Top 10 photography holidays

Our top 10 photography holidays will take you around the globe in search of the most dramatic landscapes, rare natural phenomena and buzzing local culture. What’s more, your photography tutors really know how to turn a good scene into a great one, so you’ll witness these sights under moody skies, in the gentle light of dusk, bathed beneath the midnight sun or lit up by the aurora borealis. Read on for our pick of the world’s best photography holidays.

1. Iceland

Ice caves, glaciers, sea stacks and volcanic craters; Iceland is a landscape photographer’s dream. Combine these otherworldly scenes with the Northern Lights and you have a truly awesome combination. The soft Arctic light of late winter and early autumn adds a particularly magical tint to the geological formations, as well as letting you explore this island at a time when few other tourists venture here. Come in late Jan-Feb, and you can seek out orcas, too.

When to go: February-March, September-October
Our top selling trip: Northern Lights photography holiday in Iceland, Coast and Ice
See all our trips: Iceland photography holidays
Read more: Iceland travel guide

2. Orangutans in Borneo

Photography tours head away from the crowds of Malaysian Borneo and venture into Indonesian Kalimantan, and Tanjung Puting National Park – home to 4,000 orangutans. Head out by boat and on foot to capture these curious primates on camera, along with proboscis monkeys, gibbons, hornbills and more. As an extra bonus, you’ll be accompanied by the director of the Orangutan Foundation.

When to go: October to November
Our top selling trip: Orangutan photography holiday in Borneo
Read more: Kalimantan travel guide, Orangutan holidays travel guide

3. Vietnam & Cambodia

Touring these two countries accompanied by professional photographers is one of the best ways to unearth Southeast Asia’s cultural and historical treats. You’ll meet everyone from rice farmers to Ho Chi Minh market stallholders, via the villagers of the Mekong Delta and the silk weavers of Phnom Penh. Combine modern culture with ancient, as you capture the jungle clad ruins of Angkor Wat and ochre-robed monks.

When to go: November to January, August
Our top selling trip: Photography tour in Vietnam and Cambodia
Read more: Vietnam and Cambodia travel guide

4. Ladakh, India

Himalayan, Buddhist and on the Tibetan Plateau, the remote region of Ladakh is, in fact, part of India – and this beguiling combination of cultures and landscapes makes for a memorable photography holiday. Your Ladakhi guide will lead you to ancient clifftop monasteries, turquoise lakes, vast mountains and nomadic settlements, while your photo tutor will help you capture these gorgeous scenes on camera.

When to go: Midsummer
Our top selling trip: Ladakh photography tour
See all our trips: Photography holidays in India
Read more: Ladakh travel guide

5. Lofoten Islands, Norway

Chipped off Norway’s northwestern coast, and nudging into the Arctic Circle, these islands offer ice-packed fjords and snow covered mountains that glow beneath the sheen of the Northern Lights each winter. Timing is everything; Feb is a great month to see the lights, while offering enough golden daylight hours to capture the landscapes, before the snow has melted. May and June offer midnight sun and impressive birdlife.

When to go: February for the Aurora, or May-June for birdlife
Our top selling trip: Lofoten Islands winter photography holiday
See all our trips: Lofoten Islands special interest holidays
Read more: Lofoten Islands travel guide
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Photography or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.

6. Polar bears in the Arctic

There’s loads to be said for Arctic scenery – freshly calved icebergs, mountain-clasped lakes, icy wilderness – but stick a bear in front of it, and everything scales up a notch or twenty. Polar bears are constantly on the hunt for seals and birds in the wide-open landscapes, so you could snap one swimming across a fjord or catch cubs tumbling down a hill. The cherry on top? The company of experienced polar photographers like David Yarrow and Martin Hartley.

When to go: May-August
Our top selling trip: Arctic wildlife holiday – polar bear explorer
See all our trips: Wildlife cruises in the Arctic
Read more: Spitsbergen travel guide

7. Morocco

Join a photo safari of southern Morocco, led by an experienced adventure travel photographer, that immerses you in a flurry of colours, shapes and vivid landscapes. From Marrakech’s ancient medina to the UNESCO-listed Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou, the majestic Atlas Mountains to the vast, unknowable Sahara Desert, you’ll enjoy countless opportunities to hone your craft in landscape, portrait, architecture and street photography, with every participant receiving a one-on-one tutorial during the week.

When to go: May and October
Our top selling trip: Morocco photography holiday
See all our trips: Morocco holidays
Read more: Morocco travel guide

8. China’s Avatar Mountains

You can’t go far wrong, taking your SLR to the region that inspired some of the most surreal landscapes in the film Avatar. Some of it was actually shot in ZhangJiaJie, whose soaring karst columns inspired its floating mountains. Capture these mist-swathed pinnacles in the company of two professional photographers, as well as photographing riverside stilt houses, the buzz of Chinese nightlife, epic caves and tranquil temples.

When to go: October
Our top selling trip: Avatar Mountains China photography tour
See all our trips: China photography holidays
Read more: China travel guide

9. Greenland

At first glance, Greenland may seem like an icy, empty expanse, but eight days spent exploring its remote west coast will reveal otherwise. The combination of snow and mountains, beneath vast skies, makes for stunning black and white landscapes. Icebergs glow every shade of the autumnal light, and colourful houses stand guard over the bays. You'll be enchanted by frost, by Arctic sunrises, by hardy huskies and the Aurora Borealis.

When to go: August to September for summer scenes, or February to March for winter
Our top selling trip: Greenland photography tour
See all our trips: Greenland photography holidays
Read more: Greenland travel guide

10. Spain’s north or south

A photography holiday in Spain is about so much more than posing on beaches and Instagramming your tapas. Head to rural Andalucia, the Picos de Europa or the Pyrenees, in spring or autumn, to make the most of vibrant local festivals, ripe Mediterranean produce, whitewashed villages, dramatic mountains, rocky coastlines or Moorish architecture. This is a whole other side of Spain – and it’s a particularly photogenic one.

When to go: April to June, September to November
Our top selling trip: Photography holiday in Andalucia
See all our trips: Photography holidays in Spain
Read more: Andalucia travel guide, Picos de Europa Travel guide
Written by Vicki Brown
Photo credits: [Page banner: MAKE IT KENYA PHOTO / STUART PRICE] [Iceland: © Wild Photography Holidays] [Ladakh: Siriwan Srisuwan] [Avatar Mountains, China: Carlos Adampol Galindo]