The story

In autumn 2021, I guided a group of three people for the first time on a two-week trip. The trip combined an exploration of the Highlands with the discovery of Iceland’s major regions, from the Ice Road in the south to the craggy fjords of the north and the Snaefellsnes peninsula. A wonderful discovery for them, a revelation for me. Until now, I’ve been discreet about my favorite places, my favorite photo spots, the forgotten valleys and the most confidential trails of my last fifteen years. I’ve discovered the pleasure of sharing these wonders with people I can trust.

A true Icelandic experience

I only accompany travelers who are ready to face the uncertainty of the day’s weather and the bumps of mountain trails, to cross a river without screaming (or screaming for joy), to spend hours in the sole company of lava, moss and an immense sky. And above all, aware that in this volcanic land on the bangs of the Arctic Circle, geography and climate will always have the last word. A planned itinerary can be modified according to a multitude of hazards (snow, wind, rising river levels, eruption…). The key word in these latitudes is adaptation. It’s in this way, by embracing the unexpected, blending in with the elements and getting off the beaten track, that you get a true Icelandic experience. Walking whatever the weather, watching the gusts of wind on the surface of lakes, taking a break in a bath when the mood strikes. Just get up with a smile on your face, despite the rain. These are the prerequisites for accompanying me to my promised land.

In the heart of authenticity

I repeated the experience in the autumn of 2022, with a team from Swiss television station RTS, who had asked me to produce a report on my ritual journeys in the Highlands during the rettir season: In September, farmers travel by horse, 4×4 and on foot to the remotest parts of the central mountains in search of flocks of sheep. These two weeks, spent accompanying three people eager to capture the essence of these wild lands, were a wonderful moment to share. This gave rise to a beautiful report, a reflection of what we experienced together, far from the cities, far from the tourists, in this suspended time that I propose to help you discover.

Crossing rivers, taking trails

Iceland’s Highlands is an area of 50,000 km2 with no villages, farms, hotels, bars or roads… I’ve been criss-crossing it every year since 2009. They are only open for around three months a year, generally from early July to late September. To discover them, it’s best to be self-sufficient, with a 4×4 vehicle equipped with provisions for several days, and which allows you to move from one region to another, from one refuge to another, and so get away from the few frequented places you’ll find there. And then, to immerse yourself peacefully in this enchantment. Over time, I’ve acquired a very good knowledge of these wildest parts of Europe. I like to take the trails that are only dotted on the maps, to cross rivers and lakes, to get to where the heart of Iceland beats. And then, to land on a rock, a cliff face, a lakeside beach, the mouth of an extinct volcano… And relive the world’s first morning.


Photographic approach

In the fall of 2023, I guided three Iceland lovers on two different trips. Ten days criss-crossing the lands they’d dreamed of discovering, without taking a group trip. I literally took them inside my books, inside the photos they’d seen and loved. I gave them tips on how to improve their own images, both during shooting and in post-production, in the evening at the refuge. Professional photographer, author of numerous reports (GEO, Animan, Le Monde, Le Temps, Le JDD…) and two books on Iceland, I like to share my experience to help you create visuals true to your vision of Iceland. At the end of the trip, I’m also happy to give away the best photos I’ve taken of my travelers.


Travel in all seasons and regions

Realizing the pleasure I get from sharing, I decided to continue developing this guiding activity. In the Highlands, in autumn, but not only. My experience can be invaluable for discovering the less-traveled, less-touristy but most authentic regions. In winter, for safe travel in stormy weather. And anytime for those who want to travel without the stress of driving, listening to an enthusiast talk about the places they’ve visited, the Vikings, elves and trolls, Icelandic literature and music, nature and wildlife, the history of eruptions, the delights of hot baths and Icelandic gastronomy.

It’s your trip

In practical terms, I organize these tours with a local receptive, with complete clarity. It’s your trip, and I’m here to optimize it. The itinerary, the type of accommodation (refuges, hotels, bed and breakfasts) and the philosophy of the trip are all up to you. For the time being, I limit myself to groups of 3 or 4, in a single vehicle. For larger groups, we’ll need to discuss it.



It started out as my youngest son’s dream, but soon became a trip for three, and an opportunity for me to share this adventure with my boys.
Discovering the Icelandic winter…
Olivier and I decided to go to Iceland on the advice of a photographer friend.
We wanted a personalized tour that would get us off the beaten track and away from the big tourist crowds.
Olivier was able to pass on his passion for Iceland and help us discover some magical places.
It was a trip that was both intense and rich. The immensity, calm and serenity of Iceland’s landscapes are awe-inspiring.
We enjoyed contemplating the ever-changing colors of this lunar landscape.
We enjoyed the local Icelandic cuisine, and loved relaxing in the hot springs overlooking the ocean (even more comforting after our quick dip in the 2°C North Atlantic!!). The quad biking on the ocean shore and the glacier walk kept us enthralled! Finally, we learned a lot about Iceland, its glaciers and volcanoes.
A huge thank you to you Olivier for your kindness, for listening to us and for adapting so well to each of our personalities. Always with the aim of pleasing us all. Thank you for sharing, for letting us know a little of your Icelandic world through your music and the friends we had the privilege of meeting.
Thanks to Bertrand for the perfect organization of this trip, which will remain engraved in our hearts for a long time to come.
We’re leaving Iceland with a lump in our throat, but with stars in our eyes, a head full of memories and already the desire to return and discover other wonders. Why not head north this time? Or in the Highlands.
There’s so much to discover…

Carinne C, Grand Tours du Sud, (February 2024)

“Between sky and earth”

Access to Iceland’s unspoilt heartland is a most precious gift: luck smiled on me as I was led to Olivier Joly, whose wisdom, modesty and knowledge guided my first approach to his Highlands. Thanks to him, you won’t have to worry about logistics, and you’ll be able to live each moment in harmony with the intimacy of this multi-faceted space.

Taking my time with each effort, each cloudy wandering in the sky, each windy flight, each surprise under my footsteps in his, by discreet paths, a little to the side, I climbed here, tasted the pleasure of guessing before savoring, looked everywhere in all directions, and there often listened to the whispers of time…

I’ve dared to go beyond what I thought were insurmountable limits. Thanks to this patient and attentive guide-photographer, I discovered what the imagination could not reach, felt unknown beats of life, at every moment authenticity in all the dimensions of this nature. You can’t “do” the Icelandic Highlands, but with him you can approach them in all their diversity.

We can’t recount them all, but it enabled me to live for a few days in this pure jewel, sheltered from the vulgar, and to perceive some of the secrets of this world, shared as much by the water tumbling down, threading its way through the shimmering black of the obsidians or calming down for a while in a lake, as by the sheep that stop, look at us as perplexed as they are mocking us, and resume their journey on their land, between volcanoes and glaciers, in the land that has welcomed us and left its indelible imprints in the folds of memory.

I was lucky enough to gain access to a piece of the soul of this remote world under the guidance of Olivier Joly.

Martine M.P, , Highlands, september 2023

“Four days of real life”.

Olivier Joly takes the keys.
Iceland gets you.
As you wind your way along lost lanes lined with threatening stones, through deep, winding fords with leaky ground, you savor the parade of colors: Olivier leads the way.
As the clouds roll in, you wander freely, along the mosses, over the rhyolite mountains, you’re drunk on seeing it all: Olivier’s compass explains it all.
Your comforters, cocoon and mattress are waiting for you after the hearty, healthy meals concocted by…Olivier.
Does an angle or a light pose a photographic doubt for you? Olivier offers advice.
Foot pain? Are you sliding? Does it seem like a long way to go? Olivier adjusts your sticks.
Discover a more serene Iceland: Olivier will take care of the details.
Joëlle and Dominique (have done it).

Dominique P-V. and Joëlle, Highlands, september 2023

Olivier is not a guide. He’s an Icelandic adventure guru! He takes you by the hand and takes you on incredible discoveries: fjords, lava fields, hot baths, ice landscapes and even volcano eruptions. And then there are the magical beaches, some with yellow sand, others with white. And imagine black beaches studded with shiny icicles!
A magician to help you discover one of the most beautiful and wildest countries in the world: ICELAND. You’ll remember it for the rest of your life.

Jean-Paul et Dominique, Grand tour de l’Islande, (autumn 2021)