Hvítá River while white water canoeing.

Cliff Jumping while White Water Canoeing on Hvítá River in Iceland

Cliff jumping into the Hvítá River during our white water canoeing trip. Micah and I were too cold to jump into the freezing water, but others from our group were more brave.

Boat for the tour of Jökulsárlón-Glacier lagoon

Boat that gives tours of Jökulsárlón, the glacier lagoon.

Ice at the Jökulsárlón-Glacier lagoon

Ice at the glacial lagoon, Jökulsárlón.

Walking the beach near the Jökulsárlón-Glacier lagoon

Walking along the black sand beach where the icebergs from Jökulsárlón float out to the ocean.

Walking at Þingvellir National Park in Iceland

Walking around the lava fields at Þingvellir National Park

Exploring a cave at Þingvellir National Park in Iceland

Exploring inside a secret lava cave located in Þingvellir National Park

River at Þingvellir National Park in Iceland

River running through Þingvellir National Park near the area where the world’s oldest parliament was established in 930.

Waterfall at Þingvellir National Park in Iceland

Öxarárfoss, a waterfall along the tectonic rift in Þingvellir National Park.

Gullfoss - Golden Falls along the Golden Circle in Iceland

The upper falls at Gullfoss, which translates to mean Golden Falls. Gullfoss is located along the famous Golden Circle route.

Gullfoss - Golden Falls along the Golden Circle in Iceland

Gullfoss is located in the canyon of the Hvítá river and plunges over a cavern that is105 ft. deep.

Strokkur geyser at the geothermally active valley of Haukadalur in Iceland

The Strokkur geyser in the geothermally active valley of Haukadalur erupts every few minutes to heights anywhere between 15-40 meters high.

Geothermally active valley of Haukadalur in Iceland

Hot Spring at the geothermally active valley of Haukadalur.

Gunnuhver geothermal area in the Reykjanes peninsula in Iceland

Steam from the hot springs and mud pots at the Gunnuhver geothermal area in the Reykjanes peninsula

Walking around Gunnuhver geothermal area in the Reykjanes peninsula in Iceland

Taking a stroll with Inga from Tiny Iceland at Gunnuhver, a geothermal area in the Reykjanes peninsula.

Valahnúkur black sand beach in the Reykjanes peninsula

Camper van parked near Valahnúkur, a black sand beach in the Reykjanes peninsula.

Ship in the field along the road in the Reykjanes Peninsula

Ship resting in the field along the road in the Reykjanes peninsula.

Plane in the field near the Ring Road in Iceland

Plane in the field just off of Route 1.

Lava engulfed house along the Ring Road in South Iceland

This barn looks as though it was engulfed by a lava flow many years ago. We spotted numerous houses like this along the coast.

Icelandic Horse along the Ring Road in South Iceland

Beautiful and friendly Icelandic horses that came to say hi to us.

Hvalsneskirkja Church in the Reykjanes Peninsula

Hvalsneskirkja is a church that was built out of stone in 1887.

Pools near the entrance of the Blue Lagoon in Iceland

Pools near the entrance of the Blue Lagoon. Don’t try to swim here though, as the water is not warm like it is once you get inside to the actual lagoon.

At the base of the Falljökull outlet glacier in Vatnajökull National Park in south Iceland

Pools of glacial water at the base of the Falljökull outlet glacier.

Skógafoss - a waterfall in south Iceland near the Ring Road

Skógafoss is one of the largest waterfalls in Iceland and drops around 200 ft. off of a cliff.

Hallgrímskirkja Church in Reykjavík, Iceland

The famous Hallgrímskirkja Church and statue of Leif Ericson in downtown Reykjavík. The statue was a gift from the people of the United States to the people of Iceland.

The Sun Voyager sculpture in downtown Reykjavik, Iceland

The Sun Voyager sculpture in Reykjavik is an ode to the sun.

Funky buildings with street art in downtown Reykjavik, Iceland

Funky buildings with street art making a statement in Reykjavik

Drinking glacial water on the Falljökull outlet glacier in Vatnajökull National Park in south Iceland

How to get a fresh drink of pure glacial water from a small stream.

Guide for a glacier hike on the Falljökull outlet glacier in Vatnajökull National Park in south Iceland

Our glacier hike guide, Magnus, pointing out some interesting facts.

Falljökull outlet glacier in Vatnajökull National Park in south Iceland

View from the start of our hike on the Falljökull outlet glacier.

Glacier Hiking on the Falljökull outlet glacier in Vatnajökull National Park in south Iceland

Our guide showing us how to walk on the glacial ice.

Getting the ropes ready for Ice Climbing on the Falljökull outlet glacier in Vatnajökull National Park in south Iceland

Getting the ropes ready for ice climbing along the icefalls coming from the Vatnajökull ice cap.

Falljökull outlet glacier in Vatnajökull National Park in south Iceland

Looking out to the coast while standing on the icefall of the Falljökull outlet glacier.

Ice Climbing on the Falljökull outlet glacier in Vatnajökull National Park in south Iceland

Our guide climbing up the icefall walls without any ropes.

Glacier Hiking on the Falljökull outlet glacier in Vatnajökull National Park in south Iceland

Working on setting up the second rope line along a steeper wall for even more ice climbing.

Ice Climbing on the Falljökull outlet glacier in Vatnajökull National Park in south Iceland

Rappelling down the ice wall after climbing all the way to the top.

Glacier Hiking on the Falljökull outlet glacier in Vatnajökull National Park in south Iceland

It was hard to tell where the glacier stopped and the clouds started when we were hiking.

Crevice on the Falljökull outlet glacier in Vatnajökull National Park in south Iceland

Looking down into a water filled crevice on the glacier.

Glacier Hiking on the Falljökull outlet glacier in Vatnajökull National Park in south Iceland

Finishing up the remainder of our hike, our other guide, leading us in, out and around the crevices.


54 Comments
  • Steph
    Posted at 11:10h, 24 June Reply

    LOVE these photos! We just back from two weeks in Iceland- what an incredible trip and country! We’ve started blogging our trip a bit but we are still working things up. It looks like you guys also had an amazing time!

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 09:06h, 25 June Reply

      Thanks! We did have an amazing time! Glad you guys enjoyed it as well. I will have to go check out your posts about it–always fun to have exciting Iceland stories to read!! 🙂

  • Mary - Calculated Traveller
    Twitter:
    Posted at 12:07h, 24 June Reply

    Wow, fabulous photos! What an amazing looking adventure!
    Mary – Calculated Traveller recently posted…Memories of Newcastle-upon-TyneMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 09:07h, 25 June Reply

      Thanks, Mary! We had a really great time!

  • Angela (
    Twitter:
    Posted at 12:13h, 24 June Reply

    Excellent photos. Looks like you had great weather to photograph Hallgrímskirkja Church. I went and toured the south, but I want to go back to drive the entire Ring Road.
    Angela ( recently posted…Yosemite Time LapsesMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 09:10h, 25 June Reply

      Thank you! We did have great weather that day in Reykjavík, one of the few nice weather days of the trip 🙂 It was still amazing the other days though, even with the rain! I would love to drive the entire Ring Road as well–we decided we have to do that next time we visit! Hope you get to as well!

  • Karisa
    Twitter:
    Posted at 14:32h, 24 June Reply

    Woah, rappelling down the ice looks EPIC! Amazing post!
    Karisa recently posted…8 Hours in VientianeMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 09:11h, 25 June Reply

      Thanks! Rappelling down the ice was sooo fun!! The glacier hike/ice climb was definitely our favorite activity of the trip!

  • elaine schoch
    Twitter:
    Posted at 23:14h, 24 June Reply

    Great photos! They do speak for themselves…
    elaine schoch recently posted…Sometimes a Souvenir Can Be Much More Than Just a SouvenirMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 09:11h, 25 June Reply

      Thanks, Elaine!

  • Jill
    Posted at 07:36h, 25 June Reply

    Ok, I think I need to open an Iceland specific savings account. It’s been high on my list for awhile but never seems to make the cut in the end (mostly due to expenses). These photos are so incredible… I’ve got to get there! Looks like you had a fantastic experience.
    Jill recently posted…One week.My Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 09:19h, 25 June Reply

      Lol, I think you should!! It’s such a great place! We had an amazing time 🙂

      We were surprised though, it wasn’t quite as expensive as we thought it would be! We used hotel points and frequent flier miles to offset some of the costs, and the tours are spendy, but thankfully there is so much else that you can do for free/cheap as well

  • Erik
    Posted at 12:27h, 30 June Reply

    AWESOME pictures! Now I want to visit. Hope you had a thick wetsuit for that snorkeling!
    Erik recently posted…Photo Friday – Sunrise over Kawah Ijen Volcano, Java, IndonesiaMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 21:30h, 08 July Reply

      Thanks! It was such a great trip! And, yes, thankfully, we had drysuits on for snorkeling, so it was actually pretty warm 🙂

  • noel
    Posted at 16:28h, 02 July Reply

    I’m dying to go to Iceland, it looks like a photographers dream place to visit – so different and exotic than my world. I love all the nature, thanks for sharing this.
    noel recently posted…Travel Photo Mondays – photo tour #1My Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 21:37h, 08 July Reply

      Thanks! It is definitely a great spot for photographers, you would love it! It’s so beautiful!

  • Wrabbit007
    Posted at 17:09h, 02 July Reply

    We are flying to Iceland in two days – going to be spending two weeks there! Your pictures have me so amped up! How did you organize that rappelling experience? I would love to do something like that! How long were you there for, and what month did you visit in? I can’t wait to share my stories with you via my blog when we get back! 🙂
    Wrabbit007 recently posted…Trekking Through Tulum: A Journey Into Mexico’s HistoryMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 20:23h, 08 July Reply

      Sorry for the delayed response! I hope you are having a great time in Iceland already! We were there for 6 days in May. The rappelling was on a glacier hike/ice climbing tour. We did the Glacier Xtreme tour with Glacier Guides–it was one of the trips from Skaftafell. We would highly recommend it–it was so much fun!! Hope you get a chance to go and have a great trip–look forward to reading about it!

  • Jessica - a passion and a passport
    Twitter:
    Posted at 00:12h, 03 July Reply

    WHOAAAA I need to get to ICELAND like yesterday! When I finally do book my trip, I want a detailed itinerary of EVERYTHING you guys did! 🙂 promise?! 🙂 And those photos are phenomenal!
    Jessica – a passion and a passport recently posted…10 Things to do in Florida (besides hanging out with Mickey)My Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 21:41h, 08 July Reply

      Thanks!! 🙂 And yes, promise! I’ll let you know everything we did for sure! Let me know when you go–you will love it! We have lots more about our trip coming up the next few weeks, so stay tuned 🙂

  • Amy
    Twitter:
    Posted at 07:27h, 03 July Reply

    Gorgeous photos! I’ve been dreaming about visiting Iceland for years and finally made the trip last month. It’s taken me so long to go through all the photos I took (almost 1,000 in three days!) but I managed to blog a few of them. We visited several of the places you mention, although we didn’t have chance to go on a glacier hike. Looks like it was amazing!

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 21:51h, 08 July Reply

      That’s a lot of photos in 3 days, wow! I can see how you could take that many though! I’m glad you enjoyed it too 🙂 The glacier hike was fun–we really enjoyed it. I will have to go check out more of your photos and posts from Iceland!

  • Life Images by Jill
    Posted at 00:46h, 04 July Reply

    Thankyou for sharing your amazing images of a place I can only dream about ever visiting – what a wonder travel blogging is! That water must have been so cold!!
    Have a great weekend ahead. I am joining you through Travel Photo Monday.

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 22:06h, 08 July Reply

      Thanks so much for stopping by! It was a beautiful country! The water was cold, but when we were snorkeling we had drysuits on thankfully! The canoeing was pretty chilly though! 🙂

  • Marcia
    Posted at 15:38h, 04 July Reply

    WOAW, what incredible photos. Each one looks more spectacular than the other. I guess you had a fantastic trip, eh? You make me want to hop on a plane, like right now!
    Marcia recently posted…Newcastle JamaicaMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 22:09h, 08 July Reply

      Thanks!! We did have a great time 🙂 We want to hope on a plane and head back too, lol!

  • Paul
    Twitter:
    Posted at 14:09h, 09 September Reply

    Absolutely amazing photos! The colours, composition and quality are stunning. How did you find Gullfoss waterfall? I was taken away by its might and power.

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 11:17h, 16 September Reply

      Thanks so much! Really appreciate it! We enjoyed Gullfoss too–it was so pretty and powerful!

  • Kymee Martinak
    Posted at 16:30h, 21 September Reply

    Wow that is so amazing, I had no idea that so many beautiful things are in Iceland. Thank you so much for sharing. I think that my bucket list is so full that I will not be able to do this. But I have your wonderful pix to act like I was. I feel so humbled. WOW again

    God bless you all
    Kymee

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 19:28h, 21 September Reply

      Thanks, Kymee! Iceland is indeed gorgeous! I know how you feel about the places you want to visit–there are so many it seems hard to imagine making it to them all! I hope you get to Iceland one day, but if not at least you get to see how pretty it is 😉

  • Eileen C.
    Twitter:
    Posted at 16:57h, 05 November Reply

    Obviously I still want to go to Iceland myself, but I feel I don’t even need to after seeing this incredible photos, well done!
    Eileen C. recently posted…Childhood Dreams: Seeing the Lipizzaner Stallions Perform in Essex, MAMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 00:30h, 06 November Reply

      Thanks so much! Really appreciate it 🙂 It was so pretty I feel like it’s hard to take a bad photo, haha! We loved it there though, such a beautiful place!

  • Nikki Pitts
    Twitter:
    Posted at 18:29h, 05 November Reply

    OMG, your photos are AMAZING!! Love the texture and the way you captured the unique non-traditional vacation moments. Can’t wait to visit Iceland 🙂

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 00:31h, 06 November Reply

      Thank you–really appreciate it! 🙂 It was such a fun place; we had an amazing time and so many unique experiences. Hope you love it too when you get there!

  • Una
    Twitter:
    Posted at 17:40h, 06 November Reply

    Just stunning! Iceland was the most beautiful place I’ve ever visited and I can see that there are so many more things to discover there. Snorkeling in Silfra at Þingvellir…. wow!
    Hope to be back soon, and the same for you.

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 11:30h, 10 November Reply

      Thank you! I agree, it was so beautiful and hope we both make it back soon too! There is so much more we want to see there as well! Snorkeling was great–especially since we had so many layers on–wasn’t very cold 🙂

  • Nicole Melancon
    Twitter:
    Posted at 22:24h, 07 November Reply

    Wow, stunning stunning photos! I live in Minneapolis (saw you were from here) and went to Iceland with my dad two years ago, and fell in love with it. Amazing place! Great blog! Found it through the TBEX monthly challenge!

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 11:32h, 10 November Reply

      Thank you so much and glad you stopped by to check us out! Always fun to run into fellow Minnesotans 🙂 Glad you enjoyed Iceland as well!

  • Ross
    Twitter:
    Posted at 15:27h, 24 November Reply

    Superb photos. I did Highway 1 around Iceland and the photos bring me back. Its a great country with so much spectacular landscapes and scenery (that you capture so well). One of the best countries I was in.
    Ross recently posted…Robbed in UgandaMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 18:45h, 29 November Reply

      Thanks so much! One of our favorite countries as well! Sounds like fun to go all the way around the ring road–we hope to do it next time. Only made it half way this time

  • Oliver
    Twitter:
    Posted at 02:57h, 27 January Reply

    Every time I see photos from Iceland I struggle to believe this is actually planet earth… 🙂 Wonderful photo essay indeed!
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  • Daidri
    Twitter:
    Posted at 23:18h, 06 March Reply

    I really enjoy photo essays and these pictures are especially good! Iceland is beautiful but boy am I glad to not be in that cold!
    Daidri recently posted…Outrigger Racing: A Long Standing Tradition in HawaiiMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 00:44h, 17 March Reply

      Thanks so much, Daidri! Appreciate it. It was a bit chilly at times, but thankfully it was in the 50s the majority of our trip, so it was pretty decent weather for May! Definitely nothing like a tropical beach though 🙂

  • Urska
    Twitter:
    Posted at 14:51h, 30 April Reply

    Wow! Amazing photos! This landscape looks fantastic!
    Urska recently posted…Mostar Old BridgeMy Profile

  • Jennifer
    Twitter:
    Posted at 12:27h, 09 July Reply

    Iceland is our favorite country! So excited to head back for the third time in September.
    Jennifer recently posted…A Slice of New York at Pizza a CasaMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 10:40h, 20 July Reply

      Wow, third time?! That’s awesome! Hope you have a great time 🙂 It’s been our favorite country so far too–we are trying to plan a second trip out there–hopefully next spring we can make it back!

  • Kevin Lydon
    Twitter:
    Posted at 12:41h, 09 July Reply

    Isn’t Iceland just amazing. I was just there in March and did a lot of the same things you guys have done. Looking at your photos I definitely wish I would have gone snorkeling and climbing/hiking on the ice. Those photos are just stunning. I am already planning my next trip back.
    Kevin Lydon recently posted…Revitalizing the body and soul at the Blue Lagoon hot springs IcelandMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 10:41h, 20 July Reply

      We are planning another trip back too–isn’t it such an amazing spot?! Glad you had a great time. You will have to put ice climbing and snorkeling on the list for next time! 🙂

  • Ryan
    Twitter:
    Posted at 10:59h, 04 August Reply

    Incredible photos, Jenna! Love the way you arranged the gallery—feels like the perfect “Iceland In a Nutshell” tour. Scrolling through really brought back a ton of amazing memories of my trip to Iceland several years back. (Have a few pictures that are startlingly similar to some of yours here actually!) Thanks for sharing 🙂
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  • Andrew
    Twitter:
    Posted at 13:04h, 11 January Reply

    looks like you had an amazing time. Great photos. I read need another trip to Iceland as my last was not great!

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 00:49h, 14 January Reply

      Oh no! What happened on your last trip? We loved Iceland and had a wonderful time–I hope you get to go back and enjoy it one day!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…A Photo Essay: Santorini, GreeceMy Profile

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