Top 10 wildlife photography
tours in Europe

Wildlife photography vacations 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. Polar bear expedition, Svalbard

Join a photography expedition to the icy Svalbard archipelago in the far north of Norway. The itinerary is tailored by experts who know the wildlife – and photographers' needs – down to a T. Expect longer shore landings, excursions timed to maximise the light, and small group Zodiac trips with room for camera kit. Conservationists and nature photographers like David Yarrow lead the way, revealing the creaking, always changing landscapes where polar bears, whales, walruses and colossal guillemot colonies live.
When to go: April, May and June for icy landscapes; July and August to see bears hunting and the midnight sun
Our top trip: Arctic wildlife vacation: polar bear explorer
See all our trips: Spitsbergen wildlife vacations
Read more: Polar bear watching in Norway guide

2. 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 vacations
Read more: Iceland photography guide

3. 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 vacations
Read more: Wildlife photography travel guide

Our top Europe wildlife Vacation

Swim with Orcas in Fjords of Norway

Swim with Orcas in Fjords of Norway

6 night live-aboard tour in the stunning fjords 0f Norway

From US $6600 6 days ex flights
Small group travel:
2022: 5 Nov, 12 Nov
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Europe wildlife or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.

4. Go wild in Norway

Fulufjellet National Park in Norway is one of Europe’s last true wildernesses. Armed with a camera (and thermal underwear) this is your chance to camp out in Fulufjellet and embark on a wildlife photography tour that watches out for bears, wolves, lynx, wolverines, birds, reptiles, butterflies and amphibians.
When to go: June to August
Our top trip: Norway photography vacation
See all our trips: Norway wildlife vacations
Read more: Norway wildlife travel guide and Arctic Norway photography guide

5. Photography & sailing, 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: June
Our top trip: Photography and sailing vacation in Scotland
See all our trips: Scotland wildlife vacations
Read more: Scotland wildlife travel guide

6. Autumn colours & wildlife 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: August and September
Our top trip: Lapland photography vacation: autumn colours
See all our trips: Lapland vacations
Read more: Lapland travel guide

7. 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 vacations
Read more: Romania wildlife vacations guide

8. 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 vacations
Read more: Bear watching in Finland guide

9. 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 vacation based in a renovated mountain farmhouse and led by an award-winning photography tutor.

When to go: All year round
Our top trip: Photography vacation in the Spanish Pyrenees
See all our trips: Spanish Pyrenees vacations
Read more: Spanish Pyrenees wildlife guide

10. Capturing puffins in the Faroe Islands

Bird photography is the name of the game in the Faroe Islands, where colonies of puffins, kittiwakes and northern fulmars cling to cliffs and wave-swept islands. Each boat trip and hike is led by an expert photography guide, while evening workshops cover subjects like creative composition and image development. All cameras and abilities are welcome – even phone cameras.
When to go: June
Our top trip: Faroe Islands photography vacation
See all our trips: Faroe Islands vacations
Read more: Faroe Islands bird watching 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]