Top 8 wildlife photography
tours in Europe

Wildlife photography holidays in Europe allow you to learn, experience and immerse yourself in some of the continent’s last remaining wilderness areas, as well as introducing you to some of the most elusive and exciting animals in Europe. From Arctic foxes, terns and puffins in Norway and Iceland, to bears, wolverines and moose in the deep, dark forests of Finland and Romania – we’ve highlighted some of our best wildlife photography tours in Europe. All you have to do is pack your camera and go.

1. Bird watching in Iceland

Imagine training your binoculars on Arctic sea cliffs soaring out of the sea. From a distance, it’s hard to make out what’s emerging from the tiny holes in the cliff face. However, close up you’ll see the unmistakable red and gold beaks of tufted puffins as they leave their burrows to hunt.

Puffins aren’t the only birds you’ll see on a wildlife photography tour of Iceland. Thanks to the midnight sun this close to the Arctic Circle in summertime, places like Grimsey Island and Lake Myvatn offer long days (and nights) of watching out for razorbills, kittiwakes, Arctic terns, tufted ducks and pink-footed geese.

When to go: June
Our top trip: Iceland birds and landscapes photography tour
See all our trips: Iceland wildlife holidays
Read more: Iceland photography guide

2. Photograph wolverines in Finland

In the realm of the deep, dark Finnish woodlands, predators roam. Rightfully fearful of people, watching and photographing wolverines in the wild takes patience, practise and expert local knowledge. This is your opportunity to join specialist wildlife watchers and researchers as you undertake a tour of eastern Finland, where wolverines are appearing in increasing numbers. Get cosy in a wilderness lodge, camp out in a photography hide, and wait for the moment that a wolverine appears right in front of your camera’s lens.

When to go: April to October
Our top trip: Wolverine photography tour in Finland
See all our trips: Finland holidays
Read more: Wildlife photography travel guide
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Europe wildlife or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.

3. Arctic birds & whales in northern Norway

The Lofoten Islands are a wild archipelago off the north-west coast of Norway. Armed with a camera, this is your chance to stay in mountain-view fishing villages and embark on a wildlife photography tour that watches out for sea eagles, giant gannet colonies and whales. Travel in summer for the best of the birdlife.

4. Photography & sailing in Scotland

The islands, lochs and castles of the Inner Hebrides are some of the best places to sail on a wildlife photography tour of Scotland. Scotland’s north-west shores are alive with marine and birdlife, so living aboard a fully crewed small sailing boat is a great way to get up close to the action. A flexible itinerary lets the skipper and photographers make the most of the tides, as well as taking advantage of impromptu animal encounters around the islands of Eigg, Rum and Mull.

When to go: May
Our top trip: Svalbard photography expedition tour
See all our trips: Spitsbergen cruises
Read more: Small ship cruises in Spitsbergen

5. Wildlife photography tour in Lapland

Spend a week with a pro photographer who’ll show you around northern Lapland. Kuhmo, near the Russian border, is a highlight – you’ll head to a remote cabin where you can watch out for bears, wolves and wolverines. Your guide will help you get the most out of your camera and the rolling backdrop of autumnal forests, rushing rivers, Arctic lakes, wild national parks and the Northern Lights. Small hotels are key, so you’ll meet the people who live in this remote region of Finnish Lapland too.

When to go: May to September
Our top trip: Wildlife photography tour in Lapland
See all our trips: Lapland holidays
Read more: Lapland travel guide

6. Bird photography in Romania

Set against the backdrop of the Danube Delta, this trip is an opportunity to snap pelicans, egrets, geese, ducks and white-tailed eagles in the marshes and wetlands. Also, if you’re very lucky, you might have a chance to capture the otters, hares, mink and boar that reside here. As a biosphere reserve, the Danube Delta’s wetlands and reed beds have become one of the largest protected areas for wildlife watching in the world. Set out on foot and by boat with an expert wildlife watching guide.
When to go: All year round; September and October for winter migrants
Our top trip: Wildlife photography in Romania
See all our trips: Romania wildlife holidays
Read more: Romania wildlife holidays guide

7. Photographing brown bears in Finland

Photographing wild brown bears in Finland is surprisingly straightforward… if you know where to look. Firstly, you need to know how to access isolated areas of Finland’s woodland. Secondly, you need patience. And finally, you need an expert guide who can point out the snuffling brown bear nose coming into view. Camping out in a wildlife hide, you’ll use camera traps and thermal imaging, and get the chance to photograph badgers, beavers, reindeer, moose and pine martens.

When to go: May to September
Our top trip: Bear photography tour in Finland
See all our trips: Finland holidays
Read more: Bear watching in Finland guide

8. Wildlife photography tours in the Spanish Pyrenees

Fine-tune your craft at photographer-led workshops, before embarking on practical expeditions around the lakes and mountain foothills of Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park in the Spanish Pyrenees. Bearded vultures and golden eagles glide in the skies and wildflowers attract clouds of butterflies endemic to the region. It’s all part of a small group holiday based in a renovated mountain farmhouse and led by an award-winning photography tutor.

When to go: All year round
Our top trip: Photography holiday in the Spanish Pyrenees
See all our trips: Spanish Pyrenees holidays
Read more: Spanish Pyrenees wildlife guide
Written by Chris Owen
Photo credits: [Page banner: Tom Bech] [Polar bear: kerryinlondon] [Norway: Dirk-Jan van Roest] [Danube Delta: Adi Daniel Antone] [: Stefan Wisselink]